I can remember back to the first business I ran: I was new to a leadership role and everyday I realized how much more I didn't know about people and how to lead. One of my key learnings was a few techniques that actually helped give me the freedom and flexibility to focus on my strengths.
It started one day when I realized that almost every customer service decision in the business had to flow through me in some way.
Here is some career advice we can all be reminded of:
Behave online in the same way as you would offline.
Sometimes we let our guard down, and forget that what we share on our social networks is indexed by Google and other search engines, and our not so squeaky clean behaviour can be found online by a potential or current employer. As a golden rule, be the person online that you are offline.
With data from Jobvite, the folks at Column Five Media have put together this fantastic infographic of tips for using social media and making positive first impressions with the job seeker in mind.
Culture. It’s what we at McNak think about with every recruit we take on. Culture is such a big part of why new hires stick; a perfect piece in a complex puzzle. This Inc. article reveals some surprising truths behind perceptions of executives and employees. Some wise words are shared that give pause to think about our own organizations and how we perceive culture.
For those that must know the survey results now, click here.
Top performers are most often the true indicators of a company’s culture and are part of the integral root system of the company’s success. The biggest risk for a company is in failing to create an environment that supports their abilities. Developing a culture that attracts top performers is one of the most important tools for a company’s recruitment process.
By understanding the nature of top performers, you can take their energy and inspiration and use it to grow other future top performers.
Take top performers for lunch on a monthly basis. You’ll not only know what’s on their minds, but you will most likely come away with valuable insights into the business.
Make your top performers mentors. Everyone can benefit from a mentor. These power employees know this value and seek out mentors for themselves. Their thoughtful communication style attracts teams around them. Stack power employees together, and you get phenomenal teams and powerful collaborators. They thrive on one another’s energy, provide high-level strategy and show boldness in trying new things. They are innovators and executors.
Conduct team behavioural assessments. These tools help identify the dynamics within a team. Not all top performers are ‘drivers’; some are ‘influencers’, and others are combinations of both.
Questions to ask your executive management team and line managers:
What messages from our team are we not listening to or not confronting?
If there were two things to change in our current style of management or corporate mandates that could greatly affect employees’ motivation and job satisfaction, what would they be?
Summer can be a good time of year for recharging your batteries, but it can also be a tricky time for getting things done. With many people away on holiday, trying to schedule meetings is like herding cats. In terms of work productivity, how do you feel about summer being over?
I’m writing this blog post from home today. There are a lot of aspects of my job that does not require me to be in the office. Like many employees these days, a certain amount of my work can be done online. Although I like the flexibility my employer provides by allowing me to work from home occasionally, I do prefer to be at the office. There is that interaction with my co-workers, bouncing off ideas, and overall atmosphere and energy of what McNak is all about.
If I wasn’t at the office on a regular basis, I wouldn’t get a feel of our company’s corporate culture. However, after working at McNak for nine years, I have a pretty good idea…so working from home every now and then certainly doesn’t hurt. Working from home does not work for all professions. I believe that I wouldn’t be an effective salesperson if I worked from home, but I’m not in sales.
The truth is, I get a lot more work done when I work remotely. No distractions. If I meet my deadlines and produce results, then I know I’m on the right track, and the flexible schedule works for both me and the company.
Companies that have open communication about a flexible schedule policy can have a successful and engaged workforce. Just keep in mind that expectations must be clear. Does your company have a policy set in place for employees who work from home?
Anyone can find and hire a superstar. A superstar is a top producer, someone you would re-hire without a second thought if you had to start your company all over again. Here are 5 steps that can help you attract and identify superstars for your company.
Be the best. You don’t want to hire people who will settle for working just anywhere. You want to hire people whose standards are high and who only want to work for the best. Promote the benefits and reputation of your company to attract those individuals who are waiting for the opportunity to come work for you.
Create better jobs. The best people are looking for jobs that challenge and stimulate them. The best will leverage competencies, behaviours, energy and skill in the right proportion.
Write compelling job descriptions. Job descriptions should be more than a grocery list of required skills, they should sell your vision; they should be exciting and speak to your corporate culture, and should compel ideal candidates to apply. A good ad ties in performance objectives and corporate values as well as interesting job perks.
Demonstrate job potential. Good candidates want positions that offer growth opportunities along with challenges. Workers need to feel they have a future with the company. If their purpose is to grow with the company, and you don’t give them the opportunity, they will move on, even if they are treated well.
Recruit well. Recruiting is an entire process, not just the double whammy of ‘find’ and ‘hire’. Hire for potential then train for skill. Know what you need, and trust what feels right.
People responsible for hiring often find themselves hiring in a panic. A vacancy occurs, a job description and employment ad are hastily pulled together and the HR department starts recruiting.
Unfortunately, they have missed the point. It is not just about filling the void with a qualified individual; it is about determining exactly what your company needs to be great and finding someone who will go above and beyond that. A great employee is as much about fit as it is about skill.
True, companies will usually spend more time finding the right person for senior vacancies, but the same level of attention needs to be used for all positions, from entry level and administrative to marketing and customer service.
“Finding someone who fits your corporate culture is, in some ways, more important than finding someone with the right skill set.”
~ Sarah McNeill
It’s in the best interests of every company to hire the greatest person for the position; the flip side is the tremendous cost of hiring the wrong person. There are the obvious costs of re-advertising and re-interviewing, but that isn’t all.
You’ve invested time in orientation and training for the new employee, not to mention the time spent recruiting. If you have to let that person go, that time and money have just walked out the door. Making the wrong hiring decision affects everyone in the company; it reduces productivity, and causes internal turmoil.
If you hire the right people, they can hit the ground running. Bringing them on is virtually seamless. Not only do they take less time to train, but they bring passion for their new job.