We sat down for an impromptu Happy Hour last week with a handful of our local clients. The topic we thought was most relevant was “how do we manage material delays and price increases?”
After some BIG Wins (we always start meetups with BIG Wins), we then lobbed the topic for discussion. Within five minutes, all of our business owner clients were knee-deep in conversation about a different challenge…employees.
We started to slowly guide them back to our selected topic, and again within another five minutes, they were shifted back to a deep discussion about…employees.
It’s true, the number one challenge most business owners deal with…employees.
Go out to eat and you will feel what it is like for a small business to not have enough employees. Business owners are having to go to new heights to find and keep employees.
The common thought is that the extension of unemployment benefits is leading to a lack of motivation for people to get back to work. That may be true, but there are other reasons.
The pandemic pushed a significant amount of employable people towards the idea of remote work. I can think of a few people in my social circles who have moved to remote work exclusively.
It’s hard to tend the bar remotely.
It’s hard to manufacture plastics remotely.
It’s hard to sort produce, load trucks, and stock shelves remotely.
Is it that people want to work remote, or is it that they just want to work somewhere they enjoy?
If you’re looking for more resources to work ON your business, we have them.
According to greatplacestowork.com, “84% of employees at The Container Store say it is a great place to work compared to 59% of employees at a typical U.S.-based company.”
The Container Store is a collection of physical retail and warehouse locations that require primarily in-person job opportunities.
How is it they have high satisfaction but offer very little remote opportunity? It can’t be the product, plenty of other retailers sell organizational products.
The Container Store has a remarkable culture of communication. You can see it played out on their unique blog standfor.containerstore.com.
One of the seven foundational principles (core values) for The Container Story is communication is leadership. In other words, when you communicate, you are leading. The inverse is true also, when you do not communicate, you are not leading.
Before you write off my statement “culture of communication” as a cliche, stop.
Here is my question for you. How have you communicated the job opportunities that you have?
Typically, an owner will simply say, “I’ll go post an ad to see if we can find someone.” When they do find a couple of random people, they are fast-tracked through a half-baked hiring process and then wonder why in six months the owner is ready to get rid of the new employee.
Before you go try to find the right person or people, here are four pieces of communication you can set in place to lead through your own communication.
First, shoot a video explaining your mission and values. Explain, in your own words, how you integrate your mission into your day to day. Also, walkthrough and demonstrate how you actually use your core values in decision making.
This assumes that you both have and use your mission and unique core values.
Second, write a letter explaining exactly what you are looking for, and what you are not looking for. This letter will accompany your job description.
Here is an example of the opening section of a letter we wrote to accompany:
We’re hiring a Marketing Strategy & Campaign Manager because we can’t accomplish our mission to liberate business owners from chaos without one.
We need someone to wake up every workday and ask “how can I use A) all of the amazing BOP tools and talent, B) the right available digital tools, and C) the right invitation tools to get 100 people each week into the ‘BOP Train Station’ so they can have the opportunity to be liberated from chaos?”
We believe that business owners can have a great business AND a great life. The best way to have them make time for what matters most is to liberate them from the chaos that distracts them.
And that is where you come in!
Third, write a job description that actually walks through the details of the job. Scrap the corporate nonsense that fills most job descriptions with words like self-starter, or detail-oriented.
Based on the DISC profile, approximately 86% of the world has a passive personality (C and S personalities), they need a catalyst to help them get started on something. Only 14% of people are active personalities (D and I personalities) who would have strong capabilities to be self-starters.
Also, only 17% of the population has a predisposition to a high level of details (C personalities).
Tell us what the job actually is. Cut the corporate-speak, and write so humans can read it and understand.
Finally, publish all of your communication. Post it everywhere! Have a dedicated page on your website to all of the tools mentioned above with a specific URL that can be shared across your media platforms (yourwebsite.com/nowhiring).
This page will host your video, your letter, your job description, and the process for hiring so it is transparent and available.
You have not because you ask not.
Start asking OUT LOUD. Communicate and you will begin leading people to be a part of the intentional culture you are building.
There is only one kind of culture that happens accidentally, and it’s not a culture you want, although most opt for it.
Your other option is to find the right employees by communicating the right message. Start leading before they are your new employee.
Scott Beebe is the founder of Business On Purpose, author of Let Your Business Burn: Stop Putting Out Fires, Discover Purpose, And Build A Business That Matters. Scott also hosts The Business On Purpose Podcast and can be found at mybusinessonpurpose.com.