Job Performance Not Measuring Up
The CEO of a professional services firm was working with Laura Conover on bonus plan design for his management team. As the discussion progressed, it became clear the CEO was concerned about the job performance of one of the Vice Presidents. This particular Vice President didn’t respond to voice and e-mail messages in a timely manner and was lacking in some other people interaction skills. The CEO made coaching available to the Vice President, and the VP never made time to work with the coach. The overarching lack of people skills possessed by this VP made it so difficult to work with him that the CEO appropriately wondered if the VP should participate in the bonus plan. Laura helped the CEO see, in a short conversation, that the interpersonal skills issue was significant for this VP, and that those issues would have to be addressed and improved upon in order for the VP to continue in his position, let alone participate in the bonus plan.
Succession Planning Strategies
In the midst of creating salary structures and bonus plans for a transportation firm, the CEO asked Laura to provide an opinion about succession planning for the firm. The CEO wanted to know if the CFO and the Director of Operations were good potential candidates to take on a future CEO or EVP level position at his company. Laura had worked with both of the candidates on the compensation projects, so already had a good understanding of their personalities and skill sets. She interviewed each incumbent and gave her findings and analysis to the CEO. As a result of Laura’s recommendations, both incumbents were given specific career development opportunities, and the CEO gained clarity around future responsibilities for the incumbents and the types of external hires he would need to make.
Executive Team Conflict Turnaround
A manufacturing firm has a management team that includes one member who had such a hard time working well with others. This management team member had a reputation of being difficult, which was no secret among the approximately 100 employees who saw the negative effects of the conflict throughout the organization. So much time and energy was wasted due to the conflict, up and down the org. chart, that the CEO asked Laura to conduct an assessment of all of the executive team members, to include all of them giving feedback to each other, as well as all receiving feedback from the CEO and their direct reports. The assessment clearly showed where the problem issues were with the very difficult management team member, as well as areas to work on for all the others. The CEO hired an executive coach, based upon Laura’s recommendation, to work with the two executive team members who had constant conflict with each other, and after about six months of working with the coach both team members were working and interacting with each other and others in a much more effective manner.