Posted on Leave a comment

Dream Big! The Power of Visualisation

We all know that having a positive mindset is one of the most powerful things we can do to live a healthy life.

Our mindset is a crucial factor that determines our success or failure. All the world’s most successful people see themselves succeeding in their minds before they do it in reality.

This is what we call visualisation!

This is the technique of building in your imagination a visual scene of your goal.

No matter the goal big or small, having goals in mind give us a sense of purpose, but many of us remain stuck at the beginning of the goal.

We start with the best intentions and even a great plan to achieve that goal… but then we stop. We can’t seem to make any more progress.

Visualisation will help you overcome this.

HenryFord

Henry Ford on the power of having a positive mindset

Idealisation

The first step to achieving the business and life you desire is to determine what precisely that looks like.

Idealisation can be a great way to determine the end result you’re looking to achieve and the steps necessary to get there.

For many business owners, when starting the visualisation process, they often find that they hadn’t considered the dream goal for their business but instead focused on managing day-to-day activities.

Visualisation can be a great way to reflect on what you’ve accomplished so far and start to map out the future that you want.

It’s essential to not get bogged down on the details when it comes to planning the goal you have for your business. You don’t have to have all of the points covered or all of the minutia in mind. It’s okay to have a starting basis for where you’d like your business to be and focus on that.

It’s likely that your goals might change down the road, and it’s essential to keep the vision in your mind flexible. Idealisation can be revisited as often as you need to.

If your situation changes and you find that you want to specialise in a different field to take advantage of the opportunities there, feel free to revisit and re-plan what you have in mind for your business.

Visualisation

Visualisation helps business owners to transform significant abstract goals into smaller, achievable chunks which can be targeted and aimed for.

With the big picture of your business in mind, start looking at the steps necessary to get there?

What specialisation do you want to focus on for your business?

Who are your ideal clients?

What size do you want your business to be five years from now?

These are all critical questions that need to be answered now so you can take the steps necessary to target them.

One of the best ways to manifest this visualisation is to use a vision board.

dream vision board1

A Vision Board

A vision board consists of texts and images which capture what the goal you have is. For your business, you can add pictures of buildings, teams, slogans and whatever else that captures the company you’d like to build.

A vision board can be a great way to visualise what your business will be like and can be a constant motivating reminder whenever you look at it.

Verbalisation

Visualisation is usually the process of putting thoughts onto paper and can end up being scrapped if not shared or invested in. When you think of the dream for your business and the process to get there, share it with everyone who will support you.

This includes your team, your partners and your loved ones, as all of them will play a part in helping you achieve these results.

Research has shown that when keeping your goals to yourself, especially those for your business, they can often become distant to-do lists as the day-to-day tasks continue to add up. In order to help you keep that vision in mind, it can be very helpful to have people hold you accountable.

This is where verbalisation is key; your business plan should be communicated to everyone on the team who can also contribute to it.

Growing a thriving business involves collaboration and teamwork with everyone invested in it.

Materialisation

Building a business that reflects your ideals and goals is a marathon and not a sprint. It can be challenging to stay focused on your goals as the day-to-day responsibilities and problems build up.

A great way to stay motivated and on track is to celebrate the small milestones and achievements that come along the way.

Take a moment to step and back and taste the success of the small accomplishments you achieve along with your team and loved ones. As you collect these memories, you can take a step back and look back on all the progress you’ve made.

Celebrating is a great way to internalize and create memories for these milestones.

Go out for an expensive dinner, take your team out for a trip and do something that internalizes that memory. It may seem insignificant, but celebrating the small achievements you make will help you keep motivated along this journey.

This process is not something that is completed at one go – you don’t make a vision board and revisit it 30 years down the road to see if your business matches it. This is a cyclical process and involves reviewing each of these items routinely.

Suppose the economy shifts and you need to navigate your business in a different direction. In that case, you can revisit idealisation and plan for what you want your business to look like again.

The process of dreaming and visualisation is ongoing. It will you keep focused, motivated and energised and help you push through any actual or perceived barriers preventing you from achieving your goals.

Finally – enjoy this short video from me with some tips for End of the Financial Year:


Posted on Leave a comment

Actionable Advice To Deal With Supply Chain Shortages

The construction and trades industry is being hit by a number of challenges simultaneously. As construction continues to ramp up across Australia despite the current skills shortage, construction materials are becoming much more scarce and business owners are dealing with supply chain shortages that are affecting every area of their business.

Not just in Australia, either. Across the world, the construction industry is experiencing shortages of materials such as timber and concrete, therefore becoming much more expensive or having long wait times. In fact, it is being called “the worst timber shortage in 40 years”.

In the construction and trades industry, clients cite expediency and turnaround times as the main factors for working with a company.

“57% of construction businesses have reported significant revenue losses due to supply chain issues”

According to a study by EY

With supply chain delays projected to still be an issue for the next few years, business owners must be able to navigate around this shortage to deliver great turnaround times for their clients.

Trade and construction business owners are tasked with balancing competitive schedules with the delays in the supply chain industry. The demands for construction are as high as ever, and trade businesses that can deliver during these times will take advantage of the growth in the industry.

In this article, we will share our strategies on how to mitigate supply chain issues, prepare your business and remain competitive.

Some people are seeing the funny side of the supply chain shortage
Some people are trying to see the lighter side of high timber prices

Look ahead, be prepared and be transparent

One of the first things you can do to prepare your business for the supply chain issues ahead is to be aware of the shortages which can affect you.

Talk to your suppliers and ask them if they are experiencing or expected to experience any shortages or delays in supplying your goods.

If they are, you can place advanced orders early on to ensure that you will receive those supplies as soon as they’re available.

By being aware of potential supply issues your business may face, you can prepare and inform your clients accordingly – so that they, too, can prepare. They will thank you for it.

Suppose there is a supply chain shortage in your trade industry on the horizon. taking a look at your WIP and plan how best to begin to build up inventory now so that you have enough materials to continue work.

Priority should be given to essential items to work being performed, for example, shingles for roofing companies. By taking advantage of the lead time and building up an adequate inventory, you can ensure that work will not be halted once the supply chain issues appear.

Perform a comprehensive review of all the items that your business is likely to need and plan ahead.

If the lead time for some of the supplies goes from two weeks to two months, what will that do to your business? Prepare now. Build up inventory, inform your clients early, and have contingency plans and a backup schedule that allows you to move work around in line with your supply chain deliveries.

timbershortage2
The building industry is experiencing increased demand, while dealing with both a skills shortage and supply chain shortages.

Finding Supplies

If your business is experiencing supply chain issues, don’t be passive and accept your suppliers at their word. There are a number of steps you can take to be proactive to source the supplies you need.

As business owners, we like to develop long relationships with our trusted suppliers. That means we tend to not look elsewhere.

However, in this struggling supply chain environment, now is the best time to reach out to other suppliers in your area and see if they can produce the supplies much more quickly.

By being able to shop around and talk to different suppliers, you are more likely to find a supplier who can deliver much more quickly and at a reduced cost and consider checking out suppliers in areas where there isn’t as much demand.

For example, if most of your projects are in a high-density area, it can be much more cost-effective to order suppliers in a location away from here and pay extra for shipping it to your job site.

When project turnaround time is important for clients in this market, being able to bring the supplies on time can lead to being able to charge higher pricing.

Protect Your Business!

Supply chain shortages are inevitable, especially with the state of the world at the moment.

As supplies grow short and become more difficult to procure, prices will go up in order to reflect the supply and demand circumstance.

Whenever possible, it’s best to negotiate with your suppliers.

The sharp price increases often lead to larger profit margins for the suppliers and can likely be reduced if negotiated effectively, despite the huge demand at the moment.

As an example, while the price of timber has skyrocketed over the past year, while supplies slowly build up, use this opportunity to negotiate and work with several suppliers to find the best price.

The supply chain issues in Australia have led to numerous problems in the construction industry due to the lack of supplies leading to delays, incomplete jobs and contract closure.

However, by preparing accordingly and being willing to work with different suppliers, you can help mitigate the supply chain issues your business faces.

In an industry where turnaround time and efficiency are huge factors for winning jobs, being able to procure the supplies you need can lead to gaining a huge advantage in the trades and construction industry.

Final word

As with any “hurdle” in business, you must afford yourself “business owner time” (i.e. minimum 2 hours per week, no distractions, to focus solely on the big picture items in your business) to think about what is happening / could happen to ensure you stay ahead.

Posted on Leave a comment

Assertive vs Aggressive Leadership

There is a lot of pressure on business owners right now. If you’re the owner of a trade-based business, you are likely dealing with the effects of the skills shortage, materials shortage and all the other effects of the pandemic.

As a leader, any stress and concerns we are personally experiencing must not negatively affect how you manage and communicate with your team, clients and suppliers.

When we’re under added stress and things aren’t going exactly to plan, we can be prone to letting our emotions get the best of us and that can affect how we communicate. Often, without us even realising it, we can be perceived as being aggressive, demanding and dismissive of others.

To address and overcome the issues your business is facing, my first tip is to communicate with the team your plan for your business – by involving them your team will gain buy into your plan and respect your leadership – so effective communication is key.

aggressive

Assertiveness vs aggression

There is an important distinction between assertiveness and aggression – and in leadership, it’s important to use the correct approach in your communications.

Aggressiveness can often be confused with assertiveness, as aggressive people are not shy about voicing their opinion. The difference between the two lies in the delivery of that opinion. Assertive people do not make people feel insignificant or wrong.

Assertiveness is key when it comes to communicating openly and honestly. Most people get scared when the situation calls for them to give their honest opinions. We are fearful of hurting other people, making them angry and causing a rift.

Because of these overarching fears, we often don’t say what needs to be said. This can mean that problems are not fixed, and under-performance is tolerated – which can have a detrimental effect on the culture of your entire business.

So as an effective leader, we must be open and honest in our communications without allowing our emotions to affect our communications negatively – and this is where assertiveness comes in.

Dr Henry Cloud wrote in his book, Boundaries for Leaders a quote: “Hard on the issue, soft on the person.”

Why are you going hard on the issue and soft on the person? Because you want them to change. And being aggressive isn’t not going to warm a team member up to hearing and acting on the feedback you need to provide.

Assertiveness is a core skill. It means you articulate your stand effectively without being emotional. You command respect through confidence, clarity and control.

You are confident expressing your opinion to others irrespective of your relationship with them. It means you can stand up for your views even in difficult situations and can say “no” when necessary.

When being assertive, it’s likely that some tension and conflict may arise. But as you are being assertive and not letting emotions take over, any conflict can be addressed in a calm, rational, logical manner.

Find agreement on what’s not working, and what can be done to fix it. This allows you to move forward, with the support of your team with everyone buying into the process – not harbouring resentment and anger.

It’s your job to get the maximum results in minimum time. If you are aggressive, you might get some of your team to come along for a ride for a short while, but the majority of your team will likely begin looking for new opportunities where they feel more valued.

Handling Situations Skilfully

The word manipulation often has negative connotations – but it doesn’t have to be considered that way. Manipulation simply means to negotiate, control, or influence someone or something.

Simply put, it means handling people, things or situations – this can be done cleverly, skilfully or deviously – so the word manipulate is neither negative or positive – it just is! Everyone manipulates.

What is negative or positive is how you handle what is happening and how it is perceived by others.

So in order to skillfully manipulate a situation, you must convey your true and honest opinions without offending others and get them to buy into your point of view. Assertiveness, obviously, is key to this. The moment aggression is used, your ability to manipulate the situation to your benefit is largely lost.

In Conclusion

Effective communication is vital to a leader’s success – and in turn, the success of your business.

By using assertive communication, rather than being aggressive and emotional, will allow your business to work much more efficiently towards a common goal, with each member of your team clearly understanding their own responsibilities and the part they play in the bigger picture.

The building and construction industry is currently seeing rapid growth and increased demand while also dealing with a severe skills shortage, exacerbated by the closing of international borders due to the pandemic.

Skills shortage Australia
Posted on Leave a comment

How To Survive in a Boom – Understanding Your Value Proposition

Across Australia, be it Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane, the construction industry is seeing a rapid boom. The industry already produces about $400 billion in revenue and is still expected to rise as demand for homes and buildings continues to rise.

The rise in demand has also led to many new trade businesses to emerge and grow to take on the increased amount of work available.

So while the industry sees rapid growth increased demand, it is also dealing with a severe skills shortage, exacerbated by the closing of borders due to the pandemic.

With so many trade businesses operating throughout Australia, the question all trade business owners need to ask themselves is why both employees and customers should choose them. Trade business owners are competing for not just customers and for work, but also for employees.

Read below on our strategies on what you can do to help your trade business survive and grow amidst the construction industry boom.

Understanding your Value Proposition

In order to stand out and encourage both employees and customers to look at your business, it’s important to understand your business’s value proposition.

A business’s value proposition communicates the number one reason why a product or service is best suited for a customer segment.

Therefore, it should always be displayed prominently on a company’s website and in other consumer touch points.

Most companies focus on their business value proposition and how they can attract customers but fail to focus on increasing their value proposition to employees.

Trade businesses must ask themselves why employees, especially in an increasingly competitive industry, choose to work for them and to grow their career. You should have marketing material that focuses on both employees and customers, highlighting the value of working both with and for your company.

Skills shortage Australia

The Tangible Factor

Tangible items are the more easily identifiable and obvious value propositions your company offers to both customers and employees.

These items can include salary, pricing, proposals and other items which can be assigned a tangible number representing its value. Tangible items are some of the first things that both employees and customers look at when looking to choose a company.

Money

One of the first things that employees look for when choosing a company is the salary that the company provides. In addition to the salary, annual bonuses, raises and other monetary benefits such as car leases and supplied phone are also evaluated.

When deciding how much to pay employees, it’s important to be paying at least the market rate and go above what’s required by paying a little more to high-achieving A-grade employees.

Employees are more likely to stay in a company where they can see their career progress and grow in a direction where they see themselves contributing and benefiting.

Training and development

On top of opportunities and advancements, employees look to get higher pay as they develop their skills and gain more experience. Trade business owners should ensure that a system is set up to monitor and reward employees’ work and skills as they develop in their career.

Similarly for clients and customers, one of the first items they look for is the cost. However, as you’ll read below, it’s often the intangible items that make the difference when making a decision.

Intangible Items

Intangible items are just as important and tangible items. Intangible items are often what makes customers and employees stick with your company and develop long relationships.

These items can include a healthy work culture, good work-life balance for employees, empathy for staff and clients and much more.

Intangible items are often the things that employees and customers point towards when asked why they choose a certain company over others.

Many customers look for good communication, work being completed on time, reliable workers and most importantly good quality of work. These are the types of things that help to develop long-term and lasting relationships with clients and customers.

Many employees look at the culture and environment of the team the will be working with. They look for teams who show respect to one another and towards clients, how they are able to share and learn from eachother’s experience, if they show empathy for family-first attitudes and respect the responsibilities and decisions of their coworkers.

All this points towards a healthy work environment where the voice of each employee is heard and each of them are respected.

One of things employees value most is a healthy work-life balance.

This includes working standard hours in line with their contract, and not having to spend long hours in the evening or during the weekend with work. They also appreciate having flexible work hours when required, and any overtime work will be paid or repaid in-kind with time off.

It’s important for trade business owners to remember that they have a reciprocal relationship with their employees. Treating them with respect and understanding, having their voices heard and given opportunities to grow and develop with a good work-life balance will much more likely make your company a place both A-grade employees and A-grade clients want to be assosicated with and help grow.

Posted on Leave a comment

Retaining your A-Grade Team in a Skills Shortage

The skills shortage in Australia has made it more important than ever for trade business owners to keep hold of their employees and encourage them to grow within their company.

The lack of skilled tradespeople has made recruitment of new employees to become much more difficult, with many job openings going vacant for extended periods of time, making retention of employees a focus for many business owners.

Employee retention is no easy task . Competitive wages and steady work are usually not enough as many companies are willing to go above that in order to secure talent. With all the opportunities available to them, employees are looking for more than just money and job security when choosing a company to work for.

Read below some of the things trades business owners should focus on when it comes to employee retention.

Understanding what your employees value

Numerous studies have shown that salary and pay are not the only things that matter to employees. Numerous other metrics, such as employee value proposition, benefits, flexible hours, personal development, training opportunities, employee referral schemes, company culture and many other items are part of what an employee looks for in a company.

Many employees have been conditioned to look for the next step in their career, and if the opportunity isn’t available in the current company they’re in, another company will likely take advantage of that.

Providing training, learning and growth opportunities to employees is vital in employee retention. By providing these opportunities, employees are much more likely to stay in a company where they can see their careers advance and continually learn new skills.

In addition to career growth, establishing a strong work-life balance culture is a priority for most employees.

This is achieved by being provided sick days, vacation time and flexibility in their schedules when required. Letting employees attend an appointment during the work week – for example, for their children’s education – allowing them to make up the hours some other time is a great example of this.

training
Invest in training your team and they will be more likely to want to keep growing with your company

Investing in your team

Investing in your employees is a win-win situation for both the employer and employees. The construction industry is experiencing a lack of available skill and can no longer sustainably rely on trade schools and associations to supply fully qualified workers. Instead, companies are now being expected to invest in their employees by providing training and skill development opportunities.

Training should not be limited to just entry-level roles or just to those on construction sites. Every employee should have opportunities to grow and have an opportunity to mould and choose their career path.

Identify opportunities for employees to develop their skills by providing in-house training programs, establish benchmarks and provide opportunities for them to take on different tasks.

Trade shows are also an important way for employees to keep up to date with the latest advancements and new technologies in the industry. By providing employees opportunities to travel and attend trade shows, it enables them to learn more about the industry and bring that knowledge back to your company.

Employees are much more likely to stay with a company where they can continually learn and develop their skills. This benefits the employer as they will be able to retain highly skilled workers in their company and benefit from the investment.

Promoting from within

As part of their career trajectory, many skilled trade workers look to switch to managerial positions at some point in their career. If employees recognise that they can grow and switch their career trajectory towards something that matches their interest, they are much more likely to be loyal to your company.

Numerous studies have shown that employees greatly appreciate a company that promotes from within and provides opportunities to employees about work that they are interested in.

As mentioned above, one of the best ways to find what your employees want and the opportunities they’d like to have is to simply communicate with them.

Studies have shown that employees feel much more valued in a company when they are able to have discussions with leadership staff about their career goals and interests.

Not every employee is interested in career advancement and many tradespeople are happy in their current positions. It’s important to understand all of your employees’ needs and expectations to ensure they are happy in their role and more likely to stay in your company.

Ensure you have good channels of communication

There are many ways to ensure this type of communication is communicated between employees and the leadership team. One of the best ways to do this is to set up quarterly employee reviews, where employees are able to freely discuss expectations, opportunities, concerns and anything else. One of the best ways to keep employees in a company is to ensure their voice is heard and concerns addressed.

It’s easy to keep employees and workers for granted and to solely focus on the economic benefit they bring to the company. However, employees are people and it’s important to understand their needs and concerns and find ways to retain your team, especially when there is a skill shortage in the industry.

Communication is key to understanding what you can do to improve your employees’ experience within the company. Investing in your team is a win-win situation for both parties and can help your team and company to succeed.

Posted on Leave a comment

6 tips to recruit A-grade employees in a skills shortage

The construction industry in Australia produces about $400 billion in revenue each year – and right now we are seeing huge demand for new construction.

However, the industry is facing a labour and skills shortage while trying to meet this increased demand – and the closure of international borders makes the “crisis” even more acute.

This makes it a tougher task for business owners to find the right talent when hiring.

So here are my top 6 tips to find and recruit A-grade employees in a skills shortage.

1. Post regularly on social media – always be on the lookout!

You’re likely already using social media to promote your business and find new clients. However, social media can also be a great way to find and recruit new employees.

Facebook has thousands of potential candidates who are looking for a new role. Let them know you have a role that needs to be filled.

Create job postings on these sites, or create content indicating you’re looking for a new hire. Many new employees are found through social media.

You must be on the lookout 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, whether you are actively looking to fill a vacancy or not.

If you want A-grade employees, you must be on the lookout for them all the time – scouting 365.

Skills shortage Australia

2. Reach out to unions and trade associations.

Reach out to unions, trade associations, schools and career event pages and ask them to share your job post on their social media pages.

These associations are often linked to skilled students and a huge alumni group with professionals in the same industry you are looking for.

Many of these associations, such as schools and unions, would be happy to collaborate with you as it would open an avenue to help their associates find their next role for their careers.

3. Employee Referrals

It is a common saying in the job-hunting world that it’s not about what you know but about who you know.

Employee referrals are one of the best ways to find skilled and valuable new employees for your business.

It is highly likely that your current employees know of several other people in the same industry, whether it be from previous companies, school or elsewhere, and asking them to recommend someone for the role can be a great way to find someone with the skills you’re looking for.

Employee referrals are a great way to connect to the institutions mentioned above, such as schools, unions and trade associations.

4. Use LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great platform to individually search for candidates with the specific skill set you are looking for.

If you are looking for an experienced tradesperson to fill a specific role, it can be easier to create a few advanced filters and search for candidates with the exact skill set you’re looking for.

This can be a great way to fill a niche role in your business.

Posting a job vacancy and manually reviewing hundreds of applicants can be a long process that may ultimately be fruitless.

Therefore, be proactive and go hunting for them on LinkedIn.

Therefore, be proactive and go hunting for them on LinkedIn.

skills shortage aus3

5. Encourage your employees to recommend someone for a role who has the skill set you need.

Incentivise your employees to recommend someone and share the word. A great way to get your employees to provide good recommendations and referrals is to incentivize them.

Many companies offer benefits (a cash bonus, extra holidays) if an employee refers to someone and they are hired.

This will encourage your team to keep your business in mind when networking and encourage them to provide their recommendations.

Employees can also post job postings or advertisements on their social media as well to reach out to their network.

The added bonus of employee referrals is that they are a much cheaper alternative to spending money on agency fees or paying for advertisements for job postings.

It also encourages your employees to stay within your business and be able to have input on who they would like to work with. When looking for a company to work for, many employees have indicated employee referral is something they look for.

skills shortage aus2

6. Recruit at a lower level and develop your new hires.

While there is increased demand for highly skilled tradespeople, you might be able to recruit someone with less experience than you expect, that you can help develop in the role.

Give your employees the opportunity, resources, and support to grow within the company. Develop a formal training program that develops their skills and measures their progress.

While this might not fill a gap in your business immediately, you could help develop your new hire into an A-grader. Help them to develop the new skill sets that your business needs and encourage more experienced employees to become mentors in the process.

The skills shortage in Australia has led to a recruitment problem in the construction industry as it can be difficult to find employees with the skills your business needs.

Leveraging your own, and your employee’s social networks will help you build a bigger net to catch ideal candidates.

Be sure to continue to develop your employees, as the other side of the coin of recruitment is retention – you should hold on to your existing A grade team.

Read next week’s articles for tips and how to hold onto your employees and develop your in-house skillset. ….

Power to you! 

Stefan

Posted on Leave a comment

Are you a business owner affected by the “Skills Shortage?” What you need to do next.

The construction industry in Australia produces about $400 billion in revenue each year – and right now we are seeing huge demand for new construction.

However, the industry is facing a labour and skills shortage while trying to meet this increased demand – and the closure of international borders makes the “crisis” even more acute.

This makes it a tougher task for business owners to find the right talent when hiring. So here are my top 6 tips on recruitment in a tight labour market to help you to recruit the right employees for your team.

 

Post regularly on social media – always be on the lookout!

You’re likely already using social media to promote your business and find new clients.

However, social media can also be a great way to find and recruit new employees.

Facebook has thousands of potential candidates who are looking for a new role. Let them know you have a role that needs to be filled.

Create job postings on these sites, or create content indicating you’re looking for a new hire. Many new employees are found through social media.

You must be on the lookout 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, whether you are actively looking to fill a vacancy or not.

If you want A-grade employees, you must be on the lookout for them all the time – scouting 365.

sills shortage 5
Skills shortage Australia

Reach out to unions and trade associations.

Reach out to unions, trade associations, schools and career event pages and ask them to share your job post on their social media pages.

These associations are often linked to skilled students and a huge alumni group with professionals in the same industry you are looking for.

Many of these associations, such as schools and unions, would be happy to collaborate with you as it would open an avenue to help their associates find their next role for their careers.

Use LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a great platform to individually search for candidates with the specific skill set you are looking for.

If you are looking for an experienced tradesperson to fill a specific role, it can be easier to create a few advanced filters and search for candidates with the exact skill set you’re looking for.

This can be a great way to fill a niche role in your business.

Posting a job vacancy and manually reviewing hundreds of applicants can be a long process that may ultimately be fruitless.

Therefore, be proactive and go hunting for them on LinkedIn.

skills shortage aus3
skills shortage aus2

Employee Referrals

It is a common saying in the job-hunting world that it’s not about what you know but about who you know.

Employee referrals are one of the best ways to find skilled and valuable new employees for your business.

It is highly likely that your current employees know of several other people in the same industry, whether it be from previous companies, school or elsewhere, and asking them to recommend someone for the role can be a great way to find someone with the skills you’re looking for.

Employee referrals are a great way to connect to the institutions mentioned above, such as schools, unions and trade associations.

Encourage your employees to recommend someone for a role who has the skill set you need.

Incentivise your employees to recommend someone and share the word.

A great way to get your employees to provide good recommendations and referrals is to incentivize them.

Many companies offer benefits (a cash bonus, extra holidays) if an employee refers to someone and they are hired.

This will encourage your team to keep your business in mind when networking and encourage them to provide their recommendations.

Employees can also post job postings or advertisements on their social media as well to reach out to their network.

The added bonus of employee referrals is that they are a much cheaper alternative to spending money on agency fees or paying for advertisements for job postings.

It also encourages your employees to stay within your business and be able to have input on who they would like to work with. When looking for a company to work for, many employees have indicated employee referral is something they look for.

Recruit at a lower level and develop your new hires.

While there is increased demand for highly skilled tradespeople, you might be able to recruit someone with less experience than you expect, that you can help develop in the role.

Give your employees the opportunity, resources, and support to grow within the company. Develop a formal training program that develops their skills and measures their progress.

While this might not fill a gap in your business immediately, you could help develop your new hire into an A-grader. Help them to develop the new skill sets that your business needs and encourage more experienced employees to become mentors in the process.

The skills shortage in Australia has led to a recruitment problem in the construction industry as it can be difficult to find employees with the skills your business needs.

Leveraging your own, and your employee’s social networks will help you build a bigger net to catch ideal candidates.

Be sure to continue to develop your employees, as the other side of the coin of recruitment is retention – you should hold on to your existing A grade team.

Read next week’s articles for tips and how to hold onto your employees and develop your in-house skillset. ….

Power to you! 

Stefan

Posted on Leave a comment

Business Management Consultants | BBG

Increase Your Team’s Productivity with Better Meetings

At the heart of exceptional team performance is a rhythm of tightly run daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual meetings – all of which happen as scheduled, without fail, with specific agendas. These meetings are to ensure we focus the team on what’s important.

You will solve problems more quickly and easily, you’ll achieve better alignment around strategic decisions, and you’ll communicate more effectively.

At Business Benchmark Group, we have helped countless Melbourne businesses achieve growth through implementing our practical business advice. Contact us today.

Meetings are a routine that will set you free

If you want to improve productivity, the answer is more meetings – not less. While this sounds counter-intuitive, it is the fastest way to ensure progress.

By breaking goals and tasks down to bit size pieces they become relevant and achievable. If team members are required to report daily on activities, in a peer setting, accountability soars, and so do outcomes.

Leverage ever more with ever less

Avoid the build up of unresolved problems and discontentment in the workplace. In most cases the collective intelligence of the group ensures that there is a better chance of solving issues and bottlenecks.

This cuts down conversation and puts the emphasis back on action.

Staff performs best when certain of their roles and tasks. Certainty comes with routine, with rhythm, and yes, with more meetings not less.

office meeting productive

Make sure your team knows why they are at each meeting

Give each meeting a name and a purpose. The more concrete the goals, the more powerful the outcomes. Whether it is your weekly team meeting, staff review, project meeting, marketing meeting, make sure the right people are present and that they know what is required of them.

A written agenda, including time frame, will help.

Always allow for response time and extra business

Good meetings will generate responses, opinions and more business. Allocate time for these but be specific about how MUCH time is given over. You may discover that the best thing to do with a particularly juicy subject is create a committee or working group, who meet separately and report back.

Create meeting etiquette and encourage the team to self-monitor

A good rule of thumb is not to allow too much comment on each meeting item. Relevant points can be raised but any strong, divergent subjects that come up should be referred to Extra Business or tabled for a separate meeting.

Appoint a chair, time-keeper and a note taker

Even simple meetings require good structure. A chair will keep the meeting moving, ensuring everyone is heard but that the course of discussion does not stray off track. A time-keeper means that everyone else can focus on the meeting and not be stealing glances at their watches. A note taker also frees other team members so they can really listen and contribute – without being distracted by making their own notes.

It is best to rotate these roles so you build skills within your team and no team members start to feel put upon or burdened.

Learn to get more out of your meetings.

This essential part of your business operations ensures good communications, happy staff members, aligned team goals and super accelerated productivity.

If you are looking for assistance in planning meetings, setting agendas and getting the most out of team meeting time, consult Business Benchmark Group. We are a Melbourne based small and medium business advisory service, who have helped countless Victorian businesses achieve better results.

Call us today on 03 9001 0878 to see how we can help your business grow.

Posted on Leave a comment

Business Mentoring | BBG

Match Yourself with Your Rate

Have you thought about the time investment you are putting in to your business? Are you working for nothing? Or are you satisfied with the return on your personal time investment?

As a business advisor in Melbourne, I find that about 75% of small business owners have a disconnect here. The issue of maximising the return on each hour you work can be a tricky one. In my experience, this is a big thing holding my clients’ back from achieving business growth. I call this the Hourly Rate Identity Crisis.

If you are looking to maximise your time investment, then learn from some of the best small businesses in Melbourne. Business Benchmark Group holds M500, a Melbourne business advisory group held monthly. Meet small business owners like yourself, network, connect and learn. It’s one of the best investments of you time.

Find out more about the M500 business advisory and coaching group.

Find out if your working at your real rate

To see whether you’ve hit the Hourly Rate Identity Crisis, answer the questions below:

  • How much do you charge out for your time an hour?
  • How many hours on average do you work a week?
  • How much did you pay yourself last month?
  • Is there a disconnect?

Chances are you have worked out what an hour of your time is worth, based on your skills and experience and the industry you are in. This isn’t where the problem usually lies. The issue is, how many hours a week do you actually earn that rate?

Time is a finite resource so it’s crucial that you put it to good use. If you have an identity crisis here it can spell trouble.

senior business owner on laptopWhat activities should you be doing to give your business the best outcomes for each hour you work? Be clear about who you are, what you do, and why. Think about your #1 Big Outcome. The best opportunity for your business is to build one reputation for doing one thing, then add to it. Ask yourself, what’s my one thing? What am I actually worth an hour? Why? What are the activities that I do daily, weekly and monthly that help me ensure I achieve that rate?

The next question is, how many hours a week do you work on average? Most business people I know can answer this question quite easily, so now you should have two figures: an hourly rate that you believe you are worth and the average number of hours you work per week.

Now you can calculate the following equation:

What you are worth per hour × How many hours you work on average per week

Consider the answer carefully.

Are you at your optimum time investment? 

Now, here’s the kicker: when was the last time you took home a weekly pay cheque close to that amount? Sadly, for some business owners the answer is never, which may indicate you have an employee or self employed mindset versus a business owner who is in growth mode mindset.

If this is you, this is a huge wasted opportunity for your business.

So if you’re not taking home close to that amount each week, or even some weeks, or even occasionally, what’s the problem? If you’re not skiving off and going to the beach then clearly you’re spending time at the office doing tasks you shouldn’t be doing. Yes that’s right, you shouldn’t be doing!

I’m not saying those tasks don’t need to be done, just that they don’t need to be done by you.

What about if you are achieving this every week? Does that mean everything is peachy? Not at all. If you are reaching this target every week your hourly rate is too low! Nobody can work at their maximum achievable hourly rate every single hour for a whole week, let alone week after week, so if you think you are doing this you need to increase your hourly rate. There is clearly room for you to do so and you are currently missing out on this opportunity.

Face the hard questions

At a M500, it’s hard to shy away from the truths of your business, and that’s a good thing. I believe that the truth will give you the freedom to run your business. Hiding from reality will not make your business a better one.

So join me, and others like you, at M500 —  Melbourne’s small and medium business coaching event.

Call 03 9001 0878 to find out more.