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Talent and HR News Roundup: Supporting Your Employees Edition

Last week we talked about the oft-overlooked yet major necessity in startup and high-growth companies: employee feedback. This week, we're taking that a step further. Feedback is just the baseline requirement with your employees. You also owe them some support, coaching and development along the way.  That's not to say they shouldn't take ownership of their own careers and development. They should. But you need to show them how.  Supporting your employees is part of your job even if your company is three people. This week we've rounded up some advice for you as managers and some links to pass along to your team. Feedback is the beginning, follow-through, learning, growth and development is another.

For your team:

1) Four Ways to Advance Your Career at a Startup at The Daily Muse

"At a start-up, there’s always way more to do than people to get it done. So, think about the types of people your company would hire if the company was twice the size, choose an area that you’d like to learn about, and suggest a project to the founders. For example, if your company has talked about building out a sales team in the future and you’d love to get exposure in that area, offer to test out the viability of sales as a customer acquisition strategy. As long as you’re still performing in your core role, your manager will probably be happy to have the extra help—and you’ll have the chance to build out a new skill set."

2) Why Your Boss Still Hasn't Promoted You at The Fast Track

"Do you take feedback well, or get huffy and pout or gripe about any criticism? You’ve got to develop thicker skin the higher you go on the career ladder, so an inability to accept feedback professionally could be sending the message you’re immature and not ready to play with the big kids."

For you:

3) Managing with Empathy at Medium

"As you might imagine, the work days at Obama for America (the president’s 2012 reëlection campaign) were long, with good reason. But it takes its toll on people over time. My colleague Lauren Peterson came up with the idea of guaranteeing folks two nights each week that, no matter what, they’d be out the door by 8 p.m. We quickly adopted this on my team and referred to it as “time to do human things”. A few people asked me if they could come in at noon instead. That let them pay bills, buy groceries or just get some much needed sleep. The “in by noon” option quickly became the more popular choice."

4) How to Write a Love Letter to Your Future Startup Employee at Tech Cocktail

"... explain how you will show employees how your startup values their talent, work ethic, and dedication. Consider the following questions for inspiration writing this section: What about the employee’s work ethic do you appreciate? Why do you value your talents? These questions will help you explain to your future employee why they will be an asset to the company and how you will reward them for their hard work and dedication."

 

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exaqueo is a human resources consultancy that helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to grow in the right way.

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Talent and HR News Roundup: Supporting Your Employees Edition

Last week we talked about the oft-overlooked yet major necessity in startup and high-growth companies: employee feedback. This week, we're taking that a step further. Feedback is just the baseline requirement with your employees. You also owe them some support, coaching and development along the way.  That's not to say they shouldn't take ownership of their own careers and development. They should. But you need to show them how.  Supporting your employees is part of your job even if your company is three people. This week we've rounded up some advice for you as managers and some links to pass along to your team. Feedback is the beginning, follow-through, learning, growth and development is another.

For your team:

1) Four Ways to Advance Your Career at a Startup at The Daily Muse

"At a start-up, there’s always way more to do than people to get it done. So, think about the types of people your company would hire if the company was twice the size, choose an area that you’d like to learn about, and suggest a project to the founders. For example, if your company has talked about building out a sales team in the future and you’d love to get exposure in that area, offer to test out the viability of sales as a customer acquisition strategy. As long as you’re still performing in your core role, your manager will probably be happy to have the extra help—and you’ll have the chance to build out a new skill set."

2) Why Your Boss Still Hasn't Promoted You at The Fast Track

"Do you take feedback well, or get huffy and pout or gripe about any criticism? You’ve got to develop thicker skin the higher you go on the career ladder, so an inability to accept feedback professionally could be sending the message you’re immature and not ready to play with the big kids."

For you:

3) Managing with Empathy at Medium

"As you might imagine, the work days at Obama for America (the president’s 2012 reëlection campaign) were long, with good reason. But it takes its toll on people over time. My colleague Lauren Peterson came up with the idea of guaranteeing folks two nights each week that, no matter what, they’d be out the door by 8 p.m. We quickly adopted this on my team and referred to it as “time to do human things”. A few people asked me if they could come in at noon instead. That let them pay bills, buy groceries or just get some much needed sleep. The “in by noon” option quickly became the more popular choice."

4) How to Write a Love Letter to Your Future Startup Employee at Tech Cocktail

"... explain how you will show employees how your startup values their talent, work ethic, and dedication. Consider the following questions for inspiration writing this section: What about the employee’s work ethic do you appreciate? Why do you value your talents? These questions will help you explain to your future employee why they will be an asset to the company and how you will reward them for their hard work and dedication."

 

----

exaqueo is a human resources consultancy that helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to grow in the right way.

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Talent and HR News Roundup: Supporting Your Employees Edition

Last week we talked about the oft-overlooked yet major necessity in startup and high-growth companies: employee feedback. This week, we're taking that a step further. Feedback is just the baseline requirement with your employees. You also owe them some support, coaching and development along the way.  That's not to say they shouldn't take ownership of their own careers and development. They should. But you need to show them how.  Supporting your employees is part of your job even if your company is three people. This week we've rounded up some advice for you as managers and some links to pass along to your team. Feedback is the beginning, follow-through, learning, growth and development is another.

For your team:

1) Four Ways to Advance Your Career at a Startup at The Daily Muse

"At a start-up, there’s always way more to do than people to get it done. So, think about the types of people your company would hire if the company was twice the size, choose an area that you’d like to learn about, and suggest a project to the founders. For example, if your company has talked about building out a sales team in the future and you’d love to get exposure in that area, offer to test out the viability of sales as a customer acquisition strategy. As long as you’re still performing in your core role, your manager will probably be happy to have the extra help—and you’ll have the chance to build out a new skill set."

2) Why Your Boss Still Hasn't Promoted You at The Fast Track

"Do you take feedback well, or get huffy and pout or gripe about any criticism? You’ve got to develop thicker skin the higher you go on the career ladder, so an inability to accept feedback professionally could be sending the message you’re immature and not ready to play with the big kids."

For you:

3) Managing with Empathy at Medium

"As you might imagine, the work days at Obama for America (the president’s 2012 reëlection campaign) were long, with good reason. But it takes its toll on people over time. My colleague Lauren Peterson came up with the idea of guaranteeing folks two nights each week that, no matter what, they’d be out the door by 8 p.m. We quickly adopted this on my team and referred to it as “time to do human things”. A few people asked me if they could come in at noon instead. That let them pay bills, buy groceries or just get some much needed sleep. The “in by noon” option quickly became the more popular choice."

4) How to Write a Love Letter to Your Future Startup Employee at Tech Cocktail

"... explain how you will show employees how your startup values their talent, work ethic, and dedication. Consider the following questions for inspiration writing this section: What about the employee’s work ethic do you appreciate? Why do you value your talents? These questions will help you explain to your future employee why they will be an asset to the company and how you will reward them for their hard work and dedication."

 

----

exaqueo is a human resources consultancy that helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to grow in the right way.

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Your Employees Are Your Brand

A company's brand is only as good as its perception in the market. And the same goes for an employer brand. This week my former employer, Marriott International, moved up to #57 on Fortune's Best Places to Work (#1 in companies with more than 65,000 employees). And Sainsbury's, a UK grocery store, promotes being the "first ever food retailer to be awarded a gold accreditation from 'Investors in People'."  And my cousin, a junior in college, told me her professor was handing out these lists in class for internship and job seekers. Don't get me started on lists. Instead, I'd rather talk about action.

Lists are great but to really know a brand and know an employer you need to see it in action. For Sainsbury's for example, the gold accreditation is one thing, but what matters is how the training, support and efforts employers make manifest in the living brand.  Like with Sainsbury's Chris King who responded so cheekily (and lovely) to a young child's letter:

(Full story and bigger image here.) Note the store manager included his age (27 and 1/3). Love that.  Sure, Sainsbury's has a strong commitment to its employees and actually details its progress online. But the real evidence is in actual manifestation of the brand by the employees. Are they acting the brand? Or are they the brand? Chris is.

I'm always looking for those living examples of the brand. And tonight, I saw it again in another Fortune Top 100 regular--the Container Store. Man, do I love the Container Store. A few years ago, we lived in a condo in the city ABOVE a Container Store.  It was a small condo, but I seriously contained everything I possibly could. There was nothing left to contain.

Now we're in a bigger house. And since I have things to contain again, I made my way back to the Container Store in Arlington, VA, and picked up a few things, including a bookcase. I went back to my car and headed home.  Once home, I opened the trunk and...no bookcase. Two sets of golf clubs mind you, but no bookcase. I got back in the car, retraced my steps back to where I thought I might have lost it. Again, no bookcase.

So while my better half drives all the way back to the Container Store (he volunteered, bless him), I call to see if maybe I never put it in my trunk. Maybe I rested it on the sidewalk and someone found it and returned it? Marnie answers the phone, and I embarrassingly explain my dilemma. Sweet as can be she says: "I'm so sorry that happened to you."

She immediately checks to see if anyone returned it and then comes back to the phone apologetic and offering other suggestions for what I could have done with the bookcase. Finally, when I thank her and get ready to end the call, she says: "well, if you decide you want to get another one, you can order it online, and come back, park in the garage and we'll put it in the car for you."

I smiled, laughed, and thanked her profusely. What a nice way to say they'll help ensure that doesn't happen again. And what a living example of the brand.

That's the thing--you can create all the marketing collateral you want and have the best careers site possible. But the employees are the best representation for the company brand and the employee brand.  Companies who solve that equation for both layers of the brand win. I'm not talking testimonials. I'm talking living examples, storytelling that defines the brand in action. Connect the employee to the brand and the brand to the prospective employee. An inextricable link. That's the win.

All of that said, I still have one more piece of furniture to buy for my home office. I guess I have to go back to the Container Store. You're going to have to force me [insert sarcasm here].

 

 

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