Tag Archives: human capital

Is being the smartest person in the room getting in the way of your growth as a leader?

Mike Desjardins of ViRTUS shares some valuable advice. Enjoy the read.

Some thoughts on strategy, leadership, and corporate culture.

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. Now of course, this helped me keep a pulse on everything that was happening with our customers but it was a trap that I slide right into. Everyone just assumed the easiest thing to do was “just check with Mike.”

Here’s what I learned: when every decision had to flow through me, no one learned and my day was filled with solving problems with no time left to focus on…

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Does your Corporate Culture attract Top Performers?

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?
photo credit: ChrisM70

“I hate this job”

Have you ever had one of those days…

For the characters in Glengarry  Glen Ross, EVERY day was one of those days.

My colleague Bradley and I saw the Arts Club Theatre Company’s production of Glengarry Glen Ross the other night.  First off , this is not a theatre review.  Bradley and I both love live theatre, and we loved everything about the production. The set was perfect, the performances were amazing, David Mament’s dialogue was riveting.

This is a review of the state of the characters in their workplace.  Bradley and I were watching this production not only as theatregoers, but as observers of corporate culture.  What a horrible working environment these gentlemen were in.

During the intermission, I jotted down a few words that came to mind while watching the first Act.

Non team players

Bradley said, “This certainly make me feel fortunate about my workplace”.  Indeed.

We all have those days when the  job can be  challenging, even frustrating.  Maybe we think it is not all its cracked up to be.  However, if you have a good team and good corporate culture,  they will sustain you through difficult times. The workers in Glengarry Glen Ross exude hopelessness. You can’t help but feel sorry for them.

The last line in the play was “I hate this job”.

I’m certainly glad I don’t feel the same way.

~ Jessica Rozitis

Honeymoon 101

I’ve been married for more than a few years but I still remember the joy and trials of the honeymoon part of marriage. In business however, the ‘honeymoon’ period can be far more challenging and can quickly erode team synergy if the road to finding their ‘groove’ is too bumpy along the way. It has been 3 months since we “formalized” our commitment to on-boarding and retention through our complimentary McNak behavioural profile and consultation that all new permanent hires receive when they begin their new role at our client companies.  As the key Consultant on Talent Diversification and veteran McNaker, I am excited to share the start of something so very McNak!

We recognize that we can bring smiles (our Wow!) to more people faster the quicker they know each other. Normal work relationships usually develop through an awkward trial and error method that usually takes the better part of a few months. And usually it doesn’t come without some thorns along the way. This period of flux can often have a downward pull on corporate culture and team productivity. I’ve already seen the tremendous benefit of our behavioural profiling and that makes me smile!

Let’s face it. No one likes to be the new guy or the one to work with the new guy. So fast tracking through the honeymoon period is gratefully welcomed by all involved!

Behavioural profiling has such a positive influence to teams. And with the four letters D I S C,  I can selfishly say I feel the WOW. FUN. PEOPLE.  How McNak is that!


photo credit: xtheowl

Corporate Culture and Top Performers

Corporate culture and Top Performers. These two words go hand in hand together, much like peanut butter and jam. 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. At McNak we find that for most of our client companies, corporate culture is a big deal. The biggest risk for a company is in failing to create an environment that supports corporate culture or to acknowledge that corporate culture should be present but do nothing to nurture it.

Developing a culture that attracts top performers is one of the most important tools for a company’s recruitment process. Proof of corporate culture can now be found on the most transparent level through social media and other on line media.  By understanding the nature of top performers, you can take their energy and inspiration and use it to grow other future top performers. Take a top performer out for lunch and you’ll not only know what’s on their mind, but you will most likely come away with valuable insights into the business.

Top performer employees usually share some traits in common with companies that have developed corporate cultures. They both have a track record in communicating their vision of success as well as have well developed core values and goals. Great employees also are not afraid to speak up for the greater good of an enterprise. They will continually test the integrity of its values and goals by pushing for the highest level of achievement. When they set goals, they think in terms of what they really need to be doing. These types of people think about ways to maximize opportunities and leverage their potential. They visualize their success. This accountability when answered by the corporation attracts more of the same type of performers and the organization overall succeeds with a continued, renewed energy.

And while they may be hard drivers, they bring about much reward and satisfaction to the work environment. And as a bonus, they also share of love of celebration. I’m talking about sharing individual AND team successes. These individuals want nothing more than to see their teams succeed. Being a part of an organization that communicates their vision and goal messages on a consistent basis while taking the time to celebrate all levels of success are important qualities for great corporate cultures.

Employees that feel a part of something more than just their job tend to stay. Employee teams in these companies are usually far more productive, innovative and happy. It pays to be more than a ‘vanilla’ type of corporate culture! If our corporate culture were to be an ice cream flavour I would see it as more of a Tiger Stripe. Edgy and sweet! It started years ago when our company, dear McNak, was much younger. When I look back it all began in such tiny baby steps. At first we didn’t realize what we were becoming. And then somehow we happened upon ‘McNak’ as our name as a term of endearment and I guess it just stuck! Over the years we started to enjoy how much it meant to be a part of something great together and we really have embraced all the unique parts that have made us who we are. I suppose we really went after our inner quirk. Everything fueled it from that point on. And we’ve so enjoyed our evolution as the ‘McNak’ that we are today.

~ Sarah McNeill

photo credit:  hiwarz

Successful Hiring Process = More Business Success!

Companies that have job openings can mean a few things – On one hand, business can be very good and therefore a new role is created or on the other hand, a valued added staff member is leaving the firm. In both of these cases, they are factors that can affect the success of a business whether you see an increase in employee turn over rate, changes in employee morale, the time and cost taken to retrain a new employee, and even productivity will be below average during this transition. Whatever the case may be, job openings can reveal that a company will be negatively impacted and especially during a transition until the vacancy is filled with a great fit!

This is a major reason that the importance of the hiring process is not taken lightly. Having an over extended time before finding a match to the job vacancy can also lead to other negative impacts to a business – overworked existing employees, a backlog or slower service to clients, and a devalued impression of an employer’s brand in the marketplace.

If you are looking to evaluate your current hiring process, here are a few ideas to ensure your hiring process is efficient, seamless, and successful to your business!


Evaluate, identify, and communicate the factors that are keys to success within the role, the team and the company culture (reach out to your key staff members, HR and Recruitment Partners during this process for valued added clarity).


Ensure all parties involved understand and agree to the key to success factors and a set out a recruitment time line (to have a realistic hiring date, be sure to include those who may be away that must be involved in the hiring process).


Create an eye catching and concise job posting and get the word out to your network – this takes time and if you lack that, or lack the network, then reach out to your expert contacts.


Set up a consistent criteria-based screening process including a number of candidates to be screened, implementing assessments and background checks, and a number of interviews to be conducted before a hiring decision.


Responding to applications and starting the interviewing process immediately is important! Top talents are rare and recruited quickly. Don’t forget to keep interviewed candidates informed on the hiring process timeline and release those that are not a close match.


Ensure to keep a timely hiring process in check.


Prepare in advance a standardized offer letter and package which can be manipulated for the different types of roles in your business. This last step is as crucial as all the others discussed prior. An offer letter is the legal binding document making the hire official. It would be very disappointing to go through the hiring process and then not have a hire work out!


You found the perfect fit after much investment and time in recruiting but you are not done yet! You have invested so much already, right? Therefore, it would be wise to get to know how to best work with the person you hired. Whether you are using Myers-Brigg or DISC, behavioral profiling tools can provide valuable communication and behavioral insights on the successful candidate. It allows you to fast track into your on-boarding of a new employee and work more effectively with their behavioral styles. As a result, allowing better synergies and more success for your business.

How are you continuously ensuring your hiring process is effective and seamless to bring more success for your business?

~ Sharon Tong

Progressive Employers of Canada

Part of a great corporate culture is offering elements of flexibility, support and progressive programs to employees. The Progressive Employers of Canada List recognizes organizations who offer employees and in particular, “mom-friendly” innovative work environments. Additionally, this list hopes to enhance dialogue between employers and employees to ultimately identify more supportive workplaces.

Does your company offer a “mom-friendly” work environment? If YES, nominate your company before April 15th for the 2010 Progressive Employers of Canada List.

~ Sharon Tong