Business Coaching advice to make your marketing work smarter, not harder for your business.

Final 3 Culture Points From Successful Entrepreneurs

exit-strategy7. Be Transparent

Honesty is the best policy, and being transparent with your employees will build trust and help keep the communication lines open
between workers. One way to do this is to broadcast company milestones and key metrics on laptops and T.V. monitors within the office, so everyone feels aligned and involved.

— Mike Smalls, Hoopla


8. Make Time for Social Fun

In order to have a positive company culture, you need to make time for social engagements among your staff. One of the greatest ways to make your staff feel valued is to take the time to learn about them. Social outings – lunches, weekend retreats, or happy hours – allow your staff to feel more connected to the company and each other, fostering better teamwork and a more productive work environment.

— Simon Slade, SaleHoo

9. Give Your Employees the Chance to Work as a Team

Give your team the ability to create something as a group. Create opportunities for everyone on staff to cross-pollinate a little and share their wisdom and creativity on a wider level.

Whatever your needs, if you want your people to act like a team, you need to give them teamwork opportunities where they can stretch their wings a bit and create something or solve a problem as a collective.

— Jennifer Martin, Zest Business Consulting

If you would like learn more about how you can create a powerful Culture in your business, call Coach Michael Stelter at Advanced Business Coaching, Inc. (262) 293.3166.
We have a series of FREE E-Books designed to provide you powerful information when searching and hiring your ideal employee. Click Here To Learn More.

3 More Culture Tips From Successful Entreprenuers

Advanced Business Coaching Vision Mission and Culture4. Write a Manifesto

Write a one-page, bulleted manifesto. Start with 3-5 core principles you want to convey to everyone, both inside and outside of the organization. These should be general ideas about what people will take away from interacting with your business. Ours, for example, were: service, quality, challenge (as in the status quo), individuality, and fun.

All written and photo content, in-person interactions, and pretty much every touchpoint with a customer or prospective/current employee, should leave people feeling at least one (ideally two or three) of these principles.

Refer back to the manifesto often. Use it as a measuring stick when you hire. We check off each principle directly on the resume when interviewing prospective hires.

— Michael Koranda, Pacific Issue

5. Challenge Your Employees

People need excitement. You have heard the old saying, “Variety is the spice of life.” It is true of so many aspects of life. Many high-quality employees leave the best companies when they feel there is no room for growth.

The growth these employees are speaking of isn’t always promotions and new positions. It often means room to grow in their current position. They want the opportunity to be challenged, to explore, and to innovate. The best companies give employees the freedom to create and grow the company.

— Aleania Orczewska, Carte Blanche

6. Hire Smart

Over the past eight years, I’ve had startups ranging from a travel company for expats and college kids in Santiago, Chile, to my current project, One thing I realized is how easy it is to visualize a Google-type atmosphere and then fall flat on your face when all of your employees (whether it’s two or 2000) are not happy.

An employee is an essential asset for a startup, especially a low-budget one. With my first startup, I hired two college students because I thought they would connect with potential clients better than someone older with experience (we were targeting exchange students for ski trips). I was wrong. They were terrible, and I was essentially paying them the little money that I had to not really do much at all. That money could have gone towards a hundred other things, and I didn’t realize how difficult hardworking people are to find.

So, in short, my advice is to hire smart. Get people who will not only work hard to better your startup, but also help create a positive atmosphere. The opposite can ruin a startup.

— Andrew Parker, GiveBuy

If you would like learn more about how you can create a powerful Culture within your business or organization, call Coach Michael Stelter at Advanced Business Coaching, Inc. (262) 293.3166.
We have a series of FREE E-Books designed to provide you powerful information when searching and hiring your ideal employee. Click Here To Learn More.

3 Culture Tips From Successful Entreprenuers

exit21. Think in Terms of ‘We,’ Not ‘Me’

It’s not about bring-your-dog-to-work day. It’s not about great benefits. It’s not about your manager, the training you’ve received, or even your work/life balance. These are what we call the “me” factors. And while the what’s-in-it-for-me bucket is important and necessary, it’s simply not enough to create a top workplace.

Healthy organizations know it’s the “we” that matters most. We’re talking about alignment, execution, and connection. In other words, the “we” is about cultivating an environment in which employees know where the organization is headed and how it will get there. We’re talking about a strong belief that everyone is in it together.

Combined, these are the “we” factors, and they’re at the heart of organizational health.

— Doug Claffey, WorkplaceDynamics

2. Make an Effort to Attract Diverse Talent

Diversity leads to an expanded culture and new ideas. A homogeneous bunch isn’t as innovative and isn’t as inclusive. Inclusivity is essential for effective brainstorming and new perspectives. Make your environment comfortable and appealing to people of color, women, and others outside the twenty-something singles that many startups seek to attract.

— Leeyen Rogers, JotForm

3. Be Open to Change

Despite your best intentions to solidify and steadfastly adhere to a company culture, you should prepare for the fact that you probably won’t get it right the first time. Define the culture, certainly – but be transparent early and often about the fact that your company culture is dynamic and evolutionary. Leaders must be able to drive cultural shifts to fit changing times or changing marketplaces without employees feeling that they’ve fallen victim to a bait-and-switch. Stay in regular communication with your team about the challenges the business faces and the incremental adjustments that may be needed to best meet them.

In my early years, I tried to work out all the answers behind closed doors, shielding the broader team until I felt I had the answers that everyone would be happy with – only to be caught off guard by blank stares and disengagement.

Allowing your employees to help shape your culture over time is a winning formula. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. If your employees understand the situation and feel they they are part of the conversation, they are far more likely to show empathy with leadership and contribute positively. They will feel invested and function with a sense of ownership. This has been our practice for many years now, and our team has never been better.

– Stephan Roussan, ICVM Group

If you would like learn more about how you can create a powerful Culture in your business, call Coach Michael Stelter at Advanced Business Coaching, Inc. (262) 293.3166.

We have a series of FREE E-Books designed to provide you powerful information when searching and hiring your ideal employee. Click Here To Learn More.

Attracting High Quality Millennial Employees

Texting groupThe next time you search for something on Google, type in millennials and see what pops up.

Google’s algorithms are pretty good at helping you complete your search by pre-populating commonly used phrases. What do you get when you type millennials into the Google search bar? The answer: millennials in the workplace.

This says something about the state of today’s businesses. Companies everywhere are working to determine how to attract millennials to work for them. But, this challenge isn’t limited to just human resources professionals. It’s a marketing problem, too. Hint: Search marketing to and notice that marketing to millennials is the first thing to appear.

If today’s companies wish to succeed in hiring millennial employees, it requires the removal of the departmental silos that have traditionally separated human resources and marketing.

Here are three ways HR departments can partner with their marketing teams to attract millennials.

1. Make a good first impression.
You only get one chance to make a first impression. And, unless you’re a Fortune 100 company with national brand recognition, chances are that your website will be your prospective employee’s first interaction with your company. For most marketers, the Career Opportunities section of the website is an afterthought. After all, most marketing teams are evaluated based on their ability to convert web visitors into customers, not employees.

Just as it’s important to make a good first impression with prospective customers, it’s equally important to do the same with would-be job applicants. Have your marketing team build out the career section of your website. Add pictures from your company picnic or service project. Maybe even put a video together that talks about your company’s mission and culture. These additions will go a long way in attracting millennials to join your team.

2. Stop being so boring.
If you’re still using the same job descriptions you’ve been using since 1998, it’s time to update them. Today’s applicants can instantly compare your job listing with hundreds of other listings. What’s going to make your job opportunity stand out from the rest?

I get it. Job descriptions are inherently boring. But, there’s a way to make just about any job sound fun. Enlist the best copy writer in your marketing department to help make your job listings pop.

3. Make it easy to apply.
The customer journey is a critical focus for most marketing departments. How do we ensure that the customer has the best possible experience from initial contact to delivery of goods and services? And, how do we make it as easy as possible for the customer to make a buying decision? This thought process should also extend to the job applicant.

Simply put, make it easy for people to actually apply for the job. If you don’t already have a way for people to apply online, get one soon. No one wants to print off an application, scan it and email it in. Have your marketing team build an online application that users can easily complete. Or, better yet, let job applicants apply using their LinkedIn profiles.

On a related note, if you don’t have any job openings at the time, you might consider creating a career interest form where people can provide you with their name, email address and resume. You can use this list of interested candidates later down the road when an opportunity arises. Not to mention, your marketing folks can also add them to your monthly e-newsletter. That’s what we call a win-win!

These certainly aren’t the only areas where HR and marketing can collaborate, but, by enhancing your first impression, updating your job descriptions and improving your application process, you can better position your company to attract millennials.

If you would like learn more about how you can effectively attract solid and productive millennial employees , call Coach Michael Stelter at Advanced Business Coaching, Inc. (262) 293.3166.

We have a series of FREE E-Books designed to provide you powerful information when searching and hiring your ideal employee. Click Here To Learn More.

How Would You Answer?… What Is Job Fit?

Onboarding New EmployeesWhat is Job Fit?

It’s the degree of congruence between an individual’s strengths, needs, and wants in a particular job and work environment. When interests align, the employee and the organization experience a good job fit. Establishing job fit helps to identify and place top performers in suitable positions.

Based on identifying innate personality traits, abilities, and behaviors, assessing for job fit determines if a person CAN do a job, HOW they will do a job, and if they will ENJOY the position. Every human being is motivated and driven by different influences. Job fit outlines the unique job-related qualities that make a person productive.

Poor job fit is costly to organizations worldwide. So much so that some businesses (in recent years) even offered employees cash to quit their jobs, if they felt it was not the right fit. Companies like Amazon and Zappos offered employees thousands of dollars to leave in an attempt to weed out those who don’t value the organizational mission. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos stated in his shareholder letter, “The goal is to encourage folks to take a moment and think about what they really want. In the long-run, an employee staying somewhere they don’t want to be isn’t healthy for the employee or the company.”

Gallup research has shown that companies with a ratio of 9.3 “engaged” employees (those who are emotionally connected with their jobs) for every one “disengaged” employee, saw 147 percent higher earnings per share on average [in 2012], when compared with their competitors. Gallup estimated that “active disengagement” costs the United States $450 to $550 billion each year.

Establishing and hiring for job fit at the start of the employee lifecycle helps organizations ensure they don’t become just another business contributing to the above figures.

On an organizational level, it will become evident that employees with little or no job fit will eventually leave, or be asked to leave. Turnover hurts more than a company’s bank balance; it affects morale, the company reputation, and productivity levels.

What are the factors in determining job fit?

There are multiple parts to an effective hiring process, as well as establishing job fit:

  • Assessments, behavioral interviewing, background checks
  • Identifying the position and what is needed in the position
  • Setting clear guidelines and expectations
  • Creating a benchmark

What is benchmarking?

  1. The process of identifying the standard of top, middle, and bottom performers
  2. Identifying commonalities (indicators) between what differentiates top performers from bottom performers
  3. Looking at a company’s culture, as cultures differ across organizations
  4. Using company-specific information

How to spot a job fit problem.

We are always looking for the perfect fit. We try on clothes before we buy them because clothes that fit look better. We pay to get rings resized. We even look for fit in our relationships; most of us like to build relationships with people who are compatible with us in some way. Since we take such care to find the perfect fit in other parts of our lives, shouldn’t we take the same approach in hiring to make sure candidates fit open positions?

Job fit is about more than just finding someone who has the necessary technical skills to do the job. A lack of technical skills is rarely the primary reason someone fails at a job. Job fit encompasses skills as well as a person’s reasoning ability, behavioral traits, and interests. Even when you identify an employee that may seem suitable for a particular job, interests and reasoning skills can change over time. This means another available job at your company could be the right move for an employee who no longer fits his or her current position.

It is not easy to identify employees who are up for a job change. Managers oversee numerous employees, and are often consumed by making sure everything gets done. Employees themselves often do not realize the problem is probably job-fit related. Although it can be hard, there are a few indicators to help you identify when it is time for an employee to make a job move:

1. The employee’s performance quality has decreased drastically.
If you notice that a formally stellar employee has been producing less quality work, it may be a sign that he or she needs a change. It is clear that the employee has the ability to be a star performer. Identify a job that will challenge him or her. Hopefully, the change of pace will be exactly what the employee needs to return to their previous level of engagement and work quality.

2. The employee has an updated skill set.
Many employees go back to school, seek certifications to keep themselves marketable, or switch careers completely. Instead of losing your employees to other companies once they receive more education, identify open positions you have that will match their new skill sets.

3. The employee seems bored.

If you have an employee who is still doing adequate work but seems bored, a job-fit problem probably exists. Boredom can be identified by an inability to pay attention in meetings, lack of new ideas, or a general loss of interest in company news. People prefer to be in jobs that excite and push them. Boredom is the first sign of a string of other problems, including disengagement and poor work quality. Stop the downward trend before it gets too bad by placing the employee in a new job that challenges them.
If you would like learn more about how you can create a process where you can great Job Fit in your business, call Coach Michael Stelter at Advanced Business Coaching, Inc. (262) 293.3166.
We have a series of FREE E-Books designed to provide you powerful information when searching and hiring your ideal employee. Click Here To Learn More.