HR Consultant - McGeachy Consulting




Posts tagged exceptional workplace
How to attract and recruit great talent to your team

Well, for one thing, if you get this wrong, you’re going to be completely out in the cold when it comes to attracting great talent. Worst case scenario, you fail to innovate in this area and you become unable to offer an attractive compensation package to potential prospects. Or, even worse, you lose your current workforce as they go somewhere that is offering them the compensation and perks they want.

That all sounds pretty grim … but it can be much easier (and cheaper) than you think to make your business stand out from the competition.

Start by looking at the competition.

What are other companies in your industry sector offering? What about benefits and perks? If you don’t already know, and you’re not sure how to find out, there’s one very easy thing you can do: ask.

Ask candidates where they’re currently at in terms of compensation, ask new hires about their benefits, nose around at networking events and ask people what the latest hot perk is. And don’t forget to ask your staff — they won’t be shy in telling you what they would love to see at the company! And failing all that, you can always do some careful Googling to see what’s happening in your pool of competition.

Once you have an idea of the kinds of things going around, it’s time to look inwards.

After you’ve gotten a good understanding of what your competition is offering and what your workforce wants, then you should start to think about how to position yourself correctly in the marketplace. You can always look at traditional compensation changes, but there are also loads of non-traditional perks that can be really powerful, including:

1. Flexibility

As in, flexible scheduling, the option to telecommute, or creating a results-oriented workplace.

2. Opportunities for Growth

Including things like a professional development budget, succession planning, or access to an executive coach or mentor.

3. Vacation/Paid Time Off (PTO)

If you can, think about providing a generous vacation/PTO policy. World at Work reported that they average PTO plan starts at 16 days per year and that average employers offer 9 paid holidays annually. Here are the paid holidays that I recommend:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • 4th of July
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day
  • 3 Floating Holidays (for any use such as Good Friday, Christmas Eve, the day after Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, etc.).

If you can’t swing that, then try for something like paid time off for volunteering.

4. Food and Beverages

This is one of the easiest things you can do to make your office a better place to work, so think about things like having an office coffee and beverage program, providing snacks (like this one), or doing something like a team lunch provided by the office on Fridays.

5. Health and Wellness

This is also an extremely popular area for perks, so consider getting an office gym membership, bringing in masseuses for in-office chair massages, or even offering wellness classes or lunch and learns.

At the very least…

OK, so maybe the in-office chair massages are outside of your budget for now. But at the very least, you should consider adding something to your perks to stay ahead. Some of the perks I listed above are very low cost and provide a huge return on investment. For instance, flexible hours and telecommuting.

Remember, when you’re treading water in a pool of sharks, your total compensation can make a great bite proof cage — that is to say, you’ll find it much easier to attract, recruit and retain your workforce when your total compensation is elevated. So take a look at your current compensation, benefits, and perks, and see what you can do!

Talent is one of the biggest predictors of your business or team’s success. But in the increasingly competitive labor market, it’s becoming harder and harder to attract and retain top performers. This whole setup sends a lot of small businesses into a tailspin. After all, when you’re small, how can you possibly create a compensation, benefits, or perks package that can compete with the bigger companies, so why even try?


Love practical tips for creating an exceptional business? We’ve got loads more in The Exceptional Workplace! We help small business leaders (CEO, Owners, HR, Controllers) cultivate exceptional workplaces through strong HR and people practices. Learn more here.

Amy McGeachy, PHR is an HR Consultant specializing in cultivating exceptional workplaces for her clients who are mostly small + medium businesses. Amy is the founder of The Exceptional Workplace which provides premium HR and people practices content for small business leaders. She is a certified HR Professional (PHR) through the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and a Certified Coach through the Coach Training Alliance (CTA) and a member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF). Amy works with businesses in the areas of training, recruitment, employee relations, and strategic HR.

5 ways to get your team back on the same page

When a team is working well together, it’s like nothing can go wrong — everything runs smoothly, projects end up better than you could have hoped, and any setbacks you have seem challenging, but doable. But when a team gets out of sync … everything goes downhill fast. Things start to get lost in the shuffle, communication breaks down, important tasks slip through the cracks, and before you know it, you’re struggling with total chaos. Sound familiar? Try these 5 things to get your team back on the same page fast.

  1. Create a clear vision

You know what your vision is for the company, team, and project, but your team won’t unless you tell them. So start by getting very clear on your vision and the real reason you do what you do.

For instance, if you have a financial services company, you’re not just selling financial services. You’re giving people peace of mind about their retirement. If you have a catering company,  you’re not just providing food — your services make or break important events. Knowing this big why makes it easier to keep employees engaged with their projects, and it helps them love your company. And as one of my favorite quotes from Simon Sinek says, "Employees must love the company before the customers ever will.”

Once you’ve figured your why out, it’s time to break your vision down into specific goals and communicate those to your team. Break it down so it’s clear what part each team member plays in meeting those goals, and answer any questions that come up. This way, you’ll be able to get everyone heading in the same direction, towards the same goals, using the same road map.

  1. Work together, play together

It’s rare to find a team where everybody naturally pulls in the same direction. But you can foster that sense of teamwork by having people work on non-work projects together. It can be something that contributes to the community, like building a house together for Habitat for Humanity or working a water station at a local marathon; or it can be something a little lighter, like playing a game together. One client even had their team visit the Portland Escape Room — they had a blast and came away a stronger team.

Want a really easy way to implement? Try doing a team builder at the beginning of your team meetings. it will get everyone focused, and will help the team work together. Here is an epic list of great team builders.

  1. Schedule regular team meetings

It sounds archaic, but team meetings can be a lifesaver if you know how to manage them properly. Make sure you set an agenda before the meeting, and pre-schedule meetings in intervals that work for your business so your team can count on them happening. This is the ideal time to reinforce the vision and focus on team building.

And remember, your meeting doesn’t have to look like a stereotypical, hour long, talking in circles team meeting. Some teams only meet for 15 minutes every Friday, others meet for an hour every month. You could set a timer to ensure your meeting ends on time and is efficient or have a standing meeting - standing meetings are always efficient. Figure out what works for your team — and stick to it!

  1. Appreciate the good stuff

In so many businesses, the only time employees really hear from their leaders is when things go wrong. But this is discouraging, and it sets up an adversarial relationship between teams and leaders.

So make sure you take the time to appreciate what’s going well with your team, especially if it’s on par with your vision. This could be as simple as saying “thank you” when someone does a really good job, or you could go with something more tangible, like giving Amazon gift cards for a team that’s really knocking it out of the park. One important thing to remember: when you do give positive feedback, make sure it’s specific, timely, and grounded in an example. (More on this here.)

  1. Communicate

Your team needs to hear from you regularly, so decide how often and in what ways you’ll communicate with them. For example, you may decide to send out a regular Monday morning email to your whole team setting out the goals and agenda for the week, and then have a quick Friday afternoon email, video message, or conference call to wrap up the week.

Or you may decide to base your communication around projects, with a call to start the projects and weekly email check ins. It’s all up to you — but remember, be strategic, not tactical about your communication plan. You don’t want these particular communications to get bogged down in back and forth or detailed discussions. This is more about high level leadership than day-to-day troubleshooting.

Love practical tips for creating an exceptional business? We’ve got loads more in The Exceptional Workplace, an eletter for conscientious business leaders! Sign up here.