5 Tips for Motivating Employees

5 Tips for Motivating Employees

A large part of creating a successful business is having employees who are motivated.  Sometimes even the top performers and best self-starters can experience a lull in motivation.

Whether your business just needs a little pick-me-up, or a motivational overhaul, these 5 tips for motivating employees will enhance your workplace!

Tip#1: Set the Example. 
In the words of Ghandi: “Be the change you want to see.”  Start with attitude.  A positive attitude is infectious; when your employees see that you are excited about your business, they will get excited about their role within the business.

Tip #2: Share the Wealth. 
Involve employees in the company’s successes. Profit sharing is a great motivator, and has been shown effective in several models.  It gives your employees something to work towards, and can give them that extra push at the end of the day.  If profit sharing is not immediately feasible, still involve your employees as much as possible in company highs.  Celebrate when numbers are exceeded or when customers give a glowing recommendation.  It doesn’t have to always mean cake and ice cream – employees just want to know what they are doing right.

Tip #3: Focus on Happiness. 
Happy employees are naturally going to be motivated employees.  Generous paid time off, company sponsored events, excellent benefits, and a good work environment are a few things that keep good employees coming back.  Happy employees not only stay motivated, but generally give a business a reputation of placing importance on employee satisfaction, and a good reputation is invaluable.
Related: Building a Productive Work Team

Tip 4: Hear Them Out. 
Employees who have a voice in their company will be motivated to work hard because they will feel more a part of the company and its successes.  Wainwright Industries in St. Peters, Missouri created the Wainwright’s Continuous Improvement Process.  In 1994 associates implemented over 8,400 improvement ideas from their workforce.  They presently average 300 ideas a week from 146 associates.   The associates – not management – run this powerful process.  This works because associates at Wainwright have authority to make any improvements, without permission for up to $1000 in cost.  If their idea or change exceeds this amount, they fill out a form to for approval.  Not only do employees get a stake in the changes and improvements the company makes, they also are eligible for weekly cash drawings just for submitting ideas.
For more about inclusion: Employee Motivation: Inclusion and Praise

Tip #5: Develop Each Individual. 
Coaching is employee development, and your only cost is time. Giving your time means you care.  It gives your employees a chance to give feedback, share their successes and struggles, and learn from someone who has been in their shoes(You!). Many companies will invest about an hour each month into each individual with manager coaching meetings.  When compared to companies who do not have regular coaching meetings, employee satisfaction is much lower, and the non-coached employees do not feel as valued as their counterparts.  All this adds up to employees who are not motivated.


Top 10 Hiring Tips

Top 10 Hiring Tips

interviewAll highly successful companies have one thing in common; skilled, ambitious, responsible employees. Finding quality people to work at your company does not happen over night; in fact it can (or should) take months to fill one position with a trained and trusted candidate. Here are 10 hiring tips to help you find the right people and give them the tools to succeed in their positions that will help your business prosper.


  1. Always Looking
    You should constantly be on the lookout for ways to attract and engage top talent, even if it’s not needed right now. Consider how much time, money and frustration you would save if you already had a pool of qualified, relevant and interested applicants on hand once a hiring need does open up. The effort you put in now to recruit for the future will lead to fewer hiring mistakes and a greater return for all involved in the hiring process.
  2. Know What You Need.
    Know the skills and personality traits that will make a person successful in a given job, so you can develop job descriptions when you’re hiring. This helps in framing interviews with potential applicants, who in turn learn in advance more about the skills needed for the position.
  3. Have A Large Selection Pool.
    Commit to interviewing a number of people, even though you probably won’t be interested in most of them. If you don’t think a person is a good fit for your company, use the interview to discover information on your competitors or create business development opportunity.
  4. Ask The Right Questions.
    Do not ask obvious questions like “are you going to be a responsible and efficient employee of this company?” Anyone can say yes to these types of questions. Probing questions should allow you to discover if the potential candidate possesses a positive attitude, can be trusted, has good character, takes responsibilities, confident, willing to follow instructions, and has a good track record and so on. Aside from the questions, you also need to assess their personality, self-esteem and attitude towards people and towards work through the manner of their speaking and their overall nonverbal behavior.
  5. Check References.
    Check references and do a criminal background check. You just can never be too sure. Even if your potential candidate looks innocent and sweet, looks can be deceiving and you want to be utmost sure that your employee has a clean record.
  6. Clarify Expectations.
    New employees seldom know exactly what is expected of them, how they will be measured, or with whom they will work the most. It’s important to communicate expectations and metrics clearly and succinctly from day one.
  7. Attractive Salary.
    If you want to hire excellent and efficient employees, you should be able to offer fair and attractive compensation.
  8. Buddy System.
    Consider a “buddy” system, that is, assign one of your long-time employees as a “buddy” to aid the new employee for his or her first few weeks at your company. Be sure not to “burn out” buddies by assigning too many new hires to them in succession. After the new employee has been with the company for at least a year, give them a chance to become a “buddy” in turn to the next wave of new hires.
  9. Develop People To Their Full Potential.
    This could be training to learn a new job skill or tuition reimbursement to help further your employee’s education.
  10. Exit Interviews.
    Exit interviews are one of the best ways to get true and honest feedback from employees. The downside is that it takes time to build up a significant amount of data from exit interviews. Increasing your participation rate with feedback in general, however, can help you get greater amounts of feasible information faster from your exit interviews.

Finding the right people for the job and training them can take a good deal of time and effort, but if you do take your time, do your homework, and follow this ten-step process, it will pay off! You can find hard-working and talented people who you can trust and that want to partner with your company and work for its success! Good luck!

Related: Positive Work Environment and Red Flags to Watch During the Interview


Save money-hire a recruiter

Save money-hire a recruiter

Does it really cost to hire?  Can you really save money by hiring a recruiter considering that many recruiters charge anywhere between 15-35% of an employee’s annual salary?  As a recruiter I can make the case that  a company can easily save money by hiring a full service recruiter.  Some studies claim that the average hiring manager will spend anywhere between 9 and 17 weeks to hire a new employee.  During this time the hiring manager will advertise, screen, interview applicants, re-interview applicants, check references run background checks, write offer letters and communicate the new hire to the existing employees.  Although the costs associated with these activities are subtle, the time and money adds up quickly.  A full service recruiting firm should  save your company by performing these activities, including interviewing support and partnering.  This task is particularly important because many interviews conducted by managers are more akin to a casual conversation or a promotion for the company instead of a structured time to learn if the applicant has the right skills and how they will fit in with the culture of the company.  In addition,  most recruiting companies, offer some kind of a guarantee to help protect the company from making the wrong hiring decision.

So why don’t more businesses hire a recruiter?  Let me hear your thoughts!


How to use credit reports in the recruiting process without getting sued

How to use credit reports in the recruiting process without getting sued

In my last Blog I wrote about the E.E.O.C. ruling that Kaplan Higher Education Corporation discriminated against black job applicants through the way it used credit histories in its hiring process.  I explained that a credit check is only one of many parts of the recruiting process and using a credit check to decide employment is not a black and white issue.  It involves learning what the credit report may consist of and how it may relate to the job at hand.  In this Blog I want to explain that although I use credit checks as a pat of the entire recruiting process, I do so carefully using a number of guidelines.
First of all, a credit check and criminal checks can only be completed after the candidate has given permission.  During the recruiting process that I use with my clients I do this in two ways.  During my first phone interview with a candidate, I will tell the candidate that credit and criminal checks are a part of the process and would they have any issues with it.  I also ask if there is anything they would want to tell me in advance of me running the check.  This is usually when I hear that they have “messy credit”.  I always send an interview confirmation email.  This is when I tell the candidate again that the process includes a criminal and credit background check.  I also make sure that the credit and criminal checks are run only after they have completed the application that includes an area to give me signed permission to run the checks.
If an applicant is going to be rejected based on credit report information, my clients must make a “pre-adverse action disclosure” that includes a copy of the credit report and the summary of consumer rights under the FCRA.
And lastly, since  the percentage of minority group members in the U.S. with poor credit is higher than non-minorities, employment decisions can disproportionately affect minority applicants.  This is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.  And therefore, its critical that a business request credit checks consistently and prove that this type of selection criteria is justified because of the job or business necessity.

Should we use Credit Reports as a part of the Recruiting Process?

Should we use Credit Reports as a part of the Recruiting Process?

Many recruiters represent a candidate I represent my clients who are generally small and medium size businesses.  Many do not have HR Departments who would follow Employment Law.  With the recent news that the E.E.O.C Sued Kaplan Higher Education Corporation I want to make sure that my clients are aware of the law suit and understand how credit reports can be used in the hiring process.

The E.E.O.C. sued Kaplan for discriminating against black job applicants through the way it used credit histories in its hiring process.  Considering that over half of employers use credit reports in some hiring decisions, many experts question whether the E.E.O.C was using Kaplan to set an example to employers who are denying jobs to applicants with damaged credit histories, even in cases where creditworthiness may not be  relevant to the job.   Yet many states have already or are considering protecting the vast number of unemployed and/or financially distressed Americans by banning or limited the use of credit reports to make hiring decisions.   Given the number of Americans out of work it is very common to see, shall we say, messy credit reports.  I check credit reports as a part of my recruiting process for my clients and rarely do I see a clean credit report.  If I had to cut every candidate with a few hiccups on their credit report my clients would have a tough time finding an employee.  And it’s clearly not a black and white issue.  The questions I would ask are what are the patterns on their credit reports and how severe are the “hiccups”?  For example, are there late payments or are their bankruptcies? In addition its important to discuss with my client how the candidates’ credit report history is related to the job they are being hired for and how their credit history is necessary for business.

As a recruiter for small and medium size businesses its important that my clients trust those that they hire and as a team we create an environment free from fraud and theft.  To choose honest, able and reliable employees from a large candidate pool its important to consider the entire recruiting process the phone interviews with the candidates as well as their professional references.  It’s important to bring in a candidate more than once to interview with various people within an organization.  It’s important to run criminal background checks.  And, its important to consider how the candidates’ credit history may impact their job performance if at all.


If you don’t want to be listed as my worst resume ever….follow this advice

If you don’t want to be listed as my worst resume ever….follow this advice

My last blog was simply a post of one of the worst resumes I have ever seen.  To  help you avoid winning this prestigious award in the future I have given you a few pieces of advice to help you create or clean up your résumé.

1.  If you are going to include an Objective Section, make sure its specific and to the point.  I have also seen very long objectives that include generic statements about wanting “stability” or worse, list attributes of the applicant.  This is not the point of writing objectives.   The other point is that it should address the job you are applying for.  I have received many resumes that list an objective for another job than what I have listed.

2. Your contact information should be correct and accessible.  In other words, if you are looking for a job you should answer your phone during business hours.  Or, at least, you should return calls promptly.  I once received a call back from a candidate a week after I called because she was on vacation.  There is no excuse for that.  If you go on vacation take your phone with you and check email from time to time.  Or, start your job search when you return.

3.  If there is a spelling mistake, chances are, I will stop reviewing your résumé.  Most jobs receive anywhere from 100-500 resumes and I have plenty more to review.  This is the single most important document you create to support your job search.  Treat it that way.  If you have a spelling mistake, what kind of work will I think you will be doing for my client (the hiring employer)?  Exactly- slightly careless.

4.  Don’t worry, if you need more than one page its fine.  I think one page resumes applies to either old school advice or to recent college graduates.  But beyond two pages I would be very careful.

5.  In the body of your résumé you will be listing your experience primarily.  A few pieces of advice..Instead of writing in paragraph format I would highly recommend bulleted format.  It’s a lot easier to read short concise sentences.  In addition, use action words and don’t use the same ones over and over.  Do you want a list of action verbs to help you in creating your résumé?  Go to <a href=”http://www.resume-help.org/resume_action_words.htm”>http://www.resume-help.org/resume_action_words.htm</a>.  It’s the most amazing list I have ever seen!  This same site also recommends using the signs #, % and $.  They stand out and emphasize your accomplishments and what you can do for their company.

But the #1 tip (or the #6 tip in this little list) is proof read the résumé before you post it or send it out.  And, have a few friends proof read, and then proof read it again.  Again, your resume is the only reflection they have of you until you are invited in for an interview.  And unless you do a great job on the résumé, you will not be invited in!


Worst resume I have ever seen

Worst resume I have ever seen

Inc Magazine asked HR Professionals in Twitter World today to see the worst resume we have seen.   I am not a resume writer.  I refer that area of business out.  But I see many resumes throughout the day.  Often I see hundreds and hundreds of resumes.  I have seen resumes with spelling mistakes and grammatical mistakes.  This resume had it all! 



I am a dedicated individual who has a desire to work within a healthcare setting, and am always up to a challenge. I am seeking a position in nursing where I can develop and excel while giving my best to my employer.


•  Resident Care Supervisor

Jul 2008 – Present

X Living Center

~In charge of overseeing caregiving staff to include scheduling
~Responsible for physician orders
~Overse daily operations of facility
~In charge of companion service program
~Billing and Payroll of companions

•  LPN~Charge Nurse

Mar 2008 – Jun 2008

H Manor

Charge Nurse Long Term Care/ Rehab Unit
~Critical Thinking
~Medication Administration
~Computer Charting
~End of Life Care
~Wound Assessment/Treatment
~Pain Management
~Behavior Management
~Dementia/Alzheimers Care
~Trach Care
~Ostomy Care
~Peg tube Care

•  LPN

Aug 2007 – Feb 2008

Great Urgent Care Center

Charge Nurse~Acute Care After Hours Center Adult/Pediatrics
~In charge of Acute Care Assessments
~EKG Tests
~Holter Monitors
~Stress Tests
~Blood Draws
~Prescription ordering
~Physician Orders
~UA, CBC lab stat orders
~Pain Management

•  LPN

Mar 2007 – Jul 2007

H Manor

Supervisor: Denise Simms X
40 hours per week
Charge Nurse for skilled nursing and rehab unit. Responsibilities to include:
~ Medication administration
~ Thinking
~ Wound Care/Treatments
~ Trach Care/Ostomy Care/NG Tube Care
~ Computer charting/Medicare Charting
~ Physician Orders
~ Supervision of CNA Staff
~ Medication ordering/tracking


RN Nursing Program

Mar 2007 – Present

Exc College


Associate of Science Degree~RN
Currently completing RN program


Jan 2006 Dec 2006

Career Training Institute

LPN Diploma
GPA: 3.90
American Heart Association Certified

Pre Nursing

Jan 1994 Apr 2003

Valley State University

GPA: 3.5
Pre Nursing Course Work
RN Program prerequisites
63 Semester Credits


• Motivator, Team Leader, Excellent Communication skills, ability to establish rapport with contacts easily.

~Competent in multiple Medication Administration

~Critical Thinking Skills ~Lab Value analysis ~Computer Charting ~Head To Toe Assessments ~Wound Care/ Treatments ~Patient pain control measures

ACHIEVEMENT •  Dedicated and Committed to being a quality nurse •  American Sign Language •  CPR certification




Most Interesting Reference Yet (less about recruiting and more about name dropping)

Most Interesting Reference Yet (less about recruiting and more about name dropping)

You probably remember from my first blog about the importance of references.  Just to review, I always ask for 3 professional references.  I call all three.  When a reference calls me back fairly quickly I make a note.  This says something about the candidate. This is just what happened last week.  I asked for three references from an applicant, let’s call him John.  John gave me three references and I called all three.  All of John’s references called me back right away.  One of them, call her Arlene, is the owner of a 41 year old business in New York.  Arlene was delighted to be a reference for John.  She spoke very highly of John’s skills, work ethic and how he helped her company.  She asked me where the position was located.  I told her outside of Houston.  She went on and on about her close friends in the Houston area.  Recognizing my phone number as a Dallas phone number she then started to tell me about her other friends who will be coming to Dallas.  Usually my problem is keeping a reference on the phone.  Obviously this wasn’t an issue.  Arlene liked to talk!  And I am a good listener. So I had no intention of stopping her.  Especially when she told me that two other friends of hers were coming to Dallas in February.  I asked her who.  She told me her friends Betty Buckley and Tova Feldshuh were coming to Dallas for the production of Arsenic and Old Lace.  I told her I knew all about it.  I enjoy the productions of the Dallas Theatre Center. And since Kevin Moriarty became the Artistic Director there has not been a production that I didn’t enjoy.  I told her these were among my favorite actresses and, speaking for the city of Dallas, we were fortunate to have them.  I saw Betty Buckley on TV years ago in Eight is Enough but my favorite memory was when I was in Middle School and I saw her in Cats.  And I saw Tova Feldshuh in both Golda’s Balcony and Irena’s Vow when it was still off Broadway.  She was so excited about Irena’s Vow.  As it turns out, Arlene was the first to donate to enable Irena’s Vow to be produced when they were still in the pre-off-Broadway reading stage.  She was asked by an actor who knew her passion for theatre.  According to Arlene she has been unofficially a part of the production ever since.  She insisted that I introduce myself to the two actors and tell them that Arlene is a friend of mine.  Of course I explained to her that the audience does not generally meet the actors.  She sounded a bit disappointed.  I wasn’t.  I was already reveling in the fact that this world is so small.  I had a conversation that started as a reference call for an applicant for an accounting job.  But the conversation became so much more!


The use of Assessments in the Recruiting Process

The use of Assessments in the Recruiting Process

There is an important role for assessments in the recruiting process.  But it should not be used to replace any step of a good recruiting process.  I have seen employers who use assessments but they do not speak with references (see my previous blog on the importance of references); or, they do not invite good candidates in for a 2nd interview.  I have seen assessments replace background checks.  This is not the purpose of assessments.  Every step of the recruiting process is critical in choosing the right candidate.  It is also important that the assessments are administered by, and feedback given, by a qualified professional.

I have recently partnered with Dr. Sandy Gluckman (www.sandygluckman.com) to integrate assessments as a part of my recruiting process.  Dr. Sandy Gluckman has a PhD in Clinical Psychology  and a post graduate degree in leadership and organizational development.  She has been working with business leaders, employees and teams for over 30 years.   We are offering two assessments to clients –  the Discus and the HBDI.   Both are available for assessing individuals as well as teams. The Discus represents a superb new generation in professional profiling solutions. Among the many extremely useful reports that Discus offers is  the Job Match’ report, that examines a candidate’s suitability for different roles,  and indicates strengths, weaknesses and training requirements for a particular candidate.  Other reports offer objective insights into how the person behaves in various business situations,  how they approach their work,  relationship assessment, team building, job matching, negotiation profiling.  The HBDI is a cutting edge tool for senior positions that involve strategic thinking, top level decision making, leadership skills, communication, and creativity.  It is based on identifying the different thinking styles as related to the left and right brain,  and reveals how to leverage these natural talents and address the gaps in thinking.

The ideal way to use these assessments is to administer assessments for the team before the hiring process even takes place.  This will give employers a strong understanding of the teams’ strengths and what gaps may exist in style and capabilities.  Offering a team assessment will also facilitate us in targeting the right candidate to fill in the “gaps” within the team and avoid creating teams that consist of individuals that are like-minded clones of each other.

The most effective and economical way to use assessments within the recruiting process is either before the second interview or after the interview process before a decision has been made.  Consider the various parts of the recruiting process:

  • We start by communicating the open need (i.e posting).  Sometimes hundreds of candidates respond.
  • Resumes are screened and then phone interviews begin. 
  • Typically after the phone interview 2-3 professional references are checked.  At that point, strong candidates who have been interviewed over the phone and have strong references will be invited in for the first interview.
  • After first interviews a short list of candidates will be invited back for a second interview.  This is a great time to administer either The Discus or The HBDI. After administering the assessment and Dr. Gluckman analyzes the results, questions for the candidate will come up.  These questions can be asked during the second interview to have an even better understanding of the candidate and their fit within the organization.
  • Not only can the assessments be used to support the recruiting process and determine a candidates fit within an organization, the results can also help assess a new employees’ development needs.  This information can help both employers’ understand training and development needs of their new employee.  And, The individual will be able to use the information derived from the assessment to encourage responsibility for addressing areas for improvement. 

In my search process for an appropriate assessment to be used as a part of my recruiting practice it was most important for me to find an experienced and credible administrator.  I also wanted to make sure that the assessments would not “break the bank”.  Given the number of clients I have who see the value in assessments in the recruiting process, Dr. Gluckman was able to give me a very good rate to offer my clients.  So there is nothing stopping you from integrating the use of assessments in the recruiting process!  Contact me and we can move forward!


Interview Tips

Interview Tips

There are many places to go to search for tips for the interviewees; But as an interviewer, the hiring manager or the boss, where do you go.  Look no further!  Here are a few tips that are helpful to keep in mind before you begin the interview process.

1.  Confirm the interview in advance.

2.  Be on time.  Its a reflection on you and the place you work.

3.  Get up from behind your desk to conduct the interview.

4.  Limit your overview on yourself and the business to 5-6 minutes.

5.  Make sure your questions are prepared in advance so you can focus on the answers the applicant is giving and follow-up questions.

6.  Ask follow-up questions.  The more you can dig into their experience, the more you understand if they have what you are looking for.

7.  Ask more follow-up questions.  Nothing wrong with trying their patience just a bit.  Lets see how they respond

8.   Do not ask if they can do x or y.  Ask them to tell you about a time they were successful at doing x and y.  And then ask for a time they were not successful at doing x or y.  Then go back to tip 6 and tip 7.

9.  Allow time for the candidate to ask you questions either during the interview or at the end.

10.  Do not go beyond an hour.  If you like them invite them back for a 2nd interview.

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