002-Turning Employees Into MVPS

Staff Productivity

On December 1, 2016, new overtime eligibility rules kick in. This will force every business to evaluate more carefully the contribution of its employees. What do you need to do to avoid bad hires? How can you get the most from your staff? Here are some timely tips from a human resources pro, Tom Johnson, President of A.O. Consultants.

HOW DO WE MAKE THE RIGHT HIRE?  (3:41 in)

In Tom’s words –   Look at the position you’re attempting to fill and find the characteristics you want to match, a much better approach when you’re using solid data rather than gut feel.

Tip – Understand the process you used to make the really good hire and the one that didn’t work out may be the same. Therein lies a weakness in your hiring method. Work tests can be very revealing and helpful.

HOW CAN YOU IMPROVE EMPLOYEE PRODUCTIVITY? (7:20 in)

In Tom’s words – You need to have someone who is interested in doing the job to start. We have a pretty good idea of how we want things to run in our heads but we have to be able to articulate that to everyone around us.

Tip – Provide feedback regularly and continuously so they know how they are doing. If they aren’t meeting your expectations seek to understand why and find a solution.

SHOULD WE LISTEN TO OUR EMPLOYEES? (8:50 in)

In Tom’s words – They need to be heard but that doesn’t necessarily mean you do everything they want.

Tip – The smart manager asks rather than tells and guides rather than directs.

HOW DO YOU GET MORE OUT OF PEOPLE WITH PAYING THEM MORE? (10:29 in)

In Tom’s words – You create the right environment, people will do things for little or no money. You can chase people with money all you want. If they are not happy at work, they are going to leave.

WHAT’S THE VALUE OF A PERFORMANCE REVIEW? (11:20 in)

In Tom’s words – Performance management should happen daily, weekly, on the spot, there should be no surprises.

Tip – Understand the difference between performance reviews for legal and classification requirements versus performance management to maximize the employee’s productivity.

HOW SHOULD MANAGEMENT PROTECT ITSELF WHEN SOMEONE IS GOING TO BE FIRED? (15:40)

In Tom’s words – Documentation. There should be no surprises when you come to the conversation when someone should stay or leave the organization. It’s ok to stay you’re just not a good fit here.

Tip – Follow a progressive discipline process. Courts will review whether you followed your own procedure.

003-A Reluctant Franchisee’s Success Story

Franchisee Success Story

Owning your own business is an intoxicating goal for many. Making your own decisions and setting your own hours is appealing. For the hundreds of thousands of franchisees, dreams and results are not always the same. Listen to the story of an unlikely franchisee, Katie Fitzgerald of Floor Coverings International. Hear what she has learned along the way that made her sales double in the last year.

WHY YOU CONSIDERED OWNING A FRANCHISE?  (3:39 in)

In Katie’s words –  I got myself connected to a franchise broker. I didn’t need to feel that I had to go into this business knowing everything about the business in order to make it successful.

Tip – Look for a business you have a passion for and understand what role the franchisor will play in making you successful.

WHY ARE YOU SUCCEEDING? (5:10 in)

In Katie’s words – I enjoy helping people improve their home. Provide a high level of quality at a fair value and treat our customers with respect and run our business in a very ethical way.

Tip – Always do the right thing. Help people improve their lives.

WHAT’S THE VALUE IN BEING A FRANCHISEE? (6:13 in)

In Katie’s words – The brand experience I bring to my client’s is the same as it in California, or Oregon or New Jersey is trying to bring to their clients as well.

WHAT DEGREE OF INDEPENDENCE DO YOU HAVE? (7:40 in)

In Katie’s words – I have a lot of leeway in terms of which vendors do I use; select my own installers; handle my own marketing.

Tip – Check to see if the franchisor has the procedures and processes in place for you to flourish independently.

WHERE DOES THE FRANCHISOR HELP THE MOST? (8:00 in)

In Katie’s words – They have really strong relationships with flooring manufacturers. Their sales process is so well laid out and defined you’re successful. My close rate has increased 21 points.

Tip – Sales training and in depth practice sessions are valuable.

WHAT’S FRUSTRATING IN THIS BUSINESS? (11:28 in)

In Katie’s words – In the beginning I felt like I was spending an awful lot of marketing money for very little return.

Tip – It takes investment and hard work to build a brand.

WHAT QUESTIONS SHOULD YOU CONSIDER IN BUYING INTO A FRANCHISE? (15:37 in)

In Katie’s words – You’re going to have to be running and working that business for some period of time and build the business up before you can let your staff run it. Balance the line between working in the business and on the business.

Tip – Know that you’ll feel comfortable in your selected business. Talk to franchisees about the investments they have made and the length of time it’s taken for them to earn a good return. Assess the level of support you’ll get from the franchisor.