Friday, April 18, 2014

Making Employee Engagement Stick - For Real!

Employee Engagement is all the rage. What is crazy is that I never thought is was that complex. For most of my career, if I got a “good job” or an occasional gift card for a coffee place, I was chill.
I have to share one company in particular that, as a diversity thought leader, I think everyone needs to meet.Their name? RoundPegg.
I have been writing for years about diversity and business culture. A continuous theme that creeps up is that some companies just do not have an environment that is ready for a diversity or culture change. Maybe they just don't know where to start. RoundPegg has figured this culture stuff out.
I met Tim Wolters, CEO of RoundPegg, albeit briefly, at lunch during HR Tech. Not only is he easy on the eyes, Wolters is the Founder of RoundPegg, a platform that allows companies to quantify their business culture and utilize that in hiring, developing, and engaging employees. – BooYa – it is all there.
Why is he relevant to sourcing you may ask. He is relevant because all happy employees are ambassadors for their companies. On RoundPeggs’s website they state, “…today's leaders are excused for failing to manage culture because it has always seemed too big to do anything meaningful about and tracking progress does not fit neatly into a spreadsheet.” *Snap*
What they believe
  • There is no one right culture.
  • Every employee contributes to the culture.
  • Culture must be measured bottom up, rather than dictated top down.
  • Employees want to do well and will when given a chance. They are rarely 'bad.' There are only bad situations for certain employees.
  • Individual success is a function of being able to be yourself and put your best foot forward within a company in a way that gets rewarded.
  • Successful companies are ones that have figured out what they believe and have aligned their workforce around it rather than subscribing to the latest business culture bestseller in the airport bookstore.
I cannot agree more. Before implementing a new business culture, especially the culture of diversity, there is some work to do. After you implement MY diversity audit, check out RoundPegg. Diversity and embracing company culture is not a cute thing to put in a mission statement – there is research and science behind it. When you know better, you will do better. Do your due diligence and together we can build a “High Performance Workforce.”

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Can We Be Friends?

Do candidates know you? Do they like you? Do you stay in regular contact with your candidates even if they don’t get the job? Do they come to you and a knowledgeable resource when it comes to employment?  If not – congratulations, you are “just like everyone else.”

Finding resumes is easy; finding talent is not. Successful sourcers are doing they things that those “like everyone else” do not want to do. They take the time to partner with their candidates. “Employee Engagement” is a huge focus for companies.  They know there isn’t enough talent out there to they want to keep them engaged.  To quote Wikipedia:
An engaged employee is one who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work and so takes positive action to further the organization's reputation and interests.”
On the sourcing side the engagement of candidates means building Candidate Collaboration. Through being consistent, trustworthy and honest you can build such a relationship. Once you have  candidate collaboration, a candidate so positive about the candidate/sourcer relationship that they willingly and enthusiastically refer people they know that could fit your need. Here is a few ways to influence candidate collaboration.

The Friend Factor:
 A good way to judge people is by observing how they treat those who can do them absolutely no good. — Malcom Forb
Lay a foundation of trust when speaking to candidates. Give consistent and constant affirmation that your goal is understand their job needs and wants and ALWAYS stay in touch. Be a ambivert.

The Vision Statement:
“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” Jonathon Swift
All people want to feel needed and important. Help inspire your candidates by reaffirming that you feel strongly about their ability to contribute to the company they COULD be working for.  It’s the old fashioned WIIFM!                                   

Be “That Guy”:
“Be the only one. Be your own adjective. Be ubiquitous. Be transparent.” – Scott Ginsberg
Don’t be like everyone else. When top talent starts passively looking for new opportunities, be the obvious choice of whom they should call. When candidates Google “jobs” be the first thing that pops up! Find your uniqueness and use it to set you apart. (Remember uniqueness does not equal weirdness!)

Finding resumes is easy; finding talent is hard. Harder still can be candidate collaboration – but that is why we get paid the big bucks. You never can tell what job order you will get down the road; that is why you must be proactive. Reactive sourcing is painful. By being a “friend,” creating the vision and having the reputation as the go to sourcer, you will be the sourcing hero.

Friday, January 17, 2014

The 5 Perks That Really, Truly Matter to Employees


Lots of companies have gotten pretty creative with the perks they offer their employees – from daily gourmet meals and beer-on-tap to clothing stipends and on-site basketball courts.
But are these perks what matter most to your employees? And are they making the impact to the bottom line you hoped they would?
While some of these big-ticket perks might be what draw new applicants, some of the shiny perks lose their luster and what should last are those with long-term value.
Here are five perks that will actually keep the right people right where you need them:

1. Great people
The people an employee is surrounded with can make or break a job.
In today’s collaborative work environment, people need to be able to have frank conversations with others, and a high level of transparency will encourage trust and foster great work. In fact, frequent and open communication is important whether it’s with a co-worker, a manager or the CEO. People will feel more valued if leaders share information about what really matters.
And the leaders under those leaders — as well as every employee down to the very las t— need to follow in cultivating a culture of open communication.

2. Being invested

People like to feel they’re an integral part of something big. Does each employee understand exactly how and where they fit into the company’s vision?
They should. When your people feel like they’re making a difference, they will be more excited about what they do and more willing to contribute everything they have because they want to keep making a difference and see how their contribution is actually affecting the big picture.
In addition to offering an emotional stake in a company, leaders can also give their people an equity share in the company. Just imagine how invested your people would feel in your company’s success if they owned part of it.

3. A positive work environment

When people feel included and actually enjoy working with the people around them, they tend to stay put and be more productive and creative.
People need to do meaningful work that keeps them feeling passionate about their projects, which in turn contributes to the overall success of the company. People want to connect with the others around them and feel like they’re a part of the team.
When everyone is engaged in their work, others can’t help but adopt those same feelings.
Similarly, leaders need to support this thought process and lead with it always in mind, starting from the top and working its way down so that every single employee feels included and part of the great work you’re doing together.

4. Work-life balance

Sometimes one of the best perks is simple: flexible work hours that allow people to spend time with their family and friends and be present at the next important concert or soccer game.
People need a chance to get away from the office and disconnect. Then when they come back to the office the next day, they’ll be recharged and ready to go.

5. Fair compensation … and then some

Employees need to feel they’re being treated fairly. One of the most obvious ways to do that is compensation.
While salary isn’t the only important factor in choosing whether or not to stay at a job, it has always been — and always will be — important. After all, people need to feed and house themselves.
Of course, additional value is offered in benefits like medical and dental, paid time off, retirement and stock options. Giving your people tangible benefits shows them they and their contribution is valued.
In an ideal world, employees could have all the free on-site massages they want while doing rewarding work with a great boss and inclusive co-workers who appreciate everything they bring to the table, then go home and spend quality time with their loved ones.
You couldn’t pull people away from a job like that! But when weighing the options of which perks matter, make sure you’re focusing on perks that will keep your people around for the long run.
Ben Peterson is co-founder and CEO of, the leading online HR software for small and medium-sized businesses that have outgrown using spreadsheets to manage their employee information. Contact him at

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


This is one of the SADDEST stories ever told in Hollywood. His name is Sylvester Stallone....One of the BIGGEST and Most famous American Movie superstars. Back in the day, Stallone was a struggling actor in every definition. 

At some point, he got so broke that he stole his wife's jewelry and sold it. Things got so bad that he even ended up homeless. Yes, he slept at the New York bus station for 3 days. He was unable to pay rent or afford food. His lowest point came when he tried to sell his dog at the liquor store to any stranger. He didn’t have money to feed the dog anymore. He sold it at $25 only. He says he walked away crying. Two weeks later, he saw a boxing match between Mohammed Ali and Chuck Wepner and that match gave him the inspiration to write the script for the famous movie, ROCKY.

He wrote the script for 20 hours! He tried to sell it and got an offer for $125,000 for the script. But he had just ONE REQUEST. He wanted to STAR in the movie. He wanted to be the MAIN ACTOR. Rocky himself. But the studio said NO. They wanted a REAL STAR.

They said he "Looked funny and talked funny". He left with his script. A few weeks later, the studio offered him $250,000 for the script. He refused. They even offered $350,000. He still refused. They wanted his movie. But NOT him. He said NO. He had to be IN THAT MOVIE.

After a while, the studio agreed, gave him $35,000 for the script and let him star in it! The rest is history! The movie won Best Picture, Best Directing and Best Film Editing at the prestigious Oscar Awards. He was even nominated for BEST ACTOR! The Movie ROCKY was even inducted into the American National Film Registry as one of the greatest movies ever!
And do you know the first thing he bought with the $35,000? THE DOG HE SOLD. Yes, Stallone LOVED HIS DOG SO MUCH that he stood at the liquor store for 3 days waiting for the man he sold
his dog to. And on the 3rd day, he saw the man coming with the dog. Stallone explained why he sold the dog and begged for the dog back. The man refused. Stallone offered him $100. The
man refused. He offered him $500. And the guy refused. Yes, he refused even $1000. And, believe it or Not, Stallone had to pay $15,000 for the same, same dog he sold at $25 only! And he finally got his dog back!

And today, the same Stallone who slept in the streets and sold his dog JUST BECAUSE he couldn’t even feed it anymore, is one of the GREATEST Movie Stars who ever walked the Earth!
Being broke is BAD. Really BAD. Have you ever had a dream? A wonderful dream? But You are too broke to implement it? Too tiny to do it? Too small to accomplish it? Damn! I've been there too many times!

Life is tough. Opportunities will pass you by, just because you are a
NOBODY. People will want your products but NOT YOU. It’s a tough world. If you ain’t already famous, or rich or "connected”, You will find it rough.
Doors will be shut on You. People will steal your glory and crash your hopes. You will push and push. And yet NOTHING WILL HAPPEN.
And then your hopes will be crashed. You will be broke. Damn broke. You will do odd jobs for survival. You will be unable to feed yourself. And yes, you may end up sleeping in the streets.
It happens. Yes, it does.

BUT NEVER LET THEM CRUSH THAT DREAM. Whatever happens to You, Keep Dreaming. Even when they crush your hopes, Keep Dreaming. Even when they turn you away, Keep Dreaming. Even when they shut you down, Keep Dreaming.
NO ONE KNOWS WHAT YOU ARE CAPABLE OF EXCEPT YOURSELF! People will judge You by HOW you look. And by WHAT You have.

But please, Fight on! Fight for Your place in history. Fight for your glory. NEVER EVER GIVE UP!
Even if it means selling all your clothes and sleeping with the dogs, IT’S OKAY! But AS LONG AS YOU ARE STILL ALIVE, Your STORY IS NOT OVER. TRUST ME.
Keep Up the Fight. Keep your dreams and hope alive. Like and share if inspired. Lovely day. ~ Rahul Balu

Monday, November 18, 2013

Founders: Share The Responsibility Of Change.

All too often founders focus solely on the business impacts of change at their companies, but overlook the effect change has on employees. It’s critical to consider how each team member will be impacted by big changes, and to craft a plan to help them both participate in the change and adapt.
Without considering team sentiment during such a change, employees feel powerless and left in the dark. These feelings turn into apathy and detachment, which ultimately can result in turnover. On the flipside, considering changes from their perspectives can turn employees into change-champions who help others get on board.
Below are five steps founders and business leaders can take to create a roadmap for organizational change. It all starts with clarity and transparency, and ends in employees championing your company’s changes.
The example we’ll use is a company that has just won a big new client, and that means the team needs to grow.
1. Know (and be able to explain to your team) what is changing and why. Then consider closely how and when to share the news.
2. Anticipate the obvious impacts and create a chart like the one below to solve the “easy” problems:
3. Go a step deeper and consider how the impacted people will feel. How will the designer who has to work from home a few days a week feel? How will the person whose workload has doubled cope? What can you do to reassure them that these are transitional accommodations, that a better solution is coming, and that you value their adaptability and commitment? Extend your chart to include the new information:
4. This is important: be honest with your team about what you know and don’t know. You don’t need all the answers; you just need to be honest. Communicate transparently and frequently.
5. Invite your team to help figure out the open issues. Include representatives from different areas and levels of your organization in completing this exercise. You can’t always include everyone in all decisions, but you can extend to the inner circle in most cases and empower employees to shape the future.
Start planning at the first signs of change, and you’ll find you have a team at your back and not against the wall. It’s critical to a smooth transition and satisfied employees. Planning for the individual impacts of change should be a part of your growth strategy and business plan from the start, and an area of focus during periods of change.
Change is rarely easy, but thoughtful change can be the difference between evolving as a team and bewildering the people that’ve carried your company this far.


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