Benefits and Compensation

Four T’s for Dealing with That ‘Tough Nut to Crack’

With difficult, loud people, ask, Why is he or she so difficult? Maybe my thought is that this person is insecure, so I change my behavior, things change for the better, and the other person takes the credit.

But there’s the beginning of a relationship.

Four Ts of Crucial Connections

To work on difficult relationships, Schooling recommends the four Ts.

Targeted. Start with a targeted request, says Schooling. “I don’t know this and I want to know it.” It’s a simple request.

Tentative. You are connected, and now you want more. You are comfortable e-mailing, and a relationship is starting to build.

Transactional. You work well together to get the day-to-day work done.

Trusted. This is the hardest to achieve, but it is the most beneficial. You are a mentor, a partner. This is the kind of relationship we need, says Schooling.

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How Can We Move Toward Trusted?

Schooling offers several tips for developing relationships.

Attraction. Find something that you like about the other person. If the answer is, “not much,” find something. Does the person dress well, or maybe, or does he or she like dogs?

Shared interests. Maybe there’s something on which to start to build a relationship.

Work it out. You may have to agree to disagree on issues. Always listen and seek to understand. Work to change the dynamics.

Be proactive. Seek out opportunities to communicate, discuss, and strengthen the relationship.

Ask for input. One client was going to introduce a new psychometric evaluation tool for hiring. They got the managers together and asked about where this would be helpful and how it should be used. Just by virtue of asking, they got buy-in.

Involve others in decisions. Similarly, a client was going to introduce a new performance appraisal system. They were just going to announce it. No, says Schooling, involve the managers in the design.

Provide what they need. Yes, we can, not no, we can’t. Demonstrate value.

Get out. What’s happening in your world? Meet them where they are. For example, says Schooling, visit sales. “Hey, you guys did $95,000 yesterday. Congrats.” And sales response is going to be, “Wow, HR knows that.” Give praise when praise is due.

Building relationships across the organization—one of what, a dozen challenges on your desk? In comp and benefits, if it’s not one thing, it’s another. Like healthcare, FMLA intermittent leave, overtime hassles, ADA accommodation, and then on top of that, whatever the agencies and courts throw in your way.

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Each edition of the Employee Compensation in [Your State] service contains these key elements:

  • Recommended rate ranges localized for your state and region for hundreds of jobs, based on surveys and official data. You shouldn’t pay the same in Manhattan, Kansas, as you do on Manhattan Island in New York. This program makes sure you don’t.
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  • A full job descriptions program. Employee Compensation offers a complete tutorial for setting up a job descriptions program. Many ADA-compliant sample job descriptions are provided, ready to copy and use.
  • Free newsletter and updates. The Employee Compensation newsletter helps keep you on top of new state and federal compensation and benefits laws. Six updates throughout the year keep your book current with all new compensation laws.
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