Though there is certainly no shortage of “Help Wanted” signs across the U.S. right now, many businesses are struggling to welcome new people aboard. The past two years have been challenging for employees and business leaders alike, and there’s no telling what the future will hold. Those in charge of team management may find themselves in a bind these days – even if they’re overseeing a solid team, it might lack in size. Though a smaller group can actually make team management easier, it can also limit productivity and growth. With that in mind, what can management teams do to prepare for the future when it’s been difficult to hire new team members? Let’s discuss.
How to Prepare for the Difficulty of Hiring New Team Members
Re-Establish Your Mission and Goals
As the world slowly returns to normalcy, there’s perhaps never been a better time to take a step back and re-evaluate your business’s and team’s priorities. Balancing multiple projects while short-staffed is never easy, but some projects are bound to be more essential than others. Consider whether and how your organization’s mission and goals may have changed since last year (and the year before that, etc.) – you might find that certain roles no longer need to be filled or that other roles can evolve, combine, and so on. Indeed, managing a smaller team might help you prioritize and focus on the most pressing matters that will propel your business forward. And when it becomes easier to recruit new team members once more, you’ll have a stronger grasp on the types of people you need and what to expect from them.
Focus on Developing Current Employees
Plenty of value can be derived from hiring new people. That said, you don’t want to bring new people on board simply for the sake of it. After all, recruitment is costly, and retention is vital. In many cases, the person you need to fill a new, important role is right in front of you – at least, they have the potential to grow into said role. As such, it’s equally as important to engage in leadership development as it is to seek out new team members externally. Employees with leadership potential will want to find avenues for growth, and it’s essential to provide them with these opportunities to keep them around. Of course, promoting an employee internally can leave a lower-level position unoccupied, so it’s crucial to prepare for these outcomes in advance (i.e., succession planning). Still, adding a member to your leadership team is a key way to strengthen your organization from the inside. In fact, doing so may help you hire new team members in the future.
Rethink Your Hiring Process
Some things are simply out of our control, such as the current pandemic and its economic fallout. That said, you can still control how you approach recruitment for your business. Sure, your hiring team can’t magically change the way things have been for the past two years, but they can find new, creative ways to find the best people available and encourage them to apply. You might open your doors to a wider pool of candidates, improve and expand your employer outreach campaigns, create and advertise more remote work positions, establish new incentives for applicants, and so on. Not every initiative will succeed, but taking the time to reconfigure your hiring processes can benefit your business in the long run.
At Leadership Resources, our purpose is to make the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease obstacles and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.Read More
A successful coach isn’t always a game-winning coach. I’ve seen evidence of this up-close in all of my experience coaching youth sports, where our team might lose but each individual child comes out of the game with more experience, focus, and positivity.
As a youth sports coach, this was always my goal: help each child feel like a winner, no matter what the scoreboard says. Over the course of my lifetime, I’ve played twelve sports, coached eight sports, and officiated nine sports. I’ve also been a spectator and a parent of a youth player.
My diverse sports background has taught me the importance of helping people find the untapped potential within themselves. I’ve also discovered the power of communicating in a clear, simple way that resonates with a wide variety of people: children, parents, youth coaches, spectators, and referees.
Just like in youth sports, business professionals appreciate having complex concepts boiled down into basic terms. When I was a youth coach, I created something called: The MODEL Coach Concept which I now see how applicable it is to business and aligns with EOS®
How Coaching Sports and Business Overlap
The MODEL Coach Concept
This concept has five main elements:
Develops Every Player
Leads by Example
As you understand more about what each part of this concept means, you’ll see many parallels for business.
First, a coach must mentally prepare, which means they must have the right mentality for every game, every day, and every winning moment. The same goes for every leader. Successful leaders apply the EOS Five Leadership Abilities to help them mentally prepare: Simplify, Delegate (and Elevate), Predict, Systemize, and Structure.
They must also have the organization it takes to get the most out of every coaching moment with the team. The overall EOS Process provides a variety of organization benefits through mastery of the EOS Toolbox Tools with a space learning approach. My favorite tool is the Issues Solving Track — a simplified approach to continuous improvement.
A great coach is focused on the development of every player, despite the fact that players develop and mature at various rates. The same goes for leaders living the EOS Process. It is hard to predict which team member has the most undeveloped talent. Work on clarifying expectations and challenging all team members to develop their natural talents, nurturing and coaching them along their journey.
A big dose of encouragement goes a long way too. Coaches must find ways to encourage and acknowledge players in a positive and productive way. Strong leaders apply the 24-hour rule when observing both desired and undesired behaviors with their team members. The observations are expressed within 24-hours of them occurring. This especially comes into play for the Core Values that warrant ongoing attention and appropriate reinforcement.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there’s leadership by example. A coach sets the tone for everything that happens and this requires a huge amount of leadership, consistency, and follow-through on your promises. This is a direct correlation to the EOS tool, LMA (Leadership, Management, and Accountability), which also ties in nicely with the Five Leadership Abilities mentioned previously.
Envision Success and Focus on Small Things
Whether you’re gearing up for the big game or preparing for a business project, take some time to envision the future. Instead of just focusing on the win, focus on the things that are within your control – what you’ll win, even if you’re on the losing side. There can be periods of time a business is failing or struggling to hit its goals. Within the EOS Process, the Vision/Traction Organizer does a spectacular job simplifying the vision and goals of a business. This provides all team members with an opportunity to discover how they contribute to the success of the business, even in challenging times.
Now I know this sounds odd. Why would we focus on what we can control even while we’re losing?
When I coached football, I taught the players to envision scoring a touchdown. As they practiced the plays and made the movements on the field toward the end zone, they could focus on the amazing feeling of reaching it.
This is a way of building the muscle memory it takes to accomplish a goal. If you build a clear mental vision of what it takes to succeed, your mind and body are primed to get there. That’s so much more productive than simply listening to a coach drown on and on or watching other players run down the field. It’s also much more productive than always focusing on winning the big game.
Just like working as a team toward business goals, when muscle memory is built, everyone is more apt to attain goals for themselves and the collective organization as a whole. The second page of the Vision/Traction Organizer (Traction page), focuses on the shorter-term goals for the year, priorities for the current quarter, and sets aside certain issues for future consideration in the Issues List. It is just as important to know what is to be focused on, as well as what is not to focus on!
The EOS® Connection
In business, if you’re a leader and you don’t know what success looks like for your team, you won’t get there. You won’t know what you want from your team and they won’t know what you want from them.
Learn more about Dan’s work and the Entrepreneurial Operating System now!Read More
By: Dan Sedor, Strategic Growth Advisor & Certified EOS Implementer® at Leadership Resources
Right now it seems that everybody is focused on COVID-19 and the negative impact it’s having on their businesses. Instead, I think we need to treat this pandemic like we’re coaching a youth sports team. Let’s make a game out of it.
I’m not suggesting we literally treat the current situation like a game. Businesses are struggling, family members are sick, and people are worried about their jobs.
Here’s what I mean, instead: when business owners and employees get so bogged down by negativity, the business is at greater and greater risk of being destroyed by the current crisis.The reality is, before this pandemic, there were always unforeseen issues that could cause a company to stumble. We always lost key people at key moments. We always had high expectations for projects and processes that didn’t pan out.
And let’s remember that our competitors have always done things to wear us down, distract us, push us to make things too complex, and cause us to lose market share. The point I’m trying to make here is that it might be a “novel coronavirus,” but it’s not a novel situation. We’ve always had extremely tough barriers to success.
How Coaching Sports Helps Handle Crisis
1. Focus on What You Control & Your Desired Outcomes
In my personal experience as a football coach of a team of nine and ten-year-olds, my job is to focus on what’s within my team’s control and help the kids focus on what’s within their control individually. The competition is always there to beat you and the environment in which you’re playing may at times feel unfair.
What can you personally do about it?
Ultimately, we’ve always made a game out of it. And while everyone wants to win, what’s most important is the path you take to get there. Each individual must stay absolutely focused on what’s within your control and what can be changed in order to reach the desired outcome.
For example, think about the opposing team on the football field. You can’t control any individual opponent and you can’t control exactly how the ball is going to go down the field on every play. As the game progresses, you don’t know if the other team is going to blitz on one side of the defensive line or another.
What’s within your control is making sound decisions and quickly adapting to whatever happens.
2. Build Systems of Flexibility
Just as in youth sports, this pandemic is going to cause us to lose some yardage on one play and gain some yardage on others. Some weeks are going to be extremely tough and discouraging.
But it’s our job to stay flexible and outfox the situation as much as possible.
Now is not the time to give up! So let’s make a game out of this. The pandemic is merely exposing gaps in our business processes, marketing strategies, and within our teams. Let’s think like youth sports coaches and find new ways to stay nimble and positive as we pursue advantageous solutions.
Some of my clients using EOS® are having record quarters right now. They even feel guilty about it because the pandemic is affecting so many people so harshly, yet their company is flourishing.
I also have clients who have lost 60% of their revenue from major sources. What a huge blow. But I’m happy to say that these companies are taking steps to learn from all this and come out on the other side better, stronger, and more prepared for whatever is to come in the future.
3. Simplify, Simplify, Simplify
We owe it to our teams to simplify things for them during a time of panic and confusion. They need us to boil things down to simple business concepts that will allow them to maintain their focus. During this pandemic, take a moment to marvel at how complicated your company’s goals have become and take the opportunity to hone your messages into simpler concepts your team can grasp right now.
Coach, your team is feeling overwhelmed. So what’s truly important?
Look to your company’s core values and focus on values that fit into categories such as teamwork, determination, collaboration, and positivity. Allow those core values to bolster your confidence during this time of global crisis.
Let’s make a game out of it. We can win by taking this pandemic one play at a time and showing some good sportsmanship. Now’s the time to tap into your competitive side, play a strong game, and refuse to be broken no matter what the scoreboard says.
About Dan Sedor
Dan Sedor is a Strategic Growth Advisor and Certified EOS Implementer™, as well as a founding partner at Leadership Resources. Dan is also the author of the book, “Model Coach” available on Amazon and utilizes the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS®) and customized strategic planning to help clients gain traction and grow their business. Dan is active in the community and enjoys coaching youth sports, attending country music festivals, and spending time with family.
Learn more about Dan’s work and the Entrepreneurial Operating System now!Read More