I was checking out the December HBR over the Thanksgiving weekend while I was in Richmond visiting the dentist. He’s in dental school and has a ton of tests this week and next, so we spent a lot of time in Barnes and Noble and various coffee shops. I was struck by the opening paragraph of an interview they did with a psychologist who is a marital relationship expert intending to draw parallels between what makes for a good marital relationship and what makes for a good business relationship.
It has become common to extol the value of human relationships in the workplace. We all agree that managers need to connect deeply with followers to ensure outstanding performance , and we celebrate leaders who have the emotional intelligence to engage and inspire their people by creating bonds that are authentic and reliable.
Really? We all agree? Forgive me, past bosses, but most of us did not connect deeply. They weren’t bad managers or bad people. Planners who are great managers, to me at least, are rare. There are great planners who are better or worse at mentoring, sharing work, explaining why they made the decisions they did and letting their people have independence. But most keep away from “creating bonds that are authentic and reliable.”
I also started thinking about the next planner survey. Should it have a real name? What about Planning for Money (as opposed to Planning for Good)? I also started thinking about some new questions, specifically for those folks who have influence over our salaries. So on an agreement scale:
I expect offers I make to candidates to be countered and negotiated.
I believe I should try to get the best people for the least amount of money possible.
My company has fixed salary ranges for positions.
Our company has salary ranges that are flexible.
Staff at similar levels make similar amounts regardless of gender.
I have staff members at similar levels making different amounts.
And then for all of us, regarding our current position, choose one of the following:
I took the salary offered to me without negotiating.
I negotiated a higher salary.
I took the salary offered to me after trying to negotiate.
And another idea:
Do you have kids?
What are their ages? (give ranges)
Who cares for them? (stay at home parent, nanny, day care, other)