Tag Archives: Team building

Staffing for Canada Week

This week is Staffing for Canada Week.  The annual event is celebrated by members of the Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services to acknowledge the more than 400,000 people who are employed in the staffing profession in Canada. ACSESS members represent 85 percent of the staffing volume in Canada.

Our office celebrated with a pot luck lunch and then a handful of us went for a nice walk along the seawall in Yaletown. Great way to celebrate with our fun team of recruiters.

Corporate Culture Mindset

“Culture eats strategy for lunch”

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Corporate Culture Mindset
Image compliments of Human Resources MBA Degree Guide

Managing Performers and Potentials

In a time when the workforce is increasingly transient, your ability to identify high-performing and high-potential employees—and that of your managers—is critical. And yet, many struggle to distinguish one from the other, negatively impacting their ability to develop and retain top talent. In many organizations, performance is the primary measure of an employee’s value in the organization. Star performers are promoted and rewarded, while diamonds in the rough become disengaged and move on.

Don’t get me wrong–you should definitely value performance. But if your end goal is to build a more robust talent pipeline (and it should be), performance can’t be the only point of entry. To that end, there are strategies that any manager can apply to develop high-potentials and high-performers effectively.

Step One: Identify

High-performers stand out in any organization. They consistently exceed expectations, and are management’s go-to for difficult projects. They take pride in their accomplishments, but may not have the potential (or the desire) to succeed in a higher-level role.

High potentials can be more difficult to identify, especially for line managers. That’s because most valuable attributes (e.g. stress management, adaptability, business sense) aren’t catalytic in entry-to-mid-level roles. Potential is subjective to what a company values, of course, but there are innate attributes that distinguish them from high-performers.

Line managers’ observations are often limited to the most obvious traits (time management, communication skills, attention to detail). By working with leadership, however, managers can profile the skills that ensure success in key roles—and be on the lookout for examples of both high performers and high potentials from day one.

Step Two: Assess

An established standard of the attributes and competencies of model employees is also an essential part of objective assessment. And though there’s a distinct difference between potential and performance, experts agree that employees should be assessed on competency in both.

Figure 1 - Hyper v Hypo[1]

Each category requires a different development strategy. With a clearer picture of who falls where, managers can make more informed decisions in how to effectively develop them. For example: High Po/ Low Per employees may need to improve their ability to perform consistently, or may be moved into roles better aligned with their natural abilities. And High Per/Low Po employees would be ideal candidates for soft skill development–or for roles that require more technical skill.

Step Three: Engage and Develop

The important thing about development and engagement strategies (especially for high-potential vs. high-performance employees) is to tailor your efforts to drive the results you want. Typical engagement strategies could look something like this:

Figure 2 - Hyper v Hypo

Recognition is key for High Per/Low Po employees. They need constant encouragement and challenging assignments. Rather than promoting them to roles they don’t want (or aren’t ready for), give them the independence and engage them with projects that they can take full ownership of.

Alternately, while High Po/Low Per employees are hungry for more high-impact work, they need seasoning. On the job training is a great way to accomplish this, especially when pairing them with high performers. As they develop a stronger understanding of the organization and their role in it, give them projects to manage, new hires to train, and offer cross-training opportunities.

Set Your Line Managers Up for Success

Your line managers are the gatekeepers to your talent pipeline, and they’ve got their work cut out for them. While most will have some natural ability in identifying, assessing, and engaging performers and potentials, few will be adept at all three. If you want to improve your ability to retain top talent, it starts with your line managers. Set them up for success, and invest in their development.

This guest post was written by Kyle Lagunas.

Kyle Lagunas is the HR Analyst at Software Advice—an online resource for HR software comparisions. He reports on trends, technology, and best practices in talent management, with work featured on Forbes, Business Insider, Information Weekly, and the NY Times.

Called To Coach And Lead The Team

Tina Del Buono of Practical Practice Management shares some worthy leadership advice. Enjoy the read.

Practical Practice Management

Whether it is called coaching, managing, or supervising if it is not done with the   right persons in mind, then maybe the person doing it shouldn’t do it at all.

That may sound pretty harsh, but let’s think it through before making any critical judgments.

The “manager” works under someone, perhaps a supervisor or the business owner.  They have been entrusted to instruct, guide and inspire those that they oversee.  It is what the job description states, and it is what is expected.

Three small words, but three difficult tasks for several reasons;

1. Instruct:  Not all people learn the same or at the same speed.  Communication during training may require different teaching methods to get everyone on the same playing field and understanding what the game plan is.  Some players may catch on quickly and others may take longer.  Instructing then is not a “one size fits all”…

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What went wrong: a lesson about onboarding

Companies with strong employment engagement usually have clearly defined employee onboarding programs. The best talent is drawn to environments where effective programs exist resulting in high levels of employee engagement and low employee turnover. While it seems like common sense to invest in creating and maintaining these programs, they are often overlooked.

Imagine a situation where a new hire has started at your company but there is no formal onboarding system in place. The new hire has a very important but sometimes undervalued role in the company as the Office Manager/Administrator.   The direct supervisor is a recently new hire themselves so there is no clear direction of what to do. The Office Manager has arrived with a job description in mind but no formal training occurs, nor do they have opportunities to receive weekly or even monthly reviews.  In addition, the busy sales company hasn’t had an Office Manager before as everyone just pitched in. It seemed like everyone assumes the new hire was clear on their job requirements and trained by the other team members.

The rest of the employees couldn’t draw upon history to assist the Office Manager in what to do. Frustration is building with the new hire and in a short time the Office Manager quits and everyone is in shock at what has happened.

This situation could create long-term damage to your corporate brand and could be prevented with an onboarding system in place. Ideally, companies need to plan their program before they start the hiring process. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Your company just needs a well thought out plan with a person accountable to see the new hire through a training-feedback process.

  • Have your new hire’s desk ready with computer log-in, e-mail account and telephone system all up. Don’t forget about business cards.
  • Assign a supervisor who is accountable for training the new hire.
  • Assign a buddy for the first month – nothing breaks the ice more than with a person familiar with the company’s culture and core values. Most importantly – to greet them when they arrive on their first day and show them around.
  • Take your new hire out for lunch on the first day – or coffee at very least
  • Train the new hire with a concise orientation book about your company
  • Seek feedback from the new hire- they can tell you where they need more assistance, clarity or direction
  • Communication is key – use monthly reviews to provide feedback and encourage feedback
  • Inform your employees in advance of the new hire’s arrival. Onboarding starts as soon as the offer letter is accepted, not simply just the new hire’s first day at the company.

Without an onboarding program, the investment in a new hire is likely to be wasted away. By simplifying the onboarding process, employers can expect new employees to hit the ground running, and be able to contribute more quickly to a corporation’s success.

The Importance of Teamwork and Positive Energy in the Workplace

Employees are a company’s greatest asset or the biggest liability.

It is one thing to hire exceptional individuals it is another to hire exceptional individuals who are leaders and who understand the importance of positive energy and the power of working together as a team to achieve dynamic results.

Positive energy flow and teamwork is vital to the long term growth of any establishment. Be aware that negative energy and ego can contaminate an entire establishment – all it takes is one individual.

Creating a strong positive team environment is important. Each individual plays a significant role in the overall energy force contributing positive or negative energy in the workplace. “Teamwork not only allows a person to do what he couldn’t otherwise do; it also has a compounding effect on all he possesses – including talent. A group of talented people committed to working together is a work of art. – John Maxwell

Understanding each team member’s strengths and weaknesses including varying energy levels and pairing up individuals who balance one another to create a team can be beneficial to all. In addition, hire individuals who are willing to learn from one another and support one another’s growth regardless of their position within the company. Look for the greatness within each individual and pair them with teammates who complement one another encouraging growth, support and teamwork.

A Chinese proverb states, “Behind an able man there are always other able men” The truth is that teamwork is at the heart of great achievement. The question isn’t whether teams have value, the question is whether we acknowledge that fact and become better team players – John Maxwell

One is too small a number to achieve greatness. Nothing of significance was ever achieved by an individual acting alone. Look below the surface and you will find that all seemingly solo acts are really team efforts. – John Maxwell

You are only as good as the employees you hire.

This guest post was written by Janis Gall of MAC Marketing Solutions

photo credit: kool_skatkat

Onboarding Strategies and your Seasonal Workers

During peak periods – around the holidays, tax season or over the summer – it’s critical that businesses can easily manage the addition of temporary employees and quickly get them up to speed. And from recruiting and training to offboarding, seasonal employees can put your human resources software and processes to the test. Not only do you have to find and hire the right people, you have a very short time to train them and get them connected to your organization. Here, I’ve outlined a few ways to go above and beyond your normal onboarding process to get seasonal employees geared up and ready to go.

5 Tips for Onboarding Strategies

Some people may assume I’m focused on training when I say “onboarding,” but the fact is that the employee experience starts in the recruiting stage. With this in mind, here are a few key strategies to help you throughout every phase of the process:

1.  Tailor your recruiting strategies. Your recruiting efforts should be tailored to meet the specific needs of a seasonal workforce. It’s important to make the details of the opportunity clear from the get-go. Also, be wary of how you communicate potential for further employment, as you don’t want folks making assumptions.

2.  Perform due diligence. Don’t skimp on due diligence in collecting legal papers and monitoring employees’ schedules. “A lot of people short-circuit processes like verifying work eligibility or tracking hours correctly. It should go without saying, but you really need to be sure you’re following the law,” says John Rossheim, a senior contributing writer at Monster.com.

3.  Provide proper training. According to Forbes Woman columnist and onboarding expert Emily Bennington, onboarding should focus on integrating new employees in three areas:

  • Technical Skills: To what depth of expertise do seasonal employees need to be trained to perform their jobs?
  • Company Culture: How thoroughly do seasonal hires need to understand company policies and values?
  • Social Integration: In what ways can you connect seasonal employees to your organization so they feel like they are part of the team?

Furthermore, Rossheim suggests designing your seasonal workforce “to accomplish the task at hand, rather than haphazardly training everyone to do everything they may possibly have to do. Specialize rather than throwing everyone into the same bucket.”

4.  Know your capacity upfront. Whether you have a general human resources management system or a hodgepodge of spreadsheets and checklists – it’s important to know your capacity. Can your back-office system efficiently handle an increased volume in applicants and new hires?

5.  Make them part of the team. Seasonal employees can easily feel isolated if an onboarding program doesn’t successfully connect them to the organization. According to Eddie Baeb of Target Corportate Communications, Target is focused on engaging seasonal employees and making them feel just as valued as anyone else from day one. With nearly 40 percent (about 35,800) of seasonal team members joining as permanent employees last year after the holidays, they’ve got this down.

End Things on a Good Note with Offboarding

You may have discovered a few star performers you’d like to bring onto your team permanently. For the rest, though, Bennington says “there’s definitely an opportunity to establish brand ambassadors.” Offboarding provides a chance to make a lasting positive impression, while gaining insight into the worker’s experience.

Standard offboarding practices include surveying workers on their experience. Bennington suggests going beyond surveying, and having one-on-one exit interviews with select employees to get more candid responses.

This guest post was written by: Kyle Lagunas

Kyle Lagunas is the HR Analyst at Software Advice. On the surface, it’s his job to contribute to the ongoing conversation on all things HR. Beyond that, he makes sure his audience is keeping up with important trends and hot topics in the industry. Focused on offering a fresh take on points of interest in his market, he’s not your typical HR guy.