Water Well Journal

December 2015

Water Well Journal

Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/608970

Contents of this Issue


Page 52 of 89

I n the early years of my work life I used to take time in December to review the year that had just been completed. It wasn't a pretty picture. I am, like most of you, much more critical of myself and my performance than anyone else. I had to do this critique of myself because I never had a performance review at work. I used to ask for a performance review from my boss and the only answer I received was a question and a statement: "Did you get more money?" and "Well, that is your performance review." So one thing I am thankful for now in the workforce is per- formance reviews. They are meant to be used as a develop- mental tool designed to point out areas you can improve and how to make that happen. They are not meant to bring you to your knees and review all the mistakes you made in the previous year. So how about you making performance reviews a positive event for everyone—you and your employees. The other thing that strikes me this time of year is how dif- ficult it was to become a new employee and try and fit in and do a good job. I was looking for work in 1998, which was a time similar to the employment situation today. It was hard to find a job. You'd go from interview to interview and be told either you were too skilled for the job at hand or you didn't have enough experience for the job. Day after day it would go on. To some degree you give up when this happens over and over. You lose hope and that is not a nice space to occupy in your brain. Yet today, there are 4.5 million jobs that cannot be filled in the United States. A colleague of mine, Edward Gordon, the author of Future Jobs—which exposed the challenges for the education system, students, and potential employers—posits that number will swell to 10,000,000 by 2020. And, yes, I wrote that number out numerically to get your attention. Imagine 10,000,000 jobs for which the potential employer finds there is not a candidate with skills to do the job correctly in the market. That is alarming—or at least it should be alarm- ing to you. Enthusiastic Beginners This brings me to that new hire. Let's say the gauntlet of finding a job has been completed and the new employee turns up at your office door full of enthusiasm and excitement. They are ready to begin a new phase in their lives and are what I like to call "enthusiastic beginners." Now it is up to us, to you and me. How they progress and develop is entirely up to us. We all want each new employee to become a self-reliant performer. But sometimes our attitude and approach and even our communications style discourages them and they become disgruntled. I'm sure many of you can relate to this. I know I can. I was once one of those enthusiastic beginners. I was hired on a contract to fix a computer software prob- lem related to inventory control. It wasn't a permanent job— find the problem, fix it, and the job is done. Somewhere along the way, though, the company decided they wanted to hire me as an employee. I was ecstatic. However, there was an obstacle to overcome. My boss was not the person who hired me initially. I was hired by the sys- tems group to fix a computer problem in inventory control, but was dropped into the boss's parts department. We didn't communicate often and rarely was it effective. Many of the current Gen Y group of employees is in the same place. They're struggling to fit in. In my view, they should really be called "Gen WHY." They ask questions: Why do we do it like that? Why do we even do that? It is the same as I was when I started. I would be surprised if many of you weren't the same way too. The Gen WHY group wants to understand the meaning of what it is they do. Now it is up to us. We have to be open to them. We have to be able to respond to them and have a dialogue with them. One of the truths we older employees cannot avoid—this new crop of employees has more talent and knowledge than we did at their age. Just admit it. Don't continue feeling they don't want to work like we did, or they don't really care like we did, or they're only in it for the money. That's old-timers talk. Doing Better Most importantly, I think about customers at this time of year. How did we do by our customers? What could we do to make the customer experience better? How can we earn more of their business? How can we protect the business we have from our competitors? There is a lot to think about. RON SLEE THE AFTER MARKET TIS THE END OF THE YEAR Season's greetings to all and a great year to come. I think about customers at this time of year. How did we do by our customers? What could we do to make the customer experience better? 50 December 2015 WWJ waterwelljournal.com

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Water Well Journal - December 2015