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Mike Richman


The Management and Employee Development Review

Better leadership through psychology

Published: Monday, June 12, 2017 - 12:03

One of the real joys of publishing Quality Digest is the opportunity it affords me to personally interact with and learn from our authors and contributors. These subject matter experts are leaders in their respective fields, and never fail to provide actionable insight into how to achieve lasting improvement, both on an organizational as well as a personal basis.

Thus, when a Quality Digest contributor publishes a book (especially a first book), there’s always a sense that we’ve helped in some small way to promote messages of quality to a broad audience of readers. The most recent example is our good friend Kelly Graves, with whom we share not only a home base (Chico, CA) but also a devotion to the art and science of excellence.

The Management and Employee Development Review (Productivity Press, 2017), Graves’ first book, takes the approach that people are the building blocks of any great organization, and that an understanding of organizational psychology is the key to helping your people be their highest, best selves—in the workplace or anywhere else. With this as a point of reference, organizations are sure to develop long-lasting competitive advantages in whatever space or sector they choose to operate.

The Management and Employee Development Review is in book stores now.

Graves has a lengthy professional background as a trainer and consultant, and he’s helped dozens of companies large and small work through issues involving culture and personnel. From these experiences, he developed the system—the MED Review—that forms the core of the book. This is a breakthrough management process that encourages growth in employees and managers alike.

Most organizations have a strict hierarchy in which successive layers of managers command and control the operations of the enterprise, including the hiring, onboarding, and development of employees. This paradigm has its limits, particularly in personnel development, because the employee is usually given little input into the management of the job. That’s a shame, because that person is often the one who best knows the quickest and most efficient ways to drive improvement. The traditional top-down management and review structure simply does not encourage honest feedback from the employee to the manager, and that severely restricts the efficacy of the system.

The MED Review, however, throws this traditional system on its head. As opposed to the annual, one-direction (manager-to-employee) review system that most companies use, the MED Review is a regular conversation in which various approaches to improvement are considered and critiqued by the employee as well as the manager in tandem. Both parties have their say, and that usually yields creative insights that add far greater value than typical reviews. Of course, the manager ultimately makes the decisions, but the employee opinion carries much more influence and weight.

The result of the MED Review is far greater employee engagement. When workers know that they have been heard by their boss, and understand that their viewpoints on the job will be respected and their suggestions often adopted, they tend to provide more feedback and search more frequently for additional ways to improve. The MED Review helps develop the next generation of managers in organizations that use it. The company, its customers, and the employees themselves all benefit.

Kelly Graves has personally implemented the MED Review with his various clients, and this book is filled with examples of how it worked in several different settings. Psychology underpins each of these real-world situations, and Graves provides clear-eyed insight into these generally accepted theories as well as how they play out in motivating human reactions in business settings. It’s a rare book that can combine theory and practice in this way, and also prove useful for managers and employees alike, but The Management and Employee Development Review achieves that delicate balance.

Ultimately, many problems with employees are cultural in nature, and moving from traditional management reviews to the MED Review has multiple benefits. Chief among these are the ability to build camaraderie within your team, with the goal of creating better outcomes for external customers and other stakeholders. It’s a straightforward way to improve quality starting with your most important asset—your people.

Editor’s note: Kelly Graves will be our guest on Quality Digest Live on Friday, June 16, 2017, at 11 a.m. Pacific, 2 p.m. Eastern.


About The Author

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Mike Richman