Archive for October, 2007

October 2007 Issue

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

SOM Supervisory Skills Certificate Program

In January 2008, we will be welcoming a new cohort to the Supervisory Skills Certificate Series. This program is designed specifically for the SOM in order to give you a strong foundation in basic management skills.  Read more¦

First Supervisory Skills Certificate Series Cohort Graduates

The Supervisory Skills Certificate program began this past January and has been in high demand. On May 22, 2007, the Office of Organization Effectiveness held a breakfast in honor of the first graduates of the series. Read more¦

Creating Persuasive Presentations

You’re staring at the charts and graphs littering your PowerPoint presentation. You’ve got the data. You know what you want to tell the audience. You know what you what the audience to do. Now how do you get them to do it? Read more¦

All Aboard

Mary was frustrated. When she had arrived in her new position she found that her supervisor didn’t yet have a desk or a computer for her. Groundwork had not been laid to allow her to begin the work she had anticipated jumping into. For days she sat idle with little to do but busywork. She began to long for her old job, and to regret taking her new job. Read more¦

Organization Effectiveness Resources Library

Do you need information on handling conflict, giving feedback, or other practical topics. but can’t attend or find an appropriate training class? Read more¦

Workplace Q & A

I know that there are some questions that we can’t ask during an interview – such as about their race, or whether or not they have children. How do I know what other questions are unlawful? How can I make sure the questions I ask during an interview are legal? Read more¦

Knowledge Link Help Desk

I have enrolled in my course, but nothing happens. Read more¦

UPCOMING SEMINARS

Capitalize on Your Strengths
Date: Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Place: Biomedical Research Building (BRB II/III), Room 253
SESSION FULL – Only those already registered may attend.

Understanding Your Retirement Plan
Date: Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Place: Biomedical Research Building (BRB II/III), Room 251
SESSION FULL – Only those already registered may attend.

Hidden Benefits of Working at Penn
Date: Thursday, November 15, 2007
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Place: 3535 Market Street – Conference Room 4123

Your Position is Grant-Funded: What Next?
Date: Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Place: Biomedical Research Building (BRB II/III), Room 252

Creating Persuasive Presentations
Date: Thursday, December 6, 2007
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Place: Biomedical Research Building (BRB II/III), Room 253

SOM Supervisory Skills Certificate Program

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007
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Click here for the October 2007 issue
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In January 2008, we will be welcoming a new cohort to the Supervisory Skills Certificate Series. This program is designed specifically for the SOM in order to give you a strong foundation in basic management skills.

Office of Organization Effectiveness Manager Charles A. “Chuck” Haughton presents Administrative Coordinator Kim Carey with her Supervisory Skills Certificate.

Office of Organization Effectiveness Manager Charles A. “Chuck” Haughton presents Administrative Coordinator Kim Carey with her Supervisory Skills Certificate.

The program is made up of two parts: the Core Program, and Electives. 

Core Program – This is a sequence of courses that cover the fundamental aspects of supervision. The Core Program consists of:

 

  1. Interpersonal Dynamics – Understanding Personality Style
  2. Performance Management for Supervisors
  3. Policies Overview
  4. Legal Issues of Supervision
  5. Interviewing and Hiring

Each course in the Core is a half-day in length with the exception of Performance Management, which is a full-day course. Participants in the Supervisory Certificate Program must take all courses in the Core.
 
Electives – Participants select a minimum of two electives from a menu of courses, depending on their specific needs. The current menu of Electives includes:

  • Team Building
  • Conflict Management
  • Demystifying Compensation

The electives give you the opportunity to customize your training program with topics that address your specific development needs. Additional electives will be added to the list as new topics are identified and developed. Electives sessions range from 1½ hours to a half-day in length.

The Supervisory Skills Certificate program began in January 2007 and has been in high demand. The new cohort starts in January 2008.

Look for registration information coming up in December. For detailed descriptions of the courses mentioned above, click HERE.

For answers to common questions regarding the supervisory skills program, please see our FAQs.

If you need additional information, contact the Organization Effectiveness office at 215-573-0682 or oe@med.upenn.edu.

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Also in the October 2007 issue:                         

First Supervisory Skills Certificate Series Cohort Graduates
Creating Persuasive Presentations
All Aboard
Organization Effectiveness Resource Library
Workplace Q & A
Knowledge Link Help Desk
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First Supervisory Skills Certificate Series Cohort Graduates

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

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Click here for the October 2007 issue
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The Supervisory Skills Certificate program began this past January and has been in high demand. On May 22, 2007, the Office of Organization Effectiveness held a breakfast in honor of the first graduates of the series.

(Front Row)  Sandra Miller, Kimba Johnson, Maureen Price and Carl Shaw. (Top Row) Andrea Luckey, Sandra Smith, Kim Carey, Robin Hinmon, Carolyn Phillips, Maria Sambuca and Dorothy Hunter. (Not Pictured: Maria Hendricks, Susan Kildea, Tracey Longs, Martina Madison, Joan Mazzarelli, Louise O’Neil, and Kathleen Ward)

Kim Carey talks about her experience with the Supervisory Skills Certificate series as Carolyn Phillips looks on at the graduation breakfast.

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Also in the October 2007 issue

SOM Supervisory Certificate Program
Creating Persuasive Presentations
All Aboard
Organization Effectiveness Resource Library
Workplace Q & A
Knowledge Link Help Desk
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Creating Persuasive Presentations

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007
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Click here for the October 2007 issue
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By Gina Barrett

You’re staring at the charts and graphs littering your PowerPoint presentation. You’ve got the data. You know what you want to tell the audience. You know what you want the audience to do. Now how do you get them to do it?

There are three main elements that influence your ability to influence. Those elements are credibility, content, and connection. (Or as Aristotle called them over two millennia ago: ethos, logos and pathos.)

Credibility

We are more likely to adopt ideas from people we deem credible – people we trust. Who do we trust? Those who demonstrate good will towards us – who aren’t merely using us to get what they want. Those who demonstrate knowledge, experience and good judgment.

In this respect, your presentation starts before your presentation starts. Laying the groundwork for influence should be a regular part of your routine, through acting with integrity, building relationships, demonstrating expertise.

Anything you can do to establish your credibility before the presentation will help put you on firm footing. If possible, meet one-on-one with key decision-makers before the meeting. This gives you the opportunity to show interest in their views, lay the groundwork for your message and know how to better tailor it to meet their needs.

Otherwise, seek to establish credibility at the beginning of your presentation. If it’s a forum where speaker introductions are appropriate, have a respected individual give an introduction that establishes your good will and expertise. They will be lending you some of their own credibility, and your credentials won’t sound self-serving coming from them as it would coming from you.

If that isn’t possible, begin by saying a few words about yourself to establish your credibility, and be conscious of weaving examples of it into your presentation if applicable.

When teaching presentation skills to MBA students, I illustrated one concept by talking about a situation that occurred when I was a communication coach for the rising CEO of a software company. The primary purpose of the story was to illustrate the concept. The secondary purpose, however, was to establish my credibility as an expert with this group of future CEOs, so that they would more readily accept the information I was giving them.

Content

The backbone of a persuasive presentation is the content.

It’s said that everyone is tuned to station WII FM – “What’s In It For Me?”

So as you assemble the content, put yourself in their mindset and ask yourself – what’s in it for them? Why should they care? Why should they want to believe/do this? Then focus the presentation on how what you propose can benefit them.

Your opening statement should entice the audience to listen. Tell a pertinent story, ask a question or make startling statement. Then briefly orient the audience to the purpose of your presentation and give them a bare-bones outline to serve as a guide to what you’re going to talk about.

From there, develop a logical argument for your case. Use data to support your argument. Explain how adopting your ideas or following your proposed course of action will benefit them.

Anticipate major questions, counterarguments, or reservations the audience may have. Then raise them yourself and answer them in the presentation. For example, “You may be thinking that we can’t afford this. That’s a legitimate concern. Let me show you how we actually can fit this into the budget….” In communication lingo, this is called “inoculation against counter-persuasion.” Being proactive gives you the opportunity to control the dialogue and frame the information to your advantage.

At the end of your presentation, summarize your key ideas and give them specifics on how they can do what you are asking them to do. If appropriate, drive home your main idea using a quotation, story, or other vivid device.

Connection

Finally, in order to persuade an audience, we need to be able to detect the audience’s feelings and connect with them on an emotional level.

Sounds odd for business or scientific presentations, doesn’t it? We’d like to think that decisions we make are made based entirely on cool, rational logic.

Yet think about this: a beverage company trying to improve sales invented an improved version of their product. They spent $4 million in taste-tests with over 200,000 consumers, which determined that consumers preferred the new formula better than the old. Yet when they introduced the new formula, numerous people expressed outrage and the company eventually reverted back to the old formula.

In the wake of the failed initiative, Coca-Cola president Donald Keough stated:

”All of the time and money and skill poured into consumer research on the new Coca-Cola could not measure or reveal the deep and abiding emotional attachment to original Coca-Cola,” 1

So how does this underlying emotional influence on decision-making play out in a presentation?

“Good persuaders,” wrote Jay A. Gonger in the Harvard Business Review “show their own emotional commitment to the position they are advocating….have a strong and accurate sense of their audience’s emotional state, and…adjust the tone of their arguments accordingly.” 2

Come alongside the audience and establish common ground – remind them of what ideas and goals you do have in common. Then introduce your ideas, always asking yourself how the audience will feel about them, and calibrate your approach accordingly.

An important way of getting the audience to buy-in to your ideas on a gut level is to make them vivid, concrete and compelling through the use of demonstrations, stories, similes, metaphors and quotations that have meaning to the audience.

A recent example is from legendary corporate communicator Steve Jobs when he introduced the i-Phone to an audience of thousands. He could have tried to persuade his audience of the value of an i-Phone by listing the technical features of the phone. Instead, he demonstrated its usefulness by mapping and calling a Starbucks…and ordering four thousand lattes. (Click HERE to see the clip.) Jobs made the abstract features of the phone come alive for the audience. He demonstrated how it could benefit them. And using a style of humor his predominately young audience would appreciate, he warmed them up to him (and his cause).

So while those graphs and charts on your PowerPoint slides can help bolster your arguments, that’s not all you need. To get the results you want, develop the elements of credibility, content, and connection.

A number of years ago the pharmaceutical industry was going through some dramatic changes. Speaking to an industry group, the CEO of a pharmaceutical company sought to persuade his audience of the importance of adapting to those changes. After sharing facts and figures, he ended by quoting I Ching: “Resisting change is like holding your breath – if you persist, you die.”

He made his point.

1 Anne B. Fisher, Wilton Woods and Robert Steyer. “Coke’s Brand Loyalty Lesson,” Fortune Magazine, August 5, 1985.  http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1985/08/05/66245/index.htm

2 Jay A. Gonger, “The Necessary Art of Persuasion,” Harvard Business Review, May-June 1998.

All Aboard

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007
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Click here for the October 2007 issue
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Mary was frustrated. When she had arrived in her new position she found that her supervisor didn’t yet have a desk for her – or a computer. Groundwork had not been laid to allow her to begin the work she had anticipated jumping into. For days she sat idle with little to do but busywork. She began to long for her old job, and to regret taking her new job.

Do you have an effective on-boarding process in your department? Is there a systematic method of acclimatizing new hires to their positions, or do they just flounder for the first days or weeks? Do you get them up to speed and up to full productivity quickly, or do they struggle and lag behind the rest of your staff for an unnecessary length of time?

An effective on-boarding process can help you to:

  • Reinforce a new hire’s decision to join your team, which increases their commitment and engagement.

  • Shorten the time it takes for them to reach full productivity. 

    Writing in ERE.net, an online forum for recruitment professionals, David Le states: 

    “[A] study conducted at Texas Instruments showed that employees whose orientation process was carefully attended to reached “full productivity” two months earlier than those whose orientation process was not.”

    “More recently, Hunter Douglas found that by upgrading their onboarding process, they were able to reduce their turnover from a staggering 70% at six months, to 16%. These changes also translated into improved attendance, [and] increased productivity…”1

    Here are ways of effectively bringing a new hire on-board:

    Orient them to your Department

    From introducing them to their coworkers to making sure they get a Penncard, the first step to on-boarding is to help them settle into their position in your Department.

    Just this month, one new SOM staff member wrote us saying:

    “It would be extremely useful to have a checklist for new staff featuring items like: set-up email account, acquire Penn key, complete HIPPA training, select benefits, etc. This checklist could feature helpful URL’s and contact information for key offices. Brining everything together on one sheet would really streamline the ‘getting set’ phase of employment.”

    The irony of this feedback is – this checklist already exists! Either their supervisor chose not to use it or (most likely) was unaware of its existence.

    You can access the checklist at http://www.med.upenn.edu/somtrain/hr_training_supervisors.shtml#templates. Download it, remove the parts you don’t need, customize it to your department and you will have a helpful tool that you can reuse with every new hire. (Along with a checklist for orienting new Staff, this site also has checklists for Staff Mentors and Temporary Workers.)

    These checklists include reminders do such things as schedule computer and phone hook-up, and review the department’s organization chart new with staff so they know who does what and where they fit in.

    While it won’t take all of the work out of orienting them to your department, it organizes the process for you and ensures that nothing falls through the cracks. It serves as a reminder regarding such things as equipment your new hire will need, and paperwork you will need to have them complete.

    Orient them to their Position

    Along with helping them to settle into the department, orient them to their specific job.  Naturally, the optimal way of doing this would be to have the outgoing person train the incoming.

    Of course, overlap between the two people is rare. In lieu of that, have the outgoing person spend the waning days of their employment laying the groundwork for transferring their job. Some things they should do include:

  • Organize files, information and supplies in an easy-to-understand system, to make it easier for the new person to find what they need.

  • Document their procedures so the new person can understand the process of doing the job.

  • Explain their organizational scheme, documentation and job-strategies to someone in your department who you assign to mentor or train the new person. That designated person can serve as a bridge for the transfer of knowledge.

    As mentioned, assign a veteran staff member to mentor the new person. This will give the newcomer someone to go to when they have questions or need advice. Setting it up in a formal fashion will make it easier and more comfortable for the newcomer to do so.

    Orient them to the School of Medicine

    Start by sending them to the SOM New Staff Orientation program as soon as possible. “But isn’t that the same as the University Orientation?” you may ask.

    No, it’s not. There is no overlap between the two, except in the discussion of employee benefits. Even that overlap is not a bad thing; with all that a new hire is absorbing, it helps them to hear benefits explained again. Since Penn’s excellent benefit package is one reason why many people want to work here, a reminder of the details can help reinforce their decision to take the job.

    After attending the SOM Orientation recently, BA Brian Daddino, a new hire in Ophthalmology, wrote:

    “The SOM orientation session this morning was excellent.  I came to Penn from another academic medical center’s SOM, and I learned about things today about Penn that I never knew (and sometimes couldn’t find out) about my former employer after 12 years…I am so happy to be here at Penn!  Thank you for adding to an overwhelmingly positive first impression of Penn for me.”

    Information about how to sign up for the SOM Orientation, along with helpful resources for new hires (such as maps of the SOM complex, transportation and parking information, and lists of nearby restaurants and ATMs) are available at http://www.med.upenn.edu/oe/newstaff.shtml.

    Orient them to the University

  • Along with attending the SOM Orientation, the University offers an Orientation program that will give them a bird’s-eye view of the institution as a whole, enhancing their pride at being a part of Penn. The University’s Learning and Education Department will send them an official invitation to an orientation program – do your best to arrange for them to be available to go, and if they can’t, encourage them to reschedule.

    Along with attending the SOM Orientation, the University offers an Orientation program that will give them a bird’s-eye view of the institution as a whole, enhancing their pride at being a part of Penn. The University’s Learning and Education Department will send them an official invitation to an orientation program – do your best to arrange for them to be available to go, and if they can’t, encourage them to reschedule.

    All Aboard

    According to the Corporate Leadership Council, a manager who serves as an effective conduit between the organization and the employee can improve employee engagement by as much as 38%. Some of the sample activities the Council gives under that category include “ensuring employees understand the full range of benefits offered by the organization” and “teaching new employees about organizational vision and strategy during the onboarding process.” 2  

    According to the Corporate Leadership Council, a manager who serves as an effective conduit between the organization and the employee can improve employee engagement by as much as 38%. Some of the sample activities the Council gives under that category include “ensuring employees understand the full range of benefits offered by the organization” and “teaching new employees about organizational vision and strategy during the onboarding process.” 2  Take advantage of the first weeks of an employee’s tenure in your department to optimize their engagement with a comprehensive and strategic onboarding.

    1 David Le, “How to Avoid the Four Deadliest Onboarding Mistakes,” ere.net, November 22, 2005 http://www.ere.net/articles/db/3F9DEDC4BD074E23A72AD98B938382CA.asp.

    2 Corporate Leadership Council, eds., Managing for High Performance and Retention. (Washington, D.C.: Corporate Executive Board, 2005), 16.

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    Also in the October 2007 issue:                

     

    SOM Supervisory Certificate Program
    First Supervisory Skills Certificate Series Cohort Graduates
    Creating Persuasive Presentations
    Organization Effectiveness Resource Library
    Workplace Q & A
    Knowledge Link Help Desk
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    Organization Effectiveness Resources Library

    Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007
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    Click here for the October 2007 issue
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    Do you need information on handling conflict, giving feedback, or other practical topics – but can’t attend or find an appropriate training class?

    You can access that information at your convenience using the new SOM Faculty/Staff Resource Library at The Office of Organization Effectiveness. The library will initially offer a series of 34 guidebooks on a variety of leadership and professional development topics such as teamwork, communications, and self-development.

    A full listing of guidebooks, along with an executive summary of each one, can be viewed HERE. Resources may be checked out by contacting our office at 215-573-0682 or emailing us at oe@mail.med.upenn.edu.

    We will expand the library over time based on current needs and suggestions. If you would like to recommend an addition to the library, please send us an email or give us a call.

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    Also in the October 2007 issue:       

    SOM Supervisory Skills Certificate Program
    First Supervisory Skills Certificate Series Cohort Graduates
    Creating Persuasive Presentations
    All Aboard
    Workplace Q & A
    Knowledge Link Help Desk
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    Workplace Q&A: Unlawful Questions

    Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007
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    Click here for the October 2007 issue
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    Question:
    I know that there are some questions that we can’t ask during an interview – such as about their race, or whether or not they have children. How do I know what other questions are unlawful? How can I make sure the questions I ask during an interview are legal?

    Answer:
    This is definitely an area where it’s easy to skate out onto thin ice. Sometimes it’s done with complete innocence.

    For instance, at the start of an interview a hiring officer named Kirk may ask Tamika, the candidate, “I see you went to Grove City College. I have several friends who went there – when did you graduate?”

    Kirk’s motive could be innocent – to see if Tamika was attending Grove City at the same time as his friends, on the chance that they may have mutual acquaintances. Kirk could merely be engaging in the normal social chit-chat we use to break the ice with someone, as often happens at the beginning of an interview.

    Or, Kirk’s motive could be to use the graduation date to help him guess Tamika’s age, because he wants to hire someone young for the position, (despite the fact that it’s illegal to discriminate against people over 40 because of their age).

    No matter what the motive, the question could cause trouble for Kirk in the long run.

    The rule to remember is that it is illegal to base a hiring decision on anything other than Bona Fide Occupational Qualifications. So to be safe from both the practice and the appearance of discriminating, design your questions around the competencies you identified when you were filling out the Position Information Questionnaire (PIQ). Make sure your questions are directly related to finding out whether or not a candidate can do the job.

    For examples of unlawful and lawful questions, click HERE.

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    Also in the October 2007 issue:       

    SOM Supervisory Skills Certificate Program
    First Supervisory Skills Certificate Series Cohort Graduates
    Creating Persuasive Presentations
    All Aboard
    Organization Effectiveness Resource Library
    Knowledge Link Help Desk
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    Knowledge Link Help Desk

    Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007
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    Click here for the October 2007 issue
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    Question: I have enrolled in my course, but nothing happens.

    Answer: If your training fails to open a new window successfully, then you might have a Pop-up Blocker enabled. You need to find the blocker icon on your browser and disable that functionality before you can start your training. For details on how to do this, click HERE.

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    Also in the October 2007 issue:       

    SOM Supervisory Skills Certificate Program
    First Supervisory Skills Certificate Series Cohort Graduates
    Creating Persuasive Presentations
    All Aboard
    Organization Effectiveness Resource Library
    Workplace Q & A
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