Are You Struggling to Hire Staff? Whats Wrong With Your Process

Posted by johngies

There is a lot of conversation going on right now about how nobody can find and hire good employees.  I’m not sure that that is true. I wonder if it is the result of a change that employers have not adapted to.

Hands Shaking Agreement
Image via Pixabay

In working with many of my clients that experience turnover, they have not taken the time to clearly define what tasks they want new employees to accomplish, and what skills are required. Many employers are lazy and just want to hire someone that is already doing what they want them to do or that has all of the experience they think they need.  So, they look for someone that is looking for the same position they had at a previous employer.  (Ask yourself, if they were good at the job that they had – that you are now hiring for, why are they out looking?)

One of the first steps in hiring and keeping staff is recruiting. Getting the right people on the bus. Take the time to slow down and get clear on the following:

  • What tasks and responsibilities go with the job?
  • What skills are necessary and what can be taught?
  • What attitude is required (This might be one of the most important selection criteria).
  • How will you determine that they have those criteria that you need.
  • Create a job description that is clear and concise and then put it in the form of an agreement that the employee “agrees” to.  There is a clear distinction between expectations and agreements.

Ask yourself, why would someone want to work for you? Just like clients and customers, employees are searching for work that meets their needs. Yup employees’ expectations have changed and remember you are looking for agreement not expectations.

Look at what value you can provide. It’s not always money. Here are some ideas:

  • Flextime
  • Skills development
  • Benefits I know it can be expensive and with a little effort you would be surprised at the benefits you can offer your employees
  • Education Opportunities

Ask what part of the industry and their typical boss do people hate can you offer better? I know an accountant for example that has created a 32-hour work week.  Because of the way they onboard clients and the commitments she gets up front, she does not have the crush of business in tax season that others do. So here people don’t end up at 50 – 60 hours a week during tax season.

How Important is good staff to you and your business? What will you do to attract, on-board and retain the staff you want? What is your commitment this week? If you’d like to learn more bout how to become a more attractive employer, and retain your best employees’ lets schedule a call.  Reach out at

But I don’t have Time…That’s Not True

Posted by johngies

Recently I have been hearing a lot of:

“I am overwhelmed”.

“I am too busy”.

“I don’t have time”.

It is a Belief System, and you are using time as an excuse. I was struck by something Oprah said:

“Take five minutes to center yourself…If you don’t have five minutes you don’t deserve the life of your dreams”. ~ OPRAH

Think about that for a moment, “if you don’t have five minutes you don’t deserve the life of your dreams”.

Taking time to think requires effort. It requires you to say no to the siren call of busyness. It requires you to slow down and get clear on what you want as an outcome. And then it requires that you plan and execute towards this outcome.

I get it, we all have things that compete for our attention; phone calls, emails, text messages, Instagram, LinkedIn, and then there is actual work.

Recently I met with a colleague who was “Overwhelmed”. She had three notebooks, she had lists on all of them, and she wondered why she was overwhelmed.

Let me suggest that the first thing she had not done was to get clear on what she wanted her life/business to look like. Too many people step into the day with no clear plan. As a result, they are overwhelmed by what life throws at them.

Recently I have been practicing writing down three things in the morning that I am grateful for. Then I write down the ONE Thing that would make the day awesome. When I come back the next day, more often than not, the awesome thing has happened.

The biggest mistake I see people like my friend making, is that they refuse to slow down and connect with what is really important to them. And then taking time to think about that. What does success look like? Who is there with you? What challenges will you need to overcome?

Now that you know the “what” of your desires, what is your plan? What action will you take?

If you want to lose ten pounds, it might mean replacing the cheeseburger at lunch with a salad during the week. And scheduling 30-minute walk 5 days a week.

Not taking the time to think about what you really want and then putting an action plan in place to get there is robbing you, your family, and your clients of the best life they could have with your influence.

If you would like to schedule a complimentary “time to think” call, click here

Master Your Calendar to Master Your Business

Posted by johngies

Think you don’t have enough time? You just have to get smart about how you use it.

What I have observed as I work with small business owners is that they often feel overwhelmed and feel like they are racing just to keep up. When I ask them how they are using their time, they cannot answer. When I ask them to keep a time log, they often resist as they are “Too Busy”.

The sad news is they will remain too busy until they take the time (there is that word again) to learn how they are actually using their time. And this does not have to be hard. It can be as simple as a day broken into 15- or 30-minute increments (link). Then as you work through your day, jot down what you were doing from 8:00 – 8:30 and then from 8:30 to 9:00.

As you identify what you have been doing and how long it takes, it will become clear what is taking up all of your time. And perhaps, more importantly, what you can let go of.

Now it’s time to gain control over your calendar so you can master your business. Here are some tips:

  1. Schedule daily Time To Think (TTT) this is strategic thinking about your business. Stepping back from working “IN” your business.
  2. Where can additional training, or process development now, ease the time for tasks later?
  3. Block time for important tasks. The time log you just developed will help you better estimate how long you need for your various projects.
  4. Delegate. This is important. You need to learn how to help other people help you to grow your business. If you do not, you are the bottleneck on your success.
  5. Learn to say “no”, or at least “not right now”.
  6. Learn to group similar things together. For example, block out an hour to return phone calls at one time versus writing an email, reviewing the numbers and then making a call.  Give your brain a break.

As a small business owner your task lists probably says “Everything.” You want to learn how to find the Big Rocks, the most important priorities, and schedule them and then keep your schedule. Don’t break the appointments you set with yourself.

Learn to use what Tony Robbins calls “Net Time”.

– Listen to audiobooks during the commute.

– Read the article or journal to keep up on your industry while waiting for an appointment.

– Listen to podcasts while exercising.

– Leverage walking meetings with your team. Take a walk and cover their goals and tasks.

Finally, commit to yourself, your team, and your business. When you learn to control your calendar, you will be one step closer to mastering your business.

If you would like more resources, check out Or schedule a call here.

Overcome Your Overwhelm a guest post by Bob Wendover

Posted by johngies

It’s become an all-too-common challenge. You begin your day by going through email and Slack messages, deleting the twenty or more you don’t need or want. Then you work your way through those from your, co-workers, customers, and vendors. Along the way, you respond to texts, Zoom chats and maybe a phone call or two. Perhaps you check Linked In, Facebook and Instagram just to stay in the loop. Finally, you take a breath and realize that the first hour of your day has been consumed by the digital treadmill that saps your time and focus. Then it is on to the first project or meeting, all the while clearing a never-ending series of messages.

By mid-morning, you realize the edge is off the day’s energy. What you’re feeling is the impact of decision fatigue and the world seems to be awash in it. Decision fatigue is when you start making less-than-optimal choices because your thinking gets fuzzy due to your inability to focus. In some cases, you feel too tired or hesitant to make the decision, so you just don’t. This is all the result of your body exhausting the supply of blood glucose (sugar energy) created while you slept. Instead of concentrating on significant decisions, it has been squandered on the hundreds of micro-decisions demanding your attention.

But this scourge is not just confined to emails, text, and social media. Consider the last time you searched for something online, only to end up battling all the pop-ups designed to distract you from your mission. What about trying to choose between ultra-white, super-white or optic white toothpaste? Or maybe the 200 shades of white paint in the home center? Perhaps it’s the information overload forced on us by the 24-hour news cycle.

We all deal with decision fatigue. But some people manage it much better than others. I’ve spent the past few years figuring out how they do it. Here is a sampling of the strategies they use.

Reverse the first two hours of your morning. Refrain from grabbing your smart phone the minute you wake up. Instead, center yourself. Eat a healthy breakfast and prepare mentally for the day. When you begin work, do the most critical thing first. Complete a project. Conduct an important conversation. Outline the upcoming presentation. THEN check your email, texts and social media. This simple switch enables the best decision-makers to use the top of their energy on the tasks that really count.

Close your message apps. The job of tech companies is to distract you any way they can. After all, eyeballs mean money. Those who best manage decision fatigue, turn off the endless array of applications when not using them. This stops the pop-ups, the vibrations, the sound effects and other distractions that impede their concentration. Over time, people will accept that you only respond during certain times, including your team and customers. (This might even inspire them to do the same thing.)

Eliminate your APPoplexy. APPoplexy is having too many apps on your phone. Have you ever spent five minutes trying to save two minutes, because you couldn’t find the right app? I’ve met people with as many as 210. Most are never used. So, uninstall them. Waiting in line? Uninstall an app. Waiting for the movie to start? Uninstall an app. Waiting to pick up a food order? Uninstall an app. You get the idea.

Use these phrases to shorten meetings, regardless of whether you’re in charge.

  • At the beginning of the meeting, ask, “So what are we going to accomplish here?”
  • If you sense the meeting is drifting, ask, “Can we take a minute to review what we’re trying to accomplish?”
  • Or, “I feel like we’re getting off track. What exactly are we trying to decide?”

Again, regardless of whether you’re in charge, it is acceptable to ask these questions.

Ask before you agree. Ever had someone ask for a “few minutes” of your time and end up spending more than an hour trying to extricate yourself from their task? When they ask, say “Perhaps, tell me what’s involved.” This will help you avoid time wasters and limit your unplanned commitments.

Frame commitments with time-limiting phrases. Here are a few that work effectively:

  • “Sure, I’ve got three minutes. Will that be enough time?”
  • “Let’s take five minutes right now and make a decision.”
  • “I’m committed right now, but I’ve got ten minutes at ___ PM. Will that work?”
  • “I’d be happy to help. Do you have all the details so we can make the decision?”

All of these will compel the other person to better organize their time and clarify the actual commitment.

Eliminate your multi-tasking. In spite of everyone claiming to multi-task, it is physically impossible. The brain can only attend to one task at a time. What we think of as multi-tasking is really time-slicing, bouncing back and forth between two or more tasks. Every time we bounce, we needlessly expend sugar energy. Those who beat decision fatigue focus on one task to completion and then move on.

My book, Overcoming Overwhelm, contains more than 40 of these proven strategies. You can order a free copy at Just pay shipping.  

Bob Wendover, the author of Overcoming Overwhelm, helps managers to improve workplace decision cultures and get the people around them to think on their feet. Connect with him at .

Are You Hunting Snipes in Your Business?

Posted by johngies
Image Courtesy of Pixabay and karachicken

Do you remember a Snipe Hunt? One of the initiations into Boy Scouts was to send the Tenderfeet out on a Snipe Hunt. This was where the new guys were sent out at night to find and bag a Snipe.

From the Oxford Dictionary

  • a practical joke in which an unwitting victim is sent in pursuit of something that doesn’t exist.
  • “one or two gullible youths are selected to participate in the notorious snipe hunt”
  • a foolish or hopeless search for or pursuit of something unattainable; a wild goose chase

You can watch the video or read the rest below.

I can remember my first hunt. I was a new Tenderfoot in Boy Scouts and we were out at Camp Nash. Joey and I were excited. About thirty minutes in, we knew something was off. And sure enough, the older scouts were having a hoot at our expense as we scoured the woods at night, looking for the elusive Snipe.

I see too many owners pursuing the elusive Snipes in their business. They are posting meaningless “look at me and my business” posts on Facebook or other Social Media sites. Or they are drinking gallons of coffee networking and wondering where the business is. Or they are spending dollar after dollar in one form of advertising or another without really knowing who their ideal customer is and where they are, in order to message them.

Or there is the business owner that has grown to the point where they now are working 60 – 70 hours a week trying to keep up with the workload of delivery and the back-office work necessary to keep the business running. All because they haven’t taken the time to hire the right people and then to have the policies and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) so the business can run while the owner is not in the shop.

I get it. Many owners are busy. And, if they can take an hour or so once a week to 1) Identify the key systems and processes that drive their business. 2) Start writing out the steps to fulfill each process. 3) Have each process reviewed by the people that will be performing the process. 4) Storing these where they are accessible for everyone that needs access.

For all of you gloriously self-employed, congratulations… you have a different kind of  job. Creating a business requires that you step out of the business on a regular basis to work on the business so it can run when you are not there.

Being busy is a Snipe. You can’t escape being busy. But you can become more productive and focused by taking the time to identify and then to optimize the processes that drive your business. Do yourself the biggest favor. Schedule two hours a week to step out of your business to focus on your business. Your family and your bottom line will thank you.

And if you would like access to some resources to help, you can check out the resources at