APR’s Passion + Productivity = Give Back

Guest blogger, Travis Muszynski writes: I work for a company called APR in Opelika, Alabama. Although I’ve only been with the company for about three years, it all started with a few very smart people that wanted to make parts and software for their own cars.  The parts became products and before you know it, APR was born.  From that day on, APR has gotten to where we are through hard work, late nights, attending shows and simply doing what we love. We are known for high quality performance software and hardware for Audi, Volkswagen and Porsche.  The vehicles we modify

A personal account of performance management that works… and doesn’t

My take on performance management is quite different than it was 10 years ago. I once worked for a company that basically rewarded all employees for their continued employment, and performance was not really taken into consideration when we all received a 5% raise. Regardless of how fabulous of a job I was doing or how not-so-fabulous my co-worker in the cubicle over was doing, we both received the same reward. This was not motivating me to be a better employee nor was it motivating for my mediocre colleague. Fast forward well over a decade. Not only has the world

How Simulated Work Environments Can Drive Performance in the Classroom, and Ultimately the Workplace

Continuing with our theme this month, we wanted to reflect on performance management in another arena – the classroom. After all, students are future employees and shouldn’t performance management in the classroom prepare them for performance management in their future careers? First, I want to share a thought from a local employer when asked about industry needs concerning current and potential programs that are developing the future workforce. The quote reads: “While there appears to be attention given to communication and employability (skills), these areas remain our greatest problem. We are looking for hard working individuals with a strong work

Basic Feedback/Feedforward Stuff

One of the best ways to improve and sustain great performance at work is to ask for feedback and to give it, freely, continuously and in the spirit of driving better performance. Here are some posts to help you out with this quest: 6 Steps for Maximizing Feedback Through Feedforward Drop Lots of FYIs to Communicate Effectively Goal Setting – Feedback 3 Steps for Driving Employee Engagement through Personalization

How to Handle Mental Health Issues in the Workplace

I had a reader send me a suggestion for a blog post a little over a month ago. It said: “With the terrible shooting in VA yesterday, maybe an article on how HR can better handle identifying, coaching, counseling & later termination of disgruntled employees if coaching is not effective. I am sure HR departments are concerned about their own employees. Just thoughts.” With all our content written for the month, I told him I’d add it to the roster even though this shooting would be old news. The sad thing, though, is that I silently thought there will be

You Go Jennifer Lawrence- Girls, Know and Stand-up for What You’re Worth

Jennifer Lawrence, Hollywood’s highest paid female actress still doesn’t make as much as her male counterparts. And she’s pissed. But who she is pissed at may surprise you. She’s mad at herself. You can see more on the story that aired on NBC Nightly News last week here: http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/video/jennifer-lawrence-speaks-out-on-hollywood-s-gender-pay-gap-543867971910 Kudos to Jennifer. When we can take ownership of the issues that affect us personally, then we are on our way to fixing them. Blaming others doesn’t help the situation. Women (and men) knowing what they are worth is a critical step in that ownership, then being willing and able to

Why does employee engagement matter?

I’ve been rambling on this month about how to drive employee performance.  If you missed the run-down so far, you can check out the posts here: What You Pay Does Matter 3 Steps to Winning A Best Place to Work Award 3 Steps for Driving Employee Engagement through Personalization But why does it matter? Why would you or any organization want to pay competitively, win a great place to work award and/or drive employee engagement through personalization. We’d argue first that it is simply the right thing to do. But this reason alone won’t keep you in business. However, doing

3 Steps for Driving Employee Engagement through Personalization

Remember the wind chime, the umbrella, the party, snacks and bonus check in our last post? Well during the corporate foray of employee rewards and recognition efforts, everyone in the department, regardless of their level of involvement in the project, got the wind chime and the umbrella and the party and the snacks and, yes, the bonus check. In addition to the one size fits all approach whether earned or not, although an umbrella at some point is going to come in handy, and the wind chimes do actually still hang in my backyard almost ten years later, no one

3 Steps to Winning A Best Place to Work Award

A wind chime. An umbrella. A large corporate hooray party. Office snacks on demand, at anytime, for free. A bonus check. One that at the age of 23 was a shockingly large one. All are things I’ve experienced in my career during a corporate change management project that constituted employee recognition and perks. Despite the fact that the umbrella was expensive (for an umbrella) because of its cute designer label and the bonus check as I mentioned was large for the context of my 23 year old, living paycheck to paycheck mind (so much so that my new husband and I

What You Pay Does Matter

“$11.32 an hour,” she said. “That’s what many people can earn sitting on their couch. How am I supposed to encourage them to get off the couch when many of the jobs they qualify for don’t pay that?” This statement came from a frustrated state career center worker tasked with getting individuals off federal and state assistance through a job placement program. I could turn this conversation into a political post, but I won’t go there.  Instead, I’d like to focus on how it illustrates a basic premise of motivation. I’m going to spend the next few weeks talking about