Archives for growth

Trust Your Team

trust“A team is not a group of people who work together.  A team is a group of people who trust each other.”      Emmanuel Giavarini, Managerial Comm. Mgr. for a French Transportation System 

This quote attributed to the person identified above was found on her Facebook page and immediately made an impression on me.  I suspect it may have that same effect on other readers.

We, in business, work diligently to craft teams that perform at acceptable levels.  This is true almost without exception across all kinds of business organizations if the organization has more than one employee.  We tend to think about this in terms of the word ‘teamwork’; we are taught this from the time we can remember throughout our education.

Teamwork, teamwork, teamwork!

How often, if at all, do we translate teamwork into trust in each other?  When that is stated, it makes sense without much thought being given to it.  If we watch our favorite football team, we see that teamwork is obvious in the level of trust amongst the players.  There is a chemistry that is immediately recognizable.  The quarterback calls a play and everyone immediately knows what each of the other teammates will be doing during the coming action.  Each player trusts that each of the other members of the team will be doing exactly what is expected, where it is expected and when it is expected.  This is especially true in practice when there may not be an opposing team involved in trying to thwart the play.

trust-me

Do you trust each of your team members to be where they’re supposed to be. Are they doing what they’re supposed to be doing when they’re supposed to be doing it?

Of course you do since that is what it takes to produce consistent results.  This might be more easily observed in a manufacturing environment but it is equally as important in an office.

How often thotrust-e1400663980941ugh do we actually think of a team as being based on all the members knowing they can trust their other team mates?  If one member of the team doesn’t have implicit trust in each other member of that team, the team won’t function as well as it should. .  This is fairly easy to picture in a physical activity since there are physical actions that intertwine with the physical actions of the other team members.  Think of firefighters who instinctively know what every other person is going to be doing.

When we transfer this team trust concept to the office, it is potentially more difficult to picture. Thoughts are impossible to see.  Teammates know that there are things that need to happen but we are not necessarily able to see them happening.  We take it on faith that each step will occur as it needs to occur.

We trust each other; therefore we function as a team.  If that trust isn’t there, we do not function as well, if at all.  As the quote said,

A team is a group of people who trust each other.

021_phixr     Alan Campbell, Account Executive

 

Reflections on 70….

My 70th birthday was one of the most interesting and enjoyable birthdays of my life!  Reflecting back on my years of life it was hard to comprehend how quickly time passes by and suddenly you are 70 even though you feel like 50!

Birthday 70At first I was not happy about the event but as the day went on and I reflected on my life, friends, wife, family and yes, work, I felt a sense of pride and luck to be in my current status. The luck part I will give to the glory of God and I have been truly blessed!

I have already thanked God for my life and now I want to thank all of you for being a part of it. My party, gifts and most of all, many generous comments and wishes from friends, co-workers and clients all meant a lot to me.

Never have we ever had a better team at WFA than we do today and never have we had a better group of clients than we have today! Thanks to our employees and clients we have once again just been honored as one of the Milwaukee Business Journal’s fastest growing companies. I believe God also had a big part in our success at our company.

Regardless of your age take time to count your blessings-                                                            We are all pretty fortunate to be where we are today.

Tom Krist
Tom Krist- CEO

 

Congratulations to this year’s Future 50 class!

The MMAC’smmac_cosbe_future50_wisconsin_steel_tube Council of Small Business Executives (COSBE) has just made its decision about those companies that are on this year’s Future 50 list.  This is particularly important from our perspective since WFA Staffing was fortunate enough to make the Master Mettle level as a 3-year winner. The MMAC/COSBE began the Future 50 program to recognize the outstanding achievements of local, fast-growing entrepreneurs.  The Future 50 Program recognizes privately-owned companies in the seven-county region that have been in business for at least three years and have shown significant revenue and employment growth.

We note clients of WFA Staffing that have made the prestigious list of Future 50 honorees and recognize them for this accomplishment.  Those include the Kowal Investment Group, both a client and a provider of services to WFA Staffing,  Bliffert Lumber & Hardware,  Briohn Building Corporation,  BSI (3 year MM), General Plastics, and Innovative Signs.

Each of these 50 fine companies would, we’re sure, be very quick to recognize their team of employees and advisors as a significant part of their winning combination.  We at WFA Staffing take great pride in serving as members of the team of many area employers who seek out the best talent available for their hourly, salaried and executive teams.

We’d be proud to join as an advisor to your company, as well.

Tom Krist- CEO        Fred D’Amato- President

Tom Krist                 Fred D'Amato

 

Habits – Are they good or bad?

habits-wordle1Habits come in all varieties, but we tend to think of ‘bad’ habits whenever the word ‘habit’ is mentioned.  Maybe that is natural from childhood on through adulthood.  Maybe we were admonished so often as youngsters that we see the word as having a bad connotation.

Habits are defined as: a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.

Even this definition of a habit is tinged with the stigma that a habit is usually bad.  But, that is far from reality.  If you have the habit of smoking you probably realize that is, by definition, a bad habit.  But, if you have turned that habit into a habit of no longer smoking, then you have traded a bad habit for a good habit; maybe that is chewing gum.  But be sure you don’t have the habit of loudly chewing your gum.

We often become creatures of habit, and we do not always recognize that in ourselves.  We tend to go to the same restaurants and we might have a habit of ordering the same dish since we’ve developed a liking for it.  We patronize the same gas stations.  We watch the same TV shows.  We have a favored news program that has become a habit.  We have a favored theatre.  We have a favored meal.  We have a favorite kind of music.  We may even have a favorite Bible verse.

In the workplace, habits, even good habits, can be the source of irritation for our associates.  Have you ever tired of the person who slurps her soup at lunchtime?  Do you annoy others with the tune you habitually hum?  Do you always begin a conversation with the same opening line?  Are you constantly clearing your throat?

The most innocent thing we do might be the source of irritation for others without us even recognizing that.

It is, unfortunately, usually easier for us to identify the bad habits of others than it is to identify habits we have that bother others.  It takes a very good friend, a kind-hearted person, to help us see those kinds of things about ourselves.

When we demonstrate that we can take a bit of criticism without ‘losing it’, we have taken a huge step toward being a better associate.

Habinew-habitsts during employment interviews can make or break the interview.  A good habit played to excess will be as damaging as a bad habit displayed during the interview in your job search.  A good friend can be an excellent source of constructive criticism…if we are confident enough to make that request and to handle the resulting discussion positively.

 

 

021_phixr

Alan Campbell, Account Executive

Is it time to shorten your hiring process?

Help wanted Our last WFA Blog dealt with what is being called the ‘Silver Tsunami’ and the impact that is having on employers as retirements take valued skill sets off the market.  The State of Wisconsin has released its latest figures showing a total of more than 94,000 open positions across Wisconsin at this time.  This includes all types of positions.  That is coupled with a relatively low unemployment rate of 4.4% in Wisconsin again across all types of positions.

We have seen a lengthening of the recruiting process in our world, and we have seen a near-critical shortage of available candidates in certain specialized areas of employment.  The indication is that this tight market may continue for some time to come, especially in certain specialized areas of employment.  Given this somewhat unique employment environment, we offer some thoughts about how employers might avoid having open positions for long periods of time:

First, the days of having ample time to think about making an offer seem to be drawing to a close in many sectors.  There are segments of the workforce where offers are now being seen at the time of the initial interview or very soon after that point.  That is occurring in most sectors of employment even including certain of the more highly skilled positions, which is a bit unusual, and seems driven generally by the sparsity of candidates.

If you are able, when you see a good candidate, you may need to make a decision, at least by the following day or two.  If you are able, you may find it beneficial to think of extending an offer to Job offera candidate that has 80-90% of what you seek where you might’ve delayed prior to this time thinking you’d see a better candidate soon.  The decision can be likened to a Hobson’s choice of “taking what is available or nothing at all” as that term is defined.  Neither is particularly good but one is probably better than the other in any given situation.  You are the only one who can make that decision.  We’ll continue to seek the best candidates for each job order.

 

Tom Krist, President

Tom Krist

Future 50

mmac-v2The latest edition of the Milwaukee BizTimes (Sep. 7 – 20, 2015) features this years’ Future 50, the fifty select growing companies in SE Wisconsin according to the rankings of BizTimes.  They’ve been at this for quite a while, and we admittedly are partial since we were selected for this prestigious group three years in a row culminating in our designation as a Master Mettle organization, so we naturally think they are on-the-mark with their selections.

The Master Mettle group members are lauded for sustaining their growth patterns in both good and not-so-good economic times.  The members of that group this year are Cornerstone Plumbing LLC of Waukesha, EmbedTek LLC of Hartland, KS Energy Services, LLC of New Berlin, SmartChoice MRI of Mequon, Transcendent LLC of Hartland and W.I.S. Logistics of New Berlin.

Afuture-50-v2ll these Future 50 companies represent a true cross-section of businesses in this area.  Of the fifty, 2 are in the finance/real estate/insurance arena, 3 are in the wholesale trades, 15 are in manufacturing, 8 are technology companies, 7 are constructions organizations, and 15 provide ‘other services’.

WFA Staffing is very proud to work with some of these Future 50 organizations in support of their growth through searches to provide additional team members as they expand.

COSBE, which operates under the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC), stands for the Council of Small Business Executives, and Mary Steinbrecher, COSBE’s Executive Director, stated that capturing a Future 50 designation 3 times is a “significant accomplishment”.

WFA Staffing extends its congratulations to all the Future 50 companies and especially to those six Master Mettle award winners for this year.

All would likely say that they have gotten to this level based upon having an excellent group of employees with the knowledge to help drive their business forward.  WFA Staffing is in the business of helping to identify just those kinds of employees regardless of what skill set they may need.  Give us a call and give us a challenge.  We don’t get paid unless we perform.

Tom Krist, President

Tom Krist

Jobs at 15 year high….

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently reported that jobs are now at a 15 year high!  This Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article from September 10, 2015 includes a quote from Tom Krist, President of WFA Staffing-  Follow this link for the article.   ow.ly/S3nc4

Employment Equation

02d06a5  “The strongest pace of job growth we’ve seen since 1997” was the statement recently attributed to Paul Ashworth, the chief U.S. economist with Capitol Economics.  The U.S. Labor Department advised that employers added 257,000 new jobs in January, 2015 besting the forecast of 228,000.  Job growth estimates in November, 2014 were upwardly revised to 423,000, the most in 17 years.  December job growth estimates were increased to 329,000 up from the original estimate of 252,000.

There was a slight increase in average hourly earnings of $0.12 per hour in January, 2015 and that suggests the labor market is tightening.  What does all this mean for you and for us?  It may well mean that our job of finding the talent you need is going to get a bit more difficult, and it might mean that the talent we are able to locate will expect a bit more money in hourly wage or salary.  Predictions are that wage growth will continue into 2015, and that this is likely to show itself across all sectors.

You and we all have been here before.  When jobs are plentiful and labor is tight, the cost of new employees rises while the supply is obviously diminished.  When workers are more plentiful, the cost of employees holds steady or reduces.  We usually think of an expanding economy as being good for most of us, and that is our feeling with today’s news.

We’d rather participate in a growing economy and most of our client employers would prefer that as well.  If you are seeking a better job, give us a chance to help you with that search.  This is a great time to be seeking to improve your situation.  If you are seeking to add employees, this is also a great time since employees recognize this is a better job search market than they have seen for several years.

If you expect to need more employees, this is a good time to begin that search.  If you would like to confidentially explore the market for a new position, this is a good time to begin that effort, too.  We are ‘matchmakers’ and we are good at it.  We have had a lot of experience on both sides of this equation.

Let us hear from you.

Alan Campbell,  Account Manager

021_phixr

Good News/Bad News

goodGreat news!  The economy continues to improve and unemployment has gone down to 5.6%!  That ‘great news’ also brings a potential downside where WFA Staffing can help.    Unemployment standing at 5.6% means much of the formerly available talent is likely already employed.  That can limit the number of people you might be able to interest in your direct ‘help wanted’ advertisements, and that hits you at the very time your business is picking up and your need for new people is critical.

We can help with this ‘good news can be bad news’ situation.  We understand the needs of employers and have worked on delivering qualified talent for many years.  Those years have seen high unemployment as well as low unemployment.  Interestingly, we find that our business, the business of recruiting talent, isn’t necessarily adversely affected by these swings.

The growing economy helps to create an awareness in many of the already employed that there might be a more desirable position available given business expansion, and that helps us recruit some talented and experienced people that otherwise wouldn’t be in the marketplace.

The growing economy also helps by getting currently unemployed or under-employed people thinking that they might be able to find a better job even though they might’ve given up on that during the past year or two.  We find some very good people in this group who have simply become demoralized and given up searching.  They often blossom very quickly into some of the best people an employer could ask for.

We have ‘staffing’ in our name for a reason.  Give us a call.  We can help make ‘great news’ even better!

 

Tom Krist, President

Tom Krist

Whatever Happened to the Suggestion Box?

is_there_an_idea_under_your_hat

Have you ever seen or heard something that triggered a great idea? Maybe it was something totally unrelated to your business or to the issue you were wrestling with in your subconscious. But it was that one thing that made a crystal clear impression…and from which you were able to proceed to solve the other issue.

This quotation attributed to the American Poet, Mark Van Doren caught my attention:

“Bring ideas in and entertain them royally, for one of them may be the king.”

It is all too easy in our day-to-day business lives to skip over what might be solid ideas as we move from solving one problem to the next. We stop every once in a while to take some time to simply think, but then all too quickly we move on to the next item on our agenda.

What would happen if we asked our team members to write down ideas as those come to them, and then to bring those to the next staff meeting? Even better what if we gave them the opportunity to set their idea to writing and place it in an “Idea Box” created for your place of business. I suspect that if we gave just one public thank you for a good idea, we would find more and more good ideas being submitted.

As we do this, we do need to keep in mind that every idea submitted must be acknowledged privately by the team leader. If the idea is good ‘as is’ or becomes good with a little further thought, the person originating the idea should be rewarded in some way.

Imagine how much you will have helped the morale of your team as you take the time to discuss their ideas in an earnest manner that makes them happy to be on a contributor to your team, even if the idea didn’t earn them an award. The ‘award’ of being listened to and recognized as a valued, contributing team member will have been reward enough.

Al Campbell Pic

Al Campbell