Category Archives: Managerial Effectiveness

How to Select High Quality Managers

Portrait of happy smiling businesswoman and colleagues on background, at office

Think about the best manager you have ever had. What impact did this manager have on your productivity? Now think back to the worst manager you have ever had. How did this manager impact your productivity?

According to the latest Gallup workplace research, productivity suffers greatly when employees are disengaged.   Gallup’s research has shown that a primary reason employees are disengaged is due to poor relationships with their managers. The financial impact is significant as poor management is estimated cost to U.S. organizations $450-$550 billion a year.

It is quite common to promote individuals with high technical skills into management positions even though management positions require very different skill sets. The next time you need to fill a management position, you will improve the odds of hiring a high quality manager by asking these questions:

  1. Who are my company’s top managers?
  2. What are the specific skills, interests and motivations that cause these managers to excel?
  3. Which of our current candidates share the skills, interests and motivations of our top managers?
  4. Are there additional qualities the management team needs at this time?

We can assist you to select high quality managers by providing assessments which determine the match between a candidates, skills, motivations and personality style with  your organization’s benchmarks, as well as with our Strengths Based Leadership program, which helps you understand your leadership team strengths and the strengths needed to maximize your leadership team.

Copyright 2018, Alisa Blum & Associates. All Rights Reserved.

Alisa Blum is a management and employee development specialist. She works with businesses and organization to develop top employees. You can schedule a complimentary consultation at:  503-481-7586 or

Retain Top Millennnial Talent With These Three Questions

job interview-young employees

As Boomers retire and Millennials begin to dominate the workforce, it is essential for managers to retain top Millennial employees.  One of the best ways to keep top Millennial talent is to have frequent career development discussions.

Managers can initiate the career development discussion by asking their employees these three questions:

  1. In what areas of your work do you feel the most successful?
  2. What parts of your work give you the most satisfaction?
  3. What ideas do you have that would simultaneously create a career opportunity for you and increase the success of our organization?

Keep in mind that career development is a process.  Your employees will likely need time to reflect on these questions, and may need assistance to fully explore their career goals.  The manager’s role in initiating this process is key because it will show your employees that you care about their growth and development.  Make sure you are prepared to give your employees the feedback they crave.

You will find that these discussions will go a long way to enhance motivation, increase productivity and reduce turnover.

Alisa Blum & Associates offers consulting, training and coaching to enhance motivation and improve productivity.  For questions about our services and schedule a free consultation, please contact Alisa at (503) 524-3470 or

Six Key Competencies of Effective Managers

management communication skillsFor years we’ve been hearing that people don’t leave their jobs, they leave their managers. Despite this knowledge, many employees are promoted into management positions without understanding key competencies that will enable them to be effective managers.

Here are six key competencies that I have seen in successful managers:

  • Proficient Communication Skills: Managers that are skillful communicators, listen with full attention to employees concerns, adapt their communication based on each employee’s personality style and manage conflict in a manner that all parties experience a satisfactory outcome.
  • Understand the Needs of the Multigenerational & Multicultural Workforce: Baby Boomers, who once dominated the workforce, are now retiring. Our youngest employees, the Millennials, are now the largest cohort in the workforce and have very different work styles than previous generations. Effective managers understand the needs of the different generations and adapt accordingly.  Our workplaces are becoming increasingly diverse.  It is incumbent upon managers to communicate effectively across cultures.
  • Provide High Impact Performance Feedback: To help employees to develop to their full potential, effective managers know how to provide frequent positive and constructive feedback in a way that motivates both underperforming and high performing employees.
  • Focus on Employee’s Career Development Needs: A key reason high performing employees’ stay at their jobs is because they have the opportunity to learn and grow. Effective managers develop career development plans with their employees and follow-up to ensure the plans are implemented.
  • Incorporate a Strengths-Based Leadership Approach: A strengths-based approach ensures that managers are aware of their own strengths and interact with employees and the leadership team in a way that capitalizes on their own strengths. Effective managers are also aware of their employees’ strengths and consciously create development opportunities that maximize employees’ strengths.
  • Advocate Organizational Changes Necessary for Developing and Keeping Top Talent: Often organizations need to make adaptations in their structure and policies in order to develop and keep a high-achieving workforce. Effective managers are skilled at helping senior management understand the need to make changes that satisfy employee needs and create a thriving organization.

Often companies have the desire to teach these competencies, but lack the internal resources to devote to this endeavor. Contact us to find out about our Developing Great Managers Program and to schedule a free consultation to help you develop a highly competent management team.