Welcome to MANAGE Magazine!
February 1998 issue
The Blanchard Management Report
Money Sense by Mitchell Farkas
Rewarding Employees by Bob Nelson
Improving Performance by Mark W. Morgan
"In the Face of the Plainest Warnings" by Ronald A. Norelli
Biometrics by F. J. Bud Purcell
Not Ideal But Workable by Mary Ruth Austin
NMA--WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME?
NMA will soon celebrate its 75th birthday at our October 2000 National Conference in Fort Worth, Texas. This site was selected to honor our Association's oldest chapter, (58-year NMA affiliation), Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems. The Dallas-Fort worth area is also home to one of NMA's fastest growing councils, The North Texas Council, with eight member chapters. The council will host the annual Conference and big birthday celebration.
Since 1925, NMA has been a valuable resource for leadership development to sponsoring companies like LMTAS and over 140 affiliated chapters across the nation. As we begin a new administrative year, our Association is working hard to ensure we remain the "resource of choice" for leadership development training and networking opportunities.
Our 1998 Leadership Team and NMA Bard of Directors are currently implementing a marketing plan and recently completed a strategic plan to "keep us on track" as we set short term/long term objectives. Additionally, these planning efforts will help NMA to better define and answer our Association's most asked question, "What's in it for me?"
As many companies continue to merte, right size, and reengineer their organizations, NMA is taking on an additional and very important role as a change agent. Some company training budgets continue to shrink and NMA is being asked to offer training courses that were previously offered to employees through their department training budgets. Also, many chapters serve as a vehicle to help employee obtain training as part of their company developed Employee Learning Plans.
The NMA chapter, in its role as a change agent, offers companies the opportunity to use the chapter structure and programs for information flow down. If the chapter goals and objectives are closely aligned with company goals, then NMA, in its role as a change agent, benefits the employee, the chapter, and the company.
Recognition of personal and professional achievement is also a key benefit of NMA. Although obtaiing awards is usually not the primary objective of most chapters, NMA promotes formal recognition of individual and group achievement. Our popular awards program and user friendly point system is specifically designed to recognize member/chapter achievements and not penalize chapters for any shortcomings.
NMA's 140 plus chapters, large and small, make up our great organization. Annually, these organizations send representatives to regional and national conferences for officer training, leadership seminars, and awards programs. Most participants come away with value-added information and a better understanding and appreciation of what is in it for them. Understanding the rapidly changing needs of these members, their NMA chapters and sponsoring organizations is extremely important to NMA's continued success.
As a personal testimony, I became an NMA member and joined my local chapter in July 1978 because I believed NMA offered something for me both personalloy and professionally. My job was very enjoyable and challengng, but I knew I needed to improve my communication and interpersonal skills to better relate and contribute as a member of my work group. I also saw networking opportunities and personal development benefits that I felt would help me gain confidence in my abilities and achieve personal short and long term goals.
NMA and my local chapter gave me that opportunity to expand my abilities, once I made the decision to participate. My management was very supportive of my enrollment in some NMA classes because they perceived my participation as a win-win for the company and the employee.
For twenty years, I have considered it a privilege to be a member of NMA and our Fort Worth Chapter. I owe a debt of gratitude to both my company and my chapter for leadership training, networking opportunities that have heoped me make long term friendships and for recognition of my achievemets. Through it all, I remain eager to see companies and chapters team together to achieve their objectives. I also feel I am better prepared to help answer that very important question of "What is in it for me? As famed inventor and NMA founder, Charles F. Kettering, once said, "The opportunities through NMA are unlimited. One need only to participate."
W. J. "Bill" Smelley, III, CM
Here is an idea that has had much success in recognizing safety in operations of all types. Safety Bucks is a simple employee recognition tool, developed by Bill Sims, Jr., at the Bill Sims Company, Columbia, SC.
In the program, employees receive scratchoff Safety Bucks for meeting goals set for them, including attending safety meetings, making suggestions, working safely for a month as an individual or as a team. Employees scratch off their Bucks to reveal prize amounts of $20, $50, or $100. Even a non-winning coupon is worth $1 in credit toward the purchase of select merchandise.
"The sense of excitement this program creates is really contagious," says Sims, "because employees see their co-workers earning 50 or 100 Star Bucks and they know they might be next to win." Since every Star Buck is always worth at least one dollar, no one is de-motivated by getting a loser.
Employees save their Bucks similar to Greenstamps and order from a vast catalog offering thousands of gift options. Items in the catalog all bear a company Excellence logo and can be further customized for each company. The available items can also be expanded to include CD players, TVs, and VCRs and other specialty products.
Sims initially started working with one company using cash as a motivational tool. Their $20,000 budget only put $11,000 in the pockets of their employees after taxes. And, eight out of ten employees who received cash couldnt remember when they got it last and werent sure what it was for. In a revamp of their program, the entire $20,000 investment was able to be awarded tax free to their employees through Safety Bucks.
Unlike cash and store certificates, where you can lose half of every incentive dollar to taxes, this program can be set up as tax free, delivering more, well..bang for your buck.
One General Motors manager remarked, "I like the Bucks program because this gives a middle manager an opportunity to tell someone they did something right. Usually, managers only interact with people when theyve done something wrong."
Sims agrees, and says many clients will give 10 Star Bucks to each manager on one day of the month and ask them to go find 10 people doing something right and hand out the bucks. "Just having something to hand their employees helps these managers get over the hump and go out and recognize important behaviors," says Sims. He adds that the most important ingredient is a warm smile, and a positive attitude of praise from the manager. The context of the award gives it far more value than it would otherwise have without a personal touch.
How well do Safety Bucks pay off? "Employees who arent involved in a safety program are at risk of sooner or later becoming an expensive injury and lawsuit, or worse, a fatality," says Sims. Other examples of successful safety programs include:
Again, the Safety Buck program proves that its the simplest programs that can have the biggest impact when it comes to recognizing employee performance.
For more information about Star Bucks, call Bill Sims, Jr. at 1-800-690-1860 or e-mail at email@example.com
The Middle Years: Financial Planning in your 40s
As you enter middle age, you will find many of your longer-term financial goals approaching, sometimes many at the same time. You may have upgraded to a larger home, your children may be starting college, and your elderly parents may begin to need your care. Your own retirement is starting to become a closer reality.
Investing during this time should balance your needs for growth and current income. How aggressive your investing strategies will be during your middle years frequently depends on how well you saved and invested in your early years. Unfortunately, many people spend their middle years trying to make up for a lack of planning and a late start.
Even if your situation requires a more aggressive approach, you dont want to put all your principal at risk. Some of your savings should be shifted toward income investments like government and corporate bonds or bond funds, and cash equivalents like Treasury bills or money-market funds. You can lessen risk by diversifying your portfolio to contain a mix of stocks, bonds and cash equivalents. The right mix for you depends on your individual tolerance for risk, how much you have saved and your age.
College Tuition Comes Due
By now, your children are probably approaching college age. Even if youve saved regularly, and especially if you havent, your college fund may not quite meet the demands of your childs education requirements. Now is the time to investigate the opportunities for financial aid, which are more broadly available than most people realize.
Your first stop should be the office of a guidance counselor at your childs high school to pick up the governments financial aid application form. Mail it as soon after January 1 as you can in your childs senior year. To speed the process, complete your tax return for the year before you fill in the form. When you and your children fill out the form, be sure to check the box to apply for a Pell grant. This is federal grant money based on your income level that you dont have to pay back. Apply for it even if you believe you dont qualify; its necessary for getting a government-subsidized student loan or a college grant.
Even if your child does not qualify for financial aid, there are other borrowing options. You may be able to borrow from your companys profit-sharing or 401(k) plan. A home-equity loan can offer tax-deductible financing for most homeowners. You may also be able to borrow from the cash value of a life insurance policy or borrow against your securities. Be sure to consider the consequences: Will you be sacrificing needed retirement funds or your familys security? If you have plenty saved, these borrowing options can be attractive because their interest rates compare favorably to other types of loans, but if youre behind in retirement saving, they may not be the best long-term options for you.
Caring for elderly parents
Between the ages of 40 and 60, people often find themselves part of the sandwich generation, caring for their aging parents while still supporting growing children. The National Alliance for Caregiving in Bethesda, Maryland, says 22.4 million households are caring for parents or other elderly relatives. The financial consequences of assuming this role can be devastating if youre not prepared.
While your parents are still healthy, talk to them about any special insurance or savings they may have in the event they become physically or mentally incapacitated. Long-term care either care at home or in a a nursing home can be very expensive. A year in a nursing home cost an average of $38,000 in 1993, and two hours of home health care three times a week cost about $12,300 that year, the American Health Care Association found. These costs generally are not covered by Medicare. If your parents need but cannot afford care, you may find yourself making up the difference or caring for your parents yourself.
You can purchase long-term care insurance for your parents, or save money on your own for that purpose. If your parents do end up needing care and you have no funds or insurance, you may be able to borrow from your 401(k) plan, but be sure to consider whether you will be cutting your own retirement prospects short as a result.
If you do take on the role as a parents main caregiver, you may be able to claim your parent as a dependent and save on your income taxes. Check with your tax advisor to see if your situation qualifies for this exemption.
Planning for retirement
Tuition costs and elder care may be on your plate, but if you can help it, dont make the mistake of meeting these responsibilities at the expense of your own retirement. Always pay yourself first by continuing to contribute to your employers 401(k) program or other retirement plan, or to an Individual Retirement Account.
Keep in mind that up to $2,000 of compensation a year can be set aside in an IRA, for both wage-earners and non-earning spouses. The contributions may be tax-deductible depending on your income and eligibility for participation in an employer-sponsored plan. Take advantage of it. Earnings accumulate tax-free until you take distributions, and you reduce your current taxes by $560 for each deductible annual $2,000 contribution, assuming youre in the 28 percent tax bracket.
If youre contributing all you can to employer plans and IRAs, consider variable annuities, which allow you to accumulate earnings on a tax-deferred basis. Unlike 401(k) plans and IRAs, annuities have no limit on the amount you can invest, and they provide a guarantee of principal to your heirs. Any growth on assets is deferred, and you earn a rate of return that varies depending on how the underlying investments perform. When it comes time to take income, you can structure payments from a variety of options, including one that cannot be outlived.
As a general guideline, it is recommended that you plan to replace 80 percent of your income in retirement, adjusted for inflation. Thats no easy task. Although you may be shifting some investments into conservative instruments to meet current needs, you probably will want retirement accounts to remain partially invested in stocks, especially early in your middle years.
Protecting your assets
At this point, you may have built up significant equity in your home, amassed a sizeable retirement nest egg, and accumulated valuable items, such as jewelry or cars. Dont let a lawsuit, sickness or injury put your hard-earned assets and future security at risk.
Review your disability coverage, homeowners insurance and health care insurance. And consider an umbrella liability insurance policy, which supplements the liability coverage of your homeowners and automobile insurance policies. The premiums of these policies are surprisingly inexpensive in light of the extra protection they provide.
Writing a will
Now is the time to write a will, if you havent already. The distribution of some assets, such as jointly held property, life insurance policies, retirement plans and IRAs, are controlled by survivorship provisions and beneficiary designations. A will allows you to distribute all other assets not controlled by these means. In a will, you may also nominate someone as guardian of your minor children.
Be sure to consult an attorney or financial advisor to help you set up your will in a way that will reduce estate taxes, avoid probate expenses and sidestep mistakes. A poorly drafted will can encumber the process of probate, the court-supervised transfer of ownership to your heirs. It could also increase costs to your estate and lessen the chance that your wishes will be followed.
Update your will as your life and financial circumstances change, perhaps when you are married or divorced, when children are born, when you start a business or your financial picture changes substantially. Nominate the executor who will handle probate proceedings and distribute your assets. Also grant a durable power of attorney to someone who will handle your financial affairs on your behalf if you are unable to and a health care proxy so the person you desire can make health care decisions for you if you cannot.
Seek professional assistance
Your middle years are a good time to reevaluate your goals, both current and long-term. Consult your financial consultant to help you refocus your savings habits, if necessary, and adjust your investment portfolio to give you the best opportunity to meet your short-term goals and stay on track to meet long-term objectives.
Mitchell Farkas is First Vice President and Director, Financial Planning Group, for Merrill Lynchs Private Client Group.
Its been said there are three types of companies: Those that know they are winning; those that know they are losing; those that dont know the score. World class competitors know the score and use measurements to drive improvements in business performance. Y.K. Shetty, in the Advanced Management Journal from Spring 1993, determined that companies with effective measurement systems have higher average market share, enhanced product reliability, shorter order processing times, and fewer customer complaints than companies with poor measurement systems. Those are good reasons for us to examine best practices in measurements from four angles: Determining What to Measure; Using Measures; Creating Measures, and Relating Measures.
Determining what to measure
Measures vary according to your business, services, and customers. You can determine what to measure by asking, "What do I need to know to continually improve and remain competitive?" Typically, the answer reveals that financial measures alone are inadequate.
The Balanced Scorecard
Many managers are realizing that traditional methods of monitoring financial measures limit their visibility. Some equate it to "driving down the road using only your rearview mirror". Many businesses are developing a "Balanced Scorecard", integrating measures from finance, operations, customer satisfaction, and employee satisfaction to track overall performance. The Balanced Scorecard allows the company to react to undesired trends more quickly and avoid problems. For example, Motorola has achieved remarkable levels of performance (and a National Quality Award) by using a consistent scorecard across company elements which track defects/unit, cost of quality, quality delivered to the customer, and employee satisfaction. A team from Quantum Corporation refined its scorecard and, with improved visibility on cycle time, product quality, and team productivity, trimmed 33% off the cycle time needed to produce disk drives.
Characteristics of Good Measurements
As you determine what to measure, keep in mind the following characteristics. Good measures are:
Clear and understandable: Each measure is interpreted the same way by everyone who uses the system.
Timely: Data is provided when needed for decisions and action.
Credible: Reported values are believable and verifiable.
Economical to Maintain: The measures are easy to obtain, process, and display.
Related to a Standard: Each measure has a meaningful standard to allow comparison to industry averages and world-class levels of performance.
The key to successful measurement systems goes beyond tracking indicators; the information must be used to improve performance. Japanese quality authority K. Ishikawa said, "The purpose of collecting data is not to put everything into neat figures, but to provide a basis for action." There are three ways to act on metrics.
The most obvious method is to share metrics data with the people performing the work. Ken Blanchard refers to feedback as the "breakfast of champions", because it often drives improvement activity. Chrysler used feedback in a minivan plant to realize a 40% gain in productivity and a 55% reduction in grievances.
People respond to rewards when they are based on objective measures of performance. A study of 432 organizations by the Consortium of Alternative Reward Strategies confirmed that employees respond more favorably to reward systems that are well communicated, fair, consistent, timely, and based on measures.
Achieve Stretch Goals
Sharing measurement data and showing progress toward goals help companies achieve tough improvement targets. Hewlett Packard used performance standards and feedback to realize $800M in savings as the company reduced field defects by 80% and increased productivity by 15%.
As you improve performance, you will realize the need to create new measures. Intellectual capital is being explored by many companies as a new measure for competitive advantage. Defined as the intangible assets of skill, knowledge, and information, intellectual capital is often worth 3 to 4 times the tangible book value of a company. Dow Chemical measures intellectual capital by the number of patents that are converted to marketable products. Within 18 months, Dow saved more than $1M by weeding out unmarketable patents and boosted revenues by creating new applications for key products. Measuring intellectual capital helped Skandia Assurance and Financial Services reduce administrative expenses by 75% while raising productivity by 400% over 6 years.
Most managers intuitively know that customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, and financial performance are related. Leading companies understand relationships between measures and know where to focus improvement efforts to yield desired results. Bank One of Columbus, Ohio, carefully monitors customer retention, the number of services used by each customer, and customer satisfaction. Realizing that customer loyalty is related to profitability, Bank One has focused efforts on customer retention, achieving a return on assets more than double that of competitors.
Even small differences yield big results. Xerox discovered that customers who rated Xerox a 5 on satisfaction were 6 times more likely to repurchase Xerox equipment than customers giving 4s. Taco Bell found a profit discriminator in best versus worst stores: employee turnover. Stores with the lowest turnover rates have sales 100% greater and profits 50% higher than stores in the top quartile of employee turnover.
Measurements are an important aspect of managing and improving business performance. Determining what to measure, using measurements wisely, creating measures as needed, and relating key measures add up to productivity and profitability. Most importantly, measurements help you understand the reality of current performance and get to the heart of business problems more quickly. Tom Peters summed it up well: "If you want to improve something, measure it."
I recently got a chance to spend a day and a half with a long-time, dear friend of mine, Bob Small. Bob has developed more 5-star operations than any other hotelier in the United States. When it comes to quality and service in the hospitality industry, he is a giant.
Bob is one of the few top managers who is both a great visionary and a great implementer. He always provides clear vision and direction for his organization, and then shouts that vision everywhere he goes.
The biggest relearning I got from Bob was the importance of team accountability. You get what you reward; behavior is controlled by its own consequences. If you want people to behave in a certain way and they do perform as desired, they need to be praised and rewarded. If they dont perform as desired, they need to be either redirected or reprimanded. The importance of accountability cant be understated.
Bob agrees. He doesnt want to have to deal with a team. He wants one person to whom he can go to learn what is happening.
In some cases a team will come together with the obvious capacity to manage itself and be held accountable as a unit without a designated leader. In other instances, the team will be asked to pick an accountability person to provide clear answers and communication. When a self-directed team occurs it needs to be supported by management, but it also needs leaders who will take on necessary responsibility and be held accountable.
When I talk about team accountability, I expect team leaders to not only be accountable for results, but for building a high-performing team and for the functioning of that team.
In the process of holding leaders accountable, the teams will be held accountable too. In other words, it is not an option for team members to drag their feet and resist a leaders efforts without doing everything possible to help that leader become an effective team leader.
We cannot accomplish what we want to accomplish in the future if we dont help each other. Leaders, all by themselves, are vulnerable. We need both successful and effective leadership leaders that not only get good results but live according to the values of the organization as they build a high-performing team.
We have to give up leader watching and evaluating. So often people sit around and evaluate, hold back or tear a leader down. I expect team members instead to roll up their sleeves and get involved. When everyone is involved and committed, shared leadership is created.
I also was reminded by Bob of the need for visionary leadership ("doing things right"). In the rapidly changing business environment were all living today, no one leader has all the skills or attributes necessary to run an operation all by him- or herself. Bob believes that leaders should gather a complimentary team around them to support their strengths and cover any of their weaknesses. Bob also believes in building a team of people who all share and are committed to the same vision for the future.
Anyone in a leadership position, whether they are appointed or emerge, must build a high-performing team around themselves. An effective high-performing team has high standards, mutual accountability and deep commitment to the task and each other. Teams must accomplish tasks to remain in existence, but they are built on a foundation of interdependence.
THE PERFORM MODEL
Seven Characteristics of High-Performing Teams
In The One Minute Manager Builds High-Performing Teams the authors present seven characteristics of the PERFORM model, which highlights desired behaviors of an effective team.
Members of high-performing teams share a sense of purpose. They are clear about what the teams "work" is and why it is important. They can describe a picture of what the team intends to achieve. They have developed mutually agreed upon and challenging goals that clearly relate to the teams vision. Strategies for achieving goals are clear. Each member understands his or her role in realizing the vision.
Members are confident about the teams ability to overcome obstacles and to realize its vision. A sense of mutual respect enables members to share responsibilities, help each other out, and take initiative to meet challenges. Policies, rules and team processes enable members to do their jobs easily. Members have opportunities to grow and learn new skills. There is a sense of personal as well as collective power.
Relationship and Communication.
The team is committed to open communication, and group members feel that they can state their opinions, thoughts and feelings without fear. Listening is considered as important as speaking. Differences of opinion and perspective are valued, and methods of managing conflict are understood. Through honest and caring feedback, members are aware of their strengths and weaknesses as team members. There is an atmosphere of trust and acceptance and a sense of community. Group cohesion is high.
Group members are flexible and perform different task and maintenance functions as needed. Members share responsibility for team development and leadership. The strengths of each member are identified and used, and individual efforts are coordinated when necessary. The team is fluid and open to both opinions and feelings, hard work and fun. Members recognize the inevitability and desirability of change and adapt to changing conditions.
High-performing teams produce significant results. There is a commitment to high standards and quality results. They get the job done, meet deadlines and achieve goals. The team has developed effective decision-making and problem-solving methods that result in achieving optimum results and encourage participation and creativity. Members have developed strong skills in group process as well as accomplishing tasks.
Recognition and appreciation.
Individual and team accomplishments are frequently recognized by the team leader as well as team members by celebrating milestones, accomplishments and events. Team accomplishments are valued by the larger organization. Members feel highly regarded within the team and experience a sense of personal accomplishment in relation to their team and task contributions.
Members are enthusiastic about the teams work, and each person feels pride in being a member of the team. Confident and committed, members are optimistic about the future. There is a sense of excitement about individual and team accomplishments as well as the way team members work together. Team spirit is high.
Copyright 1997 by Blanchard Management Report
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With business booming and unemployment at its lowest level in nearly a quarter century, many employers today find themselves between a rock and a hard place. They must add employees to handle increased business but because there are so many more jobs than qualified candidates, are finding the applicant pool nearly "fished out."
Most of the men and women still not working are unemployed for good reason - they really don't want to work or lack the skills, maturity, discipline or common sense needed to work successfully anywhere. That's the bad news - many of the candidates who walk through your door and fill out your applications aren't qualified or motivated to do much of anything. The good news is that, because of today's two income family, our highly mobile society, and continued downsizing, swimming in there, along with all that carp, could be someone with just the skills you need. How do you find them?
The first step is to know exactly what type of employee you need. That's why we suggest you have two or three of your top employees in the job you are trying to fill complete an independently validated hiring tool like The Omnia ProfileŽ. Knowing what traits are needed to succeed in the job will not only tell you the type of candidate you need - assertive or helpful, outgoing or skeptical, fast paced or persistent, independent or accommodating - it will also tell you where to look.
Say, for instance, you need to hire an administrative assistant You profile your company's two top admin assistants and learn that both are non-confrontational and cautious (Column 2), as comfortable crunching numbers as interacting with clients (nearly equal Columns 3 and 4), patient and happy handling repetitive tasks (tall Column 6), and accurate, detail-oriented and eager to please (Column 8). The benchmark for that job, then, is 2, 3=4, 6, 8, (Figure 1).
Looking at our benchmark or target for the job, we can see that our "dream candidate" prefers security, stability and predictable routine to winning, risk, challenge and change. This tells us she/he won't change jobs to make more or advance and probably won't leave a position she likes unless forced to (her spouse is transferred, the company she works for moves, closes or lays her off, her job is eliminated). Also, not at all comfortable "selling" herself or being unemployed, she will probably take the first job she is offered. This means you will need to find, recruit, evaluate and hire promising administrative assistant candidates quickly.
How do you find them? Ask your staff for leads. Because "true staff support" personalities value being part of a friendly, stable team, support staff already working for you may know of someone qualified and looking. Let colleagues and trade associations know you have an opening and run an ad in the Clerical section of your local newspaper. Using those three recruiting avenues should generate at least some candidates, some qualified and some not.
At Omnia, we suggest you have every candidate you talk to complete an Omnia ProfileŽ when they first arrive at your office, along with your employment application and any other required forms. Then, after you have developed your "short list' of candidates, fax those applicants' profiles into Omnia for interpretation.
But, what if, when the interpreted Profiles are returned to you, none of your candidates has the 2, 3=4, 6, 8 Profile pattern you want? One applicant, according to her interpreted Profile, is far too competitive, proactive, fast -paced and autonomous to be happy or effective for long in what is essentially a routine support role and, according to the Profile, would be a much better "fit" in sales or management.
Your other two candidates' profiles - 2, 4, 6, 8 and 2, 3, 6, 7 are close but not identical to your "target." Which one should you choose? Neither, if you are going to base your whole hiring decision on Profile results. Previous, relevant work experience, training, employer references and interview results are all important factors in your final decision; a hiring tool like The Omnia ProfileŽ should account for no more than 25% of your hire/no hire decision.
Let's assume that both applicants have equivalent experience, similar training, good-to-glowing references and impressed you during the interview. Now, who do you hire?
Actually, both profile patterns are workable for an administrative assistant, as long as you know how the candidates are likely to differ from your benchmarks and can work around those differences.
The applicant with the 2-4-6-8 profile is more reserved, less talkative, less social and more comfortable working with facts, figures and forms than your current top administrative assistants. Logical, analytical and a good problem solver, your 2-4-6-8 (Administrator) candidate is conservative, helpful, routine-oriented, and a perfectionist who has good attention to detail. Cautious in her dealings with others, perhaps even shy, she will not be rude but won't like dealing with people all day long, either. Her lack of people skills could be a problem if your position involves much contact with clients or the public.
On the other hand, the candidate with the 2-3-6-7 (Counselor-Advisor) Profile is much more friendly, outgoing and poised than your benchmarks or the other applicant. If meeting and greeting clients is a part of this job, her superior communication skills (tall column 3) could prove a real asset, as she can probably talk to anyone about anything. But, if the job involves processing papers, researching and resolving client problems or crunching numbers, she lacks both the analytical mindset and attention to detail needed. Socially driven, when bored, she could wander around the office talking to co-workers, ignoring her work and disrupting theirs -the taller her column 3, the chattier she will be. Her tall column 7 also tells us that she is much more autonomous and big picture than your target. While she will be more comfortable making decisions and acting independently while you are away, she lacks your admin assistant's attention to detail, which means her work is likely to be less accurate. Also, her tall columns 6 and 7 tell us that she can be stubborn, especially when rushed or forced to meet deadlines she had no part in making or considers unfair. More comfortable delegating details than dealing with them, she is likely to make many errors, especially when rushed or working while talking, and could prove rebellious or insubordinate under pressure.
The candidate with the Administrator personality comes closest to your needs. Although not as friendly and outgoing as your current admin assistants, she has their non-confrontational, helpful manner, their patience, persistence and detail-orientation.
Just as neither will do the job exactly the same way your top admin assistants will, both
also need to be managed differently. Your admin assistants, the Administrator and the Counselor-Advisor all dislike risk and prefer a nice, safe, straight salary over the chance to earn more via commission or incentives. With nearly equal Columns 3 and 4, your admin assistants need a mix of generalized praise and specific factual feedback from you, while the Administrator would prefer you skip the praise and stick to the facts. The Counselor-Advisor prefers it the other way around.
None of the three like to be rushed and need to be notified of change and deadlines well in advance. Like your AA's, the Administrator CANNOT be over-managed and NEEDS a very "hands-on" boss and complete, explicit, perhaps even written instructions. The much more independent, self-starting Counselor-Advisor NEEDS to do her job her way and is likely to find that level of management excessive, even though of the three personalities, she is the one who needs it the most. The Counselor-Advisor will work best for a boss who outlines a project, lets her fill in the blanks, answers questions when asked and then checks her work for accuracy.
Profiling, then, helps determine what traits are needed to do your job, how similar or dissimilar an applicant is to your employees succeeding in the job, explains how those differences will impact the way the candidate does your job, and provides important information about how to manage the applicant for peak performance.
For companies forced to fish from a shrinking applicant pool, profiling helps determine, before you hire, whether a candidate is a "trout" who "fits" well the duties of your job, a "carp," who couldn't do this or any other job or a "grouper," who although not "ideal" could probably do the job, and how to manage them to maximize their success.
And using an independently validated hiring tool is more scientific and cheaper than the candidate "test" one of our newer clients said he'd been using in his "fully employed" community: "We hold a mirror up to their mouth. If they steam it up, we hire them."
In a survey of 134 organizations by Information Week magazine, a majority of information technology managers (94 percent) reported that they did not use biometrics. The biggest reported reason for this was that they "didnt know enough about it."
So, lets begin by defining "biometrics."
Biometrics is the measuring of certain physical attributes or features to positively identify one human being from all other human beings.
A biometric is a unique physical characteristic or personal trait used to recognize the identity of or to verify the claimed identity of an individual (human being).
Biometrics, in security applications, includes fingerprint identification, facial appearance, hand geometry, digital signatures, voice prints and retinal patterns. Biometrics is a digital technology used to absolutely identify a person based on physical characteristics.
The most popular and widely known biometric is the fingerprint. However, other biometric techniques are fast catching up. Among these racing for recognition are:
1.Voice prints each human being is blessed with a special voice. Although many may sound similar, they are never 100 percent duplicated.
2.Retinal scanning the recognition of the unique patterns of the veins on the back of the eye and the eyes iris.
3.Vein patterns elsewhere on the body (back of the hand, etc.).
4.Hand geometry is based on the fingerprint approach. Each humans hands have patterns different from any other human.
5.Eyes and facial characteristics. Eye patterns and facial patterns vary and are not the same even in identical twins.
6.A rather new area of exploration is the personal body odor and genetic make-up of humans. From early results, no two people have the exact same body odor. Another new area of work is in determining the uniqueness of ear-shapes.
Fingerprinting technology is by far the most advanced of the biometric systems. Fingerprinting has been around for many years and the systems are easy to use. Law enforcement agencies have been aware of the value of fingerprints for decades. The FBI maintains the largest fingerprint file in the world, drawn upon by police and military departments for accurate identification.
Fingerprint "machines" are controlling the physical access to classified areas throughout the government and in many businesses. Many banks are currently using thumb-prints for identifying customers, especially those who do not have accounts with the banks.
Some states employ the use of fingerprints in their welfare systems. Connecticuts state-wide welfare system has saved more than $9 million by catching welfare cheats and frauds.
Retinal or iris scanning
A lot of experimentation is going forward on this type of biometrics. Although the system made by Sensar of Moorestown, New Jersey, is under development in concert with Citicorp, it is impressive enough to be termed "an investment in a product with a lot of potential."
The technology is reliable according to Terry Gates, marketing manager for IriScan of Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, a company that owns exclusive patents for iris recognition hardware and software. He bases this reliability on the fact that " in the entire human race, no two irises have the same detail, not even among identical twins."
In contrast, fingerprints carry as many as sixty variations to compare and analyze. Naturally, identification is less reliable and a great deal slower to obtain results.
Not a new technique but it is only now catching on as a reliable and viable part of security systems. One large bank has tested it on more than 9,000 employees and likes the results, enough to plan adding more employees to the system. One advantage of current "VV" systems is that regular telephones can be used so that new, additional hardware is not necessary. Training is both quick and easy.
A face recognition system called TrueFace is being used by a check-cashing machine operator in Texas. The system is the product of a Wellesley, Massachusetts company, Miros, Inc. This system compares an image from a common security camera to stored images of pre-authorized individuals. This happens in less than one second.
Another system developed and sold by Visionics Corp. of Metuchin, New Jersey, is catching on quickly. It is a $300 system, which includes a camera, video board and software. The president of Visionics, Joseph Atick, expects the security market for this product to grow as computer manufacturers begin to incorporate face identification in their hardware.
(Is this "good-bye" to passwords as we use them now?)
Typically, opinions vary widely about the future of biometrics. One expert suggests that the growth rate will be from 25 percent to 35 percent through the year 2000. Richard Power of the Computer Security Institute in San Francisco says he doesnt see biometrics as a realistic solution for general security for a long time to come. This opinion considers price as the big obstacle.
However, the future covers a lot of territory. There is no doubt that biometrics will find their way into most of our lives, and at least for now, you can say you have been initiated.