The Life Science Innovator
A WBBA Publication
Calling all golf enthusiasts! Would you like to be a part of the planning for WBBA's Annual Golf Tournament? If you're interested in making this years' golf event the best yet, join the WBBA Golf Committee! You just have to be a member to participate. Contact Patti McKinnell Davis for more information.
Would you like to be involved in the WBBA’s educational programming for 2013? If so, join us on the WBBA Program Committee! The committee meets monthly to discuss and refine the programming the WBBA brings you each year. You just have to be a member to participate. Contact Darcy Jacobson for more information.
WBBA Industry Working Groups
Connect with your peers to meet the unique challenges your Organization faces.
(Open to WBBA Core & Institution Member HR professionals, no service providers)
You are invited to join your colleagues, HR professionals from WBBA member companies, as we network, share ideas and exchange information about the challenges and issues we encounter while working in the biotechnology and biomedical fields. The Human Resources Group offers a variety of ways to connect with your colleagues. This is an excellent way to learn up-to-date information from professionals within our industry. You do not need to have an HR title, in order to attend these meetings; you simply need to perform the human resources function for your company.
The next HR Group meeting is on Tuesday, July 31st titled, “Breaking Into Succession Planning: Beyond the Pretty Documents”.
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Clean Science Group
(Open to any WBBA member interested in clean science and sustainability)
The goal of the WBBA Clean Science Group is to have a variety of representatives of the region's life science community dialoguing about solutions to minimize the impact of our scientific pursuits on the region. We also want to educate each other on the systems that are currently out there to reduce, reuse, and recycle, and the associated costs of such systems. Biotech is an industry reliant on sterile, one-use products to ensure high quality research. This process generates a lot of waste. Is biotech doing everything it can to reduce waste, and increase recycling? Are we sacrificing the health of our planet for the health of people? Is there a way to create science that is clean and healthy for both the planet and for the people we are trying to heal? Are you interested in dialoguing about creating clean science? If so, then join the WBBA Clean Science Group on LinkedIn. We would like to have participation from various groups in the lab including facilities, operations, and lab managers. Together, we can help heal people, progress science and have a healthy place to live.
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Supply Chain Group
(Open to WBBA Core & Institution Member Supply Chain/Purchasing professionals, no service providers)
This group offers supply chain, purchasing, and sourcing professionals an opportunity to network and discuss the challenges they face and share best practices. Co-Chair positions are available; if interested please contact Danah Abarr at email@example.com.
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(Open to WBBA Core & Institution Member Facilities/Engineering professionals, no service providers)
This group offers Facilities and Engineering professionals an opportunity to network and discuss the challenges they face and share best practices. Co-Chair positions are available; if interested please contact Danah Abarr, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Stretched Thin? Getting 110% From Your Employees While Creating a Healthy Environment
Gaylene Xanthopoulos - Founder, President, The Leadership Edge
As the result of developing nearly 3500 scientific leaders in biotechnology, I have learned a couple of things. First, I have never seen a more optimistic bunch of people. Second, I have never seen more stretch objectives in my life. Third, you are people who have very high levels of commitment to your profession. As a result, sometimes, doing what is asked is giving 110%.
There is a saying, “Management is about achieving more through other people, in a healthy way.” So how do you gain the greatest levels of performance from your employees while maintaining a culture that provides a great place to work? This becomes especially challenging if you have experienced reductions in force, you have a difficult time recruiting the right talent for the job or you are simply trying to leverage every dollar you have in a difficult financing environment. The good news is it doesn’t take money. It takes you doing the right things as a manager.
- Assess your expectations. Are they realistic? Check with others. Have your employee lay out a detailed plan with timelines. Sometimes as an executive your strength is in seeing the big picture which can lead you to underestimating the number of details it takes to make that big picture a reality.
- Understand your employee’s strengths. Gallup research and on-going work by Marcus Buckingham show that the single greatest difference between great teams and not so great teams is their response to the question, “At work do you have an opportunity to do what you do best every day?” The response to this question has a direct correlation to a team’s performance, turnover, employee relation issues and many other factors. The interesting thing is 73% of employees feel they use their strengths on average about once per week. Less than 12% of us use our strengths most of the time. Be part of the 24% who actually discuss strengths in performance discussions.
- Communicate your expectations to the employee. If their performance is lacking, you first want to observe those behaviors that are either lacking or those that are undesirable. Share your observation with your employee, being specific (it is something they have said or done). Then you want to share your expectations. Often times people aren’t doing something because they didn’t know they were supposed to. Don't just use words like "more" and "timely", attempt to quantify so your message is clear.
- Listen. Let your employee share their perspective on the situation. Should you hear a lot of "yeah but's", restate the expectation. If the "yeah but's" are reasonable, address and remove the barriers.
- Depending upon what you hear in step four, you will begin to work with the employee to design a plan to get them on track.
- If the issue is related to motivation, work to understand the employee's goals and motivational needs. These needs may include greater levels of independence, work that is more challenging, increased visibility, working in their strengths, etc. Help the employee to see the connection between increased performance at work and the attainment of their goals and motivational needs. Remember, not all people are motivated in the way in which you are motivated. In addition to listening, you may want to review the vision. Is it inspiring to this individual? Have they bought into it? Does it give them the "why" behind the "what" they are doing?
- If the issue is lack of skills, create a plan of action that directly addresses the skill sets. Provide them with a mentor, class or other development opportunities.
In addition to the aforementioned feedback model, you may want to check for the following:
- Does the employee see the big picture? Do they understand how their activities support this bigger picture? Imagine you are the individual who sweeps the walkways at Disneyland. If you didn’t show up for a day, would guests have the Disney experience?
Is the employee giving 100%? If they are, remember, your team may not be comprised of 100% superstars and that may be O.K. Sometimes you need the steady and reliable performers, as well.
Is the employee in a role that they are well suited for? Sometimes we don't position our employees for success.
If you are looking for a short-term boost in performance, you may want to consider adding some incentive motivation. This could be small, like a dinner for two, or more considerable like putting them on a desired project or helping them to gain visibility.
Finally, if their performance is substandard, the feedback should be given in a timely manner and their performance should be reflected in their performance appraisal.
To enable employees to perform at their best, hire the right fit for your organization, position them to use their strengths, provide immediate and specific feedback and show them they make a difference.
Gaylene Xanthopoulos is founder and President of The Leadership Edge, the leading company for developing business skills in scientists, engineers and their executives. In partnership with the WBBA, they offer From The Laboratory To Leadership, a program designed to assist life science leaders in achieving results more efficiently while building strong and enduring companies.
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