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Consider boosting your skills in the following

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1. Excel Many job-seekers list Excel as one of their skills, even if they only have a mastery of the basics. Set aside some time this evening or weekend to learn some new features. Excel is valuable because it offers some essential ways to analyze a lot of info in the least amount of time. Go beyond the basics of formulas and equations and learn about features like Excel's PivotCharts, custom functions, Visual Basics for Applications, and more. Search for free tutorialsonline; you'll be bombarded with resources and videos. 2. Web Development (Java, HTML, SQL) Many experts agree that having knowledge of computer languages is particularly appealing to today's employers. Learning Web development isn't just applicable for IT professionals. Whether you're a new business grad or a seasoned professional looking to brush up on the latest in-demand skills, learning the basics may make you more relevant. All you have to do is start. Free tutorials from W3Schools.com, Code Academy, and other coding resources will give you step-by-step instructions on the basics. 3. Adobe Creative Suite Practicing creative web tools is a great way to develop some basic graphic design skills. Adobe is very widely used for just this--so if you can get your hands on the software, then you can choose your favorite application and begin learning. The suite includes various creative applications, including InDesign, Photoshop, and Dreamweaver--all programs that companies rely on to create engaging Web designs and layouts. You never know when you might be able to lend a hand in a new project that requires proficiency in using one of these apps. Start now by taking advantage of Adobe's How-To Channel, which hosts videos for beginners. 4. Foreign Language Learning a new language can open up a lot of doors for you as a professional. In fact, becoming fluent in a second language could even offer you the opportunity to work in another country. The most popular language-learning courses are effective, but they can also be costly. Instead, teach yourself at home by taking advantage of a free online course. In fact, free online courses are growing in popularity. Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the University of California, Berkeley are some colleges that are sharing courses online. If, for instance, you decide to learn Mandarin, check out MIT's OpenCourseWare. You'll find course material, audio demonstrations, study groups, and more for beginning to intermediate levels of Mandarin. 5. Google Analytics Web 2.0 is centered on Google. The ability to track and analyze how Google ranks and organizes information can be invaluable both personally and professionally. Google Analytics can help jobseekers manage their online presence (LinkedIn profile, Twitter, personal website, etc.) to enhance their marketability to potential employers. To start, type "Google Analytics IQ Online Course" in Google and watch one of the training videos.

Low Performance/Low Potential. I thought it was time for an update. See example: . 1A . however. is a simple yet effective tool used to assess talent in organizations. The X axis (horizontal line) of 3 boxes assesses leadership performance and the Y axis of 3 boxes (vertical line) assesses leadership potential. The performance and potential matrix (9 box grid) is one of the most widely used tools in succession planning and development. it seems to be covered in a veil of secrecy. A combination of Y and X axis makes up the box within the grid that the leader is placed. or for any manager. 3C .High Performance/High Potential. commonly referred to as “the nine box”. For some reason. 2012 The Performance and Potential Matrix (9 Box Grid) – an Update SOURCE: Opinions and information on Leadership and Leadership Development by Dan McCarthy Note: this is an update to one of the very first posts I wrote in November 2007 and continues to be one of my most popular. You’ve probably found this post from an internet search – I hope it helps answer your questions and you’ll find Great Leadership to be a valuable resource for all things leadership development. January 4. leaving those that want to learn how to use it with little guidance. It can be a valuable tool for anyone who works in talent management. etc...Wednesday. It assesses individuals on two dimensions – their past performance and their future potential. What is it and where did it come from? The performance and potential matrix.

The beauty of the tool is in its simplicity and ease of use. What are the benefits? Why’s it so popular? 1. and walked a lot of anxious beginners through the process. was interviewed in SHRM’s HR Magazine (8/2011 issue. managers usually can catch on pretty quickly. although I’ve heard Al Gore once took credit for it. Thanks to the power of Google. or “2B or not 2B. Others say it may have been first used at GE. It helps overcome many of the common pitfalls when it comes to talent assessment. I’m thinking it might be time for a bestselling book? Something catchy like “Let’s Get Rid of the Nine-box”. I’ve also used it as a manager as a way to assess and develop my own team. including a very grateful HR team from India and a few non-profits that couldn’t afford to hire a consultant. and have since used it to facilitate hundreds of talent review meetings (and lived to tell about it). It’s simple and it works (95% of the time). I first started using it in 1997. including: . I’ve been invited to give presentations at HR conferences on the 9 box.No one seems to know for sure who invented it. With a little explanation and initial facilitation. “On the Grid”). under Jack Welch’s leadership. that is The Question”.

Managers. are not very skilled when it comes to assessing talent. it’s the first time they’ve heard their own bosses’ expectations. If you can afford to send every manager through a $10. It’s cost-effective.A lack of assessment criteria. it’s from my own experience. For the rest. or a paid facilitator. and are unaware . consistent. This tool helps provide a structured way to have those conversations in a professional. 2. 4. and are very hesitant to discuss other manager’s employees. you will by the time you are done. by adding more boxes. Manager’s often have blind spots with their own employees.Overreliance on a single opinion . 3. by using this tool. It hardly ever improves the process and often distracts from the overall purpose.Overemphasis on current performance . When I say it works 95% of the time.000 assessment center. It’s critical to keep that in front of you. it’s free. and all kinds of bells and whistles. and that’s because there was such a lack of trust and dysfunction.. definitions of performance and potential going into a talent review. definitions for each box. or inconsistent criteria I’ve had teams (often engineers) try to overcomplicate it. so you’ll see them discreetly jotting down notes and assessing themselves. Actually. 5. then good for you. The accuracy of assessing performance and potential improves with multiple data points. productive way. There are other ways to assess potential – instruments and assessment centers are great – yet they are also expensive. It’s more accurate than one person’s opinion. Even if you don’t have clear. A catalyst for robust dialog. It’s not about filling out the grid – it’s all about the discussion. in general. Helps calibrate criteria and expectations. or hear feedback about their own. this is the next best thing. I’ve only had one senior team where it just blew up. for a lot of managers in the room. If fact. other than people’s time.

hire someone to guide you through your first one. and help develop each other’s employees. This could be an HR person. It’s best to decide ahead of time how performance will be assessed (use a leadership competency model if you have one) and how potential will be assessed (again. teamwork. We need to be candid. 2. You should present the tool and process to the team to make sure they all understand and buy in to the purpose and process. Don’t do it alone for the first time. talent development is often one of the few things a management team can actually work on together. take notes. Once a team has used a couple times. A talent review meeting uncovers both individual and organizational strengths and weaknesses. as a team. but it still helps to have someone facilitate the dialog. best to decide ahead of time – I usespecific potential criteria). or someone responsible for leadership development or succession planning. Have a pre-meeting. How to use it: 1. The grid serves as a needs assessment for development actions that need to be taken. 7. they can usually do it themselves. 6. These discussions can help shine a light on superstars and poor performers.” In a functional or segmented organization. OD consultant. This is the time to establish . This is a ground rule for any talent management meeting and discussion: “We all. Facilitates shared ownership. etc…. or at least work with someone to prepare you. The tool is best if used by a team and facilitated by someone who has experience with the process. are collectively are responsible for building a stronger organization.of how they are perceived by others. listen to each other. Don’t underestimate the amount of anxiety if a team has never done anything like this before (a ranking exercise). A diagnostic tool for development. try to shadow someone with expertise. If you are a talent management practitioner.

then move to the bordering boxes (1B and 2A). Continue the discussion for each person. for all others to compare against. For succession planning. such as years in current position. retention risk. or as many as time permits. leave it. Ask lots of why’s.ground rules as well. then you have a 1A benchmark. 8. the team can then discuss development plans for each leader. and 2A) – this is your high potential pool. Pick another name until you establish the benchmark. Then move to the 3C box. and again. 6. diversity status. Discuss as many names as time allows. Move to development. Getting started. If disagreement in perception. especially around meeting behaviors and confidentiality. Bring copies of the consolidated grid for each participant. If time. by level. so we’re comparing apples to apples). facilitate a dialog to establish another benchmark. You can then discuss rest of the names in the 1A box. if there is agreement. on an organizational grid. You can start with a 2-4 hour meeting. Establish your “benchmarks”. Don’t rush it. or poster child. Preparation. I usually have each manager plot their direct report managers (one level at a time. then invite all others to comment. the benefit of this process is in the discussion. 7. the focus should be on the upper right hand corner boxes (1A. I then consolidate all of the names. After all have been heard from. You could also ask for any other relevant information. Ask the sponsor manager to explain the rationale for the assessment. 3. It’s easier picking someone in the 1A box (highest performance and potential) where you think there may be little disagreement. or relocatability. ask the sponsor manager if they want to change their mind based on the feedback – usually they do – but if not. Have each manager fill in a grid for their own employees and have the facilitator collect and consolidate them. 5. but it will usually take 1-2 follow-up meetings to finish. or most likely at a follow-up meeting. 1B. .

" Never book time off without clearing it with your boss. . 2. "I just booked plane tickets for next month. Don't use it for anything other than the most minor mistake (like spilling something in the kitchen. But you need to take them yourself. and make it clear that you understand its seriousness. Responses like "my bad" sound cavalier and signal that you don't take work seriously.9. writing notes to consult later is great.S. "My bad. Repeat the assessment process at least once a year.News & World Report LP – 21 hours ago Saying the wrong thing to your boss can really damage your career. figure out how you're going to fix it. which you then promptly clean up)." There's nothing more frustrating than an employee who has made a mistake and doesn't seem to think it's a big deal. "Can you write that down for me?" When you're talking about the details of a project. When you make a mistake. Follow-up on a quarterly basis to monitor development plans. take responsibility for it. “ More posts on the using the performance and potential matrix: Nine Leadership Development Strategies for a Performance and Potential Matrix Reader Question: Nine Box Performance and Potential Matrix Best Practices How to “Score” Leadership Potential When Using the Performance and Potential Matrix 10 Things You Should Never Say to Your Boss By Alison Green | U. here are 10 things you never want to say to your manager: 1. From refusing to work with a colleague to bragging about your irreplaceability. or she might have approved others to have that time off and therefore need you around. Check with her first before you do anything irreversible. There might be a major project due that week. not ask your boss to do it for you. 3.

where she dispenses advice on career. This time. Statements like this mark you as a prima donna who feels entitled to special treatment . Its gripe is changes in the dismissal law. 7. First. even the head of your company. Job descriptions aren't comprehensive. Alison Green writes the popular Ask a Manager blog. but it often ends badly. "Do this. Can you match it?" Using another job offer as a bargaining chip to get your current employer to pay you more money may be tempting. "I want to understand where you're coming from so we're on the same page. Can you help me understand how you're seeing this?" 9. or I quit. In the past. (That's what "and other duties as assigned" means. If you don't get what you want." Protesting that something isn't in your job description is a good way to lose the support of your boss. you may be told to take the other offer. If your manager is concerned about something. say something like. If you want a raise. Instead. you need to be concerned about it too. where she oversaw day-to-day staff management. Mario Monti. Mr Monti declared the talks over and said his government would press ahead regardless. try something like. firing. 9:31 AM SOMETHING unItalian happened late on March 20th. explain the conflict and ask your manager which is more important." Don't say that you can't do something your manager is asking of you. Second. don't threaten to quit if you don't get your way. was trying to persuade employers and unions to accept labour-market reforms. She's also the author of Managing to Change the World: The Nonprofit Leader's Guide to Getting Results and former chief of staff of a successful nonprofit organization. Do you have any advice on how I can make it go more smoothly?" 5. you can always think it over anddecide to quit. 10.. If a judge then decides the . and most people end up doing work that doesn't fall squarely within that job description. Indeed. the CGIL. but the chances of getting Italy’s biggest trade union federation. job search. the usual result has been all-night talks ending in a document so content-free that all sides accept it. "I can't do X because I need to do Y. "I have another offer. 8. Date: Saturday." Refusing to work with a colleague is an unusually extreme statement and may mark you as difficult. and management issues. the CGIL now threatens a one-day nationwide strike and another eight hours of disruptive assemblies. even if you don't really want it--and then you'll have to follow through. 2012."That's not my job." No one is irreplaceable.) You want to make yourself more valuable to your employer. and you may be on the top of the lay-off list if the company needs to make cutbacks. when it became clear that unanimity was impossible. A last-ditch meeting was planned for March 22nd.4. negotiate it on your own merits. "I can't work with Joe." Whether you're asking for a raise or requesting a day off. 6. March 24. hiring. they'll now assume you're looking to leave. "I don't know what you'd do without me. "I find it hard to work well with Joe because of X and Y. if there's a conflict with another project. and will make a lot of managers want to show you that you're wrong. Instead. the prime minister.. If you genuinely don't understand what the big deal is. and employee development. not less. you'll lose your manager's respect and poison the relationship. "What's the big deal?" Statements like this are dismissive and disrespectful. Today firms with more than 15 workers cannot get rid of employees even in a downturn without risking legal proceedings that can last years. but if you use it as a threat in the negotiation itself. to agree seem negligible. even if your employer does match the offer.

Italians have glimpsed a style of government that does not aim for consensus. Others worry that the welfare reforms will take effect only in 2017. and not just on the streets. had recovered sharply to almost 62%. Paradoxically. maddening bureaucracy and organised crime. This week saw the tenth anniversary of the assassination of Marco Biagi. And Mr Monti remains hugely popular. the expert behind a previous attempt to make it easier for employers to sack surplus workers. which dipped after it began implementing its programme. there is a danger that protests against the reform could turn violent. it has taken a mildly spoken economics professor to give Italy the political leadership it has lacked for so long . but one of Mr Monti’s strengths is his cross-party backing and he will not want to be seen as a stooge of the conservatives. The government wants workers sacked for economic reasons to get up to 27 months’ pay. more broadly applicable unemployment benefit and measures to encourage apprenticeships rather than intermittent short-term contracts. This week a protester was seen in a T-shirt bearing the slogan “Fornero to the cemetery”. He was murdered by the far-left New Red Brigades. It would be up to the courts to decide if workers unfairly sacked on disciplinary grounds should be compensated or reinstated. its historic ally. Yet whatever the merits of his latest reforms. Mr Monti. That is an exaggeration. there is the question whether the government’s plans for the labour market will do enough to stimulate the growth Italy has so woefully failed to generate. Elsa Fornero. Other planned measures would do even more to loosen Italy’s arthritic labour market: a new. Outside parliament. it can be forced to rehire the worker and pay him his lost earnings. Employers say this is a colossal deterrent to hiring when times are good. The same poll found that a party headed by Mr Monti would get more votes than either the PD or the centre-right People of Freedom movement. creating a danger that they might be scrapped or diluted by a future government. Leaving aside such disincentives as pervasive corruption. The CGIL’s intransigence creates a special problem for one of them. The votes of the right and centre-right would be enough to pass the new reform. On March 19th a poll in the newspaper La Repubblica said the government’s approval rating. An election must be held next year and Mr Monti has said he will not run. On March 16th their leaders endorsed the government’s plans. Mr Monti faces his sternest test since he formed his technocratic government to replace Silvio Berlusconi’s in November. In January postal workers intercepted envelopes containing bullets addressed to Mr Monti’s welfare minister. But evidence of a credible threat from far-left wing terrorists is scarce. as was a previous adviser on labour reform. said that the latest reform would clear away the last obstacles to inward investment.company has acted unfairly. they set a precedent. founded by Mr Berlusconi. who plans a roadshow to promote Italy. and that acknowledges opinions but not vetoes. But he enjoys the backing of the three biggest parliamentary groups. President Giorgio Napolitano has warned that failure to agree would have serious consequences. could face a backbench revolt or a party split. The existing provisions would remain only for cases of alleged discrimination or victimisation. and helps to explain why a third of Italy’s youths are jobless. the centre-left Democratic Party (PD). Even some centre-left economists criticise the limited nature of the labour-market changes. A senior PD official said its leader. Pier Luigi Bersani. but no prospect of regaining their jobs.

2011 LLR 568. In the new system. attendance incentive. the Madhya Pradesh High Court (Gwalior Bench) has held that transport allowance. 2012 and the notice was issued to the EPFO for further proceedings and for staying of Order of the Madhya Pradesh High Court. having its industrial establishment in Gwalior (MP). EPFO TO END INSPECTOR RAJ Senior officials of Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) say the EPFO will begin the process on April 1 when the entire compliance operation will be on line. The parameters will change each year to avoid companies being compliant with only certain parameters. The above case is perhaps the first case where the controversy. . will be decided once for all. Employees Provident Fund & Anr. Most defaulting companies usually understated the number of employees to bring down EPFO liability. Based on the information.169 crore. That will eliminate the need for any EPFO officer to personally inspect company records. the EPFO will devise parameters to discover defaulters. The subscribers of Labour Law Reporter will be apprised about the outcome of the judgment. washing allowance and special allowance being paid to all the employees except house rent allowance and the lunch allowance not being paid to all the workers will be treated as ‘basic wages’ for the purpose of attracting provident fund contributions. vs. the Central Bureau of Investigation registered cases against nine senior officials of the EPFO for causing a loss to the exchequer amounting to Rs. Last July.LATEST ON EMPLOYEES' PROVIDENT FUNDS PETITION FILED IN SUPREME COURT TO DECIDE ALLOWANCES FOR PROVIDENT FUND CONTRIBUTIONS Surya Roshni Limited. It may be recollected that in Surya Roshni Ltd. has filed a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court which was heard on 2nd March. the EPFO will ask companies to voluntarily disclose all information required to comply with the Employees’ Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions Act.. as prevailing all over India.

Impugned order suffers from serious infirmity and is quashed.TO BE QUASHED By filing the appeal.06. order of the EPF Authority is set aside and appeal allowed. The EPF Appellate Tribunal observed that the EPF Authority has not ascertained the actual salary/wages of these workers which is an essential . against the order dated 14. From EPF Appellate Tribunal COMPENSATION TO AN EMPLOYEE NOT FOR DUTY PERFORMED . Hence. treating the sum paid to the employees as per settlement approved by the High Court. APFC. there is no document to show that the employee was continued in service without interruption. is illegal. vs APFC. Tambaram.In view of the above.2007. Therefore.NOT PROPER The appellant filed an appeal before the Employees’ Provident Fund Appellate Tribunal.605(13)/2011 decided on 23. the amount of damages or the compensation awarded under a court settlement would not constitute ‘basic wages’ as envisaged by the Act and would not attract EPF liability. there is no scope to reassess the validity of the agreed terms of settlement.2011 passed by the EPF Authority under section 7A of the Act stating that the amount paid towards compensation to an ex-employee for not performing duty would attract EPF contributions is illegal. M/s.2012 COVERAGE OF CHINESE WORKERS WITHOUT ASCERTAINING THEIR SALARIES .NOT TO ATTRACT EPF CONTRIBUTIONS The grievance of the appellant in the appeal is that the order dated 15.2009. putting forth its grievance that the order. ATA No. Binny Engineering Ltd. has approval of the Hon’ble High Court of Bombay. Chennai. Appeal is allowed. passed by the EPF Authority. The calculation does not indicate how much sums paid denote the wages liable for EPF contributions. Therefore. passed by the EPF Authority under section 7A of the Act that the amount paid to the technicians working in India and drawing salary in China in Chinese currency would attract EPF contributions. the visits from the EPFO office to your Company may be a thing of past. The EPF Appellate Tribunal observed that compensation was paid for keeping the employee away from duty.2012 DEMANDING CONTROBUTIONS ON AMOUNT ACCRUING OUT OF SETTLEMENT .1. Nagpur. Tuli Hotel vs. The amount paid is not the payment of wages for duties performed. as basic wages for the purpose of EPF contributions. the appellant has questioned the validity of the order dated 29.2.09. ATA No. The EPF Appellate Tribunal observed that the compromise arrived at between the parties. M/s.230(9)/2007 decided on 18.02.

M/s. order of the EPF Authority suffers from serious infirmities and liable to be quashed. ATA No.2012 COVERING APPRENTICES UNDER THE EPF ACT LIABLE TO BE SET ASIDE The grievance of the appellant in the appeal before the Employees’ Provident Fund Appellate Tribunal is that the order dated 26.692(9)/2009 decided on 2.2009 passed by the EPF Authority treating the Apprentices as regular employees is illegal. Wardha Power Company Ltd.05. Hence. The employees drawing salary/wages exceeding Rs. vs. Nagpur. order of the EPF Authority is set aside and appeal allowed .6.2.500 per month are not liable to be covered under the EPF Scheme. The appeal is allowed. APFC.requirement before enrolling an international worker a member of the EPF Scheme. The Appellate Tribunal has referred to section 2(f) of the Act and observed that apprentices engaged under the Apprentices Act or under the Standing Orders are excluded from the purview of definition of ‘employee’ under the Act and even the Investigating Officer of the department had not recorded any evidence to establish that the apprentices were working as regular workers. Hence.