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Enhancing Organizational Performance

Archive for March 2012

Susie Maher named Partner and Vice President of Operations of OrgVitality, LLC

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Susie B. Maher, PHR has been named a partner of OrgVitality, LLC.   Since joining OrgVitality in 2010, Susie has developed a project management function that serves OrgVitality’s entire product line, and has been instrumental in client service, product development, and quality assurance.

Prior to joining OrgVitality, Ms. Maher was the founder and owner of Chrysalis Advisors, Inc., a human resources consulting firm located in Spokane, Washington.  Ms. Maher has over 20 years of human resources experience in all facets of HR, including, but not limited to: improving the effectiveness of HR Business Partners, developing performance management policies & procedures, compensation, employee relations, training, recruiting, and effective terminations.  The contributions of this experience led to a co-presentation of the webinar What Company Presidents Need From HR… Even If They Don’t Know It.   Ms. Maher stays active in the Human Resource community as a member of the Society of Human Resources Management (having held various board seats), a sustaining member of the Junior League of Spokane (having held various board seats), and is an active member of Greater Spokane, Incorporated.

Jeffrey Saltzman, CEO of OrgVitality stated, “I have been in the consulting business for a very long time and it is very rare to come across someone with the combination of talent and personality of Susie. Her skill set and interactions with out clients are so positive that I am absolutely certain that many clients return because of the positive experiences they have with Susie and her team. She is a tremendous asset to the firm and offering her the partner position is in recognition of that.”

Ms. Maher received her degree from the University of the Pacific, Stockton, California, with a double major of English and Communications.

Ms. Maher can be reached at susiemaher@orgvitality.com.

About OrgVitality, LLC:

OrgVitality is a management consulting firm focused on helping individuals and organizations thrive in today’s turbulent environment. We help organizations make sustainable improvements in their operations and offerings, increasing their Vitality and enabling them to excel in their unique organizational strategies. The firm consists of highly experienced and respected professionals with technical expertise, consulting and research backgrounds in Industrial Organizational Psychology and Human Resources with an average of 15+ years of experience in their respective fields. OrgVitality, headquartered in Westchester, NY, has operations in New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, Tel Aviv, Spokane, Raleigh Durham and Orlando.

OrgVitality’s services include Employee Opinion/Engagement Surveys, Leadership Competency Models, 360 Assessments, Exit Surveys, Coaching & Executive Assistance, Succession Planning, Performance Management, HR Metrics & Strategy, Customer Surveys (Internal & External), Employee Assessment & Selection, and Leadership Training & Development. For more information, please visit www.orgvitality.com, email contactus@orgvitality or call (914) 747-7736.

Written by Jeffrey M. Saltzman

March 27, 2012 at 8:01 am

Posted in OrgVitality

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Jeffrey Saltzman's Blog

Spring is once again struggling to exert its’ dominance over the winter months and signs of the coming thaw abound. A pair of hooded mergansers, 3 pairs of wood ducks, a few mallards and 1 pair of geese were spotted on the pond over the last few weeks, robins have been jumping up and down on the lawn conducting their traditional mating dance, and daffodils are doing their best to poke their leaves above the ground, all harbingers of the coming season.

In another annual right of spring, we traveled to Vermont over the weekend, about a 4 hour trek, for the annual Maple Syrup festival. We went sugaring, visiting 4 farms that produce maple syrup. At one farm there were maybe 50-75 new born baby lambs and some new born baby pigs in evidence. Sheep will often have one lamb born at a time a ratio of 1 offspring…

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Written by Jeffrey M. Saltzman

March 15, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Is Your Organization Rated R or PG-13?

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I was driving my pre-teen daughter to school this morning when it occurred to me to ask her to collect some data for me. I was wondering about how her friends would characterize their lives. Would they say that they live a G, PG, PG-13, or R rated lives? Given the circle of friends my daughter hangs out with I was expecting a G or PG rating to emerge. What I got instead was a rolling of the eyes and a “oh…dad”, telling me that I was not going to get any data at all.

I did start to think about organizations that I have knowledge of and came to the realization that various organizations could be given a rating in terms of the degree of civility and tone of their discourse and how they handle discussion leading to decision-making.

Now let me begin by saying that while organizations may vary by degree of formality of conversation, most are very civil places that encourage professional discussions to occur and disagreements to be aired, but there is some wiggle room in that civility. And some of that wiggle room may lead to higher organizational performance. I am of the mind that organizations should shoot for a PG-13 rating in their discussions to maximize a good airing of the issues and hopefully lead to higher performance. If organizational discussions hover around G you would have to wonder if any real disagreements are aired, and if aired whether any real degree of emotional sentiment on the part of those who disagree with someone else would be expressed. A PG-13 rating would seem to lend itself to a good degree of decorum and civility but also to some bluntly honest conversation and disagreements without being abusive.

We all have heard of R rated organizations where people regularly go around saying #$&^@S! that, or !!&##@), and while I have to honestly say that I don’t care about the swearing, in fact I mostly don’t really even notice it, I know that others do. When I do notice it, my immediate thought is that I am listening to someone with an impoverished ability to express themselves and therefore they must resort to simple swearing to convey their emotions or depth of feeling about an issue. I can remember a meeting I was attending where the CEO of an organization decided to make a point by using some swearing, he sounded silly to me perhaps impoverished linguistically, but his senior managers who were also in the room were all atwitter at the chosen language. Ok, it was the mid-west, but still you would think that the management team would not be so reactive to a few chosen words.

I am going to try again, I am looking for some data. How would you characterize the discourse and discussions around decision-making in your organization? Would you give it a G, PG-13, or R rating?

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© 2012 by Jeffrey M. Saltzman. All rights reserved.

Visit www.orgvitality.com

Written by Jeffrey M. Saltzman

March 14, 2012 at 11:59 am

Body in Motion

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The first of Newton’s laws of motion states “a body that is at rest will remain at rest unless an outside force acts on it.” His second law states “a body in motion at a constant velocity will remain in motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an outside force.” Those same laws seem to apply to the world of employee survey action taking.

Some of those who get survey results never seem to get around to taking action based on the survey results they have in hand. And just like a body at rest, they tend to stay at rest doing nothing with the findings.

  • The survey results provided may not be definitive enough for them and they may request additional analysis after analysis until they get around to doing just about nothing.
  • The survey results may point to action that is difficult or overwhelming and so the easiest path may again be to let things be just as they are and do nothing.
  • They survey results may point to behaviors that go against closely held beliefs that the manager may have, so even though the data says one thing, he or she may simply know in their heart the “right thing to do” regardless of the data.

In one study which pointed out some of the obstacles to having action arise from the survey process, (Wiley & Brooks, 2010), the 3 top obstacles to taking action on a survey were identified as:

  • Accountability (12%)
    • Holding organizational members responsible for their role in the survey program; ownership and clarity of assignment
  • Resources (12%)
    • Especially time (given the other demands of manager’s job), but other resources as well: training, technical, financial
  • Importance (12%)
    • Management (especially executive management) attention to and support for survey

But looking on the positive side for a moment, what are the benefits of taking action, even if it may not be the perfect action based on the survey results? If you look at survey data longitudinally and track which employees saw results from a previous survey vs. those who did not (from within one organization), and which ones saw action arising from the survey vs. those who did not, the data strongly suggests that seeing the data and seeing action, drives a very positive shift in the next survey iteration on critical business performance metrics.

  • In one organization for instance if 75% or more at the department level could recall actions arising from the survey their average employee engagement score rise by 5 percentage points.
  • In that same organization, those departments where less than 50% could recall actions arising from the survey score their employee engagement scores went down by 13 percentage points.

The benefits of taking action, even if it is not the perfect action are very clear. A body in motion tends to stay in motion, and in our fast changing world, staying in motion; constantly improving organizations based on insightful data which is tied to the organizational strategy is a very impactful way to help performance.

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© 2012 by Jeffrey M. Saltzman. All rights reserved.

Visit www.orgvitality.com

Written by Jeffrey M. Saltzman

March 4, 2012 at 10:30 am

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