Forums

Are employee bios a good way of getting to know the employees better? I think of this a way to develop a rapport with the staff and vice-versa.

Any comments or suggestions?

Thanks

Mark's picture

Why not actually spend time with them and get to know them the way you do everyone else in your life?

Why make them do the work? Why reduce their lives to paper? Why not let them tell you, so they can see you listen and respond? Why send them the message that you want it to be easy for YOU, and hard for THEM? Why make them think that you will get to know them by reading what they do during time that is convenient for you?

Sure. Go ahead. :wink:

Mark

Todd G's picture

:shock:

Thanks Mark. Personally, I like the one-one conversations. Just didn't know if this would be a good way to "get to know them". I know in one department, they have a "Get to Know" me area, where you can post your photo, social info, hobbies, etc... Informal to me, but beneficial to others.

TimBryce's picture

Beware of bio sketches. They can also be useful for developing resumes.

Hope this helps.

All the Best,

Todd G's picture

Tim,

If this is the case, wouldn't it be a good idea? Especially if an employee was looking to expand their horizons. Don't we as leader/managers have the knowledge, and moral obligation to help those who are strong and want to gain more knowledge develop a resume? Not that I would want any one to leave, but I belive that is why we coach and mentor staff.

There are those people who are leaders and want to continue to build their network, gain experience, and engage others to do the same thing.

Point taken. I just never thought of it this way. Thank you! :)

TimBryce's picture

Todd -

Yes, we want our people to expand their horizons (frankly, I don't
see enough of it in corporate America these days). But we do not
necessarily want to open Pandora's Box and encourage employees
to look for work elsewhere.

I wrote a piece entitled, "The Need for Critical Thinking". You
might find it of interest. Check it out at:

http://www.phmainstreet.com/mba/ss060109.pdf

Hope this helps.

All the Best,

Mark's picture

While I disagree with the idea of asking employees to prepare something (per my earlier post :wink: ), I'm not at all worried about them using such a request to craft a resume. First of all, resumes are quite specific, and unless you specifically asked someone to create one, I can hardly imagine a situation where they would end up creating one as a substitute for such a request, or in addition to the requirement. Many people never look for jobs because they don't want to put a resume together - they hate it, in large part because they don't know how.

Further, Pandora's box is already open. Those that are looking can look without a resume nowadays, PARTICULARLY in the medical field. Those that aren't looking I can't see being pushed in that direction by an administrative request.

It's still a dumb idea, but I don't think for the retention reason.

Mark

Todd G's picture

Gentlemen,

Thank you both for your insight. All points well taken. MH, Pandora was looking for trouble, now is secured back in her box! :twisted:

TB, Thank you for the link. I look forward to reading it.

Sincerely,

Mark's picture

Todd-

Just don't forget, the whole POINT of the Pandora's box story is that while she unleashed all the miserys onto the earth, as she closed it, she was given the human antidote to them all:

HOPE.

Mark

PS: I'm not making this up - that's the story of Pandora.

sfsales's picture

[quote="mahorstman"]Why not actually spend time with them and get to know them the way you do everyone else in your life?[/quote]

Spending time with them and asking the questions can get them to open up a little. Though they need to respect you as their manager, they must also see you as a person that is interested in helping them grow. Taking that position during the conversation will plant the seeds that allow your people to see you as a real leader and not just a manager that feels obligated to know more about them. Filling out a bio would feel like a homework assignment. If you want a paper that outlines them as professionals have them write a quarterly plan of goals and dig into it with them to understand their strengths and weaknesses.

SWB's picture

[quote="mahorstman"]Todd-

Just don't forget, the whole POINT of the Pandora's box story is that while she unleashed all the miserys onto the earth, as she closed it, she was given the human antidote to them all:

HOPE.

Mark

PS: I'm not making this up - that's the story of Pandora.[/quote]

The way in which I read that story was not to say that she was given hope but to say that hope was not let out. Hope was in essence taken away from man a second blow to the whole pestilence evilness toil thing.

If all evilness was sealed inside of the jar not able to be let out unless opened, why would hope be any different when she closed hope back up in the jar? Wouldn’t the jar have to be opened back up in order to receive hope?

Also not receiving hope would fit the whole women is the cause of all that is evil and nothing that is good prevailing thought in ancient Greek society.

[url]http://www.sacred-texts.com/etc/omw/omw32.htm[/url] link to Pandora story

sorry for getting off topic

Mark's picture

Not too off topic, I don't think. I didn't mean to imply that hope wasn't in the box with all the others. My apologies for being less than clear.

Most fables have multiple interpretations, and my inherent optimism wants to avoid the idea that hope is ONLY a plague. Hope may not be a method - I love that line - but hopefulness is a plague I'm happy to carry around in my box of tricks.

One may choose to not see it this way... but the other interpretation - that there is no hope, that hope is simply a cruel lie - that's a nihilism I'd hate to say unleashed.

Mark

ChrisMarr's picture

It's been a while since someone posted on this thread...I'll add my comments in anyway!

My initial reaction would be to spend physical time getting to know your employees.   Although, I have in the past asked the team to prepare something prior to a team meeting, basically bringing both ideas in the original question together.

You see it a lot in organisations where managers either don't think it's right or feel awkward speaking and interacting with their employees...like there is a barrier between the employee and the manager. It doesn't have to be that way, there doesn't have to be artificial barriers, it's OK for manager to be human and 'normal'.

Spending time with your employees is crucial for successful leadership, management, employee retention, team morale and more crucially a successful business operation.

I have gathered some of my thoughts specifically for this topic http://www.chrismarr.co.uk/2011/01/getting-to-know-your-employees.html where I have developed a way to get the employees to tell me about them; what motivates them and what they value as employees and humans.

Thanks,

Chris.

http://www.chrismarr.co.uk