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April 1st marked the start of the new quarter. The 2nd quarter.

Are you on pace to meet your goals for the year? If not, what needs to change?

George Bernard Shaw, one of the most influential playwrights in modern history said “Progress is impossible without change,”.

Change is uncomfortable. Whether it is in implementing new technology, new processes or new people, it is not always the easiest and most pleasant thing to do as a business leader. However, if you don’t move forward, you will be left behind by your competition.

Change is the key. To change anything, you must be able to adjust and adapt your business quickly to new paradigms and move your team forward. It is a common idiom that any team is only as strong as its weakest link. So, how do you make sure that you have no weak links? You find the best people to work along with you. 

Great leaders must have the ability to move forward and do an incredible difficult job of being “at the tip of the spear”. Business leaders no longer do one thing and do one thing well. You can’t do just marketing, sales, technology, or operations individually and be successful. You, and your team, must be like the creators and visionaries of the renaissance era- doing many different kinds of things and doing them well. 

The Renaissance Staffing Model 

One of my most motivating influences in business is Steve Jobs. Even though he is gone, his wisdom regarding creativity, innovation and treating your staff right still influences me and many other business leaders. He once said that ‘It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.’

Smart people may be specialists in a field of study, but, they also tend to learn more than one thing. Consider Leonardo da Vinci, the definition of a Renaissance man. A scientist, an architect, an artist, he not only studied in different fields, but he also excelled in them. 

In today’s competitive market, finding your Leonardo can be tricky, but once you have them, keep them! Here are 7 things  to look for when hiring someone incredible. Finding someone with these is the way to find your Da Vinci. 

 7 Key Qualities of Your Da Vinci

One of the most expensive parts of your organization is your employees. Between salaries and healthcare, 401K matches and vacations, staffing often costs companies more than any other expense. Just bringing in a new employee can cost thousands of dollars. But a Leonardo, your top talent, is not so easily replaced.  

A truly great employee enhances your business and allows you the time to focus your energy on doing more.  

  1. Goal Setter

Just like Leonardo, a goal setter employee will not stop until they have set and completed a task. These employees do more than just show up and collect a paycheck. They are the drivers of your business and allow you the time needed to grow your business, not just work at it. 

  1. Dependable

A dependable employee is not just one who arrives at work on time, they are the employee you KNOW will always get the job done.  The peace of mind this type of employee can bring, not to mention the time you save, is well worth spending a little more for a qualified candidate. 

  1. Positive Attitude

Positivity in the workplace can’t be overdone. This business optimism and work ethos leads to everyone being more productive, creative, and providing an overall better atmosphere in which to work.  

  1. Self-Motivated

You can save yourself (and your manager’s) time when you hire a competent employee who has drive and determination to complete work without being micromanaged. Having to direct someone on how to complete their jobs is one of the biggest time sucks I encounter. While everyone needs some direction, a great worker can take direction and go forth from there. 

  1. Team-Oriented

Although some job positions do not require a team effort, every position requires interactions with others. Collaborations may not always need to happen, but every employee’s effort is part of the business as a whole, which is a team effort.  

  1. Great Communicator

Clear emails, verbal and nonverbal clues, are all soft skills, but necessary in our fast-paced world.  If your employee can clearly communicate with others, they and your business will be better off for it. 

  1. Flexible

Adapting to new challenges is essential, and a flexible employee not only adapts but thrives. 

Bringing it all Together

You must find great people that enhance your business and help you to do certain roles so you can focus on doing so much more. A Renaissance man or woman, who is well educated with talent and knowledge in many different fields of study is exactly the ideal employee your business needs!  At HH Staffing, we have been in the staffing business for over 31 years. We know good employees and great ones. Contact us today so we can help you find your Leonardo.

Until Next Time,
Your Staffing Partner, Darrin Rohr- President, CEO and Chief Servant

Current owner of HH Staffing and Former Chief HR Officer for several successful Multinational Fortune 500 Companies. Brings fresh perspective from decades of experiences creating Great Workplace Cultures by building high performance teams while leading and managing people from all different backgrounds. HH Staffing is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida and is uniquely positioned to serve both local and national clients.

The post 7 Ways To Find Your Da Vinci appeared first on HH Staffing Services.

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Every spring, a curious malady spreads across the world. It is a condition called March Madness, and it afflicts millions. Since its invention in 1891, basketball has become one of the most popular sports in the world. “March Madness” was born in Illinois and grew from a small invitational affair in 1908 to a statewide institution with by the late 1930s. Originally a high school tournament, the popularity and timing of the event grew until it became a college level event.

Today,  we celebrate by filling in brackets, wearing face paint and spending extra time around the water cooler, recounting our favorite moments from the day before, or classics from the past.

A few moments I remember, that I couldn’t forget even if I wanted to, bring me back to a day gone by. Just a quick highlight of the Tyrus Edney from UCLA in 1995 when he had 4.8 seconds on the clock, his team trailing by one point, starts my heart pounding. His teammate, Ed O’Bannon, was pleading for the ball as Edney drove the length of the court, and scored, his attempt floating just above a defender’s outstretched arm.  No one remembers that UCLA sent six players from that team to the NBA. They remember Edney’s drive. (See it here)

In 1990, Duke’s Christian Laettner nailed a shot with 1.6 seconds to play, sending Duke to the Final Four. Plenty of time to catch an impeccably thrown 75-foot inbound pass from teammate Grant Hill. Everyone who ever picked up a basketball can identify with them from practice shots that count down the clock:  Three…..two……one (See the video here)

These moments, as exciting as they are, miss the big picture. Those last seconds as the clock comes bearing down on a game-winning season, glorious as they are, are made of players born from a union of planning, practice, and preparation. These moments are delivered by players, supported by their team, and taught by their coaches. People see the highlight reel, but don’t realize how much time and effort is put into making it work. This holds true in business as well. Years of preparation, developing and ideating on  infrastructure and goals, early morning and sleepless nights, and every day is a constant challenge. Whether the “victory” is determined by the scoreboard, a ticker symbol or your accountant’s Quickbook’s tally- the elements are the same. You need a good plan, a good coach and a good team.

3 Ways To Score A Victory: With A Good Plan, A Good Coach, & A Good Team A Good Plan

Research. Research. Research!!  All good planning involves research, and great planning involves more research. From watching footage of opponents game play to knowing how types of gym flooring effects a passing game, basketball involves more research than practice time (not really, but it should!) Before you started in your business, you probably started essentially the same way;  Analyzing your competition, discovering what market variables you will encounter, and creating a roadmap for your victory. In basketball, good planning will result in more points on the board. Are you starting to see why I love basketball so much? Its essentially parallel to everything I love about business.

A good game plan has the same basic principals of a good business plan. Take the estimated score (money) with planning, and then subtract the estimated score(money) without planning, and you have you determined your value.

Sadly, if you just drop your plan in a drawer and don’t use it, the plan isn’t a good plan. You have to bring your plan to the game with you, meaning regular review and course correction. If something doesn’t go right on the court ( like they are using a full-court press better than we thought, adjust the plan (or if you are Bobby Knight, throw a chair- but I don’t recommend that)

No business plan is good if it’s not implemented and not changeable. Planning isn’t about predicting the future and following your prediction no matter what. It takes a process of regular review and course correction. Planning is leadership and management.

A Good Coach

Who is the best coach in basketball? I couldn’t possibly name just one coach.  There are so many I admire, but even quantifying a good coach is difficult. Is the best coach one who wins more or maybe it is one who knows how to who maximize his situation better.  Is a systematic approach coach more successful than a coach who is constantly redefining his system?  How do you rank a coach’s ability to recruit the right team?

For me, a great coach, and for that matter, a great leader, must have a clear vision and have planned their pathway to get to their end goal. Also, staff may make hiring decisions, but the best coaches know how to play to an employees (I mean players) strengths, and fill-in their weakness with other players strengths. The best coach isn’t the one necessarily has the best basketball savvy, but rather the one who brings out the best in those under him or her.

Many great coaches have led their teams to the top of their divisions with determination, commitment, and integrity. But not all great coaches win championships. What great coaches have in common though is they develop their players into the best athlete that they can become, and their teams into cohesive units.

A Good Team

Every job has a person, and every person should have a job. You have to be able to identify the single person who will be responsible for every significant task and function within your vision and plan. A task that doesn’t have an owner isn’t likely implemented. Go through your business plan and look to see whether or not you can recognize a specific person responsible for implementation at every point.  Who is supposed to get the ball when the shot needs to be made?

A good team is more the just a collection of good players. History has shown us that teamwork has beaten talent. Each player should know their role and their responsibilities as an individual and as part of the team. In business, the team must understand and work towards a clear direction and a marked, achievable objective to aim for collectively. Teams are more productive, and willing to assist each other with harder goals when they can see exactly where their support fits into the big picture.

Each team member is unique and should be able to offer their own experiences and skillsets that others may not have. Diversity is key here. You don’t need five point guards on the court at one time, but a well balanced five players can move the ball quickly and defend agilely.

Bringing it all together now:

With a trusted and well-respected coach and leader, strong, well- rounded teams can win their own type of March Madness. Here too, it is about the process surrounding the plan, more than the just the plan itself. The plan has to have the specifics, but the management has to take them to the team and get buy-in from the team to have them commit.

Trust HH Staffing to help pull your award-winning team together, just in time for your bracket winning season.

Until Next Time,

Your Staffing Partner, Darrin Rohr-  President, CEO and Chief Servant

Current owner of HH Staffing and Former Chief HR Officer for several successful Multinational Fortune 500 Companies. Brings fresh perspective from decades of experiences creating Great Workplace Cultures by building high performance teams while leading and managing people from all different backgrounds. HH Staffing is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida and is uniquely positioned to serve both local and national clients.

The post Score a Business Victory During March Madness appeared first on HH Staffing Services.

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Spring Your Business Forward

You may remember the soothsayer’s warning to Julius Caesar to “Beware the ides of March,” but the term didn’t originate with Shakespeare. The Romans, knew the Ides of March, March 15th, as the deadline for settling debts. It wasn’t until 44 BC, at the assassination of Julius Caesar, which made the Ides of March a day to “Beware.”

Either way, it’s a great time to remind yourself to work on a little debt settling in your business. Use your ideas of March wisely and spring your business forward and beyond your competition.

3 Ways to March into Spring

Look at the time you are paying out. Do you spend more time on your business or in your business? Do you need to do a little housecleaning, or perhaps it’s time to wake up your team and inject some energy into your March Madness plans?
Business changes quickly, sometimes by the minute! I hear about business ventures that fail all the time because the company could not be agile enough to keep up with their competition. Keep your energy level up, and be positive. Lead your team to a win.

An Extra Hour

Although we don’t actually get an extra hour in the day, daylight savings makes many people feel like they have gained more time. Use that great positive feeling to your advantage. Now may be exactly the right time to take a step back and measure where you spent most of your time.

Is your time spent “in-the-business” or “on-the-business?” Mapping out your workflow processes can pinpoint what is slowing your company down and creating a less agile workplace. If the business activities focus is looking a little packed, take advantage of outsourcing or delegating more. Freeing up your time may help you more in the long run than managing small tasks others can do. I bet there are several time-saving activities you will discover.

Another big time waster we often overlook is bad clients. It’s great to have clients, but not all of them will have the same value to your business. Run an analysis, and see which are your companies best value, and include metrics on the time you spend on them, best lifetime value, heavy spenders, and most important, which are more expensive to maintain.

Know who’s being a time suck and might strengthen your business by leaving. Plan to clean out clients that hurt your company financially, even if it’s just the amount of time you spend on them. Last year, my first full year leading this company that I had bought, I had to ask my largest billing client to leave. We are a stronger company today than we were with that large client.

Spring Cleaning

Spring is the time to clear the air and re-organize more than just your home. It’s a great time to revamp your business and clear the cobwebs in your head. Instead of breaking out a duster, reevaluate what’s working and what’s not in your business.

When was the last time you went through and vetted your expenses? Look at your utilities, office and cell phones, shipping, and do some comparison shopping. Can you lower shipping costs by switching packaging types? What plans does a different phone carrier have that may be better than your current one? Sometimes switching to a different type of light bulb can make a dramatic difference on your utility bill.

This may sound over-simplified, but ask your employees what areas need improvement or could save the company some money. Those on the front line are more likely to see things that might become tripping points.

Over the winter, your subscriber list probably grew. Nurture those leads like new growth. Draw them into your social networks, extend customer loyalty programs, whatever it takes to convert those new leads into long term loyal clients. Don’t let them be lulled to sleep with boring campaigns that will have them regret joining your subscriber list. Plus, take a look at your customer list and see how accurate the contact information is. Are the email addresses still good? What about the mailing addresses? If you haven’t heard from them in a while, it might be time to catch up with them with a personal visit or call.

March Madness

A big reason sports brands are so successful is they have built a relationship with each and every one of their consumers (fans). Being a sports fan transcends the consumer’s job, family and social status. This is the kind of brand involvement some product brands can only dream about.

March Madness is one of the biggest and most exciting events of the sports. The first tournament was in 1939, and it has been held every year since. This NCAA Division I tournament is a single-elimination tournament of 68 teams, all competing for the national championship.

The loss of productivity in the opening week of March Madness could cost employers nearly $4 billion in lost revenue in 2017, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. However, they recommend employers embrace the tournament.

“Efforts to suppress the ‘madness’ would most likely result in long-term damage to employee morale, loyalty, and engagement that would far outweigh any short-term benefit to productivity.”

This is the kind of fanaticism you and your company should embrace! Harness the March Madness energy, and use your company’s productivity as an outlet for your team. Imagine your team slam dunking a job well done with the energy they root for their favorite team. What if their brackets contained client lists and sales projections? Jerseys and team colors for different areas, with goal setting that ended in your own in office tournament. I’m sure you get the picture, and even if this type of environment isn’t a good fit for you, the energy and excitement level is.

Bringing it all together now:

Spring cleaning your business doesn’t have to involve changing everything or scrapping all previous ideas and replacing them with new exciting initiatives. Small changes that will ultimately make the biggest difference in your bottom line. Start by getting your team together with some positive energy, and identify processes you can optimize which will save time in productivity and decrease costs for the coming year.

Pick a few things that might make the biggest difference to your business. And remember, if you don’t get it all done for spring, keep going. It’s never too late to improve your company.

Until Next Time,

Your Staffing Partner, Darrin Rohr-  President, CEO and Chief Servant

Current owner of HH Staffing and Former Chief HR Officer for several successful Multinational Fortune 500 Companies. Brings fresh perspective from decades of experiences creating Great Workplace Cultures by building high performance teams while leading and managing people from all different backgrounds. HH Staffing is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida and is uniquely positioned to serve both local and national clients.

The post 3 Ways To March Into Spring appeared first on HH Staffing Services.

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3 Leaders From The Past We Can Still Learn From

On Monday, Feb 18th our country celebrated President’s Day.  I started thinking about the truly great leaders we have had that lead us to the inspiring republic we have now. From our visionary first president, George Washington, to our most empathetic, Lincoln, and our most positive, FDR, each displayed vision and have stood the test of time as the epitome of a good leader. (I also consider Reagan, Teddy Roosevelt and JFK among other great leaders of our nation’s history) This made me think about leadership and I came to a realization- true leadership is timeless and universal.

Great leaders are present in humanity’s oldest stories, from Homer’s Iliad to The Bible, and in contemporary stories like Malala and The Hunt for Red October. Stories inspire us that feature leaders with a keen ability to command others, who are brave and selfless, and who have natural composure under fire, heavy conflict or adversity all while leading other people. What makes a leader? What are the qualities a leader should possess? There is no single answer that is correct. There are different types of leaders and leadership (or management) styles.However, a common theme for strong leaders is that they lead from the front, make hard decisions, and above all, do what they believe in. Today, Friday Feb 22nd is George Washington’s birthday. (DYK- In 1752, The British Empire switched from the Julian to Gregorian calendar? That is why there is some discrepancy in dates you may see) In honor of Washington’s birthday, here are three examples of leaders from America’s early past that we can still learn leadership lessons from that are applicable in today’s day and age.

George Washington, Ethical Entrepreneur

Leaders (I dislike the word boss) who want to nurture and develop new ideas while maintaining a consistent code of ethics should take a long look at how George Washington handled himself. Washington was more than just our first president or an inspiring commander. His leadership, his vision, and courage set the United States on the path to greatness. He was a visionary leader, honest and ethical, making him a role model for leaders everywhere.

If you have some time to read up on him, investigate some of the innovations he pioneered. He didn’t just lead a country, he was also an entrepreneur. Initially, he grew tobacco, but when he realized it was not sustainable, he switched to grains as his cash crop. His vision led him to a very successful farming business, one that led to his contemporaries considering him to be one of the most influential persons of his day, all before his presidency.

Those who embody strong leadership qualities stay focused on the end goal and mission. Organized and thoughtful, they remain flexible enough to handle unexpected challenges. A leader thinks out each strategy and understands how each of his or her actions will affect the rest of any given scenario. Having a clear purpose allows you to not only achieve your goals but will help you to lead teams of people to succeed as well.

Abraham Lincoln, Empathetic Facilitator

Abraham Lincoln is considered by many as the greatest president in the history of the United States. Great leaders in the mold of Lincoln listen to intelligent, even opposing perspectives, and are confident enough to lead in and stay true to their belief in difficult times. Lincoln was the leader during one of the most difficult and divided times in American history. Talk about leadership.

His brilliant leadership took him from obscurity to the presidency. Then he invited his greatest political rivals to join his cabinet in prominent roles. He possessed the ability of empathy and could understand others motives and desires. This empathy, combined with his extraordinary ability to communicate, brought his opponents together and marshaled their talents to the task of preserving the Union and winning the war. 

Although having opponents in his cabinet caused Lincoln difficulty, by taking their advice into consideration, he ultimately won their respect and overcame the greatest obstacles ever faced by an American president.

The strongest leaders treat others honestly and lead by example in their work and attitude.They lead with character. Whether you’re trying to lead your business or your family, the truth is that each person you interact with looks at your values and ethics. Trust is a factor in every kind of relationship. Your employees should trust that you will lead them well. Make sure each member of your team knows what your core expectations are and show them how much you value character through setting a valuable example by your interactions with others.

Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR), Political Positivity

In his first inaugural address, Franklin D. Roosevelt said the “only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” inspiring a nation still reeling from the Great Depression.

Although not the first president to be on the radio, FDR was the first to use his communication skills to inspire Americans through the Depression and World War II through his fireside chat. He projected a calm, can-do attitude, that helped Americans stayed focused and positive through the war and the great depression.Additionally, FDR had a brilliant sense of timing. He understood when to invoke the prestige of the presidency and when to hold it in reserve. Nothing was more important to Roosevelt’s success than his belief in himself, his belief in his mission and purpose, and his confidence in the American people.

What is more, he had a remarkable capacity to transmit his cheerful strength to others, to make them believe that if they pulled together, everything would turn out all right. Bosses who inspire with their own indomitable spirits and ability to get diverse groups on the same team can compare to FDR.
It has been in my experience, that when you treat people well, empower them and believe they are capable of great things, they will often do their best to prove you right. A phrase that I have used often over the last two decades in meetings and talks with teams I have led is that “Together, we win.”

Bringing it all together, there are many types of leaders. Know that leadership is a skill and that like any skill, it can be improved and developed. Understand your strengths and weaknesses and constantly seek self-improvement. Lead from the front and empower those around you. One of my favorite leadership quotes is from Tom Peters, a business management expert and the author of In Search of Excellence.

“Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders. Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing.”

If you want to go down in your company’s history as one of its greatest leaders, I leave you with this.

Be the kind of leader you wish you had when you weren’t the person in charge.

Until Next Time,

Your Staffing Partner, Darrin Rohr-  President, CEO and Chief Servant

Current owner of HH Staffing and Former Chief HR Officer for several successful Multinational Fortune 500 Companies. Brings fresh perspective from decades of experiences creating Great Workplace Cultures by building high performance teams while leading and managing people from all different backgrounds. HH Staffing is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida and is uniquely positioned to serve both local and national clients.

The post 3 Leaders From The Past We Can Still Learn From appeared first on HH Staffing Services.

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Mental Recession

I was reminded of a phrase the other day that I had not heard since 2008, the term was “Mental Recession”. Not long after hearing that phrase back in 2008, the real recession started with the massive layoffs, credit and housing issues, and oil prices hit record highs so it was generally not a very good time for businesses. Since I could not find any formal definition for the phrase mental recession anywhere on the internet (sorry Google, you just got stumped!). I guess I am free to define this phrase any way that I wish to define it and so are you free to define this phrase. I’ll define what this phrase means to me at the end of this blog.

At this moment in time, it’s hard to feel super upbeat about our economy with the US-China trade talks in motion, a second partial government shutdown very much still a possibility and constant  legislative differences on the importance of immigration controls to protect our southern borders. Probably the biggest unknown not spoken about that would arguably put all of the above items collectively to shame, is the 21 trillion dollar US National debt that could cripple our economy if not handled with caution and extreme care once those debt reduction efforts commence which will have to happen at some point in time. This is such a looming issue that Howard Schultz (Chairman of the Board for Starbucks) has decided to run for president in 2020 (as an independent candidate I might add) and has made the reduction of the national debt one of his many platforms for change.

Mental Recession, yeah, I still don’t exactly know what it means but that phrase doesn’t bring me warm and fuzzy feelings. I do think all business owners/leaders/CEO’s could benefit their businesses by thinking about ways to futureproof their businesses today for an uncertain set of economic challenges that appear to be looming down the road.  There is a Chinese proverb “For every hundred men hacking away at the branches of a diseased tree, only one will stop to inspect the roots.”   If you aren’t taking the time to inspect your roots, your business could be at risk.

Futureproofing your company has never been more needed or necessary and my experiences have shown that there are three specific areas that can have a significant positive impact to each and every organization, company and global enterprise.  

 3 Ways to Futureproof Your Business for success in 2019 and beyond:
  1. Review all costs in your business including your people costs

Most of us understand the hard costs that goes with a business. Technology, vendor services, office space, etc. Businesses should review all of these costs and make sure that they are getting what they pay for. For most companies, with the exception of capital intensive companies in industries such as mining, downstream oil and gas etc, people costs are the single largest investments that companies make. Something that is much more difficult, but perhaps even more necessary is evaluating your people cost.

Does the expectations of the agreement of what you are paying your employees match to what your employees are actually delivering? If so, great for you and keep doing what you are doing but if not, then decisions need to be made about how to deal with those disparities. Staffing agencies offer a great opportunity to help companies to deal with their people costs as well as to provide flexibility in their workforce planning efforts by helping to manage a blended workforce of part time employees, temporary employees and full time employees. This workforce flexibility allows organizations and companies to have maximum flexibility to navigate uncertain economic times which helps by the way, to reduce mental recessive concerns. (Just made up another phrase, “mental recessive concerns”, feel free to use it).

  1. Evaluate your business plan

 One month in 2019 is down, how did your business perform? Up or down to your business plan? We are now deeply into earnings season and most companies that have reported thus far are beating the analysts’ earnings estimates for their companies which is fantastic and the stock market is up year-to-date. Then why is the consumer confidence index down month over month? I believe that mental recession has to do with some of this. If your business is up, share that goodness with your employees and thank them for their contributions for Q4 of last year as well as for all of last year and if you out performed your business plan in January than thank your employees for a great start to 2019. All this thankfulness will help your employees rebuff their own mental recessive tendencies which  may even help them to be happier at work which quite possibly may even help your employees to treat your customer’s with that same level thankfulness which could help to continue the success that you are having in 2019.

If you missed your Q4 earnings estimates, missed your full year results or started off 2019 behind your business plan, then please review the first item above because you are going to need to review all of your operating costs right now to futureproof the rest of 2019.

  1. Protect Against Loss Of Business By Not Hiring Right or Having The Right People In Place

A bad hire can not only hurt your bottom line, but they can also lead to lowered employee morale from your top employees. The rest of the team has to pick up the slack from unproductive or ineffective workers, which can cause your valued employees to become dissatisfied, disengaged, or worse.  

There’s a difference between a poor performer and a toxic employee. A toxic employee not only causes harm but they also spread their behavior to others with their negative energy.  It is not just a negative attitude, it’s an attitude that the whole team suffers and can potentially catch.  Once they’re on your team, steps need to be taken to resolve that situation.

Set a meeting with your toxic, or suspected toxic employee, and objectively explain their behavior and its effects, using specific, concrete examples. Discuss what kind of behavior you’d like to see and develop an improvement plan with the employee. Set clear goals and establish a specific metric for a positive change in behavior. Employees tend to respond more strongly to potential losses than potential gains, so it’s important to show a toxic employee what they stand to lose if they don’t improve.

Many times, a poor performing employee can be coached up to a higher level of performance so do start with coaching to perform as that is the right first approach to take with both a toxic and poor performing employee and always assume positive intent, that being, that every single person wants to do a good job and it is up to leaders to help their employees to perform the job that deep down inside, they really want to perform.

Bringing it all together now

Mental recession, which I will now define as generally having a simple case of “The Blues”, a little sadness that only a positive attitude can cure. No meds required and no alcohol desired, just a good old fashion positive attitude. A positive attitude can cure so many things in life including lackluster business performance. The simplest way to create a positive attitude in your life, in your business, in your marriage, in your relationships, can be summed up in one word: Gratitude.

Much has been written of late about the positive effects of finding gratitude in our lives and not so much from the perspective of actually finding things/stuff/situations/people to be grateful for, but rather the ‘process’ one goes thru to find gratefulness in their life can generate loads of happiness and positive energy. So surround yourself with positive people, find gratefulness in your life, and change the everyday language that we use to the language of positive words, because I believe when we find happiness by being a positive force in this world, then phrases like mental recession will have very little to no effect on you or your business in 2019. I am super grateful to all of you and very thankful that you took the time to read this blog.

Until Next Time,

Your Staffing Partner, Darrin Rohr-  President, CEO and Chief Servant

Current owner of HH Staffing and Former Chief HR Officer for several successful Multinational Fortune 500 Companies. Brings fresh perspective from decades of experiences creating Great Workplace Cultures by building high performance teams while leading and managing people from all different backgrounds. HH Staffing is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida and is uniquely positioned to serve both local and national clients.

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“Tri” Harder in 2019 for Business and Personal Success

One of the ways that I stay fit these days is to participate in triathlons. Well, ok, truth be told, I have been doing triathlons for the last 30 years, raced professionally all around the world back in my youthful years and competed in the Hawaiian Ironman in Kona 3 times so maybe I am a little bit more than just a recreational triathlon competitor. I often get asked many questions about fitness. How do I get in shape? What is the best diet?  I often tell them this quote by Monej Jones “Your diet is not only what you eat. It is what you watch, what you listen to, what you read, and the people you hang with. Be mindful of the things you put into your body physically, emotionally and spiritually”. Point is, healthy habits are not just physical. There are many more habits to be mindful of to reach your peak performance in sport, in business and in life.
I do not need to compete because at 53 years old, I am well past my peak performance level. However, competition is a natural way for me to keep focused by setting a goal and achieving it. It’s a well-known fact that physical activity helps to maintain optimal health, but other benefits from physical activity can also help you and your business succeed.

3 things that will help you to have an incredibly successful 2019:
Commit to the routine AND execute your plan:

When I think of some of the most memorable moments in my life, the moments I am most proud of (outside of my family memories I might add) committing to the daily routine of training and then competing, immediately comes to the surface. I committed to a goal, and I didn’t hold back.  In order to truly make unprecedented progress, in any area of your professional or personal life, you must make the decision at a core level to hold nothing back. You must make a commitment at a fundamental level to do anything to achieve your goal.  Define your goal, your destination. See the pathways that will take you there, and commit to letting nothing stand in your way.

In fitness, business and life you must have a regimen- daily habits that become your lifestyle. Make so many phone calls per day, wake up at a certain time, send emails, plan your day, whatever that “thing” is that supports the goal. Here is something that rings true for almost everyone and in my opinion a differentiator in those who succeed and those who don’t. Are you including the incredibly hard, boring things that you dislike into your routine? This is the crucial step many people miss. Grit and stick to it-ness even when you are tired, busy and unmotivated to do those things that you really don’t’ like doing is what separates good from great.

Adaptability

We live in unprecedented times. Politically, technically, economically, socially. Changes on these fronts WILL change your business. So, you must adapt. You must be flexible. Work your plan, but also understand that plans are constantly refined and tweaked to address changes. Whether that is macro or micro, you must have a pulse on what is going on in your business and the world to understand how to properly react to outside influences. There are plenty of companies that no longer exist because they could not adapt. Remember Blockbuster? K-Mart? Compaq? Woolworth’s? Neither do I. They didn’t adapt. Sears appears to be the next big non-adapter to meet their fate.

Enjoy the Ride

Don’t become so busy making a living, you lose track on making a life. Live in the moment. Know what the greatest day in history is? Today! Make the most of it. Balancing work and life is difficult, but it is necessary. Try to create positivity and realize that your efforts are improving the world. Foster deep and meaningful relationships both professional and personal. What is the point of working so hard if you aren’t going to enjoy it?

I tell my sons (and anyone who will listen) that these are my four life precepts.

  1. Have faith and believe in yourself– This means understanding your weaknesses and knowing your strengths. Knowing that you offer something amazing and unique and that you can do anything that you set your mind to doing. I still believe this today, even at my age.
  1. You need to work your tail off – Hard work manifests talent. There are many talented people out there. To rise above, you must outwork them. This doesn’t necessarily mean do nothing but work, but understand that nothing worth having comes easy. Everything good is on the other side of effort. There’s an old sport saying that I remember my college football coaches telling our team often and it went like this, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”. They were right as we were not that talented of a football team but man did we win lot of games.
  1. Bet on yourself/take the risk. Once you believe in yourself and you commit to working your ass off, then go ahead and bet on yourself to achieve great things. Take smart risks and invest in yourself. Set lofty goals and attain those goals. Point is, if you believe in yourself and you have worked hard by putting that extra effort into whatever it is that you are going to do, you actually increase your odds of success when you place that bet on yourself, a new job, a new career or even a new relationship. These sequential precepts, #1 and #2 come before #3 but #4 below is the most important precept of them all.
  1. Have some fun!

Fun is good for the soul. As mentioned above in enjoying the ride, life is too short to not appreciate the day. (I know some days make it harder than others to appreciate them). Also, not that you should do it for the outcome of business, however fun also leads to building new relationships that can move your business forward. I have met mentors, vendors, and people in my community who became clients when I was having fun- riding bikes, running, whatever it is you think is fun. However, don’t just relegate it to “off-time”. Work should be a good fun atmosphere as well. You should enjoy what you do and make sure that you have an environment where there is a balance that your people feel the appropriate level of respect, support, encouragement and rewards.

Bringing it all together now, here is an open invitation to anybody who wishes to come along with me on this great 2019 journey. (Tri) along with me in 2019 to increase your business and personal success. I primarily work out of our headquarters in Sarasota, but I often travel between our other offices in Orlando, Tampa and Fort Lauderdale and would love to run, swim, or bike with you when I am in town.
Connect with me via email, LinkedIn, or call our office as I would love to help you however I can and give you some fitness, triathlon or business advice or schedule a time to work out with you.  I’m motivated to help you be motivated.  I want you to not only succeed professionally but personally as well. If you have never tried a running routine, or it has been a while since you have had one, set a goal of completing a 5k to start.   Nike has a downloadable training program here  https://www.nike.com/us/en_us/c/running/nike-run-club/training-plans/5k, but there is also a great app you can put on your phone called Couch to 5k http://www.c25kfree.com   I have several friends who started using this app as part of their New Year Resolution, and they are very happy with it. If running isn’t your speed, or you would like to work on your Triathlon training, consider starting an open swim training program.  My SwimPro app is easy to work with and takes about 12 weeks with a goal to race in a 1500 meter open swim.  https://myswimpro.com/blog/2017/10/22/12-week-open-water-swim-training-plan/
In summary, you’ve got to have a little faith, a little fun, and a little belief in yourself to be successful in life. Fitness is an important part of living a great life and the work you put in will make you a healthier person, a better worker, and a more successful overall person.

Have a fantastic 2019 and Tri along with me.

Until Next Time,

Your Staffing Partner, Darrin Rohr-  President, CEO and Chief Servant

Current owner of HH Staffing and Former Chief HR Officer for several successful Multinational Fortune 500 Companies. Brings fresh perspective from decades of experiences creating Great Workplace Cultures by building high performance teams while leading and managing people from all different backgrounds. HH Staffing is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida and is uniquely positioned to serve both local and national clients.

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3 Ways to Prepare For Success in 2019

The holidays are here, and like so many others this time of year, I am trying to make the perfect holiday experience for family and friends, especially with this being our first holiday in Florida. (It takes a little getting used to wearing flip-flop sandals and shorts in mid-December!). Our sons will be home from college, other family and friends are coming and my wife already has this extravagant party planned. I have many tasks around the house prior to and during (and of course the cleaning afterwards) to help her with. Even with all her experience in throwing amazing parties there are still details to plan and tasks to execute.

Your business planning operates in much the same way.  Strategic planning is like arranging a party. Your company vision, where you want to end up and what you need to do to be successful in the New Year has to be considered. In order to be successful, you need to take care of your P.E.T.

PET is an acronym I made up that means, Planning, Execution and Teamwork.

With the holidays here and a slight decrease in the hectic pace, now is the best time to take stock of the past 12 months, gauge your successes and challenges and begin your checklist for 2019. It’s time to assess what’s worked in your business this year and make plans to be even more successful next year.

The end of the year is the perfect time for a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis, followed by a strategic planning session. A SWOT provides a logical framework for understanding how your business runs. It tells you what you’re doing right (and wrong) and predicts what outside forces could impact your financial viability in a positive (or negative) manner. This allows you to determine where your business is in comparison to the SWOT from the previous year (you did that, right?) and utilize it to complete your yearly strategic plan.

One of my friends was a highly decorated Marine sniper. At the peak of his career, he was tasked with training and working with the CIA and other paramilitary operators that would be conducting a joint operation with his Marine team. He told me that they would spend hours over a literal sandbox planning every single detail and every possible contingency. They built a mockup of a town and planned and practiced for weeks until the event and although the mission didn’t go completely by their plan, it was successful.

Although we all know that business is not a life and death matter, for those of us in leadership positions, it sure can feel like it, huh? Planning is crucial to the success of any mission. Shooting a bad guy, opening a new branch, increasing profit, reducing turnover, hiring the right people…any mission.

What makes a SWOT analysis so powerful is that, with just a little effort, it can help you uncover opportunities your business is poised to exploit. The great Jack Welch, former Chairman of the Board and CEO for GE back when GE was a successfully run enterprise, once said, “Buy or bury the competition.” To do that, you must have an understanding of the weaknesses of your business, so you can mitigate or eliminate threats that you might otherwise not be aware of.

When working within a realistically completed SWOT, you will have identified a set of items that you can create actionable items from. Following this analysis with a planning strategy session will help define those roles, and set clear goals and expectations. My sniper friend Rob would say, being the best shot in the world doesn’t matter if you don’t know where you are aiming. BTW, did you know that the longest successful shot made on a target by a sniper is 3,871 meters? That’s about 2.19 miles! That takes a lot of planning, sandboxing, aiming, “what if’ing and what not’ing” to make a shot like that!

SMART is an acronym for a goal creation checklist that is often used in both business and academia. Anything pushed down from higher can be put through this exercise so you can also give feedback back up the chain if the goals are not ultimately your decision.

In an article for The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Robert Rubin stated that SMART has come to mean different things to different people, as shown below. (Read the article here SIOP )

To make sure your goals are clear and reachable, each one should be:

Specific (simple, sensible, significant).

Measurable (meaningful, motivating).

Achievable (agreed, attainable).

Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).

Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).

Professor Rubin also notes that the definition of the SMART acronym may need updating to reflect the importance of efficacy and feedback. There are experts that have expanded it to include extra focus areas; SMARTER, for example, includes Evaluated and Reviewed.

You have now set your business up to win with a solid strategy metrics for the next year. Now with some prioritizing, you are ready to execute your findings into growing your business.

Start. Middle. Finish. These are the basics to any plan, however we all know people in business and in life that have big ideas and never get the idea off the ground. Those are interesting people to chat with at holiday parties but the conversations goes nowhere. Or there are people who enjoy the energy and “high” from starting something but when the dreariness of the middle of execution comes in and the goal is too far reaching, they start something new before ending the last task, an endless cycle that means that nothing huge and arduous really ever gets completed. I have seen business owners take the time to put together a great business plan and strategy, but they are just checking a box and just don’t follow through with it.

In order to execute flawlessly against your business goals, please go that last very important step in the execution phase and make sure to brief the entire team before commencing the newly created business plan. The entire team needs to be on the same page and it’s up to owners and leaders to get them on that page. And speaking of team, or more important to your success, teamwork, that’s the last step in having a successful 2019.

Teamwork. While year-end HR processes are in full throttle, smart leaders take time to recognize their people and plant the seeds of success for next year. One of the best ways to improve business execution is to increase employee performance levels.

Successful employees and successful teamwork start with engagement. By engaging with your team, and bringing them in on your strategy session, you are creating effective teams. Effective teams have several characteristics in common, like clear directions, expectations, and goals. They also share their successes and their failures.

When you hold a strategy session, or SWOT analysis, and involve your employees in the process, you are showing them you value their opinions and believe their engagement in the process is what makes your business successful. The session nurtures teamwork and collaboration because it brings the entire company together to focus and reconnect on what they’re all working toward together. Every player on your team will have a different insight into your yearly planning session, but frankly, what is more important is having their buy-in to your company strategy.

For example, every player on a football team knows their job is different than their teammates’ job, but each player needs to visualize and buy into their role to help the team win. An open strategy session gives your employees a chance to connect their jobs to the big win; it helps employees feel like part of a team. It all comes back to focusing on similarities instead of differences, inclusive and diverse workplace cultures, with strong leadership, clear cut goals and a “we win together” attitude is ALWAYS the best approach. I often sign off my emails and correspondences by saying, “Together We Win” and I do this because “Individually We Lose”. Think about that comment for a moment, is this an accurate statement or inaccurate statement? I have yet to meet any one person here on earth who is stronger, faster, better, more successful than an entire team can be. Think about that statement just one last time now. Teamwork wins the year for you and your team.

In Closing.

Keep in mind a strategy is there to help you to sharpen your focus. Don’t just create a plan. Execute the plan utilizing your team’s strengths. Study the metrics from your team’s execution of the actionable items you gave them.

Use these three strategies to realign your future year planning. With a little planning, proper execution, and solid teamwork, your company can stay the course for continued growth, profit and success in 2019.

Together We Win!

Your Staffing Partner, Darrin Rohr- President, CEO and Chief Servant

Current owner of HH Staffing and Former Chief HR Officer for several successful Multinational Fortune 500 Companies. Brings fresh perspective from decades of experiences creating Great Workplace Cultures by building high performance teams while leading and managing people from all different backgrounds. HH Staffing is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida and is uniquely positioned to serve both local and national clients.

 

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Caprice Crane, one of the hottest modern writers, said “Dating is like pushing your tray along in a cafeteria. Nothing looks good, but you know you have to pick something by the time you reach the cashier.”

Recruiting is a lot like dating. You have goals and ideas about the kind of person you want on your team. In a call or relatively quick meeting, over a conversation, you must decide whether you want this person to be involved in your work life. And just like dating, there are some people that you look back on and think- well that didn’t turn out like I would have hoped that it would. It is an incredibly strong economy right now and it can seem like all the good candidates are taken. However, this is not correct. There are still plenty of great people that are looking for work. So how do you make sure that you are getting the best person for the job?

I will tell you but let me qualify this answer first.

This power shift to the workforce has happened before. Although we have a 40 -year low unemployment rate (and predictions on it going lower), the economy was gangbusters as well during what is coined as the Dot Com boom era of the late 1990’s and early 2000. This was when the Internet really started being adopted by society. The soaring prices of Internet start-ups encouraged investors to pour more money into any company with a “.com” or an “e-something” in its business plan. During this time, I was leading the Talent Acquisition (TA) Team for Charles Schwab in San Francisco. Everyone wanted in on this idea of becoming an overnight millionaire and many people eschewed the idea of working for a “traditional workplace”. So, my TA Team and I had to shift our mindset and tactics. We were one of the few fortune 500 companies that continued to have strong employment and retention during this time.

We were winning the hiring game at Charles Schwab by having an incredibly strong and unique sourcing strategy.  We had a High School recruitment program called School-to-Careers that provided high school internships, a Direct Hire program called WINGS for newly graduated undergraduates, an MBA Program called MAPS for newly graduated MBA’s and an Alumni Program simply called Schwab Alumni Network (SAN) for former “Schwabbies” who were “gainfully” retired but wanted to work part time to have something to do. All of these programs augmented our daily recruiting activities that we used to hire experienced hires and executives. It was one hell of a recruiting machine because we needed this type of recruiting machine to keep up with the demand, just like every business owner and Fortune 500 company needs their own version of a recruiting machine to keep up the demands in today’s employment market place.

The following 3 Must Have’s were needed back in the Dot Com days to win the recruiting game and are certainly every bit as important today.

Here are the 3 Must Have’s to win the hiring game in today’s labor market:

  1. Investment in Technology and Business Relationships: At Charles Schwab we invested heavily in recruitment technology and we had the very best Applicant Tracking System (ATS) at that time (i.e., Icarian) and the smartest people in the HR Function to run this technology. Today’s recruitment technology has evolved well beyond the server based technology of days gone by but you still have to have the best technology and your smartest people running this technology. The small business owners of today also need to use the best available recruitment technology (i.e., job boards, social media recruiting, etc.) to hire the best candidates in the marketplace. Small business owners also need to go one step further than just invest in technology but they absolutely need to invest in great relationships with the right recruitment partners (i.e., Staffing Agencies) who understand and are truly committed to each client’s success. What makes any partnership successful? Going back to the dating analogy- listening, mutual goals, respect, chemistry. Find a staffing partner that understands your business, your challenges, your environment and frankly, someone you like and trust. Here at HH Staffing, I have different levels of relationships with my business resources. Some of them are vendors- transactional and necessary and some are partners- people I work with who are truly vested in my success and that I trust their counsel and expertise. You want a staffing partner, not a staffing vendor. 
  1. Contemporary Sourcing and Hiring Strategies: I mentioned above the sourcing strategies that we used at Charles Schwab to hire the best talent. What’s your sourcing strategies? Do you have one (many)? Is it working? Do your staffing partners understand your sourcing strategies enough to augment or even add value to your current sourcing strategies or are they doing the same thing that you are doing but just more of it? In today’s marketplace, I cannot advocate strongly enough that companies Rent to Buy as a hiring strategy (i.e., Temporary to Permanent Placement) where possible. If your company has an incredibly strong value proposition, many candidates will take a career risk with your company and take a temp to perm assignment. If you can’t get candidates to come on in a temporary capacity for a period of time, or even a probationary period, then I would take a hard look at your hiring practices and be prepared to quickly take bold action on hiring mistakes because it’s going to happen no matter how diligent your screening processes are. Great performing companies like Netflix will actually pay underperforming employees to leave their company and Netflix makes that decision quickly, they don’t carry under performers very long. Get your sourcing and hiring strategies freshen up is the point here or your positions will continue to go unfilled, you’ll burn your current staff out and then be worst off from a workforce productivity standpoint then if you just update your sourcing and hiring strategies. Be Bold!
  1. Love ‘em or Leave ‘em: We work in a “Glass House” these days. Thank (or not) Glassdoor for this phenomenon and I for one, am very thankful that Glassdoor has become what is today. Back in 2008 when I first heard of this social site coming online I just didn’t think that their value proposition was going to be relevant enough to be adopted by the modern day workplace. Well, that 3 million dollar funding that its founders received in 2006 turned into a 1.2 billion dollar all cash sale to Recruit Holdings in June of this year. Their relevancy can no longer be questioned and so working in this glasshouse environment today requires all companies, big and small, to actively manage their employment brand. If you have hired great employees, then congratulations! Love them dearly and encourage them to tell their friends, family and their entire network about what a great workplace environment that you have provided for them. If you got it wrong, and many of us will get it wrong in this labor market, and if you can’t turn that marginal hire into a super performer, then you just have to separate ways as they will hold your team back, suck time out of your day managing them and hurt your employment brand in the process by posting unkind comments on social media sites like Glassdoor. The aggravation and impact to your employment brand just isn’t worth it. Point is, even if you have great technology, relationships and contemporary sourcing and hiring strategies but your employment brand is average, then you are going to get average candidates and too many average candidates equals too many marginal to bad hires and too many bad hires means lousy business results.

Bringing it all together now, this tight labor market is not going to break any time soon so companies big and small need to evolve their approach in their hiring efforts to include their constant and continual investment in recruitment technology and business relationships, evolve their sourcing and hiring strategies and most of all, actively manage their employment brand in order to win the employment game in today’s ultra-competitive labor market. Great candidates and even greater future employees for your company are out there in this tight labor market so try these three things to improve your hiring success and subsequent business results.

Until Next Time,
Your Staffing Partner, Darrin Rohr- President, CEO and Chief Servant

Current owner of HH Staffing and Former Chief HR Officer for several successful Multinational Fortune 500 Companies. Brings fresh perspective from decades of experiences creating Great Workplace Cultures by building high performance teams while leading and managing people from all different backgrounds. HH Staffing is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida and is uniquely positioned to serve both local and national clients.

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Konnichiwa!

O-tsukare-sama deshita!

Tetsudaimashou ka!

These are just some of the basic Japanese phrases that I learned while leading HR for Bridgestone Americas years ago. These phrases loosely translate to “Hello”, “Thank you for your hard work” and “How Can I Help?”. However, a few words and phrases aren’t the only lessons I learned while serving as the Former Chief HR Officer for several successful Multinational Fortune 500 Companies. I learned valuable business lessons that are applicable to every company, regardless of size, product, and service or vertical. Here are some of the lessons and thoughts that can help any company, any size, anywhere to be successful in implementing their business strategies.

Every person who has the initiative, resources and chutzpah to start their own business soon comes to the realization that their own efforts can only take them so far. Some business owners are satisfied to find this level, produce a commodity or service and hire individuals that can perform whatever tasks are required to process and deliver this product to market in whatever niche they can establish.

There is another group of owners, however, who want to grow, improve and expand their business to becoming the best in their field of endeavor.  They have a vision of guiding and developing their enterprise to becoming something truly unique and superior. These business owners are recognized for their leadership and management skills that enable them to hire and inspire employees that bring their business to this level of excellence.  Their leadership techniques for creating such excellence can be distilled into essentially three categories.

  1. Bold Leadership. Business owners who have a “Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way” personality have a straightforward mindset: goals they reach for achieving will be achieved. The means and methods of achieving these goals are varied, but all involve persistence, finding solutions, and pushing forward to overcome any obstacles or resistance. This bold type of leader exemplifies this overcoming attitude in all his or her behavior, and they are constantly looking to grow their team in ways that energize them and inspire them to share his or her vision.  In today’s world we can look to leaders like Elon Musk from Telsa, Jeff Bezos from Amazon, and bold leaders from the past as well like Richard Branson from Virgin Atlantic. We can evaluate, criticize and opine on “The Way” that bold leaders lead however, at some point, all bold leaders decided “to stop reading and start leading”. They stopped reading the thousands of books written on leadership and decided to start leading”. My Amazon Prime account is used often, especially this time of year. Thank you Jeff Bezos for being a bold leader.
  1. Inclusive Culture. Great leaders recognize the fact that people in all strata of society have exceptional skill potential and they are willing to take these people into their team and mentor and elevate these people into exceptional performers.  In today’s unemployment statistics, there are many different types of people in the 3.7 percent of unemployed from all walks of life that are ripe for the picking, if one is able to look beyond their exterior façade and see their potential. A great leader realizes this and is able to reach out and touch such people and empower them to begin performing in remarkable ways that strengthen and elevate the entire team.  Beyond the young group of potential great employees known as millennials, there are many people who are older and even from other cultures who can be tapped to become a positive and energized employee, becoming a useful and significant addition to the team. A great leader is not turned off by a potential hire’s outward appearance, but rather seeks to find within that person the latent abilities and potential skill sets that will empower them to become a valuable facet of the organization. Important point here that the best leaders understand, is that this inclusive culture phenomena is a two way street, meaning, the team has to also connect with and believe in the leader as much as the leader has to connect with and believe in his/her team. I learned this lesson first hand when working at Bridgestone and leading 20 to 30 something year old, as well as 60 year old, Japanese employees. Thankfully, they accepted me as much as I accepted them and we were a great team that performed at an exceptionally high level.
  1. Consistent Results. Way too many businesses invest for the short term or for short term results. They don’t set truly long-range goals and push to achieve them over a calendar of, say, 10 or 12 years. When I worked for Bridgestone (a Japanese company) I watched them create 10-year Strategic Plans, and guess what? They hit them!  They didn’t decommit their resources and investments because they had a bad year, or two or three along the way. As a matter of fact, during these low, slow years they doubled down on their investments because they were so committed to achieving their strategic plans. Unfortunately, many companies opt for the opposite strategy and cut costs and eliminate resources to try to outlast the down year or years, and eventually they hit bottom, run out of opportunities, good employees, and are soon out of business.   The Japanese, on the other hand, are very successful at delivering consistent GDP numbers, in a declining birthrate environment (meaning, less people that have to work harder) because they make their plans and stick to them.  They are shrewd planners and very successful because of their diligent adherence to their long-range goals.   It is imperative that this successful method of sustaining and growing a company be adopted by Fortune 500 companies as well as small business owners.  Whether it is a one year or 10-year plan, the self-discipline and dedication to adhering to the set goal should be a prime strategy of each of these businesses. Bold leaders are keenly aware that keeping their business alive and thriving is going to be a long-term commitment, and they keep the long-range goal in sight, even when going through difficult or adverse times.

Bringing it all together now I wrap up my commentary on 3 ways to increase business success: Bold Leadership, Inclusive Culture, and Consistent Results. As leaders, managers or supervisors for your company, begin now to incorporate these three things into your management performance and watch your worker productivity blossom, grow, and flourish.

Until Next Time,
Your Staffing Partner, Darrin Rohr- President, CEO and Chief Servant

Current owner of HH Staffing and Former Chief HR Officer for several successful Multinational Fortune 500 Companies. Brings fresh perspective from decades of experiences creating Great Workplace Cultures by building high performance teams while leading and managing people from all different backgrounds. HH Staffing is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida and is uniquely positioned to serve both local and national clients.

The post 3 Simple Ways to Increase Business Success in Both Fortune 500 and Small Business Owned Companies appeared first on HH Staffing Services.

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“HEY POPS! YOU STILL GOT IT…”

I recently went on a way too short trip to visit my son in college out in Arizona. I love the energy on college campuses and seeing the potential of the future in many student’s eyes as they are on the cusp of new careers and opportunities. Back in the halcyon days of my youth I played quarterback in college. (Can I say “Back in my day without sounding like an old Geezer?). As such, I still like to throw the football around with my college son and anybody else for that matter who will catch my passes. After we were done throwing the football around, he mentioned the above, that “I still got it”

As I left Arizona and headed back home to Florida, I thought about how much everyone can learn from another. My son can learn from my wife and I, but life itself will teach him some things I never could. I can still learn from him because he has many different experiences and perspective that are not identical to mine. The fact that we can all learn from each other and help one another rings true in families and in the business world.
Today’s workforce is decidedly multigenerational and certainly multicultural for that matter. It is composed of five generations— Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y (or Millennial), and a smattering of Generation Z—whose life experiences have left indelible marks on their values and work preferences.
I have led multi-generational teams for years and understand that to succeed, the entire team must move forward together, as one unit. This is sometimes not an easy task because the motivations, communication and way people operate within their respective generations is often very different from one another.
As the years go on, there is less of the older demographic in the workforce for obvious reasons and the workforce and leadership shifts to the younger generation. We are seeing a new shift as generation Z is entering the workforce and generation Y is moving up the corporate ladder. Jeff Cunningham, professor of leadership at Arizona State University/Thunderbird School of Global Management, recently wrote a brilliant article for Chief Executive Magazine called Generation Z is Coming to the workplace, are you ready? https://chiefexecutive.net/generation-z-coming-workplace-ready/
Very often, mid to senior management of a company are older and their staff is younger. One of my friends was a Marine sniper and was the youngest Sergeant in the entire Marine Corps when he got promoted at the age of 19. He told me it was awkward giving orders and advice to people who were 15 years older than him, but he was up to the task. (and given his stack of medals I say he did a good job)
Having a multigenerational workforce can, and should, be a distinct advantage for your company. A wide range of ideas and knowledge from a diverse group of people can serve the company well, and help all employees become more productive. No matter the working age, we all have things we can bring to the table. When we all know what the goals and purposes are we can work together; not just to get the job done but done well.

So how do you maximize your multi-generational workforce’s productivity?

Here are three ways that have worked for me:
1) Have a clear, concise and actionable “Purpose” for your company. Keep it as simple as possible. Understand that when employees know what the simple heart of the purpose is, they will easily make it their own.
2) Daily focus – DAILY – on Teamwork. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in service or manufacturing, teamwork never fails to produce better results. We’re all in it to win it.
3) Recognition and Rewards tied to your purpose. The acknowledgement of a job well done should be built into your purpose. (We all need our egos stroked every now and then.)

Purpose

An example of purpose being a driver comes from the ethos of the Cracker Barrel Restaurant. They have a very simple purpose that they live by every single day – to Please People. That’s it, to Please People. Easy to say, but hard to do. They must satisfy investors, customers, their employees, their communities, etc.…. but it works! If one had bought their stock when it went public back in 1981 at .58 cents, that person probably wouldn’t be working today. Successful and very simple purpose statements that are put into action can be a principle for all constituents.
At my company, HH Staffing, our purpose is simple, To Help People. That’s what we do every single day, we help people find jobs and clients find great people, and it is the most gratifying work that anyone could ever do.

Teamwork

This ties directly into the first which is once a clear purpose has been created then ensure that all generations in the workforce understand and live that purpose as it will show up in different ways with different people. My 81-year-old mother-in-law Peggy works 25 hours a week in a small fashion boutique store in Florence Alabama named Marigails Fashion House. Peggy sells clothes alongside 20 something year old college students and they all have unique attributes that are appreciated by the customers, so much so that this small boutique retail store in this small little town in Northwest Alabama has withstood the onslaught of Amazon and big box retailers on their business to the point where their sales continue to grow year over year. Why? Teamwork.
At this small fashion boutique store, they leverage each other’s strengths which allows them to connect with their entire customer base that ranges from 20 something year old customers to 80+ year old customers, they don’t segment their customers, they embrace the entire 60 year spectrum of customers that they have by leveraging the unique attributes of their entire team. It works and they continue to win against the biggest players in this digital age of customer segmentation. (Note: If you ever go to Florence, Alabama, please stop in Marigails Fashion House and ask for Peggy Jenkins and you will see why this 81 year “young lady” cranks 25 hours a week with gusto, energy and smiles ear to ear and tell her that Darrin said hello).
Knute Rockne, the legendary Notre Dame football once said, “The secret is to work less as individuals and more as a team. As a coach, I play not my eleven best, but my best eleven.”
Teamwork and purpose are incredibly important to the success of every worker, but this environment is especially crucial when working with millennials. Millennials get a lot of crap from society about their work ethic or attitude, but in my experience, there are plenty of rock stars in this generation as well. Millennial want to be included, asked their opinion, as well as talk about their future and the company’s future. They often like to see their responsibilities matter and expect fun to be associated with their job as well as work.

Rewards and Recognition

When you see great teamwork aligned to the overall purpose of the company, recognize that teamwork and reward that teamwork. I often say in my company, “Together We Win….Individually we Lose.” Business is far too complex these days for anybody to think that they individually can carry an entire team across the goal line. Come on, get real, that world no longer exist, if it ever did exist.
Esprit de corps.
I love this phrase.
It means “the common spirit existing in the members of a group and inspiring enthusiasm, devotion, and strong regard for the honor of the group”.
I had a conversation recently about how to incentivize teamwork with a business colleague. Like many business owners, I have revenue goals that I want my company to exceed. I talked with my friend about offering the same bonus to everyone on the team if we hit that goal and I had a “Eureka” moment when we talked about the challenges that would present to the least and best performing people on ANY team. A person who performs below expectations thinks they can be carried by the rest of the team and the workhorse doesn’t feel that his or her individual efforts and success are being rewarded enough. I reinforced to each person on my team that the year-end discretionary individual bonus is still in place and will be given based on each person’s contribution to the overall team results. The lesson here is that to build an incredibly successful team, leaders should still understand the motivations, strengths, weaknesses and personalities of each individual on the team.

Bringing it all together now as I wrap up my commentary on increasing multi-generational worker productivity. “You Still Got It.” We’ve always had it and all of us still need it. Purpose – Teamwork – Rewards and Recognition. As leaders, managers and supervisors for any company, please focus on these three things and watch your worker productivity soar to new heights but beyond seeing an increase in productivity and business results, how about do these three things simply because it’s just the right thing to do!

Until Next Time,
Your Staffing Partner, Darrin Rohr- President, CEO and Chief Servant

Current owner of HH Staffing and Former Chief HR Officer for several successful Multinational Fortune 500 Companies. Brings fresh perspective from decades of experiences creating Great Workplace Cultures by building high performance teams while leading and managing people from all different backgrounds. HH Staffing is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida and is uniquely positioned to serve both local and national clients.

The post 3 Ways to Maximize Your Multi-Generational Workforce’s Productivity appeared first on HH Staffing Services.

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