The Orion Sword - May 2010

Saturday, May 1, 2010

In This Issue:
Common Management Mistakes,
Upcoming Hiring Conferences,
Preventing the Spread of Illness in the Workplace,
According to Our Clients
Meet our Candidates,
Beware the Five Landmines of Interviewing

Common Management Mistakes

Common management mistakes Achieving excellence in management requires being fully aware of faulty practices and a possessing a desire to alter how you manage your employees. Understanding basic behavior-based principles is key.  The following are widespread management mistakes that can easily be corrected to help achieve organizational success.

1.     Employee of the Month

While this longtime management practice is used to motivate all employees, it is only able to recognize one employee at a time, leaving others’ performances uncelebrated. Instead, understand the goals of implementing a performance reward program, and establish criteria that recognizes all employees who deliver outstanding performances.

 2.     Stretch Goals

Stretch goals may seem necessary to improve performance, but are typically set too high.  These goals are rarely reached and cause employee discouragement, efforts towards reaching the goal begin to slide and eventually are extinguished completely. Try setting mini goals instead and reward smaller achievements.  These positive reinforcements keep employees motivated along the way as they reach the final large goal.

 3.    Ranking

Publicly displaying how an employee ranks based on objective measures is a common practice in a sales environment. The idea behind it is to motivate, but it inhibits sharing and teamwork and creates unhealthy competition. Evaluate individuals and teams in terms of what they need to accomplish. People will not only achieve high rates but also assist others in achieving as well.

 4.    The Sandwich

The sandwich practice is when managers sandwich a criticism between two positive statements. Using this method creates a “waiting for the other shoe to drop” atmosphere and any positive reinforcement is met with suspicion. In spite of the fact is it commonly taught at many management training sessions, it does nothing to protect the ego of the performer. Instead, be direct when behavior needs correcting and then positively reinforce all instances of corrected behavior.

 5.   Promoting Jerks

It is commonly thought that a person who is well liked is not effective at producing results. This is understandable, as most managers think hard-nosed negative practices produce the best results. The reality is that there is a direct correlation between practices such as those and operational costs including high turnover, grievances, absenteeism, training and recruitment. The first screen in promoting someone should be whether people would want to be around this person. Look for managers and leaders who produce results by understanding behavior from a scientific perspective. These leaders are always well-liked.

 6.     No-Apology Downsizing

Most downsizing is done in a matter of fact way, while assigning the remaining employees even more work to do. Those left after layoffs look very carefully at the way companies treat the terminated employees, and more often spend their time looking for a new job instead of being productive. An alternative to this scenario is to get all the employees involved in a solution to avoid lay-offs. If lay-offs need to happen, be more generous than you need to be to those who are downsized and it’ll help calm the anxieties of the remaining employees.  Make sure you also plan positive reinforcement for the accomplishments of those left that have taken on the extra work.

Read original article here

Distinguished Candidate Conference

Mark your Calendar for our National Distinguished Candidate Conference to be held in Dallas, Texas on December 5-6! 
Don’t miss the opportunity to interview those candidates that have distinguished themselves in performance, potential, and experience.  
Distinguished candidates include:
- Top 10% of Junior Military Officers
- Service Academy Graduates 

- Candidates with an MBA

- Candidates that have consistently ranked well above their peers in their professional evaluations 

- Candidates that are open to geographic location and focused on beginning their civilian career in Leadership Development Programs, Engineering, Operations

Preventing the Spread of Illness in the Workplace

How to prevent the spread of illness in the workplace


With the Swine Flu’s rapid appearance and seemingly overnight spread around the country, the Centers for Disease Control recommends employers take precautions to prevent the spread of all communicable illnesses as the flu season approaches.

Employers should issue the following guidelines to employees:

• Frequent hand washing using antibacterial soap and water, or an alcohol based antibacterial gel.
• Using one’s elbows or a tissue to cover coughs and sneezes.
• Remaining home at the first sign of illness.
• Avoiding touching one’s mouth and nose.
• Avoiding close contact with infected people.

Employers should also draft a policy that covers instances of pandemic illnesses.

Increased absences are likely during a pandemic. Employers should consider whether to relax their policies involving absenteeism and also to have a plan to maintain critical operations if a reduced workforce should occur.

One of the keys to reducing the spread of a contagious disease throughout a work place is early identification of symptoms.  A workplace pandemic policy should include a way to educate employees about the signs and symptoms of the virus.

The policy should also address changes to the business environment that might occur during a pandemic.  These changes might include increased telecommuting, suspension of foreign travel and alteration of workspaces to limit physical contact.

Whether or not we will have a widespread pandemic remains to be seen. But employers should still take precautions to prevent and react to a communicable disease should one ever show its ugly head in the workplace.

Click here for original article

According to our Clients

“Thanks to Orion, we have improved the skill level of all of our maintenance techs by hiring multi skilled applicants and working with them to develop new skill sets for our other teammates.  Orion has made the process simple, enjoyable and less time consuming. Great job Orion!”

Jo Ann Watson-Kennedy, Labor Relations/Benefits Specialist, Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc          

"I have worked with Orion through numerous hiring conferences and have personally seen the high quality, motivated candidates that bring energy and commitment to the table.  I am excited to have this ongoing relationship with Orion and expect continued success in our JMO recruiting.”  
George Kuntz, Director, Enterprise IT Cardinal Health

Meet Our Candidates

The battle for talent in the workplace can be fierce.  It doesn't have to be if you know where to look. Below is a preview of actual Orion International candidates and the valuable skills and experience they possess. 

Responsible for ship’s survivability systems to include the control of damage, control of stability, fighting fires, and restoration from damage and chemical, biological, radiological (CBR) measures. 

• Scheduled, tracked, and deconflicted on- and off-ship DC training for 300+ individual personnel, as well as ship-wide scenarios to maintain Navy-mandated proficiency and periodicity standards.

• Coordinated CBR equipment change-out for 350 personnel: collection, inventory, and offload of old gear; crew sizing, onload, inventory, and distribution of new gear.

                                                   • BS, Political Science, University of Notre Dame

• Responsible for troubleshooting electronic systems by analyzing system wiring diagrams and schematics and conducting repairs.

• Managed safe operation of reactor control, propulsion, and power generation systems in nuclear propulsion plants.

• Responsible for the acquisition of repair parts critical to continued reactor operation.

• Qualified Reactor Technician, Reactor Operator, Shutdown Reactor Operator, Instrument Watch, Maintenance Man, and Divisional Repair Parts Petty Officer.

• Advised senior management and provided information on reliability, utilization, capabilities, and operations of weapons systems and administered long-range planned maintenance and training programs.

• Managed technical electronic and ordnance delivery systems; planned, coordinated, directed, and supervised the installation, operation, and maintenance of electronic systems.

• Provided technical guidance, advice and assistance to senior leadership for maintenance, modernization and overhaul requirements associated with TRIDENT weapons systems and interfaced systems.

• BS, Workforce Education and Training, University of Southern Illinois

• Extensive experience in the United States Navy with power generation systems, distribution systems, and their associated remote controls and indications. Including 10 years of technician management, scheduling and planning major maintenance, and budgeting repair funds. 

• Planned, supervised and coordinated major overhauls and modernization outfitting of Gas Turbine and Diesel Engineering Plants.

• Scheduled and managed over 10,000 preventive maintenance requirements, resulting in 100% Planned Maintenance System (PMS) completion rate.

• Experienced in troubleshooting of diesel engines, pumps, purifiers and  all related equipment.

• Lead a 220-person team providing administrative and logistical support to brigade support battalion.

• Developed inventory control system; identified excess/unserviceable equipment, saving over $1.13 million.

• Responsible for forecasting, planning, and coordinating operations and training for 2,400-person brigade troops battalion.

• BS, Business Administration, University of Cincinnati 

Beware of the Five Landmines of Interviewing

Five interview landmines to avoidFinding the time to conduct a proper job interview can be tough. But spending a little extra time to avoid the mistakes made below will help you add value to your hiring process and make better decisions.

Fail to define a clear picture of the job’s requirements

Are you and anyone else who will be interviewing candidates in agreement on what you are looking for in a new employee?  Gather everyone involved in the hiring process and agree on the priorities of the job and what accomplishments will make a candidate a top contender.

Fail to create a scorecard for the interview

Create an interview scorecard that lists the key accomplishments and skills you are looking for in the person you’d like to hire. For instance, you might have a list of 7 criteria in which each interviewer scores the candidate from 1-5. This helps to grade each candidate objectively based on criteria that is essential to the position.

Fail to ask open-ended, accomplishment oriented questions

Open-ended follow up questions allow for the candidate to explain what they have accomplished in life and provide details to prove their expertise. Of course, additional planning will allow you to ask questions that are more focused on the position.

Fail to listen

In most interviews, if you are talking more than 25% of the time, you’re talking too much. In an ideal interview situation, you should be asking open-ended questions, listening, asking a follow-up question, listening, and then repeating the process.

Fail to do a post-interview debrief

For the best results, you should have multiple people interview the candidate.  After everyone has interviewed the candidate, meet with the others to do a post-game debriefing to discuss your impressions.

Taking the time to plan and avoid these interview mistakes will add value to your hiring process and prevent costly hiring mistakes.

Read original article here.

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