This past week was filled with trying something new almost every day. As a child, change was easy to me. I lived in 12 different homes (with my parents) before I was in 7th grade. In 2nd grade I went to three different schools. This week I had to reflect on the question "Is trying something new the same as change?". I love using Chat GPT for these type of questions. Yes, trying something new is related to change but not the same.
When you try something new, you are introducing a change in your behavior, routine, or experience. So, trying something new is a specific type of change. It typically involves deliberately seeking a different experience, experimenting with new ideas or activities, or stepping outside your comfort zone to explore uncharted territory. While trying something new is a form of change, not all changes involve trying something new. Some changes may occur naturally or as a result of external factors, and they might not necessarily involve the deliberate choice to do something different. -ChatGPT
After doing multiple things that were new to me this week, here are three recommendations to encourage you to try something new.
GET OUT OF COMFORT
I have to admit, I was very anxious over the things that I had said "Yes" to that would take me out of my comfort zone. After leading 45 businesses through a daytime trick or treat experience which I had never attended, I felt more confident about event planning than I would have if I had stayed in my comfort zone.
MEET NEW PEOPLE
Typically when you try something new you experience people that you might not otherwise have met. This week when I sponsored the lunch & learn at a local chamber, I was unsure my business was big enough to be sponsoring it. I couldn't believe how supportive people were and I realized I would have never have met these people if I hadn't tried something new.
EXPERIENCE A NEW ENVIRONMENT
I have taken on a few hours a week to go into a manufacturing facility to do a service. I was so glad they didn't tell me where I was being assigned because I may not have done it. I am putting on safety glasses, earplugs and steel toe shoes and walking the manufacturing floor. This week I was on my own to perform the service. All of my senses were impacted by this new experience. It gave me encouragement about how many more new experiences I am able to do when I let myself try something new.
What is something new you tried this week?
Thanks for reading!
You made it through another week. What were your celebrations and your struggles related to your workforce? In my role as a business consultant and the interim Executive Director of a local Chamber of Commerce, every day I connect with leaders in the community. They all have very similar experiences related to their workforce and this week I heard a lot of struggles around building the team. When to hire? How to be competitive with benefits? When to let someone go? When will I get back to working on the core activities of my position? Here are a few thoughts from my experience building teams that I hope will give you hope if you also are facing workforce struggles.
EVALUATE THE JOB DESCRIPTIONS
Who do you need to do the work of your business? Start to list all the skills and experience that is needed for the various roles that will make your business operate. How do you package these skills into a job description(s) that you could use to recruit top talent? Don't forget to include a job description for yourself. I work a lot with small business owners and I encourage them to develop FAQs that could be used for a receptionist or even on a website that help customers know what to expect, what information is needed on an order and what products are sold there. I also encourage everyone to use calendar scheduling software (such as Calendly and WeSparkle) to reduce the back and forth of scheduling meetings or appointments. Lastly, voluntary health benefits are a great opportunity to support your hiring top talent with no direct cost to your business.
WHERE ARE THE EMPLOYEES?
Business leaders need to be creative. The traditional job board posting may not be how you fill roles you have. Outsourcing accounting, human resources, marketing and administration is a great opportunity to develop your back-office functions without the overhead of many employees. Part-time can be something people are interested in and could develop into full-time. Don't forget about temp agencies. There was a season where I was trying to hire a research accountant. We were realizing we were going to have hire a successful accountant and train them for a research accountant role because there weren't experienced research accountants in the applicant pools. We made an investment into an accounting recruitment agency and were successful to get four employees who brought great value to our team in a short period of time. Three of them have been promoted from where they started and are still at the institution we hired them into. This was 6 years ago. Recruitment agencies can provide value to your hiring barriers.
LETTING EMPLOYEES GO
Having to let employees go is the top reason that business leaders don't hire. So what do you do? I have experience with this both in my own retail shop and also as a manager of a large higher education department. I'm very passionate that if you have an employee who with coaching continues to bring a negative energy to the team, they must go. Be clear of expectations. Keep facts, not emotions of their behavior and the impact it has on the team. Get human resource guidance to ensure the departure is compliant to employment laws. If you don't have the work to pay for an employee and need to let them go, help your employees find another position with referrals and/or help them get to their next promotion. I do encourage you to know when you need to hire for your own mental health. You will get through whatever happens after the hire.
Thank you for reading. Was this helpful? What ways have developed a workforce? Have a great weekend!
For the past few years we have been active in the community learning about the barriers that small business owners face in running their business.
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Happy Friday! I'm writing today to the business owners and managers who are exhausted by their lack of employees; the ones they have aren't the best; their high-performers are most likely looking for a new job. The reality of having a dream team may be far from your thoughts, but today's reflections are a few encouragements that you can have a DREAM TEAM REALITY.
START WITH YOU
The leadership of your business starts with you. Your ability to find healthy ways to keep going will benefit everyone. You notice this doesn't doesn't say time for yourself, you don't have this. Look around your business right now, what makes you happy? Is there a genre of music you could play in your office? Is there a non-alcoholic beverage that you could have stocked for yourself? Can you listen to a motivating podcast during your day? Can you go for a walk at the top of the hour? Focus on yourself so that you are refreshed to lead everyday. As I write this, I am seeing a super busy business owner of a very successful coffee shop. Being busy is a good thing, right? Well, she definitely was short-staffed as she was preparing a catering order and helping the customers at the counter, but the space was so beautiful with great music and I noticed she was drinking a favorite non-alcoholic beverage that wasn't sold at her business. (Emphasis on non-alcoholic because I know most people do think about their favorite alcoholic beverage during stressful times.)
YOU AREN'T ALONE
As I went full-time consulting a few months ago, I had no idea the stories I would hear from small business and nonprofit leaders and be able to emphasize for how hard it is to lead your own business. Many employees and customers don't realize the pressure when the weight of the business is on you. You may feel alone in your organization, but you aren't alone. I know there is a community of other business leaders in your area. I hope there is a supportive Chamber of Commerce and opportunities to take a break with other business leaders. Take time each week to find a group of business leaders that you can connect with or better yet, start your own. It takes a village, even for your business.
Please call 988 if you or someone you know is in crisis or suicidal.
This week I went to a education event around fraud in businesses and it was so disheartening to hear about how much is stolen from employees. Recently I heard a story of having to fire a very good employee because they were caught on camera stealing. Stealing something that had they asked they needed it, the employer would have most likely given it to them. So what does this have to do with employee engagement? If you don't know what your employees may be going through in their personal lives, you might want to find out. I don't mean going on the shop floor and asking them "Is everything ok at home?", but taking time to meet them and learn more about them on a consistent basis. Is your business to big for you to do this? I recently heard about Marketplace Chaplains and they have care partners to support your employees in their personal lives so they can keep being successful at work.
What did I miss in helping business owners and leaders keep going amidst the labor shortage, higher material costs and burn-out?
I'd love to hear your story, send me a LinkedIn message or email email@example.com.
Have a restful weekend and I appreciate you!
3 Reasons why Training Matters in
Written by Faith