The latest episode of Unfiltered HR is all about the three B's:
• Business Goals 👩💼
• (actual) Bees 🐝 and, of course...
• The Bills! ❤️🤍💙
In part 4 of our 5-part series on how Better HR can (and should) be helping your business, Jen & Emily (Ally HR Partners) discuss how you can take the lessons that you added to your playbook from parts 1-3 and put them into action, taking your business over the goal line! 🏈
Thanks to Sophia, Liberty, and the rest of the staff at The K Haus for letting us use their amazing patio to shoot the last two episodes of this series.
"Unfiltered" by Justin Rowland 🎵
Emily Martin All right. Welcome back everybody to unfiltered HR and the fourth episode of our five-part series this summer on how better HR can and should work for your business. Summer is ending, Jen, you know what's not ending though?
Jennifer Strait Bills season.
Emily Martin Yeah. Bills season's getting started.
Jennifer Strait So if you can tell we are Big Bills fans, and I'm actually just, I'm smelling Orchard Park. I'm smelling the whole stadium right now, as we're speaking of it. So I'm super excited. I'm not sure how much I'm going to contribute to this one because I'm just going to... My mind is going to just be thinking about-
Emily Martin Bills.
Jennifer Strait Yeah, we should be doing and what plays we should be having. And, but, I mean, we're just common fans, just natural fans. And if you're not part of Bills Mafia, we get very upset. [crosstalk]
Emily Martin But let's talk about plays for business. How about that?
Jennifer Strait Let's do that.
Emily Martin And as summer's ending, people are getting back into the office. So we're going to be wrapping up the next few episodes of the series of some of the homework that you did from the summer and tips for really how to integrate that homework into your business. And that's really the topic of today's episode.
Jennifer Strait Absolutely. And you know, who else gives homework? Sean McDermott.
Emily Martin He does. Yes. And it pays off and it's going to pay off this year, I think. Potentially.
Jennifer Strait Absolutely.
Emily Martin Super bowl. All right. All right. So let's get into it. So you guys did your homework from the summer and hopefully that included the previous episode assignments. If you haven't watched those, go back and take a look at those. And we're going to talk about today, here at the K house, how to integrate that work into your business. So it actually makes an impact for your business. So on that note, Jen, yes. Let's mention where we're at. We're here at the beautiful K House in downtown Buffalo on Main Street, another coworking space in Buffalo. So if you watched the previous episode, we were at Honda. Today, we're at K House. They have some great outdoor space here with a patio. So if you're looking to get out before the summer ends or the weather turns, come down to K House and work outside, they also have great indoor space, free beverages, it's all beverages in the fridge.
Jennifer Strait Absolutely. [crosstalk] And if you see me like randomly squatting, I'm not swatting at Emily for anything she's saying, there are some bees here and I'm going to try to act like an adult and like, they don't bother me.
Emily Martin Yes. It's all good.
Jennifer Strait Like Patriots fans.
Emily Martin That's true, just swap them out of the way. That's what Bills defenders are going to be doing, right? All right. So let's talk about your business and putting the homework into action here.
Jennifer Strait For sure.
Emily Martin So you guys did a lot of work, hopefully, this summer with the other episodes in coming up with a really tangible business mission, business values, defining those. And then from there, you took those and you really defined out job specs for each role in your business. What each key seat is, what the accountabilities of each of those seats are. And then from there, hopefully, you spent some time after that going and developing policies for behavior and governing behavior in your business based on your core values. So today we're going to talk about how to really put that into action and make sure that that's threaded in the fabric of your business as you operate each day, to make sure that everything you're doing is aligned with those missions and objectives and values, right? Because that's the point here, Jen.
Jennifer Strait And there's a reason why you took the time to do the homework and got to the mission and the values is because those are important to you. And it's important to how you run your business. It's important to have the management represent that as well. And I think sloppy is the wrong word, but people get distracted and busy and those don't become as higher priority and that starts to slip, and then it affects the whole business.
Emily Martin Yeah.
Jennifer Strait So we're going to talk about just always sticking to your plan.
Emily Martin Yep. And if you build these things into the fabric, through processes and materials that you're constantly using and reusing, regardless of who's doing the hiring or performance management, that'll eliminate strength from those objectives, right? So let's go through the employment life cycle and talk about how to build that in. So the first, Jen is hiring. So obviously the best way to keep this stuff out of your business, misalignment out of your business, is to build this into the decisions you make on how to hire and who to bring into your business. So that starts initially with the job posting. So in that job posting, you want to make sure that the requirements that you're looking for, the qualifications you're seeking for the job based on those job roles that you defined, are expressed and advertised in the posting as being required.
Secondly, you make sure your values are in there as well, and your identity and your mission. Because again, not only does someone need to have the experience, the skills, they need to be a values and attitude fit as well. And you really want to be unapologetic about that because, in my opinion, Jen, working with clients, some of the biggest misfits are the attitude fits. And those are also the hardest to fix later and really the less likely that you can fix later. So you want to make sure that you advertise who you're looking for, and that includes attitude fit as well.
Jennifer Strait And that's from the beginning before you even hire, nothing's a surprise. Everything is on the same page and everything is also in writing-
Emily Martin Yep.
Jennifer Strait ... of it didn't just get talked about in the interview, but it's in writing and that can always be referred to later on.
Emily Martin And speaking of the interview, the next step in the hiring process is the interview. So make sure that the questions you're asking to determine whether someone is a fit, do reflect questions that are going to get to the heart of whether someone has the value fit, the attitude fit, or the job experience fit. We just actually, I just published an article on better interviewing skills. So if you want to check that out, those would be good, tangible tips as well, but make sure your questions are driving at getting answers that determine those things.
Jennifer Strait And that article is great, that Emily is talking about, we'll make sure that we link that up as well on this page of the video. But it's so important to have that in place. And you.... I don't know where I was going with that. I'm sorry. You're going to have to cut that. I'm sorry. Oh, the interview, sorry.
Emily Martin You can cut this right, Joe?
Jennifer Strait Yeah, you're going to have, so yeah. Sorry about that.
There's a reason that you go in to the interview with the plans. Don't just Google what questions to ask in an interview because there could be a hundred questions, but they might be so vague and it's not getting back to, again, your values of what you're looking for.
Emily Martin Yeah. The questions that you ask in the interview should be custom fit to your business and all of that homework that you did in the end., Right? So again, make sure that they're aligned with and driving at those things and getting to the heart of whether someone's a fit for all those things.
Jennifer Strait And it's important to be, besides, proficient in Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel. I mean, those questions may have to be asked, but this goes way beyond that.
Emily Martin Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jennifer Strait And that's what your article talks about.
Emily Martin Yep. True fit for sure.
Jennifer Strait Absolutely.
Emily Martin All right, Jen, so you've hired someone, they're working for your business; maybe you're watching this video and watching the series, and you already have hired many people that are working for you. So the question is from there, how do you further enforce this homework you did, and really the motivation and the reinforcement and discipline of making sure people are being held accountable to the job fit, but also the values and the attitude fit.
And that comes into play in integrating all this work into your performance management processes. So we're talking disciplinary procedures, we're talking performance reviews, coaching sessions, whether they're happening on a weekly one-on-one basis, a quarterly basis, an annual basis, the material that you develop for those processes should reflect again, what are the key accountabilities for the role from a task standpoint, right? Is someone performing effectively in the job and getting it done? But also, are they doing the job the way that you would like them to be doing it? As we said in the last episode, it's not necessarily about if you're getting the job done, but also about how you're doing it. Are you offending people? Are you violating core values?
Jennifer Strait Nothing.
Emily Martin So-
Jennifer Strait Patriot's fan.
Emily Martin Yes. So you want to make sure that the core values, the mission, the job skills that are required, the job objectives are all reflected in that performance management material.
Jennifer Strait As far as performance reviews. Do you have any suggestions on how often they should be, or is it just completely what's convenient for the business owners, a certain amount of employees, or how would you suggest they structure that?
Emily Martin Yeah. So if you're revisiting those once a year, that's probably not enough, right?
Jennifer Strait Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Emily Martin And that's why integrating this stuff into additional practices and material is helpful, rather than just an annual review.
Jennifer Strait So much can change throughout the year.
Emily Martin Sure, yeah.
Jennifer Strait And especially, the past couple of years and things are constantly changing. I think it's important now more than ever that employers keep checking in with employees for multiple reasons.
Emily Martin Sure. And you can't really expect people to understand or remember what's expected of them from a task standpoint or a value standpoint, or even give people a real opportunity to improve, unless they're letting them know in a timely way when they're not doing those things. So probably regular one-on-ones with managers, even if they're informal, not using any type of review document is necessary. If not weekly, biweekly, at least monthly, quarterly. And then, of course, the really robust performance review process can occur annually, and that would be enough.
Jennifer Strait Did you hear my watch talking? I'm sorry, you may have heard it. So Siri said, she didn't hear you if you could speak up.
Emily Martin So yes, doing reviews on a regular basis, other than just the annual. Reinforcing those things much more frequently than annually is certainly going to improve your chances that someone's performing the way you want them to perform.
Jennifer Strait And you can have that is an opportunity for both skip levels, where an employee is talking to a manager above the manager, your manager's boss. Because a lot of things can be communicated that way as well. And I think with employees, they have their pick right now of where they want to work. So it's really important that employers are staying in communication, but also, not getting lazy, sticking with that plan, and not having some shiny object. Like you talked about in the article, being an attraction to hire somebody, maybe a cheaper salary or they're great at Excel, but their values or the way they answered questions on resiliency or things of that nature didn't fit. Don't let that cheaper salary, it's just going to come back to not work out.
Emily Martin Right, yep, that's actually true. And I think one thing that was important that you said there, Jen, was about reinforcing, too. And I think it's not just about disciplining employees or coaching them or counseling them when they're not meeting these expectations, whether job or behavior. Thank you very much.
Jennifer Strait You're welcome.
Emily Martin It's also about giving positive reinforcement and positive feedback when people are doing a good job and advertising that on the organization as well. So reinforcing through promotions, bonuses, employee recognition programs, those are all things that would help as well. And we know that Sean McDermott is doing that on the field every day, too.
Jennifer Strait Obviously, I wasn't thinking about that earlier at all when I lost my train of thought.
Emily Martin We're going to make it through the bees. We're going to make.
Jennifer Strait We're going to make it through the bees, eventually. They're attacking our Marketing Manager over there as we speak. But if you hear a Yelp.
Emily Martin Joe is going to make it.
Jennifer Strait Yeah.
Emily Martin All right, Jen. So a last note that I want to talk about is just integrating this into reinforcement, especially with your leadership and management, right? So whether that's formal training with those individuals or reinforcing it in the reviews with those leaders or managers. Those are the people, your leaders, and managers, that interact with the employees and the team.
This is a fun episode today, guys.
Jennifer Strait This is.
Emily Martin And the staff on a regular basis. So make sure that they know what the expectations are for the positions, but for them, and also values and behavior. Your managers are the ones that are really-
Jennifer Strait Thank you.
Emily Martin Thanks, Joe... Going to be reinforcing it on a daily basis. And if they're not doing it, then it's certainly not getting done. And this isn't the job of one HR person, one owner, to be doing. It needs to be felt. And again, the key word here is integrated throughout the behavior and practices and materials and processes within the whole business when it comes to people, because that's the only way that it's going to continue to exist on beyond this homework that you do. And the initial rollout that you do as a result of that.
Jennifer Strait Absolutely, attitude affects, is reflected by the leadership. And that goes without saying, but it's so important. And I think that if you have a structure where you're meeting with your employees on performance reviews, and we said, annually is not enough. So if you have it twice a year or quarterly, would you suggest meeting with the supervisors and managers more often than that?
Emily Martin Yeah. I think doing a regular training with your managers and leaders each year to reinforce policy changes or expectations or goal setting or initiatives within your business is a great idea just to make sure those people are on the same page.
Jennifer Strait Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Emily Martin Because again, they're really the frontline of the business in making sure all goals and expectations are communicated downward and reinforced.
Jennifer Strait Excellent. Yeah, and they may be seeing things and hearing things that you were not hearing because you, as a business owner, have 21 hats on and you're running all around.
Emily Martin And aside from that, just from a legal standpoint, which is the other fun side of HR and people operations, they need to know what they should and shouldn't be doing as well with updates on policies or legalities of employment law, which we know are changing on a regular basis now.
Jennifer Strait Yes.
Emily Martin So for that reason too, just from a risk management standpoint, doing that training with managers on legal, but also best practices is a good way.
Jennifer Strait Absolutely. And then the New York hero act is an example of one of those.
Emily Martin Sure.
Jennifer Strait And both complete payroll and you have a lot of information on that and we try to help business owners make it as simplified as possible. They can be very overwhelmed, but we have templates and things that-
Emily Martin Materials, yeah.
Jennifer Strait ... we can walk you through that. So definitely follow Emily and follow on Complete Payroll our blog to constantly have those updates that are important.
Emily Martin All Right. So just to recap, the keyword here in this episode, episode four of the five-part series, is integration. So take that homework and build it into these processes. Of course, we're always available. If you're looking for tips on how to do that and help in developing some of those materials, otherwise I think we'll see you next time. I think we survived this episode, Jen.
Jennifer Strait I think so too.
Emily Martin It was an interesting one.
Jennifer Strait We're going to do the next one up here too. So we may have to like run some laps and like get a-
Emily Martin Resilience, perseverance. That's also the key to a Superbowl win this year.
Jennifer Strait That's right. You can't end the episode so now without, "Go Bills." So the next-
Emily Martin Yeah.
Jennifer Strait Until the season's done, I don't even know why we ever stop saying, "Go Bills" to be honest.
Emily Martin And Bills fans know about resilience, right? All the suffering we've done to get to this point.
Jennifer Strait It's true, that's true.
Emily Martin Total [inaudible].
Jennifer Strait We'll be there.
Emily Martin All right. Cheers here. Go Bills.
Jennifer Strait All right. Cheers here. Go Bills. (silence)