16Jun
We are true leaders when we can surround ourselves with skilled people with the experience to help a company grow. Not all company owners can shift to that mindset for different reasons:
  • Fear of appearing weak for hiring “up” from their own individual level of expertise.
  • Pure ego where they want to “be the best” despite the benefits others with more experience can bring.
It is a well-known fact that a company that isn’t afraid to fill critical positions with employees with a higher level of expertise has a better chance of success. Putting egos aside, your team and people looking in from the outside will more highly respect you if you’re not afraid to “level up” and learn from others.

You will know you’re on the path to success if you have some of the following key leadership attributes. These should be shared with your top leaders and then, once fully vetted, with the entire team.

How Do You Score Your Leaders?

Generate a practical list of what specific things your leaders need to accomplish based on your company’s needs. Review it with your managers, supervisors, or anyone who plays a critical role in the company. Then each month, without fail, “tally” the card to see where each person stands.

Are Your Leaders Allowed to Lead?

There are many cases in a business where an employee is defined on paper as having a leadership role. Yet, the owner, or board, finds it challenging to step out of the way and allow this person to make decisions, even when it’s aligned with the company’s agreed-upon objectives.

Sometimes it requires baby steps. If this is the case, take a few days off and see how things go in their absence. You’ll be an even better leader if you make them feel comfortable enough to reach out to you with questions where your role is more consultative. And this open-door role must come without repercussions as we all learn from our blunders. We can, however, question their approach when they repeatedly make the same mistakes.

Are There Options for Personal and Professional Growth?

When you give your team the tools to enable them to grow, they will thrive, and your company will benefit from their evolving experience and new skills. It is especially beneficial if you can lay out a path that will help them grow, but each new piece of learning should move them a little further on the track to growing within the company.

Leadership tools come in many forms. And, some employees will differ in the way they want to learn. For instance, one person may be more visual, while another may do their best reading a book.

Some options for learning are:

Books
Create a mini-library with an easy way to “check out” a book. It may be necessary to place a time limit (i.e., one week) if it’s a highly sought-after book or something that aligns with a preset curriculum.

You may want to purchase multiple copies if a book falls in line with the “required” reading. And to take it further and nurture a collaborative environment, consider forming a book club with your internal team to discuss and share their opinions in an open, non-judgmental environment.

In-Person Training
This option is often considered during the onboarding process and generally consists of reviewing the procedures and expectations for working with the company. This upfront training should be a part of the process, no matter the level of the employee.

Leadership training is different as it is geared to the roles of the company leaders, which can include “future leaders.” Many third-party vendors can provide this service at a higher level and can be accomplished in-person or online. In-person, when made possible, is often a more efficient option as the facilitator can better capture the attendees’ attention. Your team will benefit, but so will your company as they continue to evolve their skillset.

Check-In Without Hovering

Set up regular check-in points where your leadership team meets to ensure everyone is on track. Holding a weekly meeting keeps things moving forward and allows you, as the ultimate leader, to weigh in on progress and how it will positively impact the company.

And don’t forget to check in with each leader on a one-to-one level, so they feel even more comfortable sharing any challenges their facing.

When you focus on the executive development of your key leadership staff, you automatically elevate the quality and perception of your company.
And finally, don’t forget to work to improve your own skillset continuously. When you lead by example and openly share your progress, you gain the respect of your team while motivating them to do the same.
23Jun
For many businesses, day-to-day office functions are back to normal or almost there. And, as incoming business increases, it may be a sign that it’s time to ensure you can scale to manage everything.
If you’re like so many other businesses who found it necessary to lay off employees during the pandemic, you may now be in a position where you need to “replenish” your team.

Some of us may feel a little rusty, but when it comes to ensuring you’re up-to-date with all things human resource-related, this is an excellent time to make sure your ducks are in a row.

Let’s talk about what you should focus on initially to get things back on track before hiring new employees.

What is Your Company Culture?

Why is this such a critical question? Because it will be impossible for you to properly relay this information to hiring partners or potential employees if you don't know yourself. In addition, quality candidates will want to know what to expect so that they're able to make an educated decision before considering employment with your company. Ask yourself:

  • What are your company values?
  • Do you have clear expectations for your employees?
  • Is it apparent that you are open to diversity?
  • Are you open to new ideas so that the team can feel challenged and valued?

If you have an up-to-date employee handbook, this will make it easy for everyone to be on the same page. In addition, this allows them to refer to it when they feel themselves potentially veering away from the company guidelines. And of course, making yourself available should someone have questions is invaluable as it encourages a comfortable but professional environment. If your culture is a bit more stringent, make sure you relay that early on, as there are also people who thrive just as well in that atmosphere. It’s all good as long as there’s an upfront agreement of what to expect.

When you hire a staffing solutions partner, this is one of the areas where they can be a tremendous help. A quality firm will be experts in gathering and relaying this information to help narrow the field for you.

Create a Solid Hiring Plan

A solid team should consist of the right set of skills and those who have the proper attitude and work well within the culture you have developed.

Now that you’ve solidified your cultural expectations, you will have some good information to begin laying out your plan. When presented with a quality applicant, it makes a terrible first impression only to stumble through the interview because you weren’t clear on your company’s expectations.

You want to:
Determine their skills and how it fits within the job you’re looking to fill
Learn if they will get along with other employees by asking questions that will bring out their personality.

 

Much of this will be determined early on if you are working with a solid recruiter who can have an open conversation with the potential candidate before you even meet them.

Are You Up-to-Date With Laws and Regulations

Just like everything, human resource laws are constantly changing. But, unfortunately, this is one of the most overlooked areas because we get so busy that we may let something as simple as a one-page critical form fall between the cracks.

Ensure you have a system in place so that they are provided with the necessary forms to complete as required by law each time you onboard a new employee. And once you have the paperwork, designate a secure place to store them out of reach of other employees. Go digital when possible but remember some forms, should you be audited, are still required to be in the form of paper. If possible, delegate this process to a member of HR or another leader within your company.

Whatever system works for you, there must be something in place. It also demonstrates that you’re a professional company to potential candidates.

And, when in doubt, consult your CPA or attorney so that you know the information you are handing out is legitimate.

As a business owner, there is already a great demand for your attention. Making sure you address these Human Resource challenges properly could be one of the best decisions you make for your business.