Being a hiring manager can be tough - especially during the application review phase before we decide who we'd like to bring in for an interview. As a hiring manager, you have to be ready to see it all, do it all, and make a sound decision in a short amount of time.
That being said, applicants often don't speak to the hiring manager prior to be asked for an interview. This can make it tough when you're applying for jobs online, since you want to know exactly what will pique a hiring manager's interest and move you to the next step.
We've taken a few minutes to put together a list of some of the biggest application woes according to our hiring managers, and how you can make yourself shine. With this information in hand, perhaps your next application can be the one that excites the hiring manager the most!
At first, we get a notification that your application has come in, we feel like:
If you think you're the "funny guy" and have answered some of our pre-screening questions sarcastically and without much depth, we feel like:
If you don't provide all of the information we asked for in order to tell if you're qualified for the job, we feel like:
If you have major spelling errors in your resume and pre-screening questions, we feel like:
If you complain about your current job responsbilities in your application for a new job, we feel like:
If you enter "N/A" for all of the pre-screening questions because you believe that your resume will be the shining beacon of hiring hope, we feel like:
If you just say "yes" or "no" to questions that require a much more detailed response, we feel like:
If you lie about your work history or professional achievements and we can easily spot it, we feel like:
If you are extremely vague in your pre-screening answers, and your resume provides little detail about your past projects or success, we feel like:
If your application looks great, but then we realize that you recently applied to us prior to this and just copied and pasted all of your old responses into the latest application, we feel like:
If you curse in your job application, we feel like:
If you have a well-written, well-thought out application and have submitted it after double-checking everything we required was attached, we feel like:
It pays to take the extra 10-15 minutes when applying for a job online to make sure everything is correct and you've answered the pre-screening questions honestly and to the best of your ability. You'd be surprised by the many who don't, as how easily you'll stand out by doing just that.
Still looking for that perfect position? Head on over to wyckwyrejobs.com now to find it!
At WyckWyre, we've been hiring more and more lately. With the latest surge of growth, a majority of this hiring has taken place within our Customer Success team.
WyckWyre's customer service philosophy is one of a marriage of high-touch and high-tech. In our industry where HR tech products have the ability to seem cold, we not only created a hiring tool that is fun and easy-to-use for food/hospitality hiring managers, but our service is that of warmth and personality. It's really an incredible mix of high-touch/high-tech with a dash of amazing personality traits that I just can't teach.
The tricky part comes in hiring the right people to fulfill the mission of being a customer advocate. Sure, thousands of people work in customer service every day. But how do you find those few individuals who can take your product or service and make it "human?"
How do you find those people who can get on the phone, write an e-mail, or go to the customer in-person and leave that customer speechless...in a good way, of course.
There aren't many things that tie our Customer Success Specialists together from their previous experience before WyckWyre, so looking for those who have done certain things prior is never fruitful. We have some members of our team with customer service backgrounds, news reporting experience, and others who have started their own companies or have worked at nursing homes previously. We have people who hold business degrees, event management, English or public relations degrees, or exercise science degrees. Where is the overlap?
Through it all, we've found a few similarities that to run through our team members. Without giving away any secrets, I wanted to share the top three traits/abilities all of our rockstar employees share.
1.) Exuding passion from the beginning
Whether they're passionate about doing a good job, about making career moves so they live the life they want to, or about being a part of a team that celebrates their individual success, our Customer Success Specialists all have that passion bug.
Every CSS that I have interviewed for the position and eventually hired has always been upbeat and energetic from the get-go. I can hear excitement in their voice when talking about the position. It's that excitement from the beginning that I see shine through in their work. I refuse to hire anyone who doesn't have excitement about the mission they'll be taking on from the beginning. It's not my job to sell a potential employee on the position, it's their job to sell me, as the hiring manager, on their belief in the company as a whole, and their belief that they'd be an integral part of it.
Excitement and passion about doing something new is not something you can learn, or teach. It's something that either comes with the new employee, or it doesn't.
As their manager, it then becomes my requirement to keep that passion and excitement lit. While raises and bonuses can do the trick for a short period of time, I find that it's the day-to-day interactions with employees that keep it going. Really, it all boils down to the culture that I create.
A quick shout-out via e-mail about a job well done, or a phone call talking through a big problem, and commending their suggestions shows appreciation on your end as the boss, and shows the employee how much they are valued on their end.
2.) Ability to be self-motivated and independent problem-solvers
The minute I say this, I can see many managers thinking the worst: if I give my employees a lot of rope, they'll hang themselves. If I don't set processes and systems in place to tell them exactly what to do when, we're all going to go willie-nillie and crash and burn.
When you hire an employee you respect and trust (and why would you hire someone you didn't trust and respect?), and you give them the proper training and continuing-education opportunities, you're setting them up to be able to do their job properly. Now, take this a step further. When you give them all of this, and the freedom to make daily operating decisions on their own, as well as solve small problems how them deem fit, you're setting them up for success.
I'm not saying that you have the entry-level employee who has been at the company for four weeks making your budget for the next fiscal year, but I am saying that an employee shouldn't feel micromanaged every moment they are on the clock.
Sure, the first few decisions will need your guidance. A new employee needs to understand company culture and how things are done. But more importantly, they need to understand why they are done the way that they are. That way, they can make sound decisions moving forward based on that information.
When an employee has this information and this sense of independence in their work, they're able to come up with incredible solutions to problems for customers (or your organization) that will beat the pants off of any system or procedure you put in place.
Let the people who work with the customers make the customers' solutions. They know best. Be there for guidance, but not for ruling. Be there when they need you, not micro-managing when they don't.
3.) Ability to provide and receive constructive criticism
We all have moments where we could have done things better than we have, us managers included. And it's those bosses who were able to give us great feedback on a project that set us up to knock it out of the park next time.
One thing I'm really proud of is how constructive criticism flows throughout WyckWyre. We have a very open team enviornment that allows us to work on different projects, even if they don't directly relate to our own job responsibilities (so long as those reponsponsibilites are fulfilled.) This helps us come up with many "out-of-the-box" solutions since we aren't all sitting in the same four walls all day, working on the same things.
That being said, we also are able to see what our co-workers are doing when we want, and are able to make suggestions to make the outcome incredible. The way that we phrase our constructive criticism is of the utmost importance. While I'm not asking everyone to walk on eggshells, I do demand respect be paid to each other every moment of every day, even when you may not agree with the way things are currently being done.
I believe that every one of my team members checks their pride at the door each day. Here, we learn from each other, and no one is "smarter" than the other. I've learned more from my employees than they have ever learned from me. I'm a true believer that someone who can receive constructive criticism and turn that into something productive is someone who is successful purely by nature.
It is someone who is keen to the fact that it takes a village to make a company successful, and that the efforts of every single member of that village matter. Those are the people I want on my team.
Are there days when certain individuals receive a bit more constructive criticism than others? Sure thing. Those are the days that help them grow the most. Those are the days where they're able to learn how to take their work efforts to the next level and be even more high-achieving tomorrow.
Constructive criticism, either from a co-worker or a manager, needs to be balanced with reward. You cannot only provide constructive criticism, and never tell an employee when they do a great job, no strings attached. Ying and yang, and all that good stuff.
The bottom line is a great employee has each of these traits in their personality. They are hungry and passionate to be a part of a team, make a difference, and are willing to learn day-by-day and be better tomorrow.
What other traits do you look for in your employees?
I had a friend who was a singer in a band back when we were wild youths. That was pretty much his full time gig, and he managed to survive, most of the time. But when times got tough or he needed to make some cash quickly, he'd go to work in any fast food restaurant that would have him. He even had a trick to getting hired quickly, work tons of hours, and make as much money as possible. He'd go into the restaurant and tell the hiring manager that he was tired of the musician lifestyle and that he wanted to change course. He'd say that he wanted to be on the fast track to management, and was willing to do anything to make that happen. He'd work as many hours as they could schedule him for. He'd work whatever position they needed.
And they invariably fell for it, in the hopes of grooming someone who was intelligent and seemed insanely ambitious and motivated. Of course, when he'd made enough money or the gigs picked back uphe'd be gone, with no notice. To him, at 19, it was a game. Not so funny if you're the hiring manager though. Around 30% of new hires quit or are let go in the first 3 months. Less than half make it to 6 months. That's nuts.
This little story isn't meant to say that the reason there is such high turnover is because everyone secretly dreams of being a rockstar (even though we do), but more likely that most do NOT secretly dream of being a service employee. Food service, especially the quick service industry, tends to be rather repetitive, with low wages and no benefits. Some workers see it as a temporary situation until something better comes along, or their education is completed, some are using it to supplement another source of income, and a lot, frankly, just end up bored silly and look around for something more interesting.
In most cases restaurants and hotels, even seemingly successful franchises, are operating on a razor thin edge between profitability and closing the doors. There usually isn't a lot of extra cash laying around to be spent on higher wages or to offer benefits. It may be impossible to simply jack up pay and expect everyone to be happy now. And seriously, you might not want to, at least not for every employee. We have all experienced really horrible service at one time or another and thought to ourselves "This guy totally deserves minimum wage!" It's a chicken and egg type of conundrum. Which should come first? Excellent service which produces better wages, or better wages to entice better service? I've recieved some pretty awful service in higher-end establishments too, where I know that the workers receive some decent pay and benefits. I even had a mind-bogglingly terrible experience when buying a car recently. And I know he would have made out just fine, monetarily!
So if it's not pay, or not just about pay, it's got to be engagement issues. Someone who doesn't give a fiddlers fart about your business has no qualms giving substandard service or messing up orders, and the highest pay in the world probably won't fix that. Some folks just aren't cut out for service work, and it's best to let them go as quickly as possible.
Fast food restaurants can resemble an assembly line, which might work great for the bottom line but is not very interesting to the employees. Having to make the same exact part of the sandwiches every day, or tend the same fryers day after day after day with no break in the routine is mind numbing. The easiest fix would require cross training employees to handle every aspect of the business, which would take more time, but would result in much more satisfied workers. Lowering turnover costs in restaurants immediately increases the bottom line, and even better has also been proven to increase customer loyalty and improve the quality of service. People would way rather be waited upon by someone who doesn't look miserable. And we've all seen enough videos of gross stuff happening when people get bored in a restaurant. You do NOT want your establishment to end up on youtube. See the pic above. That's good clean harmless fun. Things can easliy get out of hand!
The bored employees are the people who can probably be saved, or at least retained for a longer while. A lot of people in this economy need the work, and by improving their situation you persuade them to stay a little longer. Mixing things up, making things challenging, and creating levels of responsibility will provide a benefit that they will value that will not break your bottom line.
Another piece of the puzzle is hiring. Sometimes, oftentimes, hiring for the restaurant industry can resemble a first-come first-serve fire sale. There's a hole in the schedule and it needs to be filled with the first warm body through the door. This rarely works out. Right from the very first interaction there is no buy-in from the employee, no extra effort or thought given to putting the best foot forward or making a good impression. It's pretty easy to get hired if you find a restaurant that is desperate enough. Places with stricter hiring standards see less turnover because from the moment of application each candidate is striving to show how well she fits, or how her skills would be useful. If we can get rid of the notion that absolutely anyone at any time can basically order a job along with their burger and fries it would do wonders for the industry. Again, without spending a fortune on raising wages, you'd instill a sense of accomplishment in those who do get hired, begin to change the perception that food service is a low-skill job-of-last-resort and in turn induce better qualified applicants into the industry who are already invested in staying. Couple that with a more interesting duty rotation and you're getting somewhere.
The dazzling finish, then, is promoting from within. This can't be stressed enough. If you show each and every employee the path to management, and teach them the skills to get there you'll have a workforce that is more motivated. Not all of them will be interested in moving up, nor will all of them be capable of it. But by creating a culture of success those with potential and drive will be inspired to achieve. Now, being a manager is not a ticket to easy street. You work more days and longer hours and have heavier duties, many of which are unpleasant. But you get better compensation and usually earn some benefits as well. By showing your staff that it's possible to get there from here you're letting them dare to dream, which will be another incentive to stay put for a while longer.
Comments, concerns, questions and of course, horror stories of service gone awry are always welcome. For more information on what WyckWyre can do to help you hire a new level of employees visit our site or click that lovely green box below. Happy Hiring!
So, the restaurant and hospitality industries, along with the rest of the nation’s businesses, have been given a reprieve from implementing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) Employer Mandate requirements, but most small business owners are still a bit baffled. What kind of steps do you need to take? What are the options that you have now?
The good news is you don’t have to offer insurance. If you have 50 or less full-time employees (at this point those working less than 30 hours per week), you are exempt from the requirement to offer your employees insurance or pay a “fee” in lieu of offering coverage. You are not required to offer insurance, you are not required to pay a penalty.
You do, however, have to pass along some information from the government if you’ve got at least one employee who is covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (at least one employee & more than $500K in annual dollar business). Starting October 1, 2013 you have to give your employees notice about the insurance Marketplace, regardless of whether you plan to offer insurance or not. This lets them know that they can shop for insurance and apply for subsidies to help cover the cost. The Department of Labor has some sample notices, which you can find here (you don't offer benefits) or here (you do offer benefits).
And, if you are not planning to offer insurance, that’s all you have to do. Just hand out the forms, collect the signatures, and you’re good to go.
If you do want to offer insurance, you have a few options:
Through the Exchange: There is the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace, where you can shop for “affordable” choices to offer your employees. The SBA estimates that small businesses currently pay 18% more on premiums than larger companies. Through SHOP, the theory goes, insurance will become less expensive for smaller businesses, as the business will be able to pick and choose the coverage types, limits, and the percentage of cost you are willing to cover in a transparent and competitive marketplace. Employers who decide to use SHOP can be eligible for tax credits of up to 50% of their premium contributions if you have fewer than 25 full-time employees. Your employees are also eligible for subsidies to cover some portion of their contribution, depending on their income.
Outside of the Exchange: If you were to decide to offer insurance outside of the exchange you certainly could, or maybe you already do. However, your contributions will not be tax deductible and your employees would not be eligible to receive tax subsidies for their portion of the premiums. If you don't offer insurance and don't plan to you can still give your employees information on their options. You can invite insurance brokers or insurance companies to give presentations, or ask them to drop off sales materials, etc. The required DOL paperwork will give employees the information on their options for purchasing their own coverage through the exchange.
An excellent resource for businesses, especially small business, is this SBA site. http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/health-care-changes-new-tool-small-business-owners. It’s a tool to help business owners decide on whether to offer insurance, choose coverage options, research costs, find compliance requirements, etc. This is a very helpful tool, and I highly suggest taking the time to go through it.
Any comments, suggestions, or funny stories are always welcome, and for more information on how WyckWyre can help you manage your employment needs click our terrific little link below!
Does this sound familiar? You have a restaurant with two cooks, (or other workers), who just can't get along: they could have completely different duties and very little personal interaction, yet are constantly at each others’ throats. They constantly bicker and snipe and instead of just concentrating on their own duties they spend a good portion of their time back biting and even sabotaging each other. Hey, the temperamental and territorial chef or cook is a stereotype for a reason!
This is actually an ongoing issue with a friend of mine, and the thing is, he and his archenemy are both in the wrong. I listen and nod, but in my head I’m thinking “You’re both nincompoops.” Of course, I don’t have to manage these ninny’s, and I’m very thankful for it! So how do you sort through, work out, and put an end to the petty and distracting rivalries? Here’s some advice to secure a peaceful and prosperous truce:
#1 Understand why it’s happening: Is it because one of your employees is receiving more recognition or better pay? Is it because they are vying for future promotions and feel they are both equally likely to be considered? Does one of them actually have some type of self esteem issue, or is one just a natural bully? Are they mimicking your behavior in any way? Are you aggressive and demeaning to your colleagues or competitors?
#2 Analyze and Plan: If these two are butting heads so much that work is not getting done, or orders are being screwed up or supplies are not being purchased properly and it’s impacting your business, it’s way past time to step in. You need to make careful and accurate note of the incidents, the fallout, and assign the proper blame. You also need to clearly define the roles you expect them each to play and the duties each is assigned. Then be prepared for a serious chat with these yahoos.
#3 Confrontation time: Sit them down, call them out on their bad behavior and how it is affecting the daily operations. Tell them you expect this to stop, you don’t want excuses, and lay out how you expect them to work together for the good of the company. For example, in my friends’ case, the other cook does all of the food ordering and menu planning for the lunch shift. She sometimes “forgets” to order something he requests. My buddy is in charge of the dinner specials and making sure that the incoming food orders are portioned and stored accordingly. He recently decided to leave a despised task for her to do, but didn’t mention it, and entire order of wings had to be tossed out. These events did nothing except cost the restaurant money and aggravate pretty much everyone. As the manager, you need to sit down and put an end to situations like this. You can't just hope it goes away on its own.
#4 Stay on top of it: Once everyone is pointed in the right direction you, as the boss, are responsible for riding herd on them until the bad habits are broken and they are used to working together as a team, instead of trying to outdo each other in some silly kitchen war. And it can be hard to drop old resentments and angers, so you’ll have to be vigilant. And if they can’t get their simple tasks done without bickering, well, there are lots of good cooks out there.
If you’ve had experience with fueding staff, or have been one of the nincompoops who did something like this tell me about it in the comments. And if you’re looking for some replacements because you are sick of the drama then see what WyckWyre can do for you. Just hit the nice green button right there.
The restaurant industry is adding jobs at a staggering pace, well above and beyond the rest of the private sector in America. There are hundreds of thousands of jobs available in the restaurant and hospitality industry, some of which are remaining unfilled or act as a revolving door with amazingly high turnover rates. What does this mean for you? It means opportunity.
You may not have dreamed of a “career” in the food industry when you were a child. You may have worked at a restaurant or hotel through high school and college and you couldn’t wait until the day you landed a “real” job. I’m here to tell you you’ve been thinking about this all wrong. This is an industry that is literally begging for ambitious and industrious people. There are so many rungs on this ladder, you just need to climb up them and check out the view from the top.
If you’ve got drive and a determination to succeed you’ve landed in the right industry. There will be almost no stopping you if you realize the amazing potential that’s open to you. The steps to success are pretty easy to follow, and I’m laying them out here.
#1. So you take a job at a restaurant, or hotel; a job fairly low on the totem pole. You are expected to work the shifts that the more senior folks don’t want. You will be doing the jobs that are the least fun and exciting. And that’s ok. If you go into this knowing that this is a test and you vow to ace it, you will. Work the hours, and work them well. Make every interaction with customers count. Make sure that the food and beverages are perfect, or the mints on the pillow are just so, and learn your regular’s favorite drinks ASAP. Attention to detail, excellent customer service, and a willingness to take on any and all challenges will be noticed by your managers. Compensation level: minimum wage or above, probably no benefits.
#2. Keep your eyes and ears open for promotion opportunities. This is where the revolving door benefits you directly. Lots of people are just doing their jobs. You, however, are looking for a career. And the wonderful thing about the food and hospitality industry is that you don’t need a fancy education to work your way up. Your work ethic will shine, and you will be noticed. And most places have management training programs in place with a vacancy waiting for you. Average time from entry level to promotion: 1 year.
#3. You’ve been promoted to a supervisory role. This can be tough. You’ve been working side by side with people as equals, and now you are in a management role. You’ve got to balance your friendships with the needs of the business, and do so without alienating either those above you or below you. You can do it by being honest, diplomatic, and recognizing that there will be friction. You must be clear eyed in your assessment of your friends and their abilities. Another option, if you feel that the balance would be too hard to strike, would be to move to another location within this company, or even a different company altogether. But it’s better to stay put as long as possible. That revolving door can swing around and hit you in the backside if you job hop too often. Compensation level: You’re probably around the $11-12/hour range, and there may be some basic benefits.
#4. Now prove yourself. Check out the competition. Learn everything there is to know about your role and the extent of your responsibilities. Look for ways you can improve service, cut costs, find new suppliers, new products. Watch your colleagues and managers and see what they do and how they do it. Start gaining expertise. You can research online, take basic classes at a community college or through career centers. Basically, this is when you learn, devise your leadership strategies, and begin your quest for world domination. Kidding. Don’t turn evil. Average time from supervisory level to management level: 1-3 years.
#5 Management is your next goal. At around the one year mark start noting what openings are coming up in your franchise or company. Start checking out the qualification requirements for management postings on the job boards. Position yourself to gain the necessary skills and experience to meet those standards. Always ask your boss what you can do next. Be helpful, be assertive and be ready for anything. Take any and all training you are offered. And then pounce. Don’t be afraid of rejection. You will learn something new every time you interview. Compensation level: $20-40,000 salary, benefits too!
#6 Where you go from here is up to you! You can stay in your franchise, concept, or chain, you can change it up and try different restaurants or hotels. The point is, once you’ve made it to this point you’ve got a huge advantage. And a whole world you may not have thought of is now open to you. Casinos, cruise ships, theme parks: places where the salaries, and the responsibilities can be staggering. And it can all start with a counter job at a burger joint, or as a desk jockey in a hotel.
Don’t believe me? Well, listen to this:
- Dave Pickens started out as a Line Cook at Red Lobster. He’s been the President of both Olive Garden and Red Lobster.
- Nydia Narvaez started out as a front desk agent for Omni Hotels in TX and become the Director of Rooms at the Omni Dallas, their premier convention hotel.
- Jeff Straton started out as a Crew Member at McDonalds in 1973. He’s now President of McDonalds, USA.
- Phyllis Johnson took a part-time desk clerk job at the Charlottesville Courtyard Marriot after putting herself through college. She’s now the Senior Director of Owner and Franchise Services for Marriott International.
There’s plenty more success stories out there, and if you’ve got one to share please do so! If you’re looking for your launch pad to success check out all of the options posted at WyckWyre by hitting that little green button right below.
The Donald may have made the dramatic “You’re Fired!” pronouncement famous, but as long as there have been bosses and employees there have been bosses firing employees. If you are new to management or haven’t had the bad luck to be in this position yet you’d probably rather get a root canal than tell someone you are letting her go.
Back in a previous life in a different industry, I was let go twice by the same person, and I’d have probably given him a third shot at it if the mortgage industry hadn’t imploded. He was that great of a boss! And though it was for economic reasons it still hurt to be told that I wasn’t needed anymore. But, he did go about it right both times.
If you’re struggling with an upcoming termination we’ve got some advice for you. Here’s 5 tips to help you handle yourself appropriately in this difficult situation:
#1 Follow the steps/rules: If your employee is being let go because of performance inadequacies make sure that you’ve openly and accurately communicated your expectations for improvement, provided training or other opportunities to succeed, and have laid out the consequences for failing to succeed. And if it’s a reason that is beyond the employee’s control, like closing a branch or selling a division, explain that too. The sooner the better, so that your employee has plenty of time to look for a new opportunity, and make sure to give him your contact information for references.
#2 Be empathetic, not sympathetic: This is not harder on you than it is on the poor shlep being shown the door. Yes, it’s not fun to tell someone, possibly someone you like, that they are going to be out of a job, but you are not the one who is staring unemployment in the face. You are not the one who has to go home and explain to a spouse or family that you’ve been fired. You still get to keep your pay, and your benefits, and your stability. So yes, it sucks to do it, but suck it up. You can certainly say “I’m sorry it’s come to this”, but don’t ever dare to say “This is harder on me” or any variation thereof.
#3 Be prepared: Know in advance what the timeframe will be, how severance will work, how property will be returned. The second time my old boss let me go he had the answers to questions I didn’t even think of asking at the meeting. Know what steps need to be taken, any exit interviews that should be conducted, what forms should be signed, how the final pay will be remitted; everything and anything. And be ready to get it all done. If your company really likes exit interviews this is pretty much your only shot at getting one. Show me a person willing to spend time answering questions after he’s been fired and I’ll show you a guy who is not going to give quality, actionable answers.
#4 Keep calm: Don’t get mad. Don’t cry. Don’t argue. Don’t do anything when you are massively angry, disappointed, or otherwise foaming at the mouth. Even if you are firing someone for doing something stupid/illegal/hugely frustrating and it’s a one strike kind of event, you need to take 15 minutes or so in the immediate aftermath to get your head on straight. Then, when you can trust yourself to be calm, initiate the conversation. Obviously, it will be a bit different than if it’s a performance or economic based termination and you can prepare in advance. You might not have everything ready to go at the drop of a hat. Gather what you can, calmly and firmly explain that there is zero tolerance for this and that as a result this person is terminated effective immediately. All follow ups can be done through HR, or through a higher level executive, but at this moment the employee needs to leave.
#5 Put your listening ears on: Generally an employee will not be tremendously surprised to learn they are being fired, and will most often go quietly. Sometimes, however, they will feel the need to vent, possibly loudly, about everything from the nasty coffee in the break room to casting aspersions upon your parentage. Your job in this case is to listen, and reiterate where needed any information required. You don’t argue back, or get defensive, or even agree that the coffee is disgusting. You just listen, repeat your script, and listen some more.
Any time you have to deliver bad news it’s uncomfortable, and really, I hope that firing folks never gets easy. It should be something that makes us think, re-think, and feel angst over, because it’s a harsh blow to deliver to a person. If you’ve got any great advice on how to handle terminating employees feel free to share in the comment section. I don’t even want to ask for termination horror stories, but if anyone out there has been fired by the same person more than once I wouldn’t mind hearing that I’m not the only one!
If you’ve recently had to let someone go, or know that you will soon, find out what WyckWyre can do to help with your hiring needs! Click this extremely handy little green box for more information!
Hey everyone! Melissa here, Customer Programs Manager with WyckWyre. I wanted to take a few moments and talk about what makes us tick in the Customer Success Department… You guessed it: Our customers!
At WyckWyre, we understand that without our valued customers, there would be no WyckWyre, which is why we constantly go above and beyond to ensure our customers are well taken care of. Our customers are our greatest assets, and we love to make sure they know that!
Every one of our customers is assigned a dedicated Customer Success Specialist (CSS) instead of a 1-800 number to call if they need something. Our customers have access to their CSS via e-mail, office phone, or cell-phone. We know that being available is extremely important to our customers who are working in the fastest-paced industry out there, which is why we don’t stop working at 5pm. I’ve known one of our CSSs to type out an e-mail response at 2am! Now that’s dedication! We value our customers’ time, so we love to get responses out ASAP.
From the beginning of a relationship with WyckWyre, our customers are walked through each and every step, from customization of the site, job advertising, application processing, and the training of the entire management team (and so much more!). We love to be there for our customers, and with WyckWyre, they are never alone.
We have great relationships with our customers. We feel like our bonds go beyond the walls of WyckWyre- we know many of our customers by first name. We know their quirks, their sense of humor, and we go beyond the script when talking with them. We really feel that this sets us apart, and lets our customers know that they can come to us with any issue.
Additionally, as our titles imply, we are committed to the success of our customers. We ensure that everyone that uses WyckWyre is utilizing the system as they should be. We encourage every level of user to reach out directly to us with questions and concerns so that we are able to help every step of the way.
All of this begins with our CSSs being thoroughly trained themselves, starting their career with WyckWyre in an extensive training program, that goes beyond a 2-week crash course. We hire customer service professionals who are enthusiastic about customer service, and we teach them everything they need to know to become WyckWyre experts. Then and only then, can we expect them to provide the level of service our customers have come to expect from the WyckWyre team.
We bought our house almost 13 years ago, and every year we’ve attempted to grow a garden. Attempted being the key word. With two apple trees in our yard and a neighbor who enjoys feeding the neighborhood deer herd we’ve never been successful. Despite the obvious signs that maybe we weren’t meant to be urban farmers, we decided last year that we were going to go all out. We dug up a 20 x 40’ section of our yard, planted 8 billion seeds in little containers that took over our entire downstairs, and erected a nice big fence. And we were fairly successful, this time.
So, you ask, why the heck is she talking about gardening? Well, I learned a lot from that experience that is completely relevant to hiring and managing a workforce. Here are four ways that tending a veggie garden can help you tend to your workforce:
1. Planning. When it came to planting, the when’s, the how’s, the where’s, I was a complete newbie. So I read the seed package directions, calculated the growing times, the frost dates, the soil requirements: I research diligently. It turns out that vegetables mature at varying speeds, and I needed to plant things in waves to make sure that they could all be put in the garden at a safe time of year while still having a long enough growing season. Same with your workforce. You need to research and understand your needs, and be proactive about making sure to meet them. If you know that you need more staff for the Memorial Day rush it’s not a good idea to have them start that Friday. They need time to mature, and grow into their positions, before they will be capable of being competent when you most need them. My garden was a little too ambitious, and at times I couldn’t keep up with the production. Family, friends, neighbors and our pet rabbit were very happy, because I was slinging veggies at anyone who would take them. You need to make sure that you understand your workforce requirements, or you could end up with too many or too few employees, which will hurt your bottom line!
2. Protection. If it wasn’t for my fence I wouldn’t have had a single radish or tomato to my name last summer. The deer, rabbits and groundhogs in my neighborhood would have been fat and happy, and I would have been out a lot of money, and more importantly, time. It takes a lot of work and dedication to grow a good garden, and nurturing your employees does too. You need to make sure that they are safe, secure, and fairly happy in their work if you want to get the most bang for your buck. You need to foster an open communication policy with them, so that they feel comfortable enough to tell you when there are problems, or come to you for guidance, or at least feel engaged enough to show up when they are scheduled. You also need to help them out, by not penalizing them if they get sick (unless you suspect they are abusing it) so that you don’t have someone covered in poison ivy handing your customers their dinner!
3. Quality. I went for an all natural garden, with heirloom seeds, organic everything, and no chemicals. The first round of seeds I started suffered a little mishap involving a preschooler and a lab puppy, so I had to start over. Meanwhile, my giant garden looked barren without anything in it, so I bought a few hybrid tomatoes and onions and other things to get it started. And something kind of funny happened. I left the gate open once or twice (or more), and some pesky little critters managed to get in and do some looting. The only plants that were pillaged were the natural heirloom and organic ones. The hybrids I bought at the garden center were completely untouched. Sometimes when we have gaps in our workforce we can be tempted to fill them with the first warm body that happens by. This is most often a mistake. While holding out for a quality employee may provide some challenges it’s worth it in the long run. And offering our quality employees better perks is also worth it. Those little incentives that we can provide, whether it’s paid vacation, free meals, or fun events can make a world of difference when it comes to retention.
4. Weeding. Let me tell you, weeds are a menace. You think that one little harmless bit of grass will be ok if you leave it until next week, but it’s a trap. Not only does the weed spread, and invite all its other weedy friends over to play, but it chokes out your lovely tiny baby veggies. Same with "weedy" employees. They can seem harmless enough, but if left in place they will begin sucking the life out of your good employees. A bad employee will make the others have to work harder to cover his deficiencies, which they will resent. And if you don’t take care of the weed quickly your good employees will start to wonder why they are trying so hard, because you seemingly don’t care about performance. Left in place a weedy worker can bring down your entire staff. Weeds have deeper roots than plants, and are sometimes a lot harder to pull, but it’s vital to remove them.
I’d like to be able to say that my gardening has been a complete success, but it’s definitely been more trial and error, with error winning by a landslide to date. This year I was busier than usual, and I procrastinated on everything from planting to tilling. Which has left me with a stunted and probably doomed garden. Managing employees can be the same way. If you don't stay on top of your duties you'll find yourself behind and trying to cut corners to make up for it. For every 100 applicants you receive, really only about 6 of them are going to be good, healthy heirloom quality. You’re going to find a lot of tasteless hybrids, pull a ton of weeds, and yes, shovel a ton of (fertilizer). But it will be worth it all to watch your business, and your bottom line, thrive and grow!
If you have any management or gardening stories or tips you’d like to share hit up the comment section. And if you’re interested in finding out how WyckWyre can help you select the perfect candidates for your business just hit this nice green button!
Fourth of July in my town is kind of a big deal. We have a huge parade, and our little borough swells by tens of thousands of people. The parade is really (really) long, lasting sometimes two hours or more. Bagpipes, horses, Mummers, soldiers, hula dancers on floats. It’s pretty cool. We have a huge craft fair set up on the town Green, an antique car show, and of course, fireworks at dark. And food, mustn’t forget the backyard BBQs. Best part of the day!
We celebrate the 4th because that was the day the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain was ratified and we declared our intent to become a self-governing people. We know what it says, and what happened after it was presented, but there are a few surprising facts that many people don't know about the history of our history. There’s also a lot we can learn from the history of our Independence that is relevant to our lives and our work, today. Here are a few of the interesting tidbits I’ve learned:
1. By some accounts, Thomas Jefferson didn’t want to write the Declaration. Jefferson, and in fact the entire Continental Congress, thought that John Adams should draft the document. Adams, however, wanted Jefferson to do it, based on his recent writings, and that’s how Thomas ended up with the assignment. The takeaway from this is twofold. John Adams had a chance to be the author of the most famous and successful political document in history (he couldn’t know that of course) yet he delegated that to the team member he believed would do the best job. And Jefferson, though he didn’t really want to do it, embraced the assignment and rose to the challenge. If he hadn’t been the chief author can you imagine how different the Declaration might have been?
2. Thomas Jefferson had a deadline of 17 days to create a document that would eloquently tell the King to take a hike, that would establish the tone of our Republic, and that would rally the people to the cause. 17 days! Now, the discussions had been going on for some time, and surely he had some ideas bouncing around his brain, but he had only 17 days to get it done. Imagine completing some of your big projects in 17 days while relying on a horse or your two feet to get you to and from work! 237 years later we read the finished work and are awed and humbled by the simple yet powerful sentiment that we have a right to self governance and we mean to assert it.
3. Although Independence was officially declared on July 2, the wording of the Declaration wasn’t approved until the 4th. The actual and formal Independence vote occurred on the 2nd and John Adams wanted July 2nd to be the commemorative date but was outnumbered. Even in the midst of the war, which was already underway, the formalities should be observed. We’d officially declared that we would no longer be subject to Brittish rule, however we needed to be sure to tell the King off in a nice way. This was the crossing the “t’s” and dotting the “i’s” bit of it. The attention to detail and expectation of excellence requirement, if you will.
4. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This is quite possibly the most famous statement in modern history, and one that not only energized the Colonies but continues to be the cornerstone of human rights struggles across the globe today. And while it was a grandiose statement at the time, it wasn’t really true. At the time of the signing, and well after, all men were not treated equally, were not granted equal opportunity to persue their happiness, and certainly not granted equal doses of Liberty. Whether Jefferson intended to or not, this singular statement has lit the way for every American, and every oppressed person everywhere, to stand up for their perceived rights. The effects of this sentence have been felt everywhere from the state house to the poor house to the factory floor. There is no segment of our society that isn’t empowered by these words.
This 4th of July it might be beneficial for all of us to take a moment and remember that, while we may never be tasked with securing the independence of a nation, we are all tasked with the success of it, in ways great and small. And whether you are a manager or an employee, a temp or a CEO, the workplace is full of individual independent people, working together for a common good. On this holiday let’s remember the team work, dedication, and desire for excellence that our forefathers showed as we go about our daily lives, treating each other respectfully and with the dignity our Declaration of Independence states that we each possess.
Happy Fourth (Or 2nd, if you wish!) of July from WyckWyre!