Organizational Announcement

We are very pleased to announce that

Adrienne Temple

has joined McKenzieHR as a Client Services Specialist

Adrienne replaced Terrie McDonald who left us after 4 years to pursue her dream of going to school full time to attain a college degree.� We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Terrie for all she did for us and wish her the absolute best.


Darlene Thomas Rivers,
Bob McKenzie and Mark Addington will be the featured speakers at the Small Business Resource Network Luncheon to be held on February 27, 2014 at the Marriott, Southpoint in Jacksonville, FL

The Topics

An Update on the Enforcement Tactics of the Equal Employment Opportunity

New Developments with Wage and Hour Regulations

Understanding and Motivating the “New” Employees


For no charge you have the opportunity to ask human resources related questions of Bob McKenzie, President of McKenzieHR

To ASK Bob click here


Contact Information

4237 Salisbury Rd, Bld 1, Suite 112
Jacksonville, FL 32216

Phone: (904) 861-2903
Toll-Free: (888) 861-2903

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Will All the Perfect People Please Stand Up?

Edward Deming, one of the gurus of quality management, developed 14 points for quality.� Number 12 states, Remove barriers that hinder the hourly worker. Supervisor responsibility must be focused on quality, not numbers. Abolish annual or merit rating and MBO completely.”� Deming goes on to say that all employees should be rated, “Must Improve” because everyone must improve for the organization to advance. This is a great point.�� Continuous improvement is necessary in all organizational cultures.� One the other hand, most people need to know what is expected and where improvements need to be made.� In 99% of the cases, people will respond and deliver on their expectations.

To those of you who did an absolutely perfect job and did not make any mistakes over the past 12 months, please let us know how you did it.� If we all take an honest look at our work performance, there are many things we could have done better.� Therefore, Deming is right about how employees should be rated.� But, heaven forbid that any of your people ever be rated “Must Improve”.� In American business today, this rating means that the employee is about to become unemployed.

Rating people higher than they should be breeds mediocrity. A few years ago, a client showed me their performance appraisals.� Literally 95% of the employees had across the board ratings of “5” on a scale of 1 to 5.� My first reaction was that they must have the best employees in the world. Alas, it was not to be.� There were way too many issues with employees. With everyone being rated that they walk on water � I wonder why. So we changed the system.� This organization is now doing the same amount of work with fewer people and quality has improved.� WOW!! Performance management works.� The challenge is changing the mindset of the organization so a rating of “must improve” is not the kiss of death. This must come from the top.

Everybody Hates Performance Reviews

A recent study from researchers at Kansas State University, Eastern Kentucky University, and Texas A&M University, highlighted these findings recently in an article in The Washington Post -� The primary reason for such hatred of the process is performance appraisals highlight the negative and are de-motivational.� No one likes negative feedback.� Managers hate them too � primarily because they don’t like giving out negative information any more than the employee likes receiving it.�

Dwelling on the negative seems to be human nature.� So � since we hate performance appraisals, we avoid them like the plague.� Then when we finally get to them, it is no more than a five minute “check off the boxes and sign here” exercise.��

So instead of eliminating performance reviews altogether, why not just change things. Even if the employee is messing up royally, there is no need to have a negative discussion.� Discussions with the “royal slacker” should be a matter of fact.� “Here are the expectations and your performance does not meet those expectations.”� It’s that simple. OK � it may not be that simple to arrive at the expectations of all employees. The great thing though is once developed � they just need to be tweaked every now and then.

Please � It is Not Just a Form to Be Completed

The performance appraisal is the most powerful and often the most misused tool for improving the performance of employees. Instead of thinking of this as an event that happens once a year, think about how you will manage performance in the long term. Goals, objectives, employment and behavioral standards must be set at the beginning of the year and monitored on an ongoing basis.� Positive and corrective feedback must be given to employees on an on-going basis.� A formal review should be conducted annually � at an absolute minimum.� Then the cycle should start over again. It is also a good idea to have informal check-ups every three to six months. If your organizational culture is one of continuous improvement, then constructive feedback is actually welcomed.�

Many organizations that want to change their performance appraisal system start with designing a new form.� This is the wrong thing to do.� If the process is not changed, the form will do nothing to improve performance. Performance improvement must be in ingrained in the organizational culture.� And please stop calling disciplinary documents a “Performance Improvement Plan.” �Change the title of the document to “Employee Counseling” or “Notification of Substandard Performance” as improving performance should be an ongoing endeavor.�

One more thing.� Just because you are not giving raises does not mean the performance reviews stop.� There are other ways to reward outstanding performance when you are unable to give raises.� Gift certificates, additional training or development, or just saying “thank you” is motivational.� In fact, when times are toughest, it becomes even more important to document performance.

Another, and maybe a better idea, is to separate performance and merit increase discussions altogether. Grant merit increases a month or so after the performance review.�

“Keep Doing What You are Doing” � A Recipe for Complacency

Never be the boss who gives a performance review without any suggestions for development or ways to become more productive.� Saying, “Keep doing what you are doing,” is wrong.� If the employees do what they always did, their performance will stay as it always has been. There will be no progression.� What we did last year is not good enough this year.� The world is changing too fast to get stuck in the same complacent rut.�

It is a very ruthless world and as we have written many times in the past, “Your only competitive advantage is your people.”� If your people are not driven to succeed, you are cutting your own throat.�

Performance Appraisals do not have to be Painful

People need goals and standards. People also need feedback. Remember that no one is perfect and mistakes will occur.� Very, very few people screw up on purpose (this is called sabotage).� For a performance management system to be effective there must be a give and take discussion between the manager and the subordinate. The discussion must be open and honest stressing the strengths of the individual as well as areas for development. If the discussion does not go well, it is an indication that there is a lack of trust between the boss and the employee.�

A Client Testimonial on Performance Management

A couple of months ago, a client called and said, “Why didn’t you tell me how beneficial the performance appraisal was?”� Well, the truth be told, we did.� It just took him a little while to get it. Hours upon hours of conversation and teaching the client how to manage performance finally sunk in.� We are pleased to hear he is using the tools we provided.� He still has some work to do, but now understands the concept.�

Things are improving in the economy.� It is time to brush the dust off of your performance management system.� Let your employees see what you see. Share your vision. Help them help you become more successful and share those successes. You will be better for it.


The Required Disclaimer
The McKenzie Mailer is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Before implementing any action on this subject, contact an expert in the field.

Thank you for reading The McKenzie Mailer and never hesitate to contact us with questions.

Bob McKenzie, President
Winner of the 2012 Ultimate HR Executive by the Jacksonville Business Journal and the Man of Steel Award from Entrepreneurial Anchor Magazine.


Members of TeamMcKenzie
Bob McKenzie, Head HR Guy
Darlene Thomas Rivers –Vice-President of Client Services
Chuck Petruska – Senior Advisor
Peggie Leitereg – Senior Advisor
Adrienne Temple – Client Services Specialist


January 2014
We�re Baaaaack and More Focused
February 2013
Your Only Competitive Advantage - Your People
January 2013
Are We Managing Talent or Stifling It?
August 2012
I'm Going to Write You Up
June 2012
Ray�s Story � A Wage and Hour Saga
April 2012
Bob's Common Sense Theory On Leadership
February 2012
Don't be Complacent When it Comes to Compliance
January 2012
Optimism is Flowing
October 2011
UH OH!! Turnover is Starting to Rear Its Ugly Head Again.
May 2011
Small Business Week and Government Agencies are Being a Grinch
April 2011
I Want it All and I Want it Now!!
March 2011
Leadership Essentials
February 2011
Where's the Leadership Fad?
January 2011
Equal Employment Opportunity, Affirmative Action, Diversity. Where does it end???
December 2010
It is That Time of The Year
November 2010
The Department of Labor is on a Mission You have to be Careful Out There
September 2010
Following the Crowd is a Good Way to get Lost in it
August 2010
Customer Service Is Your Competitive Advantage
June 2010
Social Networking � Be Careful out There
April 2010
Is That a Light in The Tunnel?
January 2010
What's Your Theme Song?
December 2009
2009 Was Definitely a Murphy Year
August 2009
Swine Flu Preparations - Knowledge of Risk is the Best Course of Action
July 2009
Are Rising Healthcare Costs Making You Sick?
June 2009
Diversity � Who Cares?
May 2009
Why the Huge Increase in Discrimination Charges?
April 2009
EEOC Charges at a Record High
March 2009
Eaten Any Brains Lately??
February 2009
Just Trying to Keep Up with All of the Changes
January 2009
Compliance Update Handbooks Need Updating Too
December 2008
Employee Free Choice Act – Not a Free Choice at All
November 2008
The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act Clarified
October 2008
Effective Handbooks Save Time and Money
September 2008
Negating the Nattering Nabobs of Negativism
August 2008
What's Your People Plan
July 2008
Human Resources Strange But True People Stories
June 2008
HR Compliance Issues at the Forefront
May 2008
Performance Management Never Stops
April 2008
Don’t Make Tough Times Tougher
March 2008
What Ever Happened to the Personal Touch?
December 2007
It's That Time of Year Again
November 2007
HR Hot Topic #3 - Immigration
September 2007 -
HR Hot Topic #2 - Controlling the Cost of Medical Benefits
August 2007 -
HR Hot Topic #1 Recruitment and Retention
June 2007 -
Strategic Human Resources is Not an Oxymoron
May 2007 -
Is It Really a Hostile Work Environment?
April 2007 -
What happens after a new employee is hired?
March 2007 -
February 2007 -
January 2007 -
Discrimination & Harassment
December 2006 -
October 2006 -
The Why Label Generation Y?
September 2006 -
The World of Recruitment Has Changed
August 2006 -
Keep Your "A" Players
July 2006 -
Traits of a High Performance Workplace
June 2006 -
Is a Mediocre Employee Better Than No Employee?
May 2006 -
The Compliance Vultures are Circling – Are You Prepared?
April 2006 -
Is Administrivia Keeping HR from Getting a Seat at the Table?
March 2006 -
Agreeing to Disagree or Avoiding the Subject
February 2006 -
Happy Valentine's Day
January 2006 -
Be a Talent Magnet and a Talent Utilizer