Don’t Bet on the Luck of the Irish and 2 other St. Patrick’s Day Tips
Researched and edited by Jeffrey Meyers
Each year on March 17, everyone, regardless of their ancestral heritage, can claim to be Irish for the day. On St. Patrick’s Day people celebrate all things Irish by wearing green, decorating with shamrocks, and telling kids about Leprechauns with pots of gold at the end of the rainbow. (And don’t forget the Irish food and a pint!)
And you don’t have to be Irish to learn something from St. Paddy’s Day to improve your business. Here are three lessons to be learned from the annual
1. Manage by Fact, Not by Luck
Don’t leave your success to luck. There’s a reason that stories of Leprechauns center around legends and treasures that are never found. And don’t forget the infamous saying: “If it wasn’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all!”
Rather, manage your business by fact. Yes, there’s a place for intuition and the “gut check,” but if that’s your only data point when it comes to making important decisions, then you’re taking a dangerous risk. An obvious example of this is making talent management moves. Whether you’re searching for a new hire, managing your employees’ development plans, or considering someone for promotion, use assessments to see beyond the resumé and past the rehearsed responses given during an interview.
2. St. Patrick and Performance Management, Attrition, and Churn
Speaking of legends, it is said that St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland. As there are no snakes on the island today and there likely never were, perhaps this is a metaphor for St. Patrick’s influence over ridding Ireland of heathens and undesirables.
Hopefully you see the clear connection to managing poor performers in your organization. There are undoubtedly problem employees whom you’d like to leave your company. Or people who might be good, but who are problematic or just don’t fit the culture.
As of March 17, we’re 77 days into the New Year, and nearly one quarter into annual performance plans. Use this as an opportunity to gauge who is working well towards their goals and objectives. Offer praise or constructive feedback where appropriate. But also let strugglers and stragglers know that they’ve got to step up their game or risk the consequences.
3. Celebrate Your Culture
While it’s a national holiday in Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is recognized and celebrated around the world. Major cities such as New York and Chicago host annual parades while concessionaires try to sell anything adorned with a shamrock or other symbol from the holiday. People make plans to go out and celebrate this culture.
How do you celebrate your company culture with your employees? Is your culture desirable, or is in need of attention to improve employee attitudes, commitment, and productivity. Are your employees proud to say where they work – the equivalent of donning green and being swept up in St. Patrick’s Day - or are they ashamed and view their work merely as a way to get a paycheck?
A healthy and productive company starts with a healthy work culture. A disengaged workforce won’t improve on its own. If you’re unsure about your environment, consider a workforce engagement survey to take the pulse of your employees and address their legitimate concerns.
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