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Are Your Employees Giving 100 Percent?
on May 4, 2013
The first thing I read by Mark Murphy was called Hiring For Attitude and I really learned a lot from his book and wanted to read more of what he has to say. So my second Mark Murphy book was this one - HUNDRED PERCENTERS: Challenge Your Employees to Give it Their All and They'll Give You Even More. Yes, I know it's a long subtitle, but aptly describes the subject matter. This book was designed to help get the very best performance out of your employees.
This book begins with an extensive 21-page introduction which begins with a trickle-down effect of leadership - to get 100% performance requires 100% leadership. This is followed by an easy to use tool to determine exactly what type of leader you are and what kind of corrections and adjustments you may need to make in order to develop 100 percenters. Then the introduction goes to give a brief summary of the chapters that await. Even the introduction contains several pearls of wisdom.
The 1st Chapter introduces the concept of HARD goal setting. We're all familiar with the SMART goal concept. Here Murphy discusses the flaws associated with Setting SMART goals and recommends instead that goals must be Heartfelt (they exist to serve a purpose greater than ourselves), Animated (they're so vividly described and presented that to not reach them would leave us wanting), Required (they're critical to our existence to the point we must examine the repercussions of NOT pursuing this goal) and Difficult (they must test our limits - we can achieve more when challenged to do so - think of a sports team that performs at its best when facing its strongest opponent).
For me personally, chapter 2 was the most valuable portion of the book. Here Murphy introduces the IDEALS script for delivering constructive feedback:
I. Invite them to partner - "Would you be willing to have a conversation with me about ____?
D. Disarm yourself - "No weapons of communication will be used against you in this conversation."
E. Eliminate blame - "If we find we have different perspectives we can discuss those and develop a plan to move forward.
A. Affirm their control - "Does that sound okay?"
L. List correct feedback - Feedback must make sense, hold up to scrutiny, be understandable and sufficiently teach.
S. Synchronize your understanding - "Tell me how you think we can work together to improve on this situation?"
Now of course, Murphy goes into much greater detail than what I have covered in a paragraph here, but you get the idea behind the IDEALS script.
The next chapter begins by pointing out why some employees are hesitant to become 100%ers. They see the star performers in your organization as always being the one extra work falls upon. The top performers get all of the difficult tasks, are asked to work the longer hours and are often dramatically underpaid for what they do. So why would anyone aspire to become a 100%er? This chapter exposes how most exacerbate the situation by failing to recognize the difference between a 50% performer and a 100% performer.
Stop Demotivating and Start Motivating. That's the title and subject matter of chapter 4. It is a crash course in servant leadership, but it goes beyond that by examining what Murphy refers to as "Shoves and Tugs". These are the things that push employees down and the things that pull them up. Murphy defines 7 different types of employee personalities and the shoves and tugs or motivators and demotivators for each personality.
We've all experienced employees who were very good at their craft; very highly skilled, but all a royal pain for their bosses and co-workers. Don't you just love trying to deal with those people? Murphy has penned an entire chapter on how to deal with what he term "talented terrors". These are people that are possess the skillsets of a superstar, but an attitude that is like a cancer in the workforce. They destroy morale, reduce leadership effectiveness and even get good leaders fired. They must either change or be removed and Murphy walks the reader through the entire process.
This is followed by the book's Conclusion where Murphy recaps ten of the best take-a-ways from the book, then an in-depth appendix that will have you re-thinking your company evaluation forms.
Simply stated, if you are in a position of leadership, you need to read this book. And all I've done here is skim the surface of the book, I haven't even mentioned the vast wealth of leadership resources you will find on Murphy's website. Are you employees giving 100 percent?