The 5 “Pain Points” and how to get your people to S.O.A.R.®

What are the causes of turnover in a company and what can be done about it? As a business owner, you are focused on keeping your business running profitably. As you break down the causes of the issues you face, it comes down eventually to the people who work for you. Are they the right fit? Do they do the job they are assigned to do? How well do they do their jobs and accomplish what has to be done in a timely manner?

There are 5 major obstacles that prevent building a successful work force. If you don’t solve these problems, you might be able to survive, but it takes a different approach to thrive and grow properly.

The 5 HR and management “pain points” that generates turnover and decrease profitability:

      1. I can’t find enough candidates when I have a job opening.
      2. I can’t seem to hire the right person for the job and who will fit in my company.
      3. I need my new employee to get to work right away. I hired them because they said they knew how to do the job, but they are making too many mistakes. I am not so sure I made the right decision.
      4. It takes a long time to get my new people to be a part of my team; if ever. There are too many issues with other employees and sometimes with my customers. I spend too much time correcting past problems, rather than moving forward.
      5. After I spend the time and money, too many of them leave. They just don’t want to stay. I have to start over again. It is costing me a fortune every year, and I don’t know what to do to make it better.

The solution is found in a system called S.O.A.R. ®. The more you develop your people, the greater your profitability in the end.

  1. Selection Hiring the right person for the job.
      1. There are 2 significant “pain points” in this step. First, how to find enough qualified candidates; and second, how to select the right person for the job.
      2. The TalentValue Selection system is built and designed to identify the key crtieria for the job, and then deliver to you the best candidates that match those criteria. Why pay for “hits” on a web site when you really want to talk to candidates?
      3. Too many times you hire for the skills you need, but didn’t hire for the right behaviors that actually determine what makes your best people truly successful. This occurred because you didn’t have the appropriate tools to know how to determine the right behaviors you require for the job, and then to be able to match the best person to those  job behaviors that define success on the job.
      4. The key to selecting the right people for a job is to use a behavioral assessment customized to the job and the behaviors leading to success. Skip this step, and the information the assessment provides, and you are guessing, The pain that comes from avoiding these assessments is a poor job match and a weak fit into your culture.
  2. Orientation – Effectively and Efficiently “ramping up” the new employee
      1. The third “pain point” is the assumption the new hire will know how their job is done in your company and the rules they need to know to be effective.
      2. All new hires start with limited knowledge of how to apply what they know from their past into this new company and situation. The result can be a confusing start and miserable employee.
      3. There is a difference between on-boarding (setting up their salary and benefits) and a good orientation that teaches the new hire how to make best use of their past skills. Each person needs to be given the time with a planned “ramp-up” into the job, instead of a brief introduction on the first day before they are “dumped” into the tasks.
      4. This step requires a new hire “instruction manual” or a learning checklist to detail the precise way the job is done in your company and your success expectations; both technical and behavioral. Management needs to be clear in communicating exactly what is required, when it is required, and why it is necessary to accomplish this task.
      5. The behavioral assessment will provide you, and them, with a guideline for how to teach them and maximize their productivity.
  3. Assimilation – Integrating new employees into the culture of the company
      1. The fourth “pain point” is the assumption that employees know how to become a good team member. Why do you assume that the supervisor, who is a technical expert, is also a good trainer? Are they, or you, a behavioral expert?  Not usually. Everyone has so many things to do each day that they avoid dedicating the time to share as they should.
      2. This requires a good performance and development plan for each employee so the new person can take responsibilty for their own growth in the company. What do they need to learn and where do they go to get this information? It is important to be aware of how fast they learn because not everyone learns at the same pace.
      3. Team building is understanding how people work together. It is knowing what behaviors are acceptable and which are not. The sum of each person’s behaviors is the description of a company culture. The behavioral assessment will provide a roadmap for getting everyone on the same page.
  4. Retention – Stopping the turnover. Keeping your best.
      1. Retention is a result of good leadership. After you spent all that money and all that time, your new employee may decide to leave, or worse, the lousy worker might decide to stay; draining your resources. Then, it costs you even more time and more money to finally get them out. This is the “ultimate” pain point. Use the TalentValue L.E.A.D. system. Become a better leader and retain your best.

The 12 Lessons of Leadership

    1. Leading – Leaders provide clear and understandable direction and support each and every time to every person with whom they deal.

 #1 – Decide where you want to go

 #2 – Customer Back

 #3 – Know your business

 2. Educating – Leaders allow their people to grow and learn by developing a              challenging and creative workplace. They communicate more rather than              less.

#4 – Communicate your message clearly

#5 – Learn something new each day

#6 – Courage to tell the truth

3. Appreciating – Leaders need to appreciate and recognize people for the job            they are doing; They say thank you for a job well-done

#7 – Relationships, not transactions

#8 – Passion and Enthusiasm

#9 – Discipline

4. Dollarizing – Leaders make sure that their people know they are accomplishing something important. Their people know it is worth the effort they are putting into the job. Dollars are the storehouse of value. Dollarizing puts a value on what we are accomplishing.

#10 – Do it now!

#11 – Persistence

#12 – The power of one person

If you want your people to S.O.A.R.®, Management needs to L.E.A.D. ™

An action plan for your future around S.O.A.R.©

A. Selection, Hiring and Recruiting Practices – Placing the Right Person in the Right Job

      • Job Descriptions
        • Do you have a job description written for each position? Do you have the proper and basic building blocks built for every HR program?
          • The job description (JD) is foundation for any HR system. Each job description will be customized to the way you do business in your company. This will be based on what you know to be successful or how you want the person to do the job. Any job description has two major parts – one the tasks or what you do and second the behaviors or how you do the tasks. HR Out of the Box then links that essential JD to the way you learn (using the Learning Checklist or LCL) and the Performance Development Plan (PDP).
          • Once the JDs have been customized, we will work on making sure the entire system is understood and implemented properly.
      • Sourcing Strategies
        • Do you know how to find the right applicants for your jobs? Are you looking and sourcing both internally and externally for candidates?
          • Creating an internal posting process so that promotions and transfers are handled in a fair and equitable manner creates a powerful incentive for good behavior. There is hope in the organization and people know that they can grow by staying in the company.
          • Writing a good job ad to place on job boards to find the best applicants is an important first step in selecting good associates. The TalentValue ONEPOST process places your ad where applicants are searching and keeps them at the top of the right job boards.
      • Applicant Management and Tracking (ATS)
        • Do you know how to manage the flow of people you are considering for employment?
          • Each person who applies needs to be treated with courtesy and respect. They are potential customers. This affects the company’s image in the community.
          • The right ATS process ranks candidates based on their qualifications and allows the company to manage and communicate throughout the process; with information kept in one place for easy access.
      • Interviewing
        • Are you and your supervisors conducting a behaviorally structured interview? Do you script your interviews based on your job descriptions? Are your interviews legally compliant?
          • People tend to hire for candidate’s skills and then fire for employee behavior. Many interviews tend to be a wandering conversation that focuses primarily on the technical aspects of a position. The interview should be planned to gather the information necessary to make a good decision based on what was determined in the job description. The questions need to be phrased to allow the candidate to talk. We are looking for a way to predict how they will think and act on the job. Every person involved in the interview needs to be trained on what they should ask and what they should avoid asking during the interview.
          • In addition, a properly documented interviewing process allows senior management to understand what went on before to provide the most relevant information.
      • Pre-employment screening and testing
        • Do you conduct the appropriate technical and behavioral tests to determine if each applicant is the right fit for your organization?
          • We should confirm what we have discovered about the technical and behaviorally capabilities of our applicant. Test their technical knowledge to do the job and perform a Profiles assessment. There are several that could be considered depending on the needs of the business.
          • First, an Organizational Fit assessment to determine if they are someone you want in your company in the first place. An in-depth look at their attitudes toward Responsibility, Reliability, Drug Free Attitude, Rules Compliance, Trustworthiness, Non-violent attitude, Safety, Team Player, Stress Management and Candidness.
          • Second a Job Fit assessment to see if they are the right job match or the right fit for the actual job you want them to fill.
            1. The Customer Service Perspective (CSPII) – designed to specifically look at the behaviors and the customer service philosophy of each candidate. It is used as a selection and a coaching / training tool based on benchmarking your best current associates and then comparing the applicant’s results to the best.
            2. The Profiles XT – This is generally used when selecting management and senior associates and then coaching them more effectively. This is based on the people who are already successful on the job based on performance matching.
            3. The Checkpoint 360 – this is a tool which the participant themselves, his/her supervisor, their peers and their direct reports all evaluate their management behaviors at the same time. It is used to create a developmental plan.
            4. The Step One Survey (SOSII) is a basic assessment that looks at a person’s integrity, attitudes towards substance abuse, reliability, and work ethic.
        • Compensation practices
          • How appropriate are your salary, bonus, rewards, and benefit programs to meet the demands of your marketplace and your people? Is it both fair and equitable? Is it easy to manage? Do your people know what the rewards will be when they do things right?
            • Providing the right incentives is a delicate process. It combines the needs of the company to remain profitable while at the same time allowing the individual to make more money. It means tying together the desire to build a strong team and provide positive and negative consequence to the actions each individual takes.
            • The process should link performance to the measurements of success of the organization. We treasure what we measure.
            • Rewards and Recognition does not mean that we have to pass out money. It means that we need to design a process that helps to support the Vision and Values of the store.
            • Benefits have become an integral part of a total compensation plan. Good communications about what you offer is vital to keeping morale high in an organization. Building the right benefit offerings while keeping costs down is a major effort and requires a thoughtful plan.
      • Background checking
          • Do you verify that what the applicant says is accurate?
            • Since over half of all resumes contain some distortion, it makes sense to check the backgrounds of all new hires. A background check could include Driver’s License, Social Security number, Criminal and Credit check, Educational, and Sex Offender Search. It can also include checking references, previous employer information, and a drug screen. Not every new hire should have a full battery of checks, but the option should be available when it is necessary.
        • Legal Hiring practices
          • Are you properly completing all the paperwork you need to prepare when a new employee joins your team?
            • With all the changes in the laws over the last few years, you need to be sure that what you are doing is legal. What you can request and what you should avoid is important. What you include in your files and how they are organized can either protect you or leave you legally vulnerable.

B. Orientation practices – Learning the Essentials of the Position

        • On-boarding program
          • Are you getting your new employees acquainted with your organization’s policies and procedures, so they quickly feel a part of your team? And they know the rules of the company and how things get done here?
            • The Orientation is the first step in acquainting a new hire to the way you do business in your store. It includes the safety, values, operations, and legal compliance requirements being a member of the store. It also does another important function and that is allowing to the new hire to learn HOW we want people to learn in the company. The format for this phase is the same format for the learning checklist which the department manager will be using.
            • Do you use a secure web-based process to fill out all the appropriate paperwork at the right time; such as I-9, W-4, handbook and policy acknowledgement?
        • Basic skills and behavioral training
          • What is your plan to train your new employees so they can do their jobs properly and best serve your customers? Do you have a customized learning checklist?
            • While a local manager is usually technically very good at what they do, they are usually not very good trainers. The Learning Checklist (LCL) is designed to assure the proper training of new associates to the position. The same criteria written in the Job Description (JD) is now made available in the LCL. They learn by reading about how the task is done, by listening to Manager describe it and by doing it themselves. This is a critical way to improve customer service and enhance productivity.

Assimilation practices – Developing Each Person into a Member of the

            • Performance Management
              • Do you have an annual performance discussion and review with each of your employees to determine their past results and future objectives? Do you have a plan to review the performance of your new employees and set them on the right path?
                • The PDP process is a valuable component in assuring that the business objectives are integrated into individual objectives.
            • Team Building
              • How are you working with each employee to create a team? Does your leadership know how to properly build a team that functions at peak productivity?
                  • The activities of building a strong team are a continuous process. It takes good management, and it takes associates willing to participate. Everyone sees it as an important part of their personal goals and objectives. Some will be enthusiastic in supporting the efforts and some will resist. Some have an entirely different agenda. How to strike a balance between letting people function on their own and providing the appropriate discipline means giving each member of the team the knowledge and tools to succeed. There are 8 key steps in building a good team dynamic
            • Customer Service
              • What are your current customer service perspectives? What could you do to improve customer service to your customers? Are you surveying your customers to determine what they think?
                  • An annual Customer Survey should provide a sampling from your best customers of what they think in detail. There should be a plan to measure the on-going customer service perspective weekly or at least monthly to determine if we are moving on the right track.
            • On-going employee training and development; seminars, on-line courses
              • What is the learning plan for each employee based on his/her strengths and development needs? Do you conduct sexual harassment training and other legal compliance training for your employees? Are your employees aware of what they need to know?
                • Based on the Vision and Values, the PDP and the overall objectives of the company, each person should have their own personal growth plan.
                • Specialized training should be given to reinforce the Vision and Values of the company.

C. Retention practices – Keeping and Recognizing our Best People

            • Business planning
              • Have you constructed a business plan for the future of your business? Short-term? Mid-term? Long-term?
                • You have established the beginnings of the plan to achieve your Vision and Values. The next step is to create a few specific objectives to make that real. Have you identified the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that drive success – both leading and lagging measurements? Do you have a balanced and compelling scorecard to keep track of your progress? Do you plan effectively? Execute with discipline? Review your progress with clarity?
            • Communications programs
              • How are you consistently communicating with your employees? What is working now? What needs to change?
                • There is a consistent need to communicate the large and small things that are happening throughout the company.
                • Is your team as knowledgeable about your plan as the leadership or are they working in the dark?
            • Employee Engagement surveys
              • Do you know to what degree your employees are engaged in your business and satisfied with their employment? Do you measure their satisfaction with you each year?
                • A well-designed HR program includes many pieces. While you can not attack all of them at once, making careful decisions on the most important priorities is why it is necessary to have an overall plan.
                • How strongly your associates are engaged in the business is a major indicator of your overall productivity and ultimately your success. Having an ASM score tells you where you need to focus your attention. Having a plan to address the issues is worth the money you spend.
            • Award and recognition programs
              • How do you appreciate, thank, recognize, and reward your employees for a job well done?
                • Money is not the only reward. The intangible rewards are especially crucial in building a motivated workforce. We need to identify what interests and motivates your people and develop a process to incentivize them to achieve their goals.
            • Employee Relations and Discipline
              • What are your current practices when things are not going well with an employee? What are your disciplinary procedures? How do you manage employee complaints and issues?
                • When everything is going well and there are no stresses in the business, management is a straightforward process. When a person or groups of people are not performing as they should, how you approach the issue can make all the difference. Developing a good disciplinary approach that every manager can understand and simply execute can reduce tensions and build teams.
            • Leadership and management development
              • Do you have an effective plan for building the leadership skills and knowledge for you and your management team?
                • People leave companies for 4 reasons and in this order. (1) Poor supervision (2) No one trained me (3) No one thanked me (4) No one paid me. Leadership is getting people to do what they don’t want to do but will willingly do so anyway. The Leadership process is called E.A.D. – – L= Leadership – providing the right direction; E= Education – teaching people what they need to do; Appreciation = Thanking people for the work and effort they do and D = Dollars – understanding the value that people receive is worth the effort expended.
                • The approach is to get people to move from managing associate’s work and instead leading them to where they need to be. Managing too often means telling them exactly what to do all the time rather than directing their actions and allowing them to take control over their work and their lives.
            • Succession planning
              • Do you have a plan to replace your key people in case they are no longer working for the organization? In case of retirement or death? Do you know who is ready to move up in responsibility?
                • Sometimes people will find another job or need to be terminated from their position. In other cases, they are not leaving but have mentally “checked-out” and are not performing as they should. In either case, the company should have a plan to develop the management so that the future is protected. The information can come from a variety of places including a good performance management (PDP) process. The concept is to identify the technical and behavioral capabilities that are necessary for an organization to succeed in the future.
            • Organizational structure review
              • Do you have an appropriate reporting structure to manage your future growth? Do you have a contingency plan so that your organization will continue even after some of your key people leave?
                • The right reporting structure brings efficiency to everyone’s efforts. With the right span of control in place, each manager can handle their responsibilities and achieve the goals of the organization
            • Managing the Transactions within HR
              • Are you properly maintaining the day-to-day activities that are required of every organization so the right things happen correctly all the time?
                • Keeping up with the basics of personnel
                  1. Web based, integrated On-boarding and HRIS (Human Resources Information System)
                  2. Payroll
                  3. Benefits
                  4. Pension and Long-term financial planning
                  5. Workers’ compensation
                  6. Unemployment claims
                  7. Employee handbooks
                  8. HR legal compliance with “alphabet” soup of federal and state laws and regulations.
                • Have you conducted a TalentValue HR audit to determine where your current practices are good and where you are vulnerable?

If you want your people to S.O.A.R. ©
then management needs to L.E.A.D.