Before we talk about building a team, let’s take a walk down memory lane.
Do you remember the first time you were on a team? It could’ve been a second-grade soccer team where everyone got a trophy at the end of the year regardless of how well the team did. Or it was later in life, a twelfth-grade capstone project that required collaboration for completion. No matter when you experience your first time being on a team, there’s one truth about them: they’re everywhere. So how can something so common be consistently mismanaged? It may have more to do with what we believe about teams in the first place.
“A team is more than a collection of people. It is a process of give and take.” – Barbara Glacel
In this article, I want to share the three myths that small businesses believe when building a team, why I think these myths exist, and how to overcome them. If these resonate with you, please share them with your team and consider working with mine.
Myth 1 when building a team: The right candidate is LOOKING for your business.
Every day in America, companies post, pray, and ponder over job descriptions, hoping they’ve cooked up the right recipe for the ideal candidate to manifest in their applicant tracking system and solve all their workload and team chemistry woes.
Building a team is hard and I’ve even been there myself. Thinking that the only thing standing between our open positions and success is a fresh job description with KPIs and culture. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Unless you are a household name like Apple or Amazon, how can we be so sure that someone even knows to look for us in the first place? Of course, we believe in our brand, mission, and team – but what do we do consistently to raise awareness about our businesses and their inner workings? Suppose you want to be found by the right candidate. In that case, you must think beyond the traditional job description and share what it’s like to work in your company. These days, 70% of job seekers are passive.
Stop believing that the right candidate is LOOKING for your business. More often than not, it would be best to source the right candidate for your business. What is sourcing? It’s when you proactively find candidates instead of posting a job and sifting through hundreds of candidates. As you make this shift when building a team, you feel empowered to make proactive decisions to land your next key hire. One potential decision you should consider making? Work with a recruiting agency that will source talent and use tools that reduce the time and cost it takes to hire for your organization.
Myth 2 when building a team: The right hire comes from the right school or company.
While so much has changed over the last decade within the recruiting industry, only some hiring managers have kept up.
There was once a time when notable schools and companies were reliable pipelines to fill cookie-cutter jobs with predictable expectations. I remember the days when building a team meant that applicants from relevant universities or companies were given an automatic second look – even if their qualifications weren’t quite there. Some would even get the benefit of the doubt when it came to salary since “they used to work at [fill in the blank], they must be good!” The problem with this way of thinking now (and quite frankly, always) is that it presents an unconscious bias against high-potential talent from non-traditional or traditional backgrounds without name recognition. Take the world of IT, for example, where the US Bureau of Labor Statistics says 25% of IT workers have no college degree. Are you willing to risk passing on game-changing talent because they don’t come from the background you envisioned they would?
Instead of believing the right hire comes from the right school or company, you should know that the right candidate can articulate their skills and how they align with what you need them to do. Interviewing is all about asking excellent questions and developing mutual trust. The next time you have an opportunity to chat with a candidate with the right experience but not the right name on their diploma, break out a few good questions where you ask them to describe their experience and what challenges they’ve faced along the way. Don’t hire based on which mascot they cheer for during March Madness; employ a team member for their ability to make an impact on your team today and tomorrow.
Myth 3 when building a team: We hire to find the right person.
One of these days, I might write a book about the parallels of marriage and building a team – but that’s a story for another time.
Right now, though, I want to address a myth we’ve been carrying for years in small business circles: there are no unicorns, ninjas, or rockstars. Instead, there are hidden gems, high-potential hires, and developmental candidates you take a chance on because you see something. Companies often want to pass on great candidates in hopes of finding “the one.” It prolongs the search process, adds extra costs, and reduces the candidate experience for everyone. You rarely find someone better qualified than the candidate you passed on because they nailed four things but were “eh” on the fifth.
Instead of believing you recruit to find the right person, consider recruiting to find someone competent in the role that vibes with your culture and is willing to be developed. Since we’re on the topic of teams, let me speak about a sports analogy: The NBA Draft. The most successful teams in the draft aren’t the ones who waste time trying to find someone who will be an MVP right away. The most successful teams in the draft are the ones who look at their organization’s style of play, which prospects play a similar kind of basketball, and who will train and study to perform at their best over time. It’s impractical to think there’s a perfect ready-made hire out there. Why? You have a unique culture, unique management structure, and maybe a few skeletons in your operational closet.
If you think about hiring as a big-picture project, your new hire will figure out how to paint themselves in that picture with you.
While the four-day work week is not yet universal, most citizens enjoy the pleasures of added three-day weekends during the year.
– Michael From
The idea of a 4-day work week has gained popularity in recent years, with some small businesses opting to implement this schedule in order to increase productivity and improve employee satisfaction. However, before making the switch to a 4-day work week, it’s important to consider both the pros and cons.
Pros of Implementing a 4-Day Work Week:
Increased productivity: By condensing the workweek, employees have more time to rest and recharge, which can lead to a more productive and engaged workforce.
Reduced burnout: The added day off each week can help to reduce stress and burnout among employees, leading to a more positive work environment.
Attracting and retaining employees: A 4-day work week can be an attractive benefit for potential employees, making it easier for small businesses to attract and retain top talent.
Cost savings: A 4-day workweek can lead to cost savings for small businesses, as they may need to pay less for utilities, office space, and other expenses associated with keeping the office open an extra day.
Cons of Implementing a 4-Day Work Week:
Reduced hours for employees: A 4-day work week can mean that employees work longer hours on the days they are in the office, which can be tiring and lead to decreased productivity.
Reduced availability: With a shorter workweek, small businesses may be closed an extra day, which can make it harder for customers to reach them.
Difficulty with scheduling: A 4-day workweek can make it harder for small businesses to schedule meetings and appointments, as everyone may not be available on the same days.
Difficulty accommodating with unexpected events: A 4-day workweek can make it harder for small businesses to handle unexpected events, such as a rush of customers or an emergency repair, as they may not have enough staff on hand.
Listen to our Small Business HR podcast:
If you are considering implementing a 4-day workweek, here are some practical tips for making it work:
Communicate with employees: Make sure to talk to your employees about the potential change and get their input.
Test it out: Consider starting with a trial period to see how a 4-day workweek works for your business and your employees.
Be flexible: Be willing to adjust the schedule as needed to accommodate the needs of your employees and your business.
Plan ahead: Make sure to plan ahead for meetings and appointments, so that everyone is available on the same days.
Be prepared for unexpected events: Have a plan in place for handling unexpected events, such as having a designated employee who can come in on their day off in case of an emergency.
Overall, a 4-day workweek can be a great option for small businesses looking to increase productivity and improve employee satisfaction. However, it’s important to carefully consider the pros and cons and be prepared to make adjustments as needed to make it work for your business.
Employee Handbook is also known as an employee manual, staff handbook, or company policy manual.
It is a document which defines a company’s key policies and procedures and outlines its company culture.
The employee handbook can be used to bring together employment and job-related information which employees need to know.
Typically, it has three types of content:
A welcome statement, the company’s mission or purpose, company values, and more.
Holiday arrangements, company perks, policies not required by law, policy summaries, and more.
Company policies, rules, disciplinary and grievance procedures, and other information modeled after employment laws or regulations.
Here are the important benefits of having an employee handbook:
A handbook can provide employees with a clear understanding of what they’re responsible for, including how to request time off, how to call in sick, and who to go to with questions about policies or procedures.
By outlining all policies and expectations on both sides of the fence, confusion and inconsistencies are essentially minimized in the workplace.
Promotes Open Communication and Transparency
Open communication is key to a positive work environment. By giving new hires your handbook, you’re letting them know your mission, purpose, and core values. This sets the stage for a positive business relationship and lets team members know who they can go to with questions about their employment, rights, and work environment.
A well-written employee handbook offers answers to the most common employees’ questions. By having an employee handbook, you will avoid constant questions over policies. Employees will be able to look up the answers themselves, thus saving your time.
Legal Disputes Prevented
Lawsuits are a threat in every business, no matter its size or industry. If yours should face a lawsuit or discrimination claim one day from a current or former employee, your handbook could play an influential role in the final outcome. For this reason, make sure you have an expert review your handbook’s wording.
Company culture outlined
An employee handbook is much more than a list of policies, rules and regulations. A great employee handbook clearly communicates your company’s mission, vision and its values, thus outlining your company’s culture.
Important Note :
A handbook needs to reflect compliance with applicable federal, state and local law.
A handbook should be tailored to your organization and should reflect how you conduct business
For more information about employee handbooks or other HR solutions, contact us today at jumpstart-hr.com/contact
TL;DR: New video conferencing tool 8×8.vc makes it easy to connect with employees and customers on the go key features at no additional cost.
Video conferencing is cheaper than travel (and with 8×8, it’s free!). Let’s say you want to meet with a customer in another state to go over plans for a new project. You’ve got everything spec’d out and your team is excited about what the project could mean for your organization. But there’s just one problem — the best way to convey all sides of the plan would require at least three of the main contributors on the project. Sure you could hop on a plane (BTW — I LOVE planes) but what if the cost to get everyone in front of the customer was more than the value of the project? What if you’re only planning to meet for an hour? What if you need multiple meetings over time and it’s just not feasible to have key team members shuttling back and forth to the client site because it’s not in the contract? Have you ever been in this predicament? Video conferencing is the best solution for these problems because it helps bridge the communication divide while also having the feel of a face-to-face meeting. With 8×8’s new, free video conferencing software, you can meet over video and not worry about time limits, usage, or anything like that. It’s free and limitless — the power to be productive is at your fingertips!
Video conferencing brings employees together. When you run a startup or small business, you don’t always build your team from the talent pool in your backyard. For example, my company has employees and contractors who live in three time zones… An in-person meeting just doesn’t work for us! If you’re reading this article, you’re probably running a business that is very similar — am I right? These days many businesses know that the best talent isn’t always living in your backyard and many employees value the ability to work remotely for their employer. So, what’s the best way to keep everyone in the loop and build a sense of community? Definitely not email threads and “instachatbook” messages where you’re wondering if it’s okay to send that emoji that gets your point across. It’s video conferencing! Employees use video conferencing for many different reasons. With 8×8, it’s super easy to connect with colleagues in another county and another cubicle. You can have a standing meeting room, which makes it easy to share a custom URL with your teammates. You can also sync your availability with your calendar so people know when to chat about work and when to chat about your holiday plans! Did I also mention that you can meet via a web browser, tablet, and cell phone?
Video conferencing is a great way to make a first impression with prospects and potential new hires. Pro Tip: If you want to make a good first impression with a business colleague, you might want to have a pretty sweet looking office. Advanced Tip? Show that office off on a video conference call. Super-Next-Level Tip? Show that office off in HD! 8×8 offers feature-rich HD video and audio conferencing at no cost. That means you can leverage the space around you to help make your meeting participants feel like they’re right there with you — and do so with crystal clear visibility. Because let’s face it, as much as people lock into what’s being said at a meeting, they also want to see surroundings. Get good lighting, set up in your conference room or room with a view, and nail that next presentation or interview!
Video conferencing extends your ability to create meaningful content. This might actually be one of my favorite reasons for using video conferencing software. You don’t have to use it only for meetings. With 8×8, you can record podcasts/interviews, create video SOPs, share your screen and create training guides, and more! If you don’t think video is a popular form of content, think again! Over 500 million hours of video content is consumed on YouTube every day. Create internal and external video content with 8×8 and watch employee engagement and your marketing efforts soar!
Video conferencing is the communication tool of today — and tomorrow. Ask any millennial today and 8 times out of 10, they probably won’t be able to tell you the last person they talked to on the phone. The same number of millennials likely would tell you that they suffer from “app fatigue,” a condition that causes burnout due to the number of chat, email, text, and phone apps on our phones and the constant need to switch between them all to communicate with those who are important to us. But, remember what I said earlier about video consumption on YouTube? That trend alone is a good indicator that people crave video. People consume video to be entertained, to be informed, to learn new skills, and to keep in touch. Software like 8×8 makes that possible at work with a simple setup process and many key features. Want to know how many people attended a meeting and how many minutes they spoke in the meeting? 8×8 meeting analytics can show you. Worried about people not being able to speak up in heated discussion or one person monopolizing camera time? 8×8 has a hand-raise feature that let’s you acknowledge who wants to speak next. Video is the primary replacement for face-to-face communication when meeting IRL isn’t possible.
So, there you have it! As we look at 2020, you should consider using video conferencing software more often to communicate with employees, customers, and potential new hires. Not only is it the most preferred method of communication behind face-to-face meetings, you can have memorable meetings for free with 8×8’s new software offering. Take that next step and go register for an 8×8 profile for free today! And after the ball drops and we welcome 2020 with open arms, reach out to a colleague over video to say “Happy New Year and we’re going to have an amazing year together!”
The following is a guest post provided by our friends at FutureFuel
Employee engagement isn’t just a trendy phrase for your next company meeting. When your employees feel connected and engaged with the corporate mission, you will see a noticeable boost in productivity and loyalty.
There is no blanket strategy for increasing engagement levels because every workplace has a different culture to it. However, you can utilize the psychological concept of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to develop an employee engagement strategy that will work for your corporate environment.
What is the Hierarchy of Needs?
Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a pretty straightforward concept that is generally accepted in the world of psychology. He believed that humans have five basic needs that must be fulfilled in order to stay happy and motivated, and he said that each of these needs has a place in a pyramid-style hierarchy.
Basic needs at the bottom of this pyramid must be taken care of first, and the higher-level needs can be addressed afterward.
According to Maslow, the needs must be addressed in the following order:
Physiological needs like food, water, and shelter
Safety and security
Relationships and belonging
Status and respect
Self-actualization or personal growth
This hierarchy of needs can easily translate to the needs of an employee in terms of engagement.
Hierarchy of Engagement
Using Maslow’s pyramid as a method of better understanding employee engagement can be helpful for developing a strategy to keep everyone feeling fulfilled when they come to work.
To show how this is accomplished, this section will outline each need and demonstrate how it can be applied to the workplace.
This is the base of the pyramid, and it is what everything else must be built upon. In daily life, this is the ability to satisfy physiological needs like hunger, thirst, and sleep.
In the workplace, this translates more specifically to wages. At the base level of the engagement hierarchy, people are most concerned about their ability to earn a living. As much as a job should be about more than money, everyone needs money to survive in today’s world.
After physiological needs are able to be consistently met, the next step up is safety. This is the ability to accumulate resources, maintain good health, and feel secure in day-to-day life.
In terms of engagement, the employees will be concerned about job security and their ability to perform well.
When security is no longer an issue, the next step toward fulfillment includes meaningful relationships and connection to others.
At this part of the hierarchy, employees are happiest when they feel like they’re part of a team that’s working together toward a common goal.
Status and Recognition Needs
Not everyone craves the spotlight, but everyone wants to feel like his or her contributions are valued.
In the workplace, this step of the hierarchy often translates to recognizing employees for their individual achievements. These needs can also be met by asking for and implementing feedback from individual workers.
At the top of the pyramid is self-actualization. Here is where humans are able to explore their true potential and achieve personal growth.
At work, employees at the top of the pyramid are often seen as leaders by their peers. These people are happy to come to work because they feel like they’re making a difference, and their enthusiasm tends to be infectious.
Applying the Hierarchy
Understanding this hierarchy in the context of the workplace can help your business develop better engagement strategies.
One way to ensure that every employee is able to reach the higher levels of this pyramid is by managing compensation. Ensure that employees are able to earn well. Offer incentives, promotions, and raises as a way of helping workers meet the two most basic levels of needs.
Creating a culture that appeals to the higher levels of the hierarchy will largely depend on the industry your company is in. However, there are some basic ideas you can implement to help employees work their way up to self-actualization.
A good starting point is to regularly ask for feedback from everyone. It can be anonymous or not, depending on what is the most viable option for your particular corporate culture. Asking for opinions on team building events, new projects, and how best to recognize employee contributions can be very eye-opening.
By asking for this feedback and incorporating it into your workplace culture, you will show workers that they are being valued. You will be able to foster better relationships between employees because you will have a better understanding of what appeals to them.
Employee Engagement Is Simpler Than You Might Think
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs applies to everyday life, but it is also an excellent model for how your employees engage in the workplace as well.
Remember that the most basic of needs must be fulfilled first in the form of compensation and job security. Once employees feel secure in their positions, they will start to look for connections, respect, and a sense of higher purpose.
It may take a bit of trial and error to learn the best ways to implement this approach in your corporate culture, but it is well worth the effort. You will see noticeable increases in happiness, productivity, and loyalty when you begin to successfully apply the hierarchy of needs to a workplace setting.
When a small business owner offers employment to a candidate, it can be one of the best feelings in the world for both sides. But what happens if somewhere along the process, mistakes are made that can eventually come back to harm the business? Even worse, what happens if the same mistakes get repeated over time – resulting in catastrophic financial losses and disruption of the business? You might not think it’s possible in your organization but no company is immune to legal trouble when it comes to onboarding new hires. On November 4, 2019, Alberto Ruisanchez, chief, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) gave several helpful tips to stay out of trouble when making your next new hire. In his presentation, entitled “Avoiding Unlawful Immigration-Related Employment Discrimination,” Mr. Ruisanchez mentioned three key areas where employers find themselves in trouble with the law:
Recruitment or Referral for a Fee
While each of these areas are critically important to pay attention to, I’ve found that most small businesses make mistakes with onboarding the most. Most specifically, there are mistakes made when proving the employee has the right to work in the United States. Here are a few tips to keep your business above board and your new hires happily employed for the long haul!
Be cautious of making hiring preferences based on citizenship status. According to Ruisanchez, many employers are unable to make hiring preferences for American citizens. What does this mean? If you have an open position at your company and non-American citizens apply, you cannot reject them on the basis of their citizenship status. For example, If Joe’s Plumbing and HVAC has an opening for a Senior Manager role, any eligible applicant cannot be dismissed simply because they are not American. If the US Department of Justice or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission discovers a practice of excluding qualified applicants from progressing in your hiring process, you may be subject to fines and back pay for all affected individuals.
Now, as with many things relating to the law, there are exceptions. Federal Contractors who participate in contracts that have citizenship-based hiring requirements, workers who are unauthorized to work in America, workers who require employer sponsorship, and, of course, wherever allowable by law.
In order to reduce the odds of trigger an inquiry by the USDOJ and EEOC, I recommend the following tips to stay on the right side of the law:
For roles that are open to citizens and non-citizens alike, do not ask for citizenship status the application. Only ask if the applicant is eligible to work in the United States.
Keep a record of all applicants and save paperwork + digital applications for the appropriate amount of time required by law.
Understand employee rights with completing Form I-9, and try not to be too “helpful.” When completing Form I-9, a new hire document that all employees must complete, it’s important to give each new hire a choice of which documents they use to complete the form. There are two main requirements for the Form I-9. List A documents show proof of identity and work eligibility while List B documents and List C documents combine to show proof of identity and work eligibility. You have to let the employee pick From my experience, small business owners and administrative staff might think they are being helpful by telling new applicants which I-9 documents to bring but that’s actually no-no. Here’s what I recommend instead:
Provide your new hire with the full list of List A, List B, and List C documentation. Here is the official USCIS list.
Give the employee an ample amount of time and notice to secure the documents that they know will cover both proof of identity and eligibilty to work. As the employer, you should check both to ensure neither documents have expired.
When it comes time to recertify an employee, follow the same course of action. Prescribing which documents to use may seem helpful but it can actually be discriminatory if you only accept certain documents.
For more helpful tips and a recap of the events from the 2019 SHRM Global Mobility and Immigration Summit, check out #GMIS19 on Twitter!