Did you know Rich Sissen is a published author? Check out his latest article in the September 2015 issue of image Source- The Future of Document Technology.
Start Planning Now
Many people fear the future because the future is not predictable or controllable. Products change, buying patterns change, people’s needs change, just about everything changes. We as managers and owners can only control what we can predict. To help us through an uncertain future, we must have a People Management System and a Mission Statement in place so that we are better able to respond to the changes in our future.
What are your company’s five-year goals? What are your company’s one-year goals? One month goals? In order to achieve our objectives, we must have the right people in the right jobs. We must maintain a system of recruitment so that viable candidates are ready, willing and able to fill positions created by termination, growth or attrition. With a clear understanding of our Mission and with committed people in the right job, we will be better able to lead and respond to the uncertainties that lie in our company’s future.
“Stay The Course” – Anonymous Naval Officer
Quantitative Versus Qualitative
Companies who are unable or unwilling to plan for the future will rely heavily upon hiring people based strictly on quantitative indicators. These indicators would be things such as: “Can they sell a certain product, can they service a certain product, can they track prints made.” Quantitative indicators can be easily measured.
On the other hand, companies with a set Mission and Team Agreements try to hire people who not only have quantitative skills but they also have exceptional qualitative abilities. These abilities are not easily measured with facts, figures or numbers.
People with good qualitative abilities are those people who exhibit loyalty, trustworthiness and dependability. They are usually good team players, can anticipate problems before they occur and are willing to voice their ideas and opinions when appropriate. If we as owners and leaders are able to recruit and select people that have the right quantitative abilities as well as qualitative abilities, we will be able to better ensure that the right person is in the right job. You will find, time and time again, people with the right amount of “can-do” ability and the right amount of “will-do” ability will exhibit good longevity and productivity within your organization.
“Maybe, sometimes, opportunity was knocking at your door, but you were out buying lottery tickets.”
If Only I Had Enough Time!
Time is an endless continuum. As human beings, we live in a certain time period. What we do with our time during that period is vital not only to ourselves but also to our company. In order to secure the right person for the right job, we as leaders must allocate enough of our precious time to properly recruit, select, train, manage and motivate our people
If we are truly committed to our company’s Mission, then we must commit to placing the right person in the right job. We need individuals who can do the job, and individuals who are willing to accept changes which will occur during our organization’s future. Many of us rely upon our instincts and our experiences when it comes to hiring people. Some of us rely upon behavioral instruments and other hiring tools. Few of us allocate enough time to truly select committed, dedicated, and loyal associates.
We have a tendency to respond to things that need to be done now rather than things that need to be handled for the future. Only in the past ten/fifteen years have we begun to see in America’s large Fortune 100 Companies, a focus upon long term objectives and goals rather than this quarter’s profits. For so long, we saw these Goliath-sized organizations only concerned with “next year’s models.” Remember, these organizations move at a dinosaur pace and bear a tremendous burden in the area of severance pay, long-term insurance, pensions, etc. The smaller, entrepreneurial driven organization should be able to respond to change in a more efficient and cost-effective way.
“There is never enough time to do it right the first time, there is always time to go back and do it right the second time.” – Murphy’s Law
Compared To What?
We are all driven by this need for individual greatness. Unfortunately, by the way we are educated and programmed from childhood, few adults end up with any consuming willingness to use their imagination. Instead, they are much more comfortable to recite what someone else told them or what someone else said.
Leadership in business today needs to adopt an attitude of “know, show and go.” We need to Know where we want to go. We need to be able to Show people how to get there, and we must be able to Go there with them. If we don’t know where we are going, any road will get us there. If we don’t know how to demonstrate to people what needs to be done in order to get us there, it is very difficult for them to determine what needs to be done. If we are unwilling to go there with them, to be part of the team and a part of the end result, few if any of today’s workers will be comfortable in following us.
So, let’s build our Mission and get in touch with our “know, show and go” policy of leadership.
Rich Sissen is founder of Sissen and Associates which specializes in building management teams by training and developing their skills and knowledge in Recruiting, Selecting, Training & Development, Managing and Motivating team members. Sissen recently partnered with Avatara to bring to the dealer community a total IT and MS cloud program. Visit www.sissenandassociates.com for information or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Before you dismiss the cloud as a lot of vapor, though, listen to what three small-business people told us about their experiences with it:
• “We saved over $4000 in up-front costs by moving to an entirely cloud-based solution [for e-mail, Web hosting, virus protection, and more]. We were also able to substantially reduce our power bill and the costs needed to maintain and upgrade hardware.” –Bob Everett, president, Bottom-Line Consulting, a three-person firm offering various small-business services.
• “As a non-IT person, I find cloud-based applications easier to set up and use than many [computer] applications, and I don’t need to rely on internal IT support as much for assistance.” –Cristina Martin Greysman, executive vice president, business development, Vuzit, a six-employee software company.
• “A power surge nearly destroyed our in-house e-mail server. Had we not recovered it, a great deal of historical knowledge and valuable information would have been lost forever, not to mention the lost productivity for days or weeks. Now we have a secure, redundant, cloud e-mail system we can access anywhere, anytime, with a consistent interface, and it’s made our business stronger.” –Kevin Hart, partner and founder, Hart-Boillot, a ten-employee marketing and communications agency.
To be sure, cloud computing has its shortcomings (more on that later); but small businesses looking to cut computing costs and improve efficiency during this long recession are finding the many benefits of Internet-based software and services increasingly attractive. In fact, companies with 100 or fewer employees are expected to spend $2.4 billion on cloud computing services in 2010, up from $1.7 billion in 2009, according to Ray Boggs, vice president of SMB research for IDC.
Here’s what you need to know about cloud computing: what it is, pros and cons, suggested services, and tips for applying it to your business.
What Does Cloud Computing Mean?
For decades, engineers have drawn a cloud to depict a network (such as the Internet) whose inner workings were unknown to them. From there, cloud computing evolved as a term to describe free or subscription-based services delivered in real time over the Internet.
Cloud computing can refer to software as a service, such as Salesforce.com for customer relationship management (CRM); to file storage, synchronization, backup, and other utility computing, such as Dropbox; and to infrastructure as a service, including Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud, which delivers customizable computing capacity over the Internet.
If you’ve gotten to the point where you’re hiring employees for your business, give yourself a pat on the back. This is a major milestone for any company – and one that millions of entrepreneurs never achieve. Now your challenge is finding the right employee and putting them to work in a way that will help propel your company’s continued growth.
We asked members of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invitation-only nonprofit organization comprised of the country’s most promising young entrepreneurs, this question:
“What one employee management tip would you give entrepreneurs who are building their team?”
Here’s what the YEC community had to say:
1. Train Them
“Many entrepreneurs have the deluded expectation that an employee should show up able to do their job. No matter how competent they are, an employee will require train up and integration time. An added upshot, thinking about employee training cycles and growth paths really gets you thinking about how to grow your company.” ~ Charlie Gilkey, Productive Flourishing
2. Create an Entrance Interview
“We’ve created some documents for new employees to fill out right when they start about how they like to work, be rewarded, have meetings, etc. By having this written down it gives our whole team an understanding of how new team members might fit in and creates a better work culture.” ~ Caitlin McCabe, Real Bullets Branding
3. Get a Good Project Management System
“Entrepreneurs can keep the big picture in their head, but employees need to have the details in front of them. A good project management software (Manymoon is free) is a great way to keep the team focused and on task. Efficiency and productivity increase when you measure accountability with project management software.” ~ Lucas Sommer, Audimated
4. Teach Employees to Never Need a Manager
“Teach and empower your employees by giving them parameters to help them do their job autonomously. A sales rep doesn’t need a script, she must understand what makes a product valuable to a customer, and the many ways to point out those benefits. A service rep does not need a “company policy” to refer to, but rather a strategy for solving problems so the client is satisfied.” ~ Vanessa Nornberg, Metal Mafia
5. Set a Quarterly Theme and Vision
“Our first year in business we just did business day to day. But we found that even though we were doing awesome things, sometimes we got stuck in a groove because we weren’t shooting for a big goal. So we started setting a quarterly theme for our company. This theme goes into everything we do those three months, and everyone is focused on making that goal a reality. It helps focus efforts.” ~ Trevor Mauch, Automize, LLC
6. Open Door Policy
“Employees (especially new ones) are bound to make more mistakes than necessary if they feel they can’t ask you questions or get your feedback. Make sure you are accessible and available as much as possible. Literally, keep your door open to give the impression that anyone can visit to bounce an idea or ask a question of you.” ~ Benjamin Leis, Sweat EquiTees
7. Culture Is King
“Put your employees first, and they will take better care of your customers. As you are building your team, you must define what the inside of your company is going to look like. Your internal brand ultimately dictates how the company is represented on the outside. If you try to design the customer experience first, it will be forced and unnatural. Try to design the employee experience first.” ~ Nick Friedman, College Hunks Hauling Junk
8. Hire for the Ability to Get Stuff Done
“A small company cannot tolerate people who are lazy, procrastinate or are unable to use limited resources to push forward projects. You need people who can follow-through, find clever solutions and workarounds with a sense of urgency, and can take charge of a problem and drive it to a successful solution.” ~ Matt Mickiewicz, 99designs
9. Practice Transparency
“I’m always very honest with my team regarding financials and clients. In this economy, it’s important to be upfront with folks in every aspect of the business — particularly when you’re first getting started. Young professionals enjoy being an integral part of the planning and decision-making process, and it can also help them better understand how the business is run.” ~ Heather Huhman, Come Recommended
10. Tell Them How To Kick Butt
“I’m working on this, but it’s become obvious that letting someone know how to kick butt increases the likelihood that they will do so. Smart, talented people want to feel smart and talented, and that’s on you as a business leader. Entrepreneurs are often self-motivated and we forget that getting the most out of people means showing them how to succeed.” ~ Derek Shanahan, Foodtree
11. Encourage Openness and Honesty
“You never want your employees to be afraid to tell you the truth. You can encourage openness and honesty by: 1) Responding calmly when they tell you something has not gone as you expected 2) Talking through a plan for moving forward 3) Agreeing on follow up and accountability.” ~ Elizabeth Saunders, Real Life E®