Having a Pang for P.A.N.G.
PANG is not the name of a pregnant panda in Beijing. Itís an acronym for a central concept found in modern organizational design. I should know . . . I made it up! Itís a critical step in the mindshift from people management to environmental management. P.A.N.G. stands for ďPeople Are Naturally Good.Ē Weíll cover the Tao of PANG in a moment but first a warning. If you canít truly buy into P.A.N.G. and believe everyone is out for himself, then you canít possibly embrace these concepts with the conviction necessary to make them work.
In a nutshell, P.A.N.G. asserts that most people share a strong desire to come to work everyday on-time, to be productive, to be friendly and ready to work hard and contribute. No one wakes up and declares, ďIím really gonna be a selfish rat fink today at work. Iíll do nothing but make mistakes and get voted Company Jerk.Ē Most people are naturally good and so with few exceptions, your workers:
- Want to work hard and succeed
- Want to be liked and recognized
- Want to make coworkers happy
- Want to belong and feel approval
If you accept the premise that nearly all people have good intentions and no real desire to perform badly, then it makes sense that your attention go to the following areas: your assessment of open positions, recruiting practices, training and orientation process, supervision, evaluation and feedback practices, internal communications and so on. Do you see where this new form of thinking is taking you? Right back to your companyís environment, which you can effectively manage!
Great Hiring Has a Great Impact
The secret to managing people is in managing their selection. If you were a baker producing a cake, as a smart baker you might focus on pre-baking tasks. Managing the taste might center on choosing extraordinary ingredients. If viewed as a linear process, you can see that a perfect step reached early on has a greater impact on the outcome than a perfect step achieved at a later stage (i.e. perfect slicing canít fix much). Have you ever thought ďWhat was I thinking?Ē while signing a paycheck for a sharp-dressed idiot? Thereís late process perfection.
If a strong attempt at perfection is made early, it becomes elemental. With well-directed recruiting and interviewing, the chance of success increases while the need for later managing reduces. If you agree that managing your companyís environment is more feasible because most people are naturally good (P.A.N.G.) then you can now employ a different method which has just two simple rules:
The Two Rules of People Management
- Only hire remarkable, extraordinary people who have the traits you have identified as essential for successs at every open position.
- Only hire remarkable, extraordinary people who have the values you have identified as essential to thrive and attract even more remarkable and extraordinary people.
Rule No. 1 is the great search for essential traits, attributes or qualities of character that make the candidates who they are. You canít teach traits, but if someone has the right ones they will shine. Rule No. 2 dictates that you hire only those who share the essential values of your company. Like traits, values canít be taught but they can be emulated and still be genuine.
Building this kind of work force takes patience and an ability to search for things that others miss. Yes, remarkable and extraordinary people do fit your budget! Many small business owners believe they donít have the dollars or standing to attract high-quality candidates. Wrong! Remarkable people come in all different shapes, sizes, colors and ages. You can learn to ask amazing questions that locate these folks. Donít assume you know how much money they need ó compensation might be third on their list. You have more than just salary to offer. Very few employers take the time and spend money on things to develop a remarkable and extraordinary environment. If you believe in yourself and share that deep belief in a way that resonates with them they will be yours.
About the author:
Chris Traynor, SPHR, is the director for Whip-Smart Management Consulting, Wayne, N.J., and has 25 years of experience in the solid surface industry as a consultant to fabricators, distributors and manufacturers. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.