Developing top performers takes more than just a promotion. To get that next generational leader ready for the next role, invest time in their talent. For example, even a highly ranked rookie baseball player is trained before their first pro game. Spend time assessing their areas of opportunity and then coaching to those weaknesses. Educate them, increase their work scope, and increase their breadth of responsibility before promoting.
Surprises are best left to celebrations, not annual reviews. An employee should never receive feedback for the first time during their review. Regular check-ins and coaching sessions are imperative. When the manager coaches regularly, ensure it’s documented with written confirmations. An email noting the conversation will ensure that when review time comes, the feedback is not coming out of left field.
Trust your employee to do their job. Once you’ve hired and trained the right people, let them do it without micromanaging their work. Trust but verify. Delegate and spot check as needed and follow up regularly, but don’t micromanage your employees. If there are problems that arise with behavior or performance, address them immediately.
Providing a handbook and company policy manual is important during the onboarding period, but just handing out a copy to a new employee isn’t enough. It behooves you to create a fun and interactive approach to sharing the information, such as creating a fun game or scavenger hunt that requires a deep dive into the material and allows them to gain insight on what’s important and what you want them to know.
The first impression is a lasting impression. Ensure the candidate feels welcomed. From the initial greeting, sell the company, beginning with introductions, handshakes and the courtesy of offering water to the candidate. Make the candidate relaxed and comfortable, so you can seek out a fit. An interview is a two-way conversation, not an interrogation. Discuss the company and benefits, while you uncover the candidate’s skills.
Don’t ever bluff. If you don’t know the answer to a question, be honest and say so. Then offer to get back to the reporter later with the answer or suggest someone else in your company or organization they might call. Better yet, offer to ask that person to call the reporter.
Alcohol will not relax you, in fact it dulls the edge you need to carry on a good interview. Too much coffee gives you the jitters, which you’re likely to feel as stage fright. Even in small amounts, alcohol, coffee and tea have an astringent effect on your mouth tissue. A dry mouth is a handicap and a distraction that you don’t want to experience.
Expand on your three-sentence-or-less message. Explain a little of the background on your story. Use colorful words and examples. Think in terms of the news “hook.” Why should the reporter want to cover your story? Your message is a product and you have to sell it to the reporter if you want to get coverage.
Always make sure your facts are correct. Mistakes can be damaging, both with the story outcome and to your credibility. When you can, cite statistics, studies or outside experts who support your position. These will all increase your credibility, but make sure they’re accurate. You want to be viewed as a reliable source in the future.
Define your audience. Do you want to reach the general public or a smaller segment like retired people, parents, business owners, an ethnic community, or young people? The audience you’re trying to reach will determine which news outlets you should approach. It will also determine which individual reporters you should contact.