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Leadership tips for young managers

Leadership tips for young managers

By Robert Parkinson, Founder of RMG Selection

Business team working on their business project together at office - Team work

Manager, a sacred word in business which has connotations of hope and trust, is a very serious job title in the West, where the average age of managers is between 30 and 40 years old. The development of the Internet has changed some traditional industries dramatically in recent years. A senior manager in logistics might be good at managing the whole business process, but does he have any idea about operating a modern overseas warehouse? That is probably an area where his strengths are useless. Nowadays, more of the bright and talented young employees who have required knowledge and skills are promoted to be managers. But excellent as many young leaders are, they usually face a lot of challenges during the first big step up in their career. This article explores some of the pitfalls they may face and suggests some of the better ways of dealing with difficult situations.

Differences in behaviour, before and after promotion:

The purpose of promotion is to recognise an employee’s good performance at work. A young salesman, for instance, can be promoted to be a sales manager who is responsible for the performance of five sales people because of his amazing likability. Clients want to give them business and colleagues enjoy having them as a friend.

However, that doesn’t mean they are the perfect choice for a managerial role. If they used to show up 30 minutes late to work every other day and skulked away once in a while, neither had any negative impact on their sales figures, but it may mean they are not best suited for a managerial position. What do you think team members will do if they see their leader is late for work every day? Naturally they will follow! Therefore, a big difference young managers must make is to correct their own shortcomings and work on being a good example for team members. That is the basis of your credibility!


Dealing with your peers:

The major challenge for many young leaders is the changein relationship with their peer groups. Some think the shoe fits them quite well hence they tend to differentiate from their peers. However, others believe that not losing friendship with their peers is the priority.

Managers should be aware that they are responsible for the performance of others and try to develop a serious working relationship with their peers without letting it affect friendships.

Managinng the unmanageable:

Every manager at some point in their career has the unenviable task of having to deal with the “unmanageable” My advice for young managers is to find out, first and the foremost, why is this team member difficult to manage.

Listen to them! Team management is about communication. If a member of the team doesn’t listen to you and follow your plans, instead of complaining to a senior manager, you should at least try to listen to them first. Listen to their feedback on your plan and also listen to the plan they come up with. A good leader is not one who excels at everything but someone that excels at making the best use of others.

Building personal confidence: 

Another problem that young managers face is self-doubt. The voice of doubt normally starts when you have to deal with senior team members. The volume then keeps going up until it plagues your mind. The solution is very simple – stop it!

Focus on the positive sides of decisions that you make. The second step is to balance the negative sides. Thirdly, take time to rest outside of work. Go out with your friends to grab a drink or have a nice dinner. Anything that makes you happy is good for your confidence. The last step is to visit/call someone who can offer good advice. They can be your coaches, mentors, managers etc.

Your first few important decisions are probably made during this process. But that’s OK confidence building doesn’t happen all at once. Understanding this process will help young managers build up confidence gradually. In the meantime, be open to mistakes! It will help you grow as a manager.

Group of happy young business people in a meeting at office

Learning to say “no”:

Saying “no” to team members can be difficult. Some ask for casual leave and others ask too many questions. The key is all about the language. In other words, it’s not what you say but how you say it. Most young leaders are afraid to reject their team members because they do not want to damage the relationship. But this is the wrong way to go.

Think about the impact on other team members that watch you agree with everyone’s requests. They might think that you are a nice and easy-going person, but they may also regard you as a weak manager. Learn to reject unnecessary requests with kindness. Either a small talk or a mocking joke can easily let employees know that what they request is not appropriate.

To read the original article, please click:  http://t.cn/RcNiWgu


作为人力资源咨询方,我在过去15年和数千雇主以及HR交流过。说起人力资源方面最头痛的问题,大多数人以为是招不到合适的员工。其实不然,每每沟通到最后才会发现“员工离职”是雇主和HR内心最深处的痛。 招不到人,可以打广告、可以提高待遇也可以聘请第三方支持,然而员工一旦提出离职,仿佛再做什么都有些为时过晚的尴尬。正因为这种现实的无力感,导致绝大多数企业在处理离职这个问题时漏洞百出。  


  1. 憎恨离职员工。每个企业都会宣传和建设员工对雇主的忠诚感,所以一旦员工提出辞职,很容易让雇主产生“背叛”的感觉,进而认为这是一桩丑事,最后甚至产生对离职员工的憎恨之情。这其实完全没有必要。“忠诚”固然重要,但现今快速发展的社会已经与几十年前的“一单位一辈子”的情况大相径庭,也需要雇主以发展的眼光看待“忠诚”的定义,如果一个员工在离职之前努力工作、遵守公司规定与职业道德,离职之后对雇主进行正面的反馈并保持友好的关系,就已经是一个非常忠诚的员工了。他的离开只是暂时选择一个与自己发展更相符的环境,企业自身也在发展,也会发现与自身发展不相符的员工,反过来也是同样的道理。
  2. 对员工的离职担惊受怕。基于上述企业心态,表面上一部分企业憎恨离职员工,这类型的企业内心对员工离职却是十分恐惧的。他们担心离职会造成内部不好的影响,也担心离开的人员会对外宣传企业的劣势,对企业的声誉造成不可挽回的影响。例如,原华硕创办人谢伟琦,他辞职后发了一份电子邮件给制造处所有同仁,邮件说明他的辞职是因为不认同华硕领导人对高层人事的任人唯亲,以关系疏近为标准。他的这一行为无疑对企业造成非常大的负面影响。世界上本没有完美的公司,如果员工针对公司进行负面宣传,后果不堪设想,但究其根本原因,还是企业与员工的关系没有得到恰当处理,同时也没有对员工状态的的基本观察造成的。
  3. “不走心”的离职程序。每个企业都有或简单或繁琐的离职程序,基本都是为了完成法律方面的程序,即使有一些人性化的“谈话”设置,执行的人也并不明白谈话的意义,只是为了走流程而完成这一关键步骤。更重要的是,离职谈话的核心是了解离职员工、企业优化的最好契机,而不仅仅是完成一张“离职证明”那么简单。
  4. 基本为零的离职资源管理。作为一个运营多年的企业,离职的员工数量最终一定会比现在在职的员工多,如果这些离职员工可以仍然以其他方式为企业所用,其效果不可估量,例如:企业口碑宣传、业务推广、人才推介甚至再次入职等等。当然,这一切都建立在企业如何管理这部分员工的基础上。




         出于对人员流失恐惧,很多公司想尽办法在离职时设置许多障碍,如扣档案、设置违约金、工作信息封存、社保撤销等做法,在国内企业普遍存在。这样的做法不但不能起到减少员工流失的丝毫作用,反而令公司与离职员工彻底成为陌路、甚至仇恨深记于心。相反,某知名建筑设计公司的一名室主任提出离职的时候,所长在经过深入地谈话之后得知将其跳槽至一家规模相似的竞争对手处,所长不但没有怪罪,反而安排相关人员帮助其办理相关手续,并在规定缴纳社保日期未到的情况下特意提出为其缴纳本月社保,以便该离职员工拥有连续的社保缴纳记录。该员工当即表示十分感激,而所长也只是表示“你也出去看看,如果不合适再回家”。所以,员工在办理离职时,企业以及相关办事人员应积极配合办理相关手续、结算工资等,态度也应平时无异。因为其他任何消极的做法都对公司没有任何好处。 离职手续办理妥善的员工并不是与公司毫无关系的人,恰恰相反,如果可以再次雇佣离职者,对于公司的裨益甚至大于雇佣新人。肯锡的资深专家马尔里克博士说:“新草可能看上去更绿一些,但事实往往并非如此。在第一次使用他们是,你也许没有发现他们真正的价值所在,并作出相应的承诺,但在第二次,你就可以发现金矿。”具体来说,毫无芥蒂地雇佣“老人”可以给公司带来三方面的价值。首先是经济方面,雇佣“老人可以为公司节约更多成本并创造更高效率。美国《财富》杂志曾研究发现:一个员工离职以后,从找新人到顺利上手,光是替换成本就高达离职员工薪水的1.5倍,而如果离开的是管理人员则代价更高。《财富》500强公司通过积极招聘离职员工每年平均就能节约1200万美元。其次是品牌方面,设定相关的“重新雇佣”政策可以令公司在市场上和公司内部树立开明雇主的形象,试问如果你是求职者,你是希望为一个拥有“回家”政策的公司工作还是为一家对离职员工苛刻不已的公司工作呢?而再次回来的员工也无声地说明了公司的优质,其他员工没有必要出去走一遭再回来,安心本职就很好,间接增强了员工稳定性。第三方面则是公司优化的契机,一个员工的离职都是由内因和外因共同造成的,抓住这个机会找寻公司管理、制度方面的问题所在,可以大大加速公司优化的进程。 再次雇佣可不是等着离职员工自动投简历上门,离职后的关系管理必不可少。麦肯锡咨询公司贝恩国际不仅建立了一个离职员工数据库,存有2000多名离职员工的资料,还在人力资源部门设立了“旧雇员关系主管”,专门负责跟踪离职员工的职业生涯变化情况,不断对其离职员工数据库进行更新。同时很多公司都会有针对“回头马”的优惠政策,有助于吸引更多核心人才回归。 现代企业的离职管理系统,从员工入职那一刻就开始运转,并且没有结束的时候。在这个系统不断运作、不断更新的过程中,招聘、培训、员工关系、雇主品牌等诸多环节都融合在一起,为企业赢得在市场上的先机。 本文被刊登在《南方人才》2015年第5期上,作者Robert Parkinson,罗迈国际创始人

The Squeezed Middle or the 100-per-center?

Business TianjinEconomists and advisers I know well have said to me that a realistic guesstimate for China’s GDP this year is 0-1%. In other words approaching recession. There’s really nothing that’s ‘new normal’ about that. Whether or not this is actually accurate, it’s certainly true to say, based on anecdotal evidence of conversations from the last four months that there has been significant slowdown in the economy after the stock-market turmoil of the summer. So, as a specialist in Human Resources, with 10 years work experience in China, I am often asked what this means for the employment market for those who – for whatever reason – are actively looking for a new job, and what does this mean for passive candidates (not actively looking for a new job) who might still be in demand in the jobs market. Indeed we often talk about this on RMG’s weekly slot on China Radio International ‘Career Builder’. 2 pic magazine So, here are my conclusions about the current situation: – Let me introduce ‘The Squeezed Middle’. The squeezed middle is, what I would term mid-producing staff who are partly business critical, and, importantly who have compensation packages which have been over-negotiated. For example, a person who works in the finance management function of a company, who came from a competitor, and is above the market average for their position in terms of compensation, and achieves 50-70% of what they are capable of would be what I would term someone who is the ‘squeezed middle’. They are semi-business critical, in that they occupy an important function of your business, and they bring great market knowledge [from the competitor] but they are not people who generate revenue for your company in either a marketing or a sales capacity. I have witnessed the salary expectations of the squeezed middle rise vastly out of proportion to, for example marketing functions throughout my career working in China, and at each economic hurdle (for example after the Lehman Crash of 2008) it is the squeezed middle who are the first to suffer in cost-cutting rounds, and then the squeezed middle that retaliates with increase-demands of ‘my expectations are a 30% increase’ (where’s the logic) when the market comes back. – Secondly, in contrast to the squeezed middle, the opposite effect happens with another group I call the ‘100-percent-ers’. The 100-percent-ers are those people who are 100% critical to the revenues of the business. They are often passive candidates who require approaching directly. Examples are of course obvious. We are talking about people who sell successfully (I say successfully as, although a cliche, it’s a fairly consistent observation that only 20% of an organisation’s staff engaged with client-facing activities are actually successful), or if a marketing-driven business have a demonstrable record, etc. These 20% highly-effective 100%-percent-ers are the people that bring the money in, so in fact in a difficult market I see very consistently a rise in demand for 100-percent-ers. Why? Well in business you really have only two choices: You can either cut your costs or increase your revenue. Cost cutting is a finite activity. There is only so much to be cut, whereas increasing sales is infinite.3 pic magazine In 17 years working in Human Resources I have worked in the UK (I’m a Brit), the Netherlands, Belgium, the USA and China (10 years). In every place I have worked I have observed a similar pattern, the only exception being the fair-weather salary increases demanded in China. When the economy catches a cold, some companies get the flu, whilst others (who tend to do what I’ve just described and hire the 100-percent-ers) boost their immunity. Indeed in the last 4 months RMG has seen an increase in demand for client-facing talent throughout China. RMG Selection specialists in recruiting high-quality professional Chinese and International candidates in the following disciplines and sectors: Sales, Marketing, General Management, Legal, Finance & Accountancy, Human Resources, Information Technology, Logistics, Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, Automotive & Machinery, General Manufacturing, Internet.                                                                                                                                           More information please refer to original artical: http://t.cn/RqdNNj8  

Career Builder: Exceptional Talent

What is a rising star? What does Talent truly mean?
In a competitive market for white-collar workers in China’s Eastern Coastal cities and now second and third tier cities, we hear a lot about the word ‘talent’. Talent, in the vernacular of the white-collar masses is casually taken to mean people who are very good at their jobs. We hear a lot of phrases like “Discovering Talent” “Asia Talent Conference” etc.However in truth, when people use the word talent in this casual way, what they are really referring to is ‘above-average’.
  • Q1: Firstly, can you describe what you mean by exceptional talent?
  • A1: Examples would be Sajid Javid a 47 year old British Cabinet minister, who at the age of 25 became the youngest Vice-President of Chase Manhatten Bank, and was a multi-millionaire soon after. An extreme example would be Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook and an obvious example would be Jack Ma in China. Steve Jobs of course would be a particularly good example (if you’ve read the books and films about him).
  • Q2: So in your view and experience [Robert], what are some of the characteristics, which are unique to people who have exceptional talent?
  • A2:Work hard; have a good education; turn up on time; get good reviews.
Follow-up questions:
  • Do we want exceptional people then if they’re so difficult to manage?
  • Do we want exceptional talent if it comes with an exceptionally poor attitude?
  • Should we build companies with a mixture of talent levels? And if so why?
  • How do we motivate exceptional talent?
  • What if you do not fit into the “exceptional talent” box? How can you still stand out and be (above average)?
  • Is exceptional talent something you are born with or is it related to the way you are raised / childhood? – Is it “trainable” (quite Chinese parenthood question)

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Notice Period

7b1e51260bf04a3eb6f246b119d02830 A special period in your career is the notice period which is the time after you submit your resignation letter to your boss but before you leave your company. We will focus on this special time and give you guideline today. CEO of RMG Selection, Robert Parkinson is going to share some valuable suggestions.
  1. How long should it usually be? Is it important for your career development?
  2. What’s the employer’s expectation during the notice period?
  3. What should the employee do in the notice period?
  4. What shouldn’t the employee do in the notice period?

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