This Talmar It Up blog is written to share experiences and insights into hiring and managing for your company. Most business owners started companies because of a passion or expertise and NOT to become managers of people. Talmar’s Truth lies in the fact that a great team IS where success and your fun can really blow up! Each week we will share a scenario from the experiences of different entrepreneurs, supervisors and managers to share ways we can work to respond, resolve or even prevent some of these crazy situations that can only happen when you are trying to steer people together on a common mission…in other words, as you scale and grow your company!
Past Business Strategy articles written by Talmar Anderson.
The Good Enough, The Bad and The Ugly Behavior - 1
Today’s Scene: Ugly Behavior
To understand the experience let's first understand the scene! The scene comes from my own history. I was working in a company with a small business owner many, many years ago. I was a direct report employee with a supervisory role with heavy customer service and employee management. As I established some tenure with the company, I discovered I was there to handle the "people" side of business due to the owner's...we will call it "interpersonal skills". She was mean. Straight up narcissistic and mean. But not to people's faces. She hired staff for that.
One lovely afternoon, the owner comes in and asks to meet with me in private. She proceeds to tell me that I need to fire the newly hired expert for whom we created a new position. Firing was my job so I was ready to support the decision and proceeded to ask her why? " She has bad energy. She can't stay here." Ummmm...that is hard to document for our records. Worse, I felt the employee was doing a good job and had seen no obvious errors. But I was not the boss. t was made very clear to me that this was not up for discussion.
What can we learn from this? What is the action or process we can adopt to better our own team development? There are a few I hope you can find.
Here is to a resource for helping you understand what others are dealing with and how you can build a team you rlove to work with every day. Let's Scale on Purpose.
Now Go! Grow!
The Good Enough, The Bad and The Ugly Behavior - 2
Today’s scene comes from Sarah Steel, Owner of Steel Management Group, a commercial construction management, facility management and permit expediting services to small businesses and organizations in the DC Metro area. Her story comes from earlier in her career. She was one of 3 senior-level team members with the same level of authority, responsibilities and workload. The good news is that she was performing on the goals. Then she found out her 2 counterparts were making more money. Significantly more money. However, this is not REALLY what the story is about today. That part happens (happened?…dare I say changing winds are blowing??) in many industries and companies. Our story picks up after Sarah communicates with her boss that she wants a raise equal to her co-workers. Then this happened….
As Sarah sits at the desk in her office, her boss comes in and glances under desk. Sarah looks at him confused and then he asks “Do you have balls under that skirt?” He says she must have “real balls” to ask for a raise of that amount.
Sarah admits, at the time, she was unsure whether that was a compliment or if she was offended. Over time she has found it more offensive.
Mr. X went on to explain the disparity as justified because the other team members had families and she, at the time, was single. The whole thing made her “blood boil and hair curl”.
Sarah stuck to her guns and DID receive her raise. But she wants us to know that it was a pivotal moment in deciding to leave and move from being an employee to a business owner.
Today’s lesson is clear and easy to adopt!
1. Value a job on results – that is it!
If you have clear roles and more than one employee, you should also be clear of the value to your company for the efforts to achieve those results. You can have junior and senior levels of a similar role that may be compensated differently, however, be clear with all staff on what the skill set / experiences required to move from one to the other.
And oh ya…keep it, AND talking about it, in your pants while you are at work people!
You can build a team you love to work with every day. Let's Scale on Purpose.
Now Go! Grow!
The Good Enough, The Bad and The Ugly Behavior - 3
Today we are talking with Monika Jansen, the Head Kick-Ass Copywriter & Strategist for her company,Jansen Communications. Monika has been growing a company that delivers not just on copywriting but also social media and other marketing communication services. With that growth has come the need to continue to expand her team of Independent Contractors to plan for and meet a diverse set of needs for her client list. During her 15 years of business, she has established some strong relationships and detailed processes for managing her team. And then, one morning in November, “the hammer came down”.
On her way out to a meeting of an Advisory Board (3 hours of focused time) for a University upon which she is a Committee lead, Monika dared to sneak one last peek at her emails. There it was.
And like that, Monika’s most tenured and knowledgeable team member was out the door. There was no warning.
Monika had done everything RIGHT! Weekly meetings with targeted questions not just about the work but about the person. Offering transparency on what was happening in the company and what the future was looking like for everyone. Opportunities to self-select into projects. Monika said she felt like a cartoon where the anvil fell from the sky and smashed her into the sidewalk.
Today’s lesson: People are still the unknown piece of our business building…even when we do everything right.
Monika was a little hurt because she had hoped that she had built the kind of transparency that would be valued and inspire a mutual effort from staff. She hadn’t known the IC was interviewing much less was so far down the line. Sometimes, personal shifts in life priorities are hidden from employers out of fear.
However, this story has a Good Enough ending! Because Monika is the type of person that worked on her hiring strategies and business processes, she was able to step into her Boss Actions! “The meeting actually was good timing. It gave me space and time to get over the shock. It allowed me to make solid decisions about moving forward.” What actions did she take?
In the end, Monika said it was a confidence BOOSTER – for both her and the company! Her systems and process were easily able to cover the clients and not miss a step. Surviving this moment proves that her business is NOT dependent on any one member of the team. It also proves she can handle whatever comes like the Kick-Ass boss she wanted to become! Rock on, Monika!
Now Go! Grow!