Category Archives: Mike Campion

Protect Your Company From Bad Employees

By Mike Campion

How much of a negative impact can the bad apples in your organization have? Are having no bad employees a realistic goal? First things first: What is a bad employee?

  • Is it just someone who is bad at their job?
  • Takes too much time off?
  • Has a penchant for punching other employees?

While none of those are ideal, they all focus on actions and results instead of the root cause.

Instead of trying to create a comprehensive list of “do’s and don’ts” for your employees to ignore, start at the foundation: Your Core Values.

A bad employee is anyone who does not love and live your company’s core values.

Discovering your core values is an action in—and—of itself, but when you have a set of “rules” to run your company with, you will find that the people who line up with those rules, don’t tend to violate the “dos and don’ts” of your company.

Luckily, you have the keys to the happy employee kingdom. Get ready to discover the three steps to protect your organization from the wrong employees:  Hire for attitude, train for skill. Click To Tweet

Step 1—Stop Bad Employees From Showing Up: Pre-framing is extremely important when weeding out potential problem employees. How an employee is first exposed to your company is key. Consider the following two examples:

  1. A current employee tells his friend, a prospective employee, “You should apply at my job; the place is so disorganized, we could get away with anything.”
  2. A prospective employee comes across your website and thinks, “These are my people! I love what they are all about, I wonder if they are hiring…”

When you feature enough of your core values on your website, in your hiring ads, phone systems and your current employees become evangelists for your mission, you position your company as the right place for the right employee. Whenever, however a prospective employee becomes aware of your company they feel like they have finally found their tribe. This alone will dramatically increase the quality of your applicant pool. Which brings us to…

Step 2—Stop the Wrong Employees From Getting In: Once you have laid the foundation in step one, the job of keeping bad employees from infiltrating your organization is half done. All you have to do is make sure that your company is actually living and breathing the core values that brought prospective employees to you in the first place.

So many employers focus on job history and/or technical ability. Both offer good insight, but are only relevant with employees who have the same core beliefs as you do. Hire for attitude, train for skill.

If your company is passionate about outstanding customer service, it is eminently possible to teach an employee how to serve a customer. It is a fool’s errand to teach him to be enthusiastic about customer service. Your life and profitability will improve exponentially when you are in the business of stoking your employees’ passions and values. You are not in the business of convincing people to do something they don’t want to do or believe something they don’t want to believe.

Craft your interview process around the values that attracted your prospective employees. Once that is a match, job history and ability to do the job at-hand come into play. An unintended consequence of passionately living your organization’s core values is an extremely attractive community. This can make employees that aren’t a good fit work even harder to get in, even when your pre-framing and interview process is core valuesbased. Time for the big guns…

Step 3—Get ‘Em Out: Creating a core valuesdriven culture not only naturally repels the wrong employees; it strongly attracts the right employees. They feel “at home,” like they have finally found something special. They don’t want to leave. They stay longer, work harder and enjoy their jobs more.

The flip side is that people who are not a core value fit feel out of place. They don’t fit in. They don’t understand why everyone acts so differently. They discover that the amazing community that attracted them to your company isn’t for them. More often than not, they wander off into the night on their own free will.

When you do have someone that doesn’t get the memo, and needs a little help recognizing they aren’t a fit, you will weed them out by systematic recognition and application of your core values. Examples of core values being either applied properly or ignored or mishandled are common topics. Decision making conversations regularly start and end with your core values.

Those who don’t “get” your values will stick out like a sore thumb. When you see that is the case, have a conversation. Refer back to your hiring process. Verify they share your company’s values. If they do, their behavior will follow and all is well. If they don’t, it’s time to help them transition into a company that is a better fit.

It can sound like an overwhelming prospect, but integrating your core values into your company is like pushing a flywheel. It takes a lot of energy at the beginning, but when it gets spinning, it creates a tremendous amount of power on its own. Not only will keeping bad employees out of your company help your bottom lineit will make your life and your employees lives far better.

Mike Campion is a celebrated speaker, entrepreneur and author of I’m a Freaking Genius, Why is This Business So Hard?. A small business expert, Mike has built several multi-million dollar businesses, the most recent achieving $4.3 million in sales in the first 18 months. As the host of the “Conversations with a Genius” podcast, Mike imparts his business wisdom on his listeners. For more information about bringing in Mike Campion for your next event, please visit www.mikecampion.com.

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Five Secrets to Find and Keep Top Notch Talent Without Breaking the Bank

By Mike Campion

Mike CampionDo you have employees that you constantly need to coddle, cajole, and cater to? Are their needs and wants constantly changing? Do you feel like you can’t afford to pay what it takes to get—and keep—top talent employees?

You are about to discover five actionable strategies to help you find—and keep—the best employees without spending the GDP of Uzbekistan in payroll. Fear not, none of the five strategies is about base salary, benefits, or bribing.

Think more effective and less expensive. Imagine your company as the sole provider, the sole source of something special that your employees are desperately looking for and can’t find anywhere else. Once you build a community, your team will have a sense of belonging. Click To Tweet

Secret #1, Build a Community, Not a Workforce: Chances are you are not hiring people for their first job. Some are even coming from a job they hate. A job that paid the bills and nothing else. Invite prospective employees to join a community- not to sign up for another less-than-fantastic job.

When you create a community of people with shared values that care about each other, the tendency to steal, quit, come in late, complain, whine, or partake in other non-superfantastic behavior decreases exponentially.

  • Typical Employee/Employer Workflow
    • Step 1: Comply with these many rules
    • Step 2: There is no step two
  • New and Improved Community Deal:
    • Step 1: Build an appealing community
    • Step 2: Invite talented amazing people into that community
    • Step 3: Reinforce what it looks like to be a good community member
    • Step 4: Live happily ever after

Secret #2, Provide a Sense of Purpose: Once you build a community, your team will have a sense of belonging. Supercharge that with a sense of purpose and your organization becomes extremely sticky to top talent. People desperately want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Something they believe in.

Your employees and potential new hires desperately want something bigger than themselves to belong to. Provide that for them and unleash the floodgates for an avalanche of talent at your doorstep.

Don’t be fooled by the old, “Sure that works for brain surgeons, but MY business is different…” nonsense. Whether you own a cleaning company, an industrial fasteners plant or any other business that doesn’t feel like you are changing the world, the only reason you are in business is that you provide value to the people you serve.

If you are categorically closed to the idea that your business changes lives, adopt a cause. Become active in your community, give to a charity- do something as a team that creates value and gives everyone a reason to bound out of bed and be excited to get to work day-in and day- out! If you aren’t careful- you just might find yourself addicted to making the world a better place.

Secret #3, Offer Experiences Over Expenses: Do you have a trip that you took as a child that you still look fondly back on? A holiday that you will never forget? A vacation years ago where everything went wrong, but you and your family still talk about it?

Salary and benefits are commodities. A sense of purpose in a community of people you care about are not. A study by Harris Group found that 72% of millennials prefer to spend more money on experiences than on material things.

Shared experiences build bonds, families, communities, and companies. Don’t just hope these experiences happen- create them!

  • Have monthly events
  • Rent a bounce house
  • A dunk tank employees can dunk management in
  • Comically oversized sumo suits employees can battle to the death in…
  • Anything to help create experiences for your employees to build that community.

Don’t keep the fun to yourself. Invite employees’ families, customers, prospects, prospective employees, even vendors! All of this creates an environment your team is proud to be a part of and makes it very difficult for them to leave.

Secret #4, Appreciation: This is your secret weapon. Not only can it be had for the low, low price of zero dollars, it can be the most valuable. Even better- it can be a ton of fun.

Once you have built a community that the members are proud to be a part of, working towards a worthy goal and experiences that bond everyone together, your employees will crave recognition from you and the community.

When you have events give awards. Lots of awards. Not just the typical performance based awards—award for everything. Enjoy a few examples to get your creative juices flowing:

  • Best looking family
  • Best hair
  • Customer favorite
  • Most likely to win at arm wrestling

Small things like this make big differences in employee’s lives and their contribution to your organization. Few things are more rewarding than seeing awards given and pictures taken of you handing an employee an award proudly displayed in homes years later. Let loose, use your imagination and love on your people and you might just be surprised that you are the one that gets the most benefit.

Secret #5, Put a Bow on it With Core Values: Core values are your secret sauce to attracting top-level talent without breaking the bank. Not an old school string of meaningless words displayed on a plaque at your front office. Three to four key beliefs; summed up in a word or two each. The guiding principles that provide your company’s special brand of awesome.

Shared core values are the rules your company lives by to accomplish that community. They are a golden thread that runs throughout your company.

  • Employee hiring ads
  • Your website
  • Your interview process
  • Your employee review process
  • Your on-hold music or script for your phone system
  • Who you accept as customers, vendors and employees

Core values are the final secret that brings the first four all together and gives them power.

It is impossible to get people to act outside of their true beliefs for an extended amount of time. It is far easier (and more enjoyable) to help people live out your mutual shared beliefs and values for the benefit of a shared larger purpose.

Mike Campion is a celebrated speaker, entrepreneur and author of I’m a Freaking Genius, Why is This Business So Hard? A small business expert, Mike has built several multi-million dollar businesses, the most recent achieving $4.3 million in sales in the first eighteen months. As the host of the “Conversations with a Genius” podcast, Mike imparts his business wisdom on his listeners. For more information about bringing in Mike Campion for your next event, please visit www.mikecampion.com.

Transform Walking Dead Employees into Raving Fans, Without Paying More

By Mike Campion

Mike CampionHave you ever had a company outing at a golf course? Ever have one end with an “invitation” from the local authorities to vacate the premises? Would you feel that outing was a total success? Want to find out how you can do just that and have it be a total success? Here’s how:

If you’ve been tasked with hiring, developing, and keeping top quality talent on a budget for any length of time, you know engaged, committed, and talented people are crucial. You may even have dreams of talented, honest, hardworking employees ready to give their left kidney for the good of the organization. You imagine them sitting at home wishing the weekend weren’t so long so they can get back to work for your company.

More often than not, that dream ends with a Monday morning bucket of ice water to the face as you return to find the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses. Your team appears to slog through the office: mindless, uninspired, and drained of all energy. There has been no zombie apocalypse, but your entire staff seems plucked from the cast of The Walking Dead.

You know that committed, talented, engaged people are the lifeblood of your company. But how on God’s green earth do you find these unicorns and keep them fired up, committed, and on point? You are in the right place dear reader. Here are three keys to do just that:  Be clear about who you are and what you believe and you will attract the right people. Click To Tweet

Key #1- The right people come because of who you are, not what your compensation package looks like: It is so much easier to attract people who share your values than to hire first and convert later. Be clear about who you are and what you believe and you will attract the right people. Just as importantly, you will repel the wrong people who end up making your life miserable.

Before you can hire based on your core values, you need to define those values and communicate them in word and deed until you and your employees are saying them in your sleep. If you asked your employees “What are our core values?” today, how many different answers would you get? If that answer is anywhere north of one—keep reading.

Here are some fun ways to communicate your core values to your employees, prospects, customers, vendors, and the community at large:

  • Company parties
  • Your Interview process
  • Email signatures
  • Business cards
  • Voicemail/ phone system recordings
  • Hiring ads
  • Hiring an airplane to skywrite them over your office every other Thursday…

Too much on the last one? Good catch—back to filling your company with amazing employees.

Key #2 – Not only do you have to clearly understand your company core values, you must be able to communicate them clearly and consistently: Do your employees come to you with some questions you have answered dozens of times? Does fear of a bad decision hold you back from freeing them to be more independent? Do you want them to figure things out for themselves?

Often, employees make what seems to them a small mistake from their perspective, yet you lose your mind. Why is that? Generally, they have violated one or more of your Core Values. The problem is, they didn’t know it. Your job as the leader is to communicate those values early and often.

Next time an employee comes to you with an idea or question, don’t answer it. Ask a question instead:

  • Does this idea fit into our Core Values?
  • How can you best reflect our Core Values based on what you just told me?
  • Which Core Value comes to mind first in dealing with this?

Key #3 – You can’t just talk the core values talk. You have to live and breathe them. Even when your employees get sick of hearing them: Start consistently asking these questions instead of providing answers. Your staff will become more independent, stop asking the same questions over and over, and become better decision makers.

Imagine it was you and your company’s outing was ended abruptly by being kicked off that golf course. Imagine the ability to see that not as a bad day. To realize that you provided your employees and their families with stories for a lifetime. Arriving at work tomorrow not to find the walking dead, but to find a community. A special place in the world where your people are raving fans.

You offer something they have never had before. More than a paycheck. Community. A sense of belonging. Of purpose. Something special that none of you could have built alone.

You have the keys to the kingdom! Clarify your core values, communicate them early and often, and try not to be thrown off any golf courses.

Mike Campion is a celebrated speaker, entrepreneur and author of I’m a Freaking Genius, Why is This Business So Hard?. A small business expert, Mike has built several multi-million dollar businesses, the most recent achieving $4.3 million in sales in the first 18 months. As the host of the “Conversations with a Genius” podcast, Mike imparts his business wisdom on his listeners. For more information about bringing in Mike Campion for your next event, please visit www.mikecampion.com.

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