Action Speaks Louder Than Words!

When we’re truly interested in learning how to improve the recruiting process in our organization, we need to be willing to commit to taking action quickly with potential candidates. If we prove unresponsive from the very beginning, some of the best potential team members may quickly get the impression that this is what they can expect even after they join the company. When we paint a great picture of all the opportunities we can provide but don’t back it with the action to match, all our effort crafting that message can be lost.

Before we go deeper into that though, let’s circle back to something from the last post. I mentioned how smaller companies often need team members to develop quickly since each person represents a larger percentage of the total. This can have a significant impact on career growth and retention, and ties very closely with improving the recruiting process. But when the management team in a bigger organization really accepts leadership...

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Offering More Than The Competition!

I floated several different ideas for the title of this post by Cindy before landing on “Offering More Than The Competition”... She shot them all down! She said they were each accurate but would likely send the wrong message. As I was studying some material on The Model of Human Behavior yesterday, I read something from Dr. Robert Rohm stating “It takes a good C type personality to complete the loose ends of a D.” And thank God I have one…

Since I ended up going with a more appropriate title, rather than something that would have toed the line a bit, let’s jump straight to the main course. We looked at the importance of telling the right story in the last post, That matters! But we still need to make sure we can provide them with something more tangible to get them in the door!

Those of us who are blessed to live in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia may not always realize how great our job market has historically been. In addition to many great...

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One Way Employee Retention Impacts Recruiting...

In the last post, we made the move from focusing on the importance of employee retention to looking at recruitment and retention strategies. With that in mind, we can never really afford to take our eye off the ball with regards to creating the type of culture that keeps great people onboard and engaged! 

I’ve seen organizations be incredibly hesitant to invest time and resources into intentionally building up the individuals on their team, then increasing their compensation accordingly, and having to fill entry level positions over and over and over again. I’ve also seen organizations that adhere to extremely stringent timelines and procedures before even considering a pay raise. Many times, the companies doing either (or both) of those things also struggle to attract solid candidates for the roles they need to fill. Sometimes a company may even offer crazy sign-on bonuses to reel candidates in, but the holes in their process for career growth keep those same...

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The Cost of Starting Fresh

Several years ago, I was presented with a fancy certificate of recognition from a regional workforce development board for the work I had done with them on a grant that was focused on getting unemployed and under-employed individuals into skilled, full time roles. This particular grant was designed to take fees paid to the government in the H1-B Visa process and re-allocate them to organizations that were hiring in an attempt to offset some of their training costs. I had indeed worked closely with that group for a couple of years leading up to that but I had no idea that I had written more grants than anyone else in the state. I just thought it made sense and believed doing whatever I could to alleviate the significant costs we were absorbing to train new employees was part of my job… 

The initial grant I was dealing with would cover up to 50% of the new employee’s salary for up to six months, but I had to make a strong business case for the time and costs involved...

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Not On or To Them, but FOR Them!

I got my first taste of behavior-based safety in late spring or early summer of 1998. Cindy and I had only been dating a few months at that point so I was still teetering on the edge to say the least… By the time I went through the two day training process required to conduct behavioral observations in January ‘99, we were nearly a year into a pretty solid relationship so some of my extremely rough edges were beginning to get at least a little bit smoother. Looking back, I can see so many places where God’s hand was moving in my life at that time but I’ll save those stories for another time.

For now, I’d like to share a subtle but crucial lesson that I probably should have pulled away from those two days of training. Truth be told, it took a few years for me to really get it!

You may have heard me reference this before but I’ll hash it out here again. One of the core tenets of behavior-based safety is that employees are trained to watch their...

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What Do You Expect from ME?

Once we’ve worked to ensure we’re very clear about exactly what it is that we provide for our customers, our clients, the team members we lead, or even our family, we’d each do well to invest some additional time into making sure we understand just what it is they’re really hoping to receive through their interaction with us. 

Gosh Wes, why would I need to do that if I’ve already put so much into clarifying what I can offer in each of those situations? Shouldn’t that be enough?

I remember hearing a story about a couple who were going through marriage counseling. The wife was upset because her husband wasn’t communicating with her. The husband was upset because he just couldn’t figure out how to please his wife. As the counselor asked the wife a series of probing questions to really dig into what her husband wasn’t communicating with her about, she finally said “he hasn’t even told me that he loves me since the...

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The Why, The What, and The How!

We’ve looked at several things that anyone interested in moving their mission statement from the wall of their front lobby to the actions of their team can take action on. Now let’s remove any remaining confusion there may be between the mission and the vision.

Before digging into this, let me clarify something: I couldn't care any less as to whether we use the right term as long as we’re DOING the right things! I’ve seen organizations waste far more time differentiating which statement is which than their executive team ever invested into living an example for their team members to follow. I suppose they thought that as long as both looked good in a frame, they wouldn’t actually have to change anything they did. I believe we’ve covered that in enough detail so far that we’d be beating the proverbial dead horse to hash it out again…

If we want to truly lead our teams in building a culture that EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS in every aspect of...

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Always Check For Leaks!

Early in chapter 13 of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, as he’s describing how important it is for a leader to provide a constant example for our teams to follow, John Maxwell says “The temptation for any leaders is to merely communicate about the vision.” Truth be told, just communicating with the team on a regular basis with even a little bit of clarity is still far more effective in gaining buy-in on an organization’s mission and purpose than hanging it on the wall or printing it on ID badges. 

But even frequent communication still presents a challenge; our team may not grasp the full understanding we need them to have from words alone. And without a crisp picture in their minds of how that purpose is achieved, there’s another risk John warns about. He says “vision has a tendency to leak.” 

Clear and ongoing communication about how each individual role ties into our organization’s mission, how it impacts the end...

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Charging Directly Toward The Mission

Before closing the loop with one final thing I’ll challenge you to consider from the mission statement we’ve been looking at, “Delivering customer satisfaction with empowered employees using continuous improvement to get it right the first time, every time,” I want to stress one last time that I’m not suggesting this this particular statement is good or bad. I am, however, challenging you to consider how it relates to the mission statement in your organization, the one you need your team to rally around, and whether or not it provides the kind of clarity they can buy into. If you’re good there, the elephant left in the room is the manner in which you exemplify the behaviors you hope to see throughout your team. And we’ll look at that a bit more over the next few days as we sift through something I read on our flight to Tampa…

A few posts back, I mentioned that I believed the ideas of continuous improvement and right the first time,...

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Empowered To Accomplish The Mission

Think back to the mission statement I shared as I opened the last post; “Delivering customer satisfaction with empowered employees using continuous improvement to get it right the first time, every time.” The piece about empowered employees sounds warm and fuzzy, but what does that really look like? What would that really require?

We hear the word empower quite often these days. As with how frequently the term leadership is tossed around in describing anyone with a title or position, regardless of whether or not they actually do anything at all that truly leads anyone, many of those folks in those roles talk about empowering their people but I’m not sure that happens all that frequently…

A quick internet search shows me that empower, a verb, is defined as “to give (someone) the authority or power to do something.” 

While simple, I believe that action can have amazing results in earning our team members’ buy-in on the mission our...

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