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
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.
The implications of the #metoo era continue to spread far and wide. As a result, state governments across the country are making big changes. States are making an honest effort to make the workplace less hostile for women and we’re here for it. Take California for example. Cali is known for progressive policies and a pro-employee environment. Did you know that the state is making it mandatory for employees with a handful of employees to complete Sexual Harassment prevention training by the end of 2019? This article will give you a quick overview of what’s required and answer some questions on how Jumpstart:HR, LLC can help your organization meet these new expectations.
If you’re an employer in California, keep reading. And don’t worry, even if you’re not an employer in the Golden State, keep reading. Your state could be next!
Which employers are required to provide sexual harassment training?
As mentioned above, employers with 5 or more employees must provide sexual harassment training to all employees. This includes not just key decision-makers and HR but all employees and supervisors. The state provides some flexible learning options, too. Training can be done in a classroom setting or any other effective interactive training format. That means you can send your employees to training, conduct training in-house, or register for an online program that fits the requirements. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing is requiring this training to be completed at least once every two years.
What type of sexual harassment training do employers have to offer?
According to the CA DFEH, employers are required to offer sexual harassment prevention training through one of the following:
Interactive E-learning training
Live Webinar Training
While there are a few options for employers to consider, the main focus for the training is retention. Not just retention of employees (obviously) but retention of knowledge. Each training options must include the ability to interact with material and have questions answered. It’s not enough to sit through a lecture. The trainings have to be dynamic! Memorable! And complete with quizzes and attendee participation. For training that is offered online, employees must be able to contact a knowledgable trainer who can answer their questions within 2 days or less.
Training must cover not only the prevention of sexual harassment but also:
The definition of sexual harassment
Examples of sexual harassment
The limited confidentiality of the process
Resources for sexual harassment victims
California is investing in comprehensive training and each training must include quizzes and skill-building activities. Those activities are meant to assess the participant’s understanding and application of major concepts.
Wait – how does California define a supervisor?
I’m glad you asked! Because that can often be a tricky question to answer when people merely collaboration on projects as opposed to lead people. Supervisors, by definition, are employees within an organization that have the ability to offer a job and terminate employment. They can also appoint, reassign, reprimand, or reward other employees. California also considers people who have a significant influence in these areas as supervisors as well. These are important distinctions because being a supervisor is not about your title but rather your influence in an organization. For example, if there are two programmers that report to the same boss – yet one is more senior and can help shape the career path of the junior programmer – the senior programmer could be considered a supervisor. It would make sense, then, for the senior programmer to participate in supervisor training.
Does Jumpstart:HR offer sexual harassment training?
Yes, we do! Starting October 1, 2019, Jumpstart:HR will provide live webinar and online e-courses for employees and supervisors alike. While we traditionally support small businesses and startups, both the live webinars and online e-course are designed to support employers large and small. “Eliminating sexual harassment at work isn’t about the size of your company, but rather your commitment to making positive changes that make the workplace a safe space for everyone’ says Jumpstart:HR, LLC Owner Joey Price. Our training has been crafted with the help of legal professionals and stand up to the rigorous guidelines mandated by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.