Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Miami Valley has purchased the building at 22 S. Jefferson in downtown Dayton, to serve as its new headquarters. Staff will move in during the summer of 2015.
Board Chair Matt DiCicco remarked, “This is a huge step forward for Big Brothers Big Sisters. We have grown significantly in recent years and now we have a location which is highly visible and fitting for our vital mission to serve youth in need. We are particularly pleased to be moving into downtown Dayton at a time where there are so many signs of investment, building, and vibrant city life.”
The building has served as headquarters for Barry Staff. Doug Barry, CEO of Barry Staff, contributed a generous donation which helped make the sale possible. Barry Staff is in the process of building a new headquarters in downtown that will accommodate their significant growth. Doug Barry said, “It is a pleasure to be supporting such an outstanding organization as Big Brothers Big Sisters. 22 S. Jefferson has been a great home for us and we couldn’t be more pleased that Big Brothers Big Sisters will be the new owners. We wish them all the best.”
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Miami Valley is a United Way agency founded in 1958 and covers Montgomery, Miami, Green and Preble Counties. After 15% growth in 2013, the agency is ending 2014 with a further 10% growth in the number of youth it serves through one-to-one mentoring. CEO Joe Radelet is retiring this summer and the search for the new CEO is underway. Joe remarked, “With the new building and with a new CEO coming in, there is certainly great cause for excitement for Big Brothers Big Sisters in 2015.”
If you’re a good (or even just halfway decent) manager or leader then you probably already know most of this, but it is worthwhile to remind ourselves of them now and again. Enough with the preliminaries; here’s my list – what would you add or remove to this?
1. Be dishonest.
Yes, #1 on the list is dishonesty. I don’t need a scientific study or a survey to tell me this so you will not see one cited by me, though I suspect it is out there somewhere. Integrity matters. Most good employees – and all great ones – have integrity. So, lying to them, to their coworkers, or to customers / suppliers is sure to turn them off. Over-billing a client, ripping off a supplier, bending the rules, cooking the books, and even just “little white lies” are all sure to catch the private ire of those employees who can best help you and your organization succeed. Don’t think they don’t notice; they DO.
2. Don’t say “Thank you.”
It’s a small thing, but it really does make a difference. Even small gestures of appreciation, complements on good work, acknowledging that someone stayed late / came in early / went the extra mile help keep talented people motivated and engaged. A small gift card, permission to leave early for the day or work from home the day before a holiday (if work is getting completed), a kind word, an email, all of these things cost very little but go a long way. I suggest making a point of doing them. People care if someone notices when they are doing a good job. I occasionally cook a special hot lunch, personally, for my team when the team has achieved something significant or completed an important project; other folks around the office are jealous and my team seems to love it. They have even started asking what they will get for lunch when they finish an important team goal. (My team: If you read this, feel free to comment on this point especially.)
3. Forget the values that made your organization a success.
I’ve been part of organizations that truly lived their core values (and even years later can recite them by heart, because they were so prominent). We all knew what they were.We all agreed they were important, or at least accepted them as such. The leadership talked about them, and everything we did as a company HAD to align to them. I left an organization once after it forgot its values and stopped talking about them because it wasn’t long before the entity had lost its way. I have also been in companies that barely even mention their values – and really, what that says is, “Our core value is to make more money for our owners, whatever it takes.” Not exactly compelling, but that’s what is being conveyed.If that’s what you’re really all about, you may as well admit it, there is nothing wrong with making money. When I build a team, I am very explicit about my expectations and the team culture, and then we review the key elements of that together from time to time.
4. Don’t take time to listen (to their concerns).
Good people almost always actually want what is best for the organization. They may have differing opinions on what that is, but they can be passionate, even fiery about it.If you’re dismissive of their concerns, when raised, you’re headed down the road to losing top performing people. Even if you can’t change a policy or a decision, you may be able to adjust how it is implemented to optimize the situation based on the concerns that your talented people raise. Just what kind of weak, arrogant, incompetent, narcissistic leader doesn’t want to hear this, anyhow?
5. Ignore their personal and professional development.
Note that there are two dimensions to this – professional development (technical skills, industry knowledge, expertise, professional certifications, formal training, etc.) and personal development. I would include leadership skills, street-smarts, maturity, self-awareness, EQ, general health and well being all as part of this.Leaders only follow stronger leaders, so if you want to keep current or future leaders, be sure you are mentoring them. Let them learn from your own life experience; telling good stories from your experience can be a great way to do this. Help them become better professionals – and better people. They will appreciate this beyond measure. Additionally, don’t delude yourself into thinking that their career growth is their problem. It isn’t; it is your problem so make a point of investing in it and top notch people will likely repay you for this with good work.
6. Don’t be selective who you hire in the first place.
We all know that hiring people who really fit and are highly talented is tough. We know that the repercussions of a bad hire are awful for everyone. Make sure people really will fit into your organization. I have found that the recruiting process is often commensurate with the organization and role. The better (and more prestigious) the entity and higher profile the role, the tougher the recruiting process often seems – and it should be. Let’s face it, a half hour “get to know you”, or even an hour isn’t really enough to get to know a prospective employee well enough to make a truly informed decision. I am privileged to be part of a company that does a very thorough job of screening people before they get in the door, and it shows. Talented people often don’t mind a tough (within reason) selection process because they are usually competitive people who thrive on challenge. Invest the time needed to really explore what makes a person tick before you hire them. Oh, and by the way, talented people want to be around other talented people.
Do I really need to go here? Yes, unfortunately. Though we all know better than this, don’t we? Sadly, I’ve seen way too much of it. It’s not just classical micromanagement either. I’ve seen truly exceptional people who excelled in their role end up with their jobs “dumbed-down” to cater to the lowest common denominator, and to the point they were no longer challenged or motivated. Needless to say, it wasn’t long before they were looking for an opportunity somewhere else.
8. Set the bar low.
Great people will get discouraged and either leave or adapt to mediocrity if that is what they perceive is deemed acceptable. I’ve seen mediocrity accepted, rewarded, applauded, and even promoted! The impact of this on team morale (and on the highest performing team members) was palpable. Set the bar high and then become a cheerleader – even if people don’t make it over the high bar, point out how high the bar was set and how high people did get, and celebrate the success they did have at the right level. They may just make it over that high bar the next time.
9. Be cold and uncaring (to them and to their coworkers).
People are human. Why do we seem to forget this so often? They have personal struggles, ambitions, families, crises, etc. One of my favorite bosses from the past was a gentleman who knew my wife’s name, my son’s name, my dog’s name, and more. I met both of his kids and I had met his wife before started working for him (they took my family out for dinner and I still remember the place). He didn’t go beyond appropriate boundaries, but I really knew he cared about me as an employee and as a person (note #5, above).He was personable and when I needed a friend, a true mentor, someone I could go to with a problem, a “dad” type figure. I knew I could talk to him and he’d help me out however he could. He got a lot of loyalty from me in return. I should also point out that talented people watch how you treat other people, not just themselves, and they take note of it.
10. The “usual” things (under-pay them, intrude into their personal lives, harassment, etc.)
Yes, the “usual” things will usually get a good person out of your organization as fast as they can possibly find an opportunity elsewhere. Incredibly, I’ve seen organizations under-pay very good people. One executive even said to me, in private, “Well, just what are they going to do? Leave? They have no place to go. The (job) market is poor.” This was his way of rationalizing, those many years ago, reduced bonuses for a group of people who really had earned them – and who were contractually entitled. (I had this happened to me one time, too, many years ago.) This was disappointing to say the least, and I lost a lot of sleep over it at the time, even though my own bonus was good that year. Plus, it wasn’t long before people actually did have someplace else to go, and go they did.
Years ago I worked on the shop floor of a manufacturing plant. I had worked my way through school at another plant so I definitely identified more with the hourly workers than the “suits.” (Even though most of the guys referred to me as “college boy.”)
One day the department manager stopped by. He asked about my background. He asked about my education. He asked about my career aspirations.
“I’d like to be a supervisor,” I answered, “and then someday I’d like your job.”
He smiled and said, “Good for you. I like a guy with dreams.” Then he paused.
“But if that’s what you really want,” he said, looking me in the eyes, “first you need to start looking the part.”
I knew what he was saying but decided to play dumb. “What do you mean?” I asked.
“Look around,” he said. “How do supervisors dress? How does their hair look? How do they act? No one will think of you as supervisor material until they can actually see you as a supervisor — and right now you look nothing like a supervisor.”
He was right. I was wearing ratty jeans with a couple of holes. (Why wouldn’t I? I worked around oil and grease all day.) I was wearing a cut-off t-shirt. (Why wouldn’t I? It was the middle of the summer and the air wheezing through the overhead vents was far from conditioned.) And my hair was pretty long, even for the day.
“But shouldn’t how well I do my job matter more than how I look?” I asked.
“In a perfect world your performance is all that would matter,” he said. “But we don’t live in a perfect world. Take my advice: if you want to be promoted into a certain position… make sure you look like the people in that position.”
I’ve thought about that conversation a lot over the years.
I’ve hired and promoted people who looked the part… and they turned out to be all show and no go. I’ve hired and promoted people who didn’t look the part at all… and they turned out to be superstars. I’m convinced that how you look and, at least to a large degree how you act, has nothing to do with your skill and talent and fit for a job.
Still, he’s right: the world isn’t perfect. People still make assumptions about us based on irrelevant things like clothing and mannerisms… and height and weight and age and gender and ethnicity and tons of other qualities and attributes that have absolutely no bearing on a person’s performance.
So are you better off trying to conform?
Unfortunately, probably so. The people doing the hiring and promoting are people — and people tend to be biased towards the comfortable and the familiar. People tend to hire and promote people who are much like themselves. (If you remind me of me… then you must be awesome, right?)
Besides, highly diverse teams are like unicorns — we all know what one should look like, but unless you’re NPH you rarely encounter one in the wild.
And don’t forget that hiring or promoting someone who conforms, even if only in dress and deportment, makes a high percentage of the people making those decisions feel like they’re taking a little bit less of a risk. I know I was viewed — admittedly with good reason — as a wild card, and I’m sure that impacted my promotability.
But still: are you better off being yourself and trusting that people will value your skills, experience, talent… and uniqueness?
Sadly I think that’s a move fraught with professional peril. If your goal is to get hired or promoted then expressing your individuality could make that goal much harder to accomplish. (Of course if being yourself in all ways is what is most important to you, by all means let your freak flag fly. Seriously.)
I have no way of knowing for sure, but changing how I dressed — and in a larger sense, tempering some of the attitude I displayed — would likely have helped me get promoted sooner. For a long time I didn’t look the part, didn’t act the part… and I’m sure that made me a less attractive candidate.
Your resume didn’t fall into a black hole. You’ve been called for an interview. You picked out a nice suit to wear and you’re ready to dazzle them with your smarts. And you know it’s important to have questions for the interviewer because it shows you’re engaged and genuinely interested in the position.
The wrong questions, however, can tank even the best interview. You know better than to bring up salary, benefits or vacation early on in a discussion — those are still commonly viewed as taboo in a first interview. But there are other, less-known pitfalls to avoid as well.
Here are five questions you should never ask in a job interview.
What does this company do?
You’re here to interview with Consolidated Widget Makers, and you didn’t bother to look up what they do? That’s inexcusable.
This is an unfortunate, but common, mistake now that people can easily apply to multiple positions with the help of job boards, says Kenneth Johnson, president of East Coast Executives, a Philadelphia based executive search firm. “A Google search will uncover the answer and save you the embarrassment.”
Even if you’ve applied to dozens of positions and been on many interviews, treat each new one as the potential game-changer that it is. When you’re called, in addition to the time and address of the interview, be sure to take down the name of the company and interviewer so you can do some research and show up well prepared.
What is your drug testing policy?
Johnson says this is the worst question he’s asked in interviews. “Even if the company has a very liberal testing policy, this question definitely raises some doubts about your candidacy.” Asking is unprofessional and a huge red flag to employers.
How long until I can have your job?
I’ve heard this one often, says Karin Hurt, CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders. “Some candidates seem to think this demonstrates career focus and gumption. On the other side of the table it feels obnoxious. Demonstrate strong passion and commitment for the job you’re interviewing for.”
If you’re asked about your five- or 10-year plan, that would be the time to inquire or express your desire for advancement, but “until then, articulate your commitment and qualifications for the job at hand,” explains Hurt.
What about overtime?
Questions about overtime can get you in trouble a couple ways. First, employers who are worried about budgets and hiring hourly staff may be very sensitive to paying out for extra time. Asking if you’ll get frequent overtime may mean you’ll risk turning them off in favor of a candidate who will work efficiently within their regular hours only.
A question such as “Will I have to work overtime?” is also bad form. “Asking this question during the interview gives the interviewer the impression that you don’t want to put in any more work than is required. This does not give the interviewer a positive impression of you,” says Cheryl Palmer, owner of executive coaching firm Call to Career.
It’s probably best to ask what the normal hours for your position will be and leave it at that.
Any question about what you’ve already been told.
The person who wrote that job listing worked hard to make sure it conveyed the right information to the right group of people. It obviously worked if you’ve applied and gotten as far as the interview stage. Don’t make all their hard work seem trivial by not fully reading every communication they send.
“If someone asks me questions during the job interview that have already been covered in the job posting or emails, it makes me question their attention to detail,” explains Carol Cochran, HR director for FlexJobs, a job search service for telecommuting and flexible positions.
Downtown staffing firm BarryStaff Inc. has finished demolishing the blighted building on the east side of downtown where it is building a new headquarters.
Click here for full article-> BarryStaff Inc.
Last week I watched a common example of one individual serving as the intellect and conscience for another. It happened at Publix, our local grocery store, where my 17-year-old son Benjamin decided to apply for a job. Standing at the application kiosk was a couple, painfully going through the questions, discussing and debating each response. The woman, who was the one applying for a job, was insecure answering the questions on her own, instead, running each one by “her man” as she referred to him several times. Makes me wonder, if she gets the job, if he’ll be tagging along then, as well.
Leaders create an unhealthy, codependent relationship when they do something similar with employees. This practice is often caused by the open-door policy of many managers, who too often position themselves as being the go-to authority. As a result, the practiced dynamic is one in which the employees don’t have to come up with their answers, always relying on the boss for ideas and input. What often makes this worse is employees’ fear of being wrong or making a mistake.
Leadership Dependence, an all too common reality in companies, has caused leaders to be even more overwhelmed than ever and employees to be less self-sufficient. The alternative, Corporate Interdependence, promotes personal responsibility for doing the next right thing and engaging in collaboration where it’s actually needed.
To shift into Corporate Interdependence, managers simply need to ask more questions versus giving out answers. Saying “What would you do,” or “What’s the first step you could take,” begins to empower people to be more engaged, more responsible, and even more satisfied as they gain confidence in their own abilities. And often, leaders learn a few things themselves when employees come up with even better ideas.
Urban Pioneer Spurs Downtown Growth
Doug Barry is showing his commitment to Dayton by taking BarryStaff, Inc., downtown.
By Jamie Kenny
Doug Barry has gotten a lot of attention lately. His commitment to downtown Dayton and his love for the city have been contagious as he begins construction on a new building for BarryStaff, Inc., near the Dayton Dragons’ stadium at the corner of Monument and Webster Streets.
READ FULL ARTICLE HERE-> Urban Pioneer Spurs Downtown Growth
6 Reasons Companies Outsource Recruiting
1. They’re Having Trouble Finding Great Candidates
Yes, even in this economy organizations are having trouble finding the right people to fill their open positions. No, they don’t always have this problem because they are being too picky or because they want to pay a lower-than-standard salary. If the organization is serious about finding great candidates and getting those positions filled, then they may outsource their recruiting to source candidates in more places, to improve their employment branding, and/or work on the job descriptions for these positions.
2. It’s Taking Time & Resources Away from the Core Business
Not everyone is in the hiring and recruiting business, and even though most companies have some sort of recruiting function, sometimes it could take away from a business’ core. This is especially true for smaller companies, who might not necessarily have someone on staff to just work on recruiting. Here, outsourced recruiting helps them by allowing a consultant or a provider to do what they do best without taking away from what the rest of the company does best.
3. They Need to Reduce Their Turnover Rates
The turnover rate is the percentage of new hires that leave within a designated period, say the first month or two of the position. A high turnover rate can hurt a company’s bottom line, and is often a sign that there are bigger problems with the company’s recruiting functions, problems that aren’t necessarily fixed by increasing the salary or by doing a better job interviewing (although, both might help). In this case, an organization may outsource its recruiting to a recruitment process outsourcing firm to reduce the turnover rate as well as fix those bigger problems.
4. It Levels the Playing Field
Start-ups and smaller companies will outsource their recruiting because they don’t have the resources in-house to keep up with larger competitors. By outsourcing, they can level the playing field and not have to worry about losing good talent because the competitor did a better job of selling the position or offering better benefits.
5. They’re Current Recruiting Functions are Out of Control
Companies who are on the fast track, or face seasonal cycles, often have recruiting functions that are tough to handle. Fast-growing companies are having a hard time keeping up with their hiring and recruiting, while those that are seasonal may need to hire many people very quickly, only for the rest of the year to be slower. Outsourced recruiting helps these companies handle the fluctuations, or could serve as a temporary solution to a temporary problem.
6. They Need to Cut Costs
Companies outsource recruiting to reduce their costs, whether that’s labor costs, capital costs, or perhaps costs from the previous reasons. Perhaps, unfortunately, they can’t justify the staff anymore. Or, the company has already spent too much money on headhunters and recruiting fees that they’re looking for another way. Maybe the organization didn’t do a good job of creating a standardized approach to hiring, so outsourcing will provide the organization needed.
Keep in mind that outsourcing your recruiting is different from outsourcing your human resources, as the latter may include benefits, compensation, employee and labor relations, and legal issues as well as the recruiting. Although outsourcing your recruiting to a recruitment process outsourcing firm includes a cursory look and a revision of those aspects, outsourced recruiting typically looks at the hiring process from sourcing great candidates to the new employee on boarding process.
You’ve likely heard that multitasking is problematic, but new studies show that it kills your performance and may even damage your brain. Research conducted at Stanford University found that multitasking is less productive than doing a single thing at a time. The researchers found that people who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information cannot pay attention, recall information, or switch from one job to another as well as those who complete one task at a time.
A Special Skill?
But what if some people have a special gift for multitasking? The Stanford researchers compared groups of people based on their tendency to multitask and their belief that it helps their performance. They found that heavy multitaskers—those who multitask a lot and feel that it boosts their performance—were actually worse at multitasking than those who like to do a single thing at a time. The frequent multitaskers performed worse because they had more trouble organizing their thoughts and filtering out irrelevant information, and they were slower at switching from one task to another. Ouch.
Multitasking reduces your efficiency and performance because your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. When you try to do two things at once, your brain lacks the capacity to perform both tasks successfully.
Multitasking Lowers IQ
Research also shows that, in addition to slowing you down, multitasking lowers your IQ. A study at the University of London found that participants who multitasked during cognitive tasks experienced IQ score declines that were similar to what they’d expect if they had smoked marijuana or stayed up all night. IQ drops of 15 points for multitasking men lowered their scores to the average range of an 8-year-old child.
So the next time you’re writing your boss an email during a meeting, remember that your cognitive capacity is being diminished to the point that you might as well let an 8-year-old write it for you.
Brain Damage From Multitasking
It was long believed that cognitive impairment from multitasking was temporary, but new research suggests otherwise. Researchers at the University of Sussex in the UK compared the amount of time people spend on multiple devices (such as texting while watching TV) to MRI scans of their brains. They found that high multitaskers had less brain density in the anterior cingulate cortex, a region responsible for empathy as well as cognitive and emotional control.
While more research is needed to determine if multitasking is physically damaging the brain (versus existing brain damage that predisposes people to multitask), it’s clear that multitasking has negative effects. Neuroscientist Kep Kee Loh, the study’s lead author, explained the implications: “I feel that it is important to create an awareness that the way we are interacting with the devices might be changing the way we think and these changes might be occurring at the level of brain structure.”
Learning From Multitasking
If you’re prone to multitasking, this is not a habit you’ll want to indulge—it clearly slows you down and decreases the quality of your work. Even if it doesn’t cause brain damage, allowing yourself to multitask will fuel any existing difficulties you have with concentration, organization, and attention to detail.
Multitasking in meetings and other social settings indicates low Self- and Social Awareness, two emotional intelligence (EQ) skills that are critical to success at work. TalentSmart has tested more than a million people and found that 90% of top performers have high EQs. If multitasking does indeed damage the anterior cingulate cortex (a key brain region for EQ) as current research suggests, it will lower your EQ in the process.
So every time you multitask you aren’t just harming your performance in the moment; you may very well be damaging an area of your brain that’s critical to your future success at work.