Employer Branding

The Ultimate Guide To Hiring Executives For Your Company

The Ultimate Guide To Hiring Executives For Your Company 1080 675 VP Legacies

When founding a new venture, it is not unusual for a founder to wear too many hats. It’s actually the most sensible, cost-effective, and efficient way to get things done during those early days. However, as your business grows, “founder-sweat” quickly spread thin.

Eventually, even the most efficient startup grows to a level when it becomes essential to hire business executives who can help propel the corporation to the next level.

Nowadays, employers have the advantage of having a vast collection of candidates to choose from and interview for comparatively few vacant positions.

But, the executive hiring process is quite different from the standard recruiting processes. For one thing, the conventional interview process for staff roles isn’t a dependable method for judging executive candidates.

To hire the most qualified executives for top-level positions, a company needs to graduate from simple hiring and leverage more advanced recruiting techniques.

This article will give a slightly broader overview of what executive hiring entails end-to-end, as well as some tips for building an executive recruitment program that delivers results.

In a world where the average CEO’s tenure is increasingly shortening, companies with strong executive hiring programs can scale notably more effortlessly than their counterparts. 

What Is Executive Hiring?

Executive hiring refers to the process of discovering and employing candidates to occupy leading roles at the company. The nuance of executive hiring is that different roles, despite being under the C suite, vary dramatically – not only from each other, but also company by company.

CEO (CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER) 

CEO tenures continue to fall across the board. In 2017, the average CEO tenure was an all-time low of only 5 years. Most companies eventually need to hire a new CEO to guide the company through a new phase – and it’s without a doubt the hardest of the C suite to hire for.

The CEO decides the company’s policy. They employ and assemble the senior team. A CEO’s docket also involves making the final decision on how company resources are managed, and it is usually their face that appears on the media and business magazine covers.

A good CEO’s core competencies should include strategic judgment—the ability to see beyond the daily activities and decide on the best route for navigating future industry conditions.

The CEO’s primary function, however, is hiring and firing.

At the end of the day, a good management team can make up for the CEO’s shortcomings. A CEO can set strategies, set long-term bets, and manage the finances, but if they fail to recruit a capable team, the company will inevitably fall short.

A good CEO must be able to recognize and recruit the best and fire those who don’t function while running the show. At a certain scale, the best CEOs are world-class recruiters.

COO (CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER) 

A COO is an extremely ephemeral role that can encompass a lot of different responsibilities. While traditionally tasked to managing the operations of large scale supply-oriented businesses, the dawn of the internet era has seen the role shift – see Sheryl Sandberg at Facebook, for example.

To simplify it, however, a COO must ensure that the business delivers day after day. The COO essentially sits on the pulse of the company, and acts as an extension of the CEO’s vision, guiding implementation and beating roadblocks.

The COO’s team also creates systems designed to monitor measurements and be decisive whenever the business aren’t delivering.

When hiring for COOs, the core competency is – and this might sound trite – management. A good COO is a systems thinker – someone who understands the big picture, and knows how to scale the day-to-day operations to reach it.

PRESIDENT

There is no clear-cut role for the company president. Some say the president supervises human resources, staff functions, strategy, and finance while the COO administers daily operations. 

Nevertheless, sometimes, the company president fills any operational cracks left by the CEO and COO. 

Regardless, you should think carefully about whether you require someone to occupy this role, or if your business can get by with just the CEO and COO.

CFO (CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER) 

Naturally, the company’s CFO manages the money. They make budgets and generate financing strategies.

The CFO figures out if it’s profitable for the business to buy or lease. They also set up control systems that scrutinize the financial health of the company.

(And yes, the CFO is usually the “killjoy” who won’t approve your request for funds to purchase that ultra-cool videoconferencing gear.)

A good CFO should always be busy working out which clients, products, and business lines are most profitable, so that next year you might be able to afford that sweet video conferencing equipment.

If numbers don’t keep you awake at night, you have to recruit someone who does.

Money is the lifeblood of any business, and cash flow is essential in entrepreneurship. Cash flow management is a very underrated part of enterprise – a good CFO can synchronize a cash flow dance that maximizes growth and minimizes risk.

CMO (CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER)

The CMO develops the company’s marketing strategy and also supervises its implementation. In more tech-driven organizations the CMO is slowly starting to blur with other roles, like CGO (Chief Growth Officer) and CPO (Chief Product Officer)

A good CMO should have in-depth industry knowledge which helps to position the brand, distinguish it from the competition, enlist distributors, and ensure that customers crave for your product.

If the success of your business depends heavily on demand generation, then you need to hire a CMO.

CTO (CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER)

The Company’s CTO has to stay abreast of the latest technology trends, incorporate such trends into the business strategy, and ensure that the company remains up to date when necessary.

While the CTO used to be a niche hire, modern companies almost inevitably need a CTO; as they say, every business is a software business nowadays.

Importance of Executive Hiring

Identifying and employing the most suitable candidates for your company’s executive level is critical to the long-term success of the business.

Since the decisions of the next department heads will shape the existing workplace culture as well as the future of the business, the process of executive hiring needs to be handled with maximum awareness and priority.

Finding the Right Team Members

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Sadly, good executive employees are scarce and highly sought after. Because their decisions will either make or break the business, you’ll want to hire the best.

Recruiting executives is no easy task. Classified ads, online bulletin boards, and newspapers are not the ideal route to take. And making mass-market advertisements will only attract people who haven’t got any other job prospects.

If you have a sufficient budget available, executive search agencies are a good option for finding promising talent and adding input for hire.

Even though their fees are quite expensive, they conduct their due diligence and provide you with already screened candidates, which can be a significant time-saver.

These agencies usually have a reservoir of executive talent and can likely connect with candidates you wouldn’t be able to approach by yourself.

Search firms may even specialize by industry, location, function, and level of qualification, so if you choose to engage one, ensure that you know what you are getting.

Networking is another proven method of finding potential hires (and this is where that CEO guy/gal comes in handy).

A company needs to build its own professional network that it can inform about the kind of executive you are searching for. Then arrange one-on-one introductory sessions to assess the chemistry.

While networking, stay away from general networking forums. Be direct about what you would like.

If you’re looking to recruit a CMO for your law firm, attend more Legal Service conferences, which attract top marketing executives from various law firms. Networking can work well, but make sure that it’s targeted.

Related: How to Be an Effective Group Member

Interviewing Guidelines

The interview is one of the most important parts of the hiring process, since it allows you to get to know the candidate on a personal level. When the time comes to have a sit down with the potential employee, there are some few things worth knowing that can make the process a little easier:

Ensure That The Candidate Knows The Job

Executive hires have a much higher bar for “context” than regular employees. A staff employee not knowing all the nuances of the job requirements is fine. An executive should know everything about the job, company & industry – if not, pass.

Assess Chemistry

Can this candidate be trusted? Will other people like to spend time around them? Culture fit is far more important for executive hires because they set the tone for the entire organization. 

Check References

Do the brilliant claims of the candidate reflect in the comments of their past colleagues and subordinates? Find concrete details of their deliverables.

And remember, in small businesses, cultural issues are sometimes just as important as the job itself.

Are they smarter than you?

This is a good principle to follow: Each new executive should boost the average IQ of your company; hire executives who are smarter than you.

Related: 5 Entrepreneurial Mindsets to Utilize in Your Own Business

Observe Learning Ability

Is the candidate prone to repeating previous mistakes? Or do they learn quickly from their errors and adjust that knowledge to suit your company?

Utilize Behavior Description Techniques

During the executive hiring process, don’t ask questions about principles, knowledge, and idealistic stories. Instead, ask the potential executive employee to share details of specific past events. Such accounts will expose their values, capabilities, and skills.

For instance, a future CFO may be asked to describe how they set up and managed the previous budgets they handled.

Closing the Deal

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After you have found the executive you would like to employ, you’ll probably need to pitch them before you find yourself handing out those employment forms.

There aren’t any standard regulations for the best contract to offer successful candidates. Hourly workers might be delighted to receive cash, but executives are not so easily pleased.

Company executives often want assets, stock options, inflated pay, as well as annual bonuses.

Given that the job of the executive is to make sure that the whole company succeeds, you can use bonus plans and stock options to link their earnings to the overall performance of the company.

Stock options can be connected with consistent performance, while profit sharing and bonuses should be founded on the previous year’s results.

Naturally, not all executives yearn for stock. Preferably, you would like to employ a capable person who is content with a demanding job and modest income. And they are out there!

Well trained individuals who value family time, a challenging job, and fun culture.

You can gain a good understanding of a person’s core values from the new hire paperwork, which will help to craft better deals that will please them in a manner that goes beyond mere dollars.

Handing Over To Your Executives

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After new employee forms have been properly documented and all the members of your executive team are committed, next comes the hardest part: trust.

Doubts will plague you at every turn. A new executive is like introducing a new parent to your child – it’s not going to be easy.

Still, trust is essential because once the executive team members have joined the fray, you have to allow them to take charge by accepting full responsibility for their decisions or indecisions.

Remember that you have hired an executive team, and they must be accountable for the wellbeing of the company; this means defining their roles, the deliverables each one is responsible for and within what timeframe.

It is also worth discussing in advance how you will handle disagreements. Set processes in place right away and be stringent at enforcing them.

These people were hired on the premise that their decision making should be better than yours. Therefore when there is conflict, if you did a good job, chances are that they are right and you are wrong.

Agree early about how you will make the call, ensuring that the company benefits most from constructive disagreements. Just bear in mind that if you agree on everything, some of you are redundant.

Final Thoughts

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Entrepreneurship is all about going for those things that are beyond what you alone could achieve. Your job is not to struggle alone to attain the goal; it’s to assemble a team that can.

While it’s hard for a founder to loosen the reigns, it’s essential for a business to scale that it starts hiring talented executives. There’s a learning curve for the executive hiring process – and an incredibly long recruitment process, usually – but the payout is well worth it. A company’s success relies on its people, and there are no people more essential to a company’s future than its executives.

If you’ve done your job and assembled a dream team, their success will be your success.

Related: What Is the Best Strategy for CEO Communication?

Is Your Employment Branding Strategy Working? Here’s what you need to know

Is Your Employment Branding Strategy Working? Here’s what you need to know 992 646 VP Legacies

In today’s competitive job market, there might be plenty of candidates lining up and waiting for interviews for a position at a prime organization.

However, that doesn’t mean that these are the most ideal candidates on the market.

It’s no knock on the current individuals seeking employment. But as specific positions increase in expertise, pay, responsibilities, and overall impact on the company, it becomes increasingly more challenging to find the right fit.

So, businesses face a unique challenge. Top-level talents aren’t going to burst through doors desperately looking for employment after reading a job posting on LinkedIn, so it’s important to incorporate the right employee branding strategies through communication.

The fact is, most top-notch professionals already work well-paid jobs in prominent positions they deem fulfilling. They aren’t fervently sending out resumes and cover letters to anyone who’ll accept them.

Furthermore, if they’re considering a change in their workplace, the chances are these gifted people are already in talks with another respected organization. And it’s likely a result of recruitment efforts as opposed to job hunting.

What’s crucial is how organizations present – or brand – themselves to humanize themselves and create personal connection. 

Now, that sounds like how businesses market their products to consumers. And for a good reason. Extremely talented employees are as valuable or more valuable to an organization as consumers. Instead of thinking candidates are just happy to have a shot at a job, it’s time to start shifting the employer-employee paradigm towards a brand-consumer dynamic

What will really make an employer branding strategy stand out is emphasizing the way you build relationships and personal connections. Potential employees do not just want to see a boring laundry list of company perks, but a thoughtful explanation of a business where they’re likely to stay.

After all, it’s through these unique minds that organizations thrive in the long run.

Let’s take a deep dive into this topic.

Employment Brand Examples: Taking a Lesson from the Sporting World

Professional sports provide a shining example of the effectiveness of how employment branding helps recruit top talent.

Teams with savvy marketing that know how to leverage fanbases, location, facilities, and history, attract elite players.  

Organizations that show players that they’re willing to bend over backwards to meet their demands are the ones that attract premier talent as well. This is a marketing strategy that builds on personal connections to drive communication.

Interestingly, in many sports, (such as the NBA), the power is 100% in the hands of the star players. And realistically, the business landscape is similar in 2019. Where most of the workforce consists of millennials, who change jobs more often than any previous generation, costing the U.S.$30.5 billion in turnover, annually.

It’s no coincidence that the star athletes in the NBA are also millennials. 

This is a generation that’s perfectly aware of their own worth.

 

As such, the cream of the crop will select the company that sells them on the opportunity, the why and personal connection —not the company that acts like they’re doing a candidate a favor just by offering them an interview. 

The Proof Is in the Pudding

One of the most effective ways of recruiting top talent is as straightforward as it gets—be a great place to work the focuses on strong relationships and personal connection. That’s how the top companies set themselves apart as an attractive employer brand.

Savvy candidates will catch on fast to a toxic environment that takes advantage of employees, and run the other way. There are even stories where talent has refused job offers because of the poor behavior displayed by management during the interview. While this form of corporate communication does not occur through official marketing channels, the behavior of management clues potential employees in to the way people interact within a company.

Yes, employment branding and marketing strategies are wholly necessary for ensuring that quality candidates are enticed to apply. However, effective recruitment starts internally. If current employees love their jobs and feel strong relationships with those around them, word will spread.

More specifically, in today’s landscape, job reviews on sites like Glassdoor are more prevalent than ever.  Organizations can’t be passive part in the process. No, that doesn’t mean coaxing employees into writing positive reviews. It means building strong relationships to create personal connection, giving them every possible reason to write sparkling reviews that attract ideal candidates.

That could involve anything from implementing a “bring your dogs to work” policy to putting a ping pong table in the break room. Before you do either of these things, it is important to communicate with and talk to current employees and ask them what they want instead of just doing it haphazardly. Then, it’ll  be something that harnesses a fulfilling and empathetic work environment.

Also, don’t squeeze every ounce of juice out of current team members. Because in 2019, work-life balance has become a pressing issue. Millennials want jobs that support their lifestyle, and that can’t be done when 12-14-hour-days are the norm. Ensure that you communicate regularly with your employees and pay attention to their work load so that they are performing efficiently and do not feel overwhelmed. If they work at a steady pace, they are more likely to stay with your company and even help you attract future employees.

Remember, word of mouth is everything to today’s most viable candidates when it comes to employer branding. This form of talent branding rests on the knowledge that job seekers rely on recommendations more than any other generation. With more online sources about employee satisfaction than ever, they will do their research on organizations before deciding where they’re going to work. People care about purpose driven companies more than ever

Companies can do their best to manufacture employment branding strategies that convince candidates they’ve cultivated a fantastic professional environment. But the one guaranteed way to make this happen is to establish a fruitful, exciting, and thriving place to work by building strong, personal connections. 

 

Related: Monochronic vs. Polychronic Cultures: What are the Differences?

 

Why Use Other Employer Branding Strategies?

 

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With strong principles and practices, any company will be an optimal spot for top talents. Still, even with an army of employees writing positive reviews, it may not be enough to attract ideal candidates.

These branding strategies must be multi-layered. So, one facet of branding could be incentivizing employees to leave positive reviews on websites like Glassdoor – but that’s only one piece of the puzzle. What’s most important is that you strengthen personal connection with your employees from the very beginning so that these reviews essentially write themselves.

It’s reported that organizations who invest in a comprehensive employer branding are 3x more likely to make a quality hire. Also, companies with a strong employer brand see a decrease in hiring costs than those with weaker strategies.

How to Create an Employer Branding Strategy

Here are five steps to follow that’ll help establish a strong employer branding strategy:

Define goals:

  • Employers need to know the exact purpose of what they’re trying to do, or else the plan will remain aimless
  • Overall goals can be to get more applicants, get more high-quality candidates, increase candidate engagement, etc.

 

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Craft a candidate persona:

  • Candidate personas are an employer’s most desired talent
  • It allows organizations to target marketing messages and job descriptions accurately

Establish an employee value proposition (EVP)

  • Utilizing an HR marketing strategy, the employee value proposition is why candidates seek out a company and stay there for the long haul
  • It’s usually comprised of factors such as compensation, benefits, career, work environment, and culture
  • The EVP targets the ideal candidate persona

Figure out the channels to promote the employer brand

  • Where is the target candidate most likely to be reached? 
  • There are a multitude of touchpoints with candidates before they’re hired
  • Some options are:
    • Social media
    • Job posting websites
    • Current employees
    • Workshops
    • Inbound recruiting
    • Job ads
    • Application Process

Establish metrics and assess the effectiveness of strategies

  • Like any business practice, it’s integral to find a way to measure success and assess the efficiency of any initiative
  • Regularly examine whether the employer branding is producing the best results and make changes where necessary

Using All the Available Tools for Employer Branding

With a well-managed employer brand, 94% of applicants are likely to apply to a position. The same research shows that 91% of candidates won’t apply to employer brands with a weak web presence.

Potential employees want to see that organizations care about their image. When companies don’t take advantage of the wealth of digital resources, such as social media, blogs, videos, etc., this acts as a red flag. People (especially top performers) don’t want to work for companies that are behind the times and don’t seem interested in maintaining an employer brand image.

Conversely, companies that continually promote internal events and produce engaging web content will put on full display that they’re ideal employers. Furthermore, candidates want to see employer brands that give employees a voice and possess innovative, imaginative mindsets.

Without utilizing the tools of today, an employer brand will seem archaic, behind the times, and undesirable. With digital resources abound, it should be clear that potential employees place a high value on communication; it’s up to your company to create a digital and personal strategy to speak to these needs.

Related: 10 Ways to Reduce Employee Turnover in 2019

Attracting Passive Candidates

The primary obstacle when seeking elite talent is that these people already have well-paying jobs and likely aren’t looking for anything new.

Unfortunately, those are the exact people organizations need to reach the next level. Sure, there are diamonds in the rough out there. But businesses require leaders with proven track records for success who’ll pave the way for everyone else.  It’s only from there that internal efforts can develop and sustain top-performing teams.

These enticing individuals are known as passive candidates. The sought-after people who other businesses attempt to woo with well-worded LinkedIn messages and (in some cases) expensive dinners with a big sales pitch.  By building strong relationships and personal connection, you are more likely to attract passive candidates in the future. If a passive candidate consistently comes across positive messaging from you even when that candidate is not actively seeking a job, they are more likely to remember you when they are seeking a new position more actively.

A strong employer brand is crucial with passive candidates.

First and foremost, a good employment branding strategy starts with reaching out to somebody through an online resource. Most likely, it’d be on LinkedIn or through email, depending on how the contact information was obtained. This initial touchpoint should include the following:

  • An introduction to the recruiter and the company
  • Reasons for reaching out and why this move would benefit the candidate
  • Reasons why the position is relevant to their experience 
  • Which aspects of their resume make them a good fit for the job

It sounds like a sales email, but a recruitment message requires strong employer branding and should reflect the organization in the most favorable light. A recruitment message is a small facet of corporate communication, but it will create the first impression of your company to a potential hiring prospect.

Beyond personalized messaging, employee referral programs are probably one of the most effective employment branding initiatives to recruiting passive candidates. Enthusiastic employees doing everything in their power to bring somebody on board will monumentally bolster a brand’s image. Of course, that means going beyond the HR department to attract passive candidates. 

Throughout this process of converting passive candidates into lucrative hires, it’s essential to keep in mind that they have most of the power. Don’t expect them to have a resume on hand or to be prepared for skill-testing questions. 

Alternatively, it’s the organization that should do enough brand planning to be ready to answer the tough questions and prove why they’re worthy. It’s the candidate who’s being sold on making a significant change in their career path. 

Social Media is Integral to Employer Branding

A LinkedIn survey shows that 50% of all professionals follow a brand on social media to find out about employment opportunities. 

Now, it’s all well and good to open a plethora of social media accounts and post without rhyme, reason, or rhythm. However, there’s a need to be calculated and strategic with each piece of messaging to attract quality candidates.

On social media, brands must be conscious of crafting an authentic voice – not one that’s littered with HR buzz-speak. It should also be friendly, approachable, unique, and consistent. Brands should utilize a corporate communication strategy that speaks to why their employees are satisfied, and why future employees will want to stay. Instead of using bland hiring lingo, tune in to relationship-building between current workers and what positive things they have to say.

Consistency in employment branding is most critical because the same people aren’t necessarily making all the posts. But each piece of messaging must be uniform and seem like it’s made by the same person.

Plus, the voice of an employer brand must speak directly to the candidate persona. 

Then, there’s the matter of sharing engaging content, which can be anything from photos of office space to educational videos and workshops, etc. Either way, the content needs to tell a captivating brand story and create personal connection.

Also, it’s a top priority to spark a conversation with audiences and respond to their questions and observations. 

Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter are the most mainstream social media channels to post from. Choose one or two of the platforms—trying to post from all the options will over-extend messaging efforts and hamper the quality of the content. 

Whereas, streamlining content towards the one or two platforms where the candidate persona spends the majority of their time is the most sound strategy.

Conclusion: Shore Up Employer Branding Strategies and Hire the Right People

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It’s time to see job candidates as consumers and employers as products. This kind of employment branding is the only way organizations can hire top performers who’ll take them to the next level and set them apart from the competition. Employer branding is the most vital part of establishing a workplace as the proverbial ‘place to be.’

But employer branding won’t take care of itself. It requires careful forethought and a concerted strategy that encompasses various forms of active and passive recruitment. While ensuring that current employees feel fulfilled to encourage word-of-mouth branding is a necessity, there’s a need to strengthen other facets of the process. That means crafting a multi-layered strategy and consistently adjusting and amending to meet the inclinations of the candidate persona. Think of employer branding as one of the most important forms ofcorporate communication. By showing how you interact with current employees, you can leave a good impression on future employees as a company with strong relationships and a knack for building personal connections. 

To find out how your company can craft effective employment branding, and for helpful educational tools, visit VP Legacies to see how we can help. Create change in your company for higher employee and customer retention by remembering that people matter.

Related: Employer Branding

 

Monochronic vs. Polychronic cultures: What are The Differences?

Monochronic vs. Polychronic cultures: What are The Differences? 974 636 VP Legacies

At VP Legacies, we’ve tackled various aspects of employee communication from employee retention and best communication strategies. Tap into one of the most important elements of communication contributing to employee satisfaction – time.

In business, establishing a time culture is crucial to the success of the brand or product. To establish a time culture, a business owner needs to study the cultural differences of their environment and adapt accordingly. There are two primary “time cultures” from which to choose – and they permeate corporate culture in deep and intricate ways.

 

In general, a typical business owner belongs to either of two time cultures: Monochronic or polychronic.

 

Monochronism and Polychronism: What Does It All Mean?

 

 

 

To understand these two different time cultures and how they contrast, consider the following example at an airport.

A traveler becomes frustrated when the customs official takes too long to stamp their passport and help them pass through the body scanner. The official moves at a slow pace because other team members keep interrupting him, and his phone keeps ringing. The traveler wants the official to finish one task – stamping his passport – before moving on to the next. Instead, the official is trying to complete multiple tasks at once.

The traveler is a classic example of a monochronic person, and the official is polychronic.

The monochronic individual believes in finishing one task at a time. In their time culture, time is a valuable commodity that shouldn’t be wasted and sticking to one task at a time ensures that it’s well-managed. The monochronic culture schedules one event at a time in an orderly fashion.

In the polychronic culture, employees can work on several tasks simultaneously. Polychronic individuals thrive on carrying out more than one task at the same time as long as they can be executed together with a natural rhythm. For example, it’s perfectly natural for the official to stamp the passport and take a phone call at the same time because these tasks require different parts of the body and different levels of concentration.

The critical difference between the two time cultures is that monochronic cultures value schedules, while polychronic cultures value interpersonal relationships. That is why a monochronic individual will have an alarm to wake up and other gadgets to help keep time.

A polychronic person, on the other hand, will often rely on other people as time cues.

 

Can You Learn A Time Culture?

 

 

 

It’s certainly possible to acquire a new time orientation; however, it takes time and an open mind. According to research by the Havard Business Review, between 10 to 20 percent of American managers sent by their companies to work abroad had difficulty adjusting to local cultures and norms.

Building a business in a predominantly polychronic or monochronic country may call for a business owner to learn a new time culture. A savvy business person must acclimate to the culture in order to thrive and stay sane. Becoming familiar with the time culture will help with the following –

 

It may be difficult to adapt to a new time orientation because time holds different values and meanings in each culture. In polychronic cultures, the concept of time is fluid. On the other hand, the concept of time is precise. You can run a business that uses a combination of both approaches to time when applicable, as long as you maintain an open mind and keep everyone on the same page.

 

The Best Time Culture?

Cultural perception of time varies all over the world. In broad strokes, the “best” time culture depends on the location of the business and that location’s overall time personality. North American and North European countries are monochronic societies where business managers typically divide work schedules into sequential chunks.

Arab, African, South American and Asian countries are typically more accepting of changes in schedules because they are polychronic cultures. However, much of East Asia is a monochronic society.

 

Monochronic

To maintain a thriving business in a monochronic time culture, the company must emphasize the following elements.

 

1. Punctuality

 

 

 

Keeping time is essential for any stakeholder in a project. Not only does the staff arrive to work on time, but they arrive promptly to meetings with clients and other employees. In monochronistic cultures, employees know their schedule ahead of time and organize their week in advance.

 

2. One activity at a time

An employee must complete a current task before moving on to the next in a monochronic time system. This holds employees accountable for their time and enables managers to see more easily if employees are completing the necessary tasks. Monochronic time also ensures that employees finish tasks with a high degree of focus and little interruption.

Monochronic business workflows typically thrive using sprint-style setups, and fragmented time-keeping techniques or platforms.

 

3. Business time management tools

Employees in a monochronic orientation must schedule every task in a calendar or daily planner with a detailed plan and allocated time for completion. Using these tools increases focus and efficiency while minimizing time wastage in projects. Investing in time management tools like Trello, Asana, and Scoro, among others, is crucial to completing tasks on time.

 

4. Short term relationships

 

 

 

The company expects every relationship between employees to serve the purpose of reaching an objective that one employee cannot meet alone. People in monochronistic cultures prefer engaging in short term connections for particular transactions. These relationships are sustained within a specified time frame and end when the business goal is met.

At VP Legacies, we discourage short-term relationships even in a monochronic work environment. By building strong relationships and fostering personal connection, you can develop rapport between employees and effective collaboration when necessary so that future tasks can be executed more efficiently.

Related: Crisis Management for Businesses

 

5. Individual accomplishment

Since managers assign particular tasks to each individual on a project, personal achievement becomes a primary goal in monochronic culture. Completing tasks within a given time frame and adhering to the culture of scheduled events indicates that an employee is performing well. Group work remains a part of every work environment, but for monochronistic companies, it’s only in the context of all individuals accomplishing specific project tasks on time.

As VP Legacies, we believe that individual accomplishment is important, but the contributions and impacts of a supporting team must also be valued and taken into account.

 

6. Hard deadlines

Everyone must adhere to deadlines at all costs in a monochronic orientation. Meeting deadlines promptly shows that an employee is conscious of their clients’ time, as well as the busy lives of their fellow employees. Monochronistic culture encourages showing respect for other people’s schedules. There are more deadlines, so this method of working is primarily task oriented.

 

Polychronic

On the other hand, a company operating in a polychronic society is used to:

 

1. Human interaction and personal connection

 

 

 

Human interaction and personal connection fosters a sense of belonging in the company. The employees will strive to accomplish their set tasks for the day while also allowing for interactions like borrowing office items or catching up on work or personal issues. Consistent flow of information among members of the team also means everyone knows each other’s tasks and can help where possible.

In a polychronic business culture, interaction is king.

 

2. Group work

Working as a group takes the stress off individuals and makes room for multi-tasking. Polychronic organizations often employ a flat management structure, allowing (and often encouraging) workers to jump across their typical job function and contribute to supporting their peers.

 

3. A holistic approach

The success of a project is measured holistically, rather than on a task-by-task basis. With polychronic time, everyone pulls together to accomplish the tasks of the day, so an individual who completes their part will move on to help others. While tasks might take longer to complete, the more leisurely pace also contributes to the positive mental health of employees.

 

4. Flexibility

 

 

 

Time is flexible, and work merges with personal time. An employee may be working on a task while on the phone talking to another member of the team to share information. Does that mean the quality of work is compromised with polychronic time? Not necessarily, since employees usually multi-task when performing more mundane functions. When working on multiple, more complicated projects concurrently, they can go back and review their work.

 

5. High context communication

Polychronic people tend to communicate crucial information with a lot of accompanying background information. There is an emphasis on the tone of voice and visible communication cues like raising of eyebrows or clicking of the tongue. High context communication believes in sharing every bit of information. In the case of training, learning happens in groups as opposed to individual training.

 

6. Long term relationships

Whether they are between employees or with clients, long term relationships are crucial to the success of a business in polychronic societies. These relationships develop over time to foster trust and friendship, making it easier and less stressful to strike business deals. There is no specific time frame to create a relationship, which is why this is harder to do in a time-based, monochronic environment. In polychronic cultures, a clear objective can help expedite the growth of a positive business relationship.

Related: What is the Best Strategy for CEO Communication?

 

The Monochronic and Polychronic Conflict

 

 

 

As globalization increases, businesses find themselves in culturally uncharted waters when they strive to break into new markets across the world. When opening offices abroad or becoming involved with international markets, business owners must adapt to different time culture practices.

The time culture conflict arises when companies begin to tap into the local workforce abroad, where standard employee practices differ. However, it is possible to have a predominant time culture and tap into the other as needed. To make a combination of polychronic and monochronic time work, a company should focus on the following:

 

  • Making no assumptions about business partners and employees
  • Becoming flexible and open to the culture around
  • Tapping into the different strengths of team members
  • Communicating the exact requirements of a project and the goals, and
  • Building teams that work efficiently together.

Employees at the same company might see things differently, even if they have the same time orientation. A closed-door office might seem unfriendly and off-putting to an employee who is used to an open plan office space. With a little consideration, everyone can feel at home in the same environment.

The monochronic and polychronic conflict can be solved with an agile corporate communication strategy. Continuously evaluate how you should interact with employees and customers throughout your organization and the world. Using a corporate communication strategy you will be able to properly merge and utilize the monochronic and polychronic time cultures to connect with your people.

 

Consider Past Time Orientation

 

 

 

Many polychronic cultures have strong traditional values that dictate the way employees carry out day-to-day functions. These traditions do not adhere to time and schedules, but contribute to an overall corporate identity. On the other hand, the methodical ways of monochronic cultures allows for time efficiency.

A business can thrive in either culture with the right amount of tweaking, an open mind, and a new approach to time and order. A business should consider their goals over the period of a month, several months, and a year, and adapt aspects of both monochronic and polychronic cultures where they best fit. Adapting a flexible time culture for your company that works for employees can maximize efficiency and make employees feel valued. Once you and your executives reach a decision about the best time culture and have received ample feedback, roll out internal communication that makes your time model clear. If your employees are satisfied with a robust, well-thought out time culture, they are more likely to stay at your company and communicate positive reviews externally to boost future hiring.

Check out our services at VP Legacies and start building effective strategies so that everyone is satisfied with the time culture of your company.

 

Related: The Ultimate Guide To Hiring Executives For Your Company

9 Ways to Reduce Employee Turnover in 2019

9 Ways to Reduce Employee Turnover in 2019 1920 1144 VP Legacies

High employee turnover can be extremely costly and detrimental to an organization. It’s normal to encounter some level of turnover in an organization due to reasons such as retirement. However, turnover due to other reasons, such as poor employee morale, is not good and should be fixed.

A higher than normal amount of turnover is usually one of the first signs there are significant issues in an organization, and if it’s ignored can lead to even further issues such as a decline in workforce productivity. All of this will eventually trickle down into affecting the bottom line.

In short, turnover can’t be ignored and won’t go away without intervention. It’s essential that you improve your communication strategies, amongst other things to take action to limit your employee turnover.

Management studies on reducing turnover are plenty. In this post, we’ll distill the many mitigation techniques out there and go through some easy and practical ways of reducing employee turnover.

We’ll distill the many mitigation techniques out there and go through some easy and practical ways of reducing employee turnover.

1. Analyze Turnover

The first step in reducing employee turnover is getting a good grasp of how it’s happening and more importantly, why.

This means keeping track of how many employees are leaving an organization in a given year and how these numbers compare with the years before. If there’s been a sudden spike one year, look into why this might be the case. Did a major event happen that year such as an acquisition by a bigger company? Where is the turnover happening? If it’s only within a specific department, was there a new leader hired there that may be causing issues?

Drilling down may help uncover possible hypotheses on why turnover has spiked and ways to solve. Numbers alone aren’t enough; it’s essential to know the underlying reason – the why?

Qualitative insights also help. This is where implementing practices such as exit interviews can be very beneficial.

Most employees that have decided to leave an organization are willing to state why. Be sure that these exit interviews are conducted by an unbiased party such as an HR practitioner and are done confidentially so anyone who reads the takeaways from the interview won’t know who the interviewee was.

Establishing monthly employee surveys can also help raise red flags to leadership if employee morale is sinking, and there’s a chance of high turnover happening. It’s important these surveys are anonymous when completed and isn’t collected at a level where employees or managers handling the data could determine who might have completed it.

Monthly employee surveys are a great preventative measure in flagging potential turnover before it happens.

2. Don’t shy away from praise and recognition

The next tactic to reducing employee turnover is quite simple, low-effort, but very effective.

Make sure employees, managers, and the overall company culture value the practice of giving recognition and praise.

If employees are doing a great job, submit an excellent deliverable, or have gone above and beyond in any way – recognize them for this in front of their colleagues. Or if certain events have happened such as the colleagues being promoted or certain milestones being met by a team during a project, recognize them for the work done.

Praise doesn’t always have to be public. It can also be privately done and still be effective. Take employees out for coffee and let know their hard is work is appreciated.

Don’t go overboard with this and only give praise when employees genuinely deserve this.

Praise is a great way to reduce turnover. Employees will feel like their hard work is being noticed and appreciated – boosting their morale.

3. Show employees the end goal and how to get there

Feeling a sense of progress is critical towards employees feeling fulfilled in their jobs.

This means if they think they’ve stayed stagnant in a particular position and begin to get bored of their job – they’ll start looking elsewhere for new opportunities.

Luckily, this one’s easily avoidable by ensuring that there are clearly defined roles and career progression in an organization.

By formally establishing these and communicating it with employees, they’ll start to understand what’s the next step in their time here and what might be the tasks they need to show they’ve accomplished in order to progress to the next level.

This doesn’t always been dishing out a promotion. Sometimes this can be adding more responsibility to their current role or rotating them across different functions to keep things interesting.

Keep career paths transparent, detailed, and supplementing this with regular performance reviews. This means employees will know what to work on to get to the next level and progress through the company – instead of leaving for the competition.

4. Let employees manage their own time

The next trick to reducing employee turnover is simply providing them with autonomy. When it comes to their daily tasks, this may be hard due to a lack of experience, but freedom and independence in how they manage their time to completing work on their plate are surely doable!

Provide employees as much freedom to set their own schedule, and even where they work from. Introduce options such as work-from-home days, and flexible work hours so that it’s not mandatory for them to be in-office, 8 hours, 5 days a week.

Employees can pick a work schedule that’s optimal for them but also gets work done effectively. Having the option to do this might keep them in the organization cause ultimately, there’s no price one can set on freedom.

5. Pay employees well and offer bonuses

Money matters. And this means employees want to feel like they are compensated well or else they’ll leave.

Make sure annual salary reviews are in place and that compensation is benchmarked with the market rate and to what competitors offer.

This can extend beyond just base salary to include other benefits such as bonuses. Make it attractive and it doesn’t all have to be monetary. Pairing market salary along with flexible work-at-home policies can shrink turnover as employees start to value the flexibility over more pay elsewhere but restricted to being in the office all the time.

6. Align values and purpose

Everyone want’s to feel a sense of purpose to what they’re doing. This is the same at work.

Communicate to employees what it is the organization is striving to achieve, and why their contributions matter. This doesn’t have to be altruistic. The effort just needs to go into helping employees see the purpose in what they’re doing. The key is being able to articulate a company’s purpose in a way that connects.

This might sound complicated. But to keep it actionable, translate this down by ensuring managers communicate the bigger context of what their direct reports do.

An analyst helping crunch numbers in an excel sheet just needs to know that this analysis is going towards identifying bottlenecks in the shipping process – which in turn could be fixed and speed up delivery times for customers. It can be that simple and be enough to give an employee a sense of purpose in the work they are doing.

7. Check-in with employees often

This trick is all about habit and it can be implemented in a fairly easy way within an organization.

Simply ensure that time is carved out for direct reports to have casual conversations about how their job is going with their managers. Make this mandatory for managers to schedule into calendars on a recurring basis with every direct report. Keep them accountable by measuring such practices and making it a part of their annual performance reviews.

This should be a casual check-in for 30 min. or an hour and involves going for coffee or a walk to ask how things are going. This practice alone can be hugely beneficial in making a frustrated employee who’s a flight-risk feel heard and reconsider leaving.

8. Create a rewarding culture

Although rewarding for a job well done is great and much needed. Most often, employees want more than that. They want their time with a company to be more than just work so it’s important to create a sense of culture.

This means hosting regular ‘after work’ events such as having managers gather everyone to go for drinks nearby. Or having monthly team lunches that allows everyone to get together.

Cheeky traditions at work also help such as telling employees to dress up in whacky costumes during Halloween or creating a fantasy football league for employees to participate in.

All this boosts camaraderie and makes the work team feel more like family. Leaving your ‘family’ for a job somewhere else is a lot harder to do and starts to reduce turnover!

Moreover, having a team that’s well bonded also means they’ll be more comfortable in voicing any issues that creep up proactively. This allows an organization to address any problem quickly before leaving their job becomes the only solution.

Though hiring the right employees who are a good fit for an organization is important in reducing turnover. The other often overlooked aspect is hiring or training up good people managers.

Some employees can be high performers that excel at their work but can be horrible people managers who don’t really know how to lead, develop, and instill a sense of culture in their teams. They may often prioritize actual work over activities such as hosting check-ins with their employees to see how they are doing. Because of this, direct reports to some of these managers may have no issue with the company but hate their boss so much they decide to leave.

To fix this, if hiring for managers, be sure to vet their people management skills thoroughly, and if promoting from within, be sure to train them on effective people management!

9. Make wellness a key priority

Tackling a sudden spike in turnover can seem daunting, but there are simple, habitual strategies that can do wonders in reducing turnover in an organization. Take our suggestions above and put together a task team to apply it to a company. Remember, high turnover left unchecked can be disastrous in the long-run.

Takeaway

Tackling a sudden spike in turnover can seem daunting, but there are simple, habitual strategies that can do wonders in reducing turnover in an organization. Take our suggestions above and put together a task team to apply it to a company. Remember, high turnover left unchecked can be disastrous in the long-run.