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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Core Value #3: World Class Talent

In our continued look at the Core Values of Thomas Nelson, Inc. today we examine one that fundamentally impacts our life in the HR department.  Again, from The Nelson Way orientation manual:

We do what is necessary to attract, develop, and retain world-class talent.  This means:
  • We recruit the very best people we can find.
  • We develop our people's strengths and provide continuing opportunities for personal and professional growth.
  • We clearly communicate and reinforce roles, responsibilities, and job expectations.
  • We communicate to our employees how we as a Company are doing.
  • We communicate to our employees how they as employees are doing.
  • We monitor employee satisfaction, acknowledge issues we discover, and respond as appropriate.
  • We recognize, reward, and publicly honor outstanding performance.
  • We pay our people fairly and competitively.
Biblical support for this value can found in Mark 3:13-15 and Acts 17:6.

These stated behaviors and this value drive our HR and recognitions programs.  Since the implementation of these values we started the quarterly All Employee Meetings where we openly disclose our financial performance to all employees.  We started the annual Star Awards program, quarterly Impact Award for excellence in service departments and quarterly Momentum Awards for the Sales and Publishing groups showing the greatest performance improvement from the prior year. 

They also drive our compensation programs.  We study our compensation vs. the marketplace every 16 - 18 months and we make adjustments as performance and market conditions warrant.  Every new hire and newly promoted employee is paid within the market range for their position.

This drives our coaching.  A few years ago we eliminated performance appraisals, opting instead for a system of day-to-day coaching rather than an annual sit-down meeting.  There is no doubt that our performance as a company at the very least has not suffered, and there is a case to be made that it has improved. We believe nobody should have to wait for an annual review to know how they are doing.

It also drives our recruiting.  We seek intelligent professionals committed to our mission.  We purposefully search for good collaborators (Value 5 in an upcoming post) and avoid people, even gifted people, who are self promoters and/or don't work well with others.  It is the combination of intelligence, passion, commitment and willingness to work within a team that for our company defines World Class Talent.

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