How can I ensure that my assistance to the CEO counts towards a possible promotion?

How can I ensure that my assistance to the CEO counts towards a possible promotion?Q: I am a long-term general manager at a relatively small food-production company that recently appointed a new CEO. I have been tasked with familiarising her with certain company strategies. While I am happy to do this, I am worried that I won’t get the recognition I deserve. I would love for this to contribute to a chance for promotion. However, as I have been passed over a couple of times for promotion, I fear it won’t. Should I bring this up now before applying for the promotion? A: The quick answer is: Yes. This is the ideal time to bring it up, as generally, a new CEO can mean a fresh start and new opportunities. Don’t assume just because you have previously shown interest in promotions, that the business is aware you are still interested. It is up to you to make your employers aware of your aspirations. Key questions to ask yourself From your question, it appears you have quite an in-depth knowledge of the business, and this is very likely the reason why you have been given the responsibility to bring the new CEO up to speed. You need to ask yourself why you have not been successful in getting promoted. Have you received feedback on past interviews? If so, have you understood the reasoning behind this? Have you discussed professional career training and a development plan? Who has tasked you with the role of familiarisation of the CEO – is it the business owner? Do they make, and will they continue to make, the decision about your career opportunities over and above the CEO? Planning Take some time to analyse your own strengths and areas of development. You need to be very critical of your capabilities, as self-awareness is a key skill for any business leader. If possible, complete a 360 review. This is confidential feedback from direct-line reports which will also highlight key strengths and areas for development. Start the planning – begin with the end in mind: where do you want to be in the short to medium term? It is important to make this career-specific, not business-specific. A tip for planning is to make ‘Smart’ goals. Specific: Ensure that your goals are clear, concise and focused on what you wish to achieve; Measurable: Ensure you can track your progress throughout the plan; Achievable: Your goals should be realistic and attainable; Relevant: Align your own personal goals with the goals of the business; Time: The key here is to set target dates and stick to those. Meet and present The first thing to do is to ensure the right people and key decision makers are at the meeting – ideally, this should include the new CEO. Be conscious that the CEO may only just be in the door and, while it is an opportunity to align your aspirations with that of the CEO, they may not be able to make commitments or put plans in place at this stage. If this is the case, you need to ensure you confirm a time to follow up and stick to it. When you do meet, discuss your career goals and how you plan to achieve these in line with benefiting the business overall. It is important that when you present your goals, you align these with the goals of the business and ensure your employers are aware of how developing and promoting you as a key employee will benefit the organisation overall. Set out a plan that is agreeable to both yourself and the CEO, and as noted, make sure the goals are ‘Smart’. The key is to ensure that you set timelines and stick to these. Finally, you appear to be driven in progressing your career. However, if you come to believe that the opportunity that you are looking for in the development of your career is not with your employer, you may need to start assessing external opportunities. It is important that you make an educated decision on this move, and investigate all opportunities within your organisation before looking for opportunities elsewhere.           David Fitzgibbon Mid-West Regional Manager Collins McNicholas Recruitment and HR Services Group This article was originally published in the business section of The Sunday Independent on Sunday, July 9th, 2018, and can be viewed...

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How do I improve the atmosphere at a branch in my new role as regional manager?

Q: About two months ago I took a new job as a regional manager at a bookmaking chain. However, it’s clear that previous management has left a sour taste with one branch in particular. The atmosphere seems a bit hostile as a result, and I am struggling to come up with ideas as to how to fix this. Have you any advice on what I should do to make a happier workplace without neglecting my other branches? A: As we move towards zero unemployment, employers need to continuously look at what they are doing to attract and retain staff. It is widely agreed that the success of a business is not solely due to the capabilities of its leader, but the strength of the overall team and their ability to work towards a common goal. It appears that in one of your branches, the team members have lost direction and – in turn – focus. These two factors can lead to a hostile environment and it is extremely important to sort this as soon as possible. As you are new to the role, your understanding of the organisation and historical management may be limited, so it is important to get feedback from the people on the ground. How you do this is key as if approached incorrectly you could end up with staff just paying lip service and not actually telling you the truth. Some of the key steps you can take to develop engagement in your hostile branch as well as across the other branches are: 1 Root and branch: Do not focus solely on the branch with the issues, but...

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How can I boost retention rates and stop staff leaving my company after three years?

Q: I’ve been running my own business for the last 10 years and several staff have been here since the beginning. However, we are having trouble retaining new hires. Anytime someone new joins, it starts off extremely well – but then they leave after two to three years. How can I grow my business when I can’t retain new people?   A: While turnover in an organisation is normal and healthy, it appears that you are struggling to retain employees at a particular stage in their career. This may be due to internal factors or to external ‘pulls’ from competitors. The modern career is often characterised by three- to five-year cycles. Ensuring employees are engaged and developing through these cycles should ensure the longevity of your workforce. You must gather information on why it is happening from as many sources as possible. Here are a few pointers:   1 Focus Group: In order to solve this issue, it is vital to first understand the underlying causes. Insights can be gained by conducting focus groups with employees regarding their levels of engagement, any differences between their initial expectations of the role and the reality of their day-to-day work lives. Care should be taken in preparing for these sessions. All communications shared must be phrased positively, the confidentiality of information guaranteed and a safe space for discussion established. While encouraging useful discussion is a priority, avoid negative confrontations or irrelevant chat. To this end, it may be useful to engage an expert to assist you. Following the discussion, it is vital that an action plan is developed so that your efforts...

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I know I am being managed out of my HR job by firm’s new owners – what should I do?

Question: I’ve enjoyed my role as Head of Human Resources with a large tech company for five years. A year ago, the company was taken over and the new owners brought in their own executives. Since then I’ve been moved to a smaller office and excluded from important meetings. I’ve been in the industry long enough to know that I am being ‘managed out’. Should I stay and fight or accept the inevitable payout? Answer: The turbulent times brought about by a company takeover can be challenging and unsettling in the immediate aftermath and the initial transition phase. Adapting to new approaches, while struggling to establish yourself in a changed environment, can become a negative cycle if not managed carefully. I suggest these steps: 1.Investigate the situation objectively It seems that the transition period has been particularly difficult for you and has left you feeling unappreciated and disengaged. It is important, however, to take time to assess the situation objectively before making any firm decisions. Coaching sessions can provide a safe space to consider the reality of the situation and assist you in separating your emotional response to the changes from the business reality. Work with a coach who is appropriately trained, experienced and understands your needs. Questions you may consider include: How has your role changed? How has the organisation changed? How have my feelings towards the organisation changed? Is the situation short-term or long-term? 2.Explore your options Having established a strong relationship with a coach, you can now explore all options in a safe space. This will help you to plan potential conversations with management, discuss your...

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Why do I feel like my role hasn’t changed since my promotion to a management position?

Question: I was recently promoted to marketing manager within my organisation. During my interview, I was told that I would have more responsibility over certain project duties. But six months on I am still doing the same work. While my pay has increased, I feel like I’m not being challenged. I would like to take on more responsibility and progress my career. How can I address this situation with my boss? Answer: Firstly, congratulations on your promotion. In many cases, internal promotions do not get the same level of credence as moving to another business does. Selling your capabilities to your existing organisation can be more difficult, as they are acutely aware of you before the interview even happens. There isn’t always a job spec with internal promotions, so if you do not have one, your first step is to request one from your manager. A suggestion would be to create a draft job spec, based on your knowledge and expectations of the role, and send this to your manager to review and confirm. Your manager may not be fully aware of what you do on a day-to-day basis, and this is an ideal opportunity to further highlight your value to the organisation. It is important that you structure your approach to ensure that all parties are on the same wavelength. Start by setting up a meeting between you and your manager. While you have been promoted, it appears that you have only received a pay rise – and no extra responsibilities. This may be enough for some, but you want to progress your career so it is important...

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My manager is being cold with me since I got my promotion. What should I do?

Question: I was offered a promotion recently and I am now working equally alongside a manager who trained me when I moved to the company five years ago. Since I was promoted, she has become cold and distant towards me. I’ve always respected this manager and I was looking forward to working with her on a team. How can I address her attitude without undermining her?   Answer: Congratulations on getting your promotion to manager. It’s always a wonderful feeling to be recognised for your contribution to the company. However, it can be tarnished if you are not feeling the shared excitement from your co-workers or members of the management team. So, it can be a testing time to ensure you get all relationships back on track. I’ve got bad news and good news – the bad news is that you can’t control how others are going to react to your promotion. You may be surprised as to how some of the team react, but you need to be ready for this. The good news is that you can reach out to them to see what concerns they have regarding your promotion in order to build a better working relationship together. Resentment can creep in from other employees, almost unavoidably, be they direct reports or even current managers whom you may be working alongside. If they were already a manager based within the company, they may feel you did not deserve the promotion and perhaps that someone else should have got it over you. Walking in their shoes is a good place to start as they probably have mixed emotions right...

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