Friday, June 15, 2012

Treat Pain with Chocolate

Here is a story that I heard a few years ago.
There was an organization that had been in the area for many years. They were purchased by an out-of-country company and so needed to develop new habits, assimilate to a new corporate culture and the people inside the organization actually had the opportunity to become better and different leaders than they had been in the past.

One guiding principle for the new organization was that each open job needed to be posted and interviews conducted with all qualified applicants. At the end of the interview process, all candidates would be personally told if they had been selected and provided with goals to work on in order to be successful with the next job posting.

Sounded pretty simple....until in this specific location, the leader decided that they would pre-select candidates to apply for the position based on relationship to the leader, the family of the leader, and even common interests (if they both liked baseball) - qualifications were never considered.  These candidates would be told to apply for the position and others would apply as well - qualified individuals who had been in position or had similar experience in other companies.  Needless to say, the leader would then hold 5 minute interviews or even no interviews at all and announce the new position-holder, without providing any follow up to the other candidates.

This activity and lack of fairness caused unrest in the organization.  The leader decided that to appease the disgruntled candidates, he would buy them each a box of chocolates.  Not only did this not appease anyone, it made the leader look like the unfair fool he was and pushed the employees to form groups that eventually led to a great deal of labor unrest.  

If the leader would have taken the extra 60 minutes to complete the interviews and follow up, and if he had actually been fair with the selection process, this could have saved the organization years of strife.

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