Jason, a senior HR consultant with specializes in large-scale exits and restructuring walked us through how to quickly terminate an employee. You’ll learn why the company may want to end their relationship before they even start it, what red flags you should be looking for when considering termination as well as tips on how to keep your team engaged while avoiding a longer battle of attrition.
The “guide to hiring new employees” is a webinar that discusses how to go about quickly losing an employee in 10 days. The webinar was hosted by the author of the book, “How to Lose an Employee in 10 Days.”
We addressed “How to Lose an Employee in 10 Days” in our most recent webinar, highlighting key blunders that entrepreneurs and CEOs should avoid if they want to keep valued workers. Matt Rissell, the CEO of TSheets Time Tracking, joined me in this webinar. If you haven’t heard of TSheets, it’s a cloud-based time tracking solution. “We adore workers,” is their motto, and it perfectly describes their culture. I’ve known Matt and several members of his team for about a year and a half, and we’ve collaborated on many occasions.
As an entrepreneur, Matt has done an incredible job of establishing a culture and growing his business from the bottom up. This webinar’s subject is what not to do if you want to retain excellent workers, therefore anybody who is beginning or operating a company will find this topic very useful. Matt has created his company to blend his high-tech background with a pleasant, real-world understanding of small business management. With that, I’d like to hand over the webinar to Matt Rissell, the CEO of TSheets.com.
The whole audio and slide presentation may be heard above, and the entire transcript is below:
Matt Rissell explains how to get rid of an employee in ten days. I’m not sure whether you’ve all gotten the opportunity to watch the film. I’ve noticed it a number of times lately while we were driving the concept for this topic’s subject. Matt McConaughey and Kate Hudson star in this film. I’m a romantic at heart, and Caroline is no exception. For those of you in the IT sector, I strongly suggest the film, despite the fact that it is romantic. It’s amusing. It’s very amusing. It’s a parody of two individuals with opposing goals who end up attempting to deceive one other in order to drive each other away. One is meant to be kept by one of them. One of them is attempting to push the other away, and they end up… well, I’m not going to tell you what happens next. Fantastic film.
“How to Lose an Employee in 10 Days” is an idea. At this point, I’m probably preaching to the choir, but finding the appropriate people for your company is very tough. I’ve spoken to and heard from other entrepreneurs, and I’ve made errors in the past where I didn’t listen to mentors and other people about how to do things correctly when you eventually find the perfect individual. The cost of losing a valued employee is immeasurable. It’s not just about money. It’s the price of being forced to train. It’s the price you pay for your reputation, whether in the community or while attempting to attract others. Even your customer’s reputation will suffer if you’re continually introducing them to, well, here’s Joey or here’s Sally, our new employee who is replacing the previous one who was only here for ten days. The effect on your business may be enormous, and it can actually stifle its development.
When you consider what you lose when you lose a really exceptional employee, the effect is enormous. My objective for today is to actually help you retain one of your excellent workers if we spend the next few minutes together and you receive one thing, a new concept, anything that you’re going to alter when you recruit someone or when you interview them. The ones who you truly want to have in your business and who you view as long-term employees. This is a tremendous triumph in my opinion. It’s much nicer if there’s more than one.
One of the ideas that I believe is becoming more apparent, and data indicate that millennials do not quit for financial reasons. Something else that occurred throughout the onboarding process is what leads individuals and workers to quit. We’ll take a short look at this. Basically, I’m providing you a starting point. I’m not going to go into great detail on how to conduct an interview or who to employ. We’ll talk about it briefly so that we can make sure we get the appropriate person in. These alone might be a full-fledged webinar in and of themselves.
Then we’ll talk about, well, now that you’ve hired someone or what you did throughout the interview process. What method do you use to keep them safe? That’s where we’ll be spending the bulk of our time. Then, at any point throughout the presentation, please ask questions.
Let’s get this party started. Are you prepared to make a hire? You’re just getting started as a business owner. You’re launching a new business. What are the signs that you’re ready to hire? To begin, you must have sufficient income from a financial perspective. Don’t get me wrong: I think it’s great. If you don’t have any cash, you won’t be able to recruit anybody, much alone a couple of workers, but you must have a run rate and a projection that you can easily meet. It’s not just about their pay. It’s not just about their taxes. You should also consider the resources that they will need.
Sit down and calculate how much it will cost you to employ this individual in its entirety. There is a research from MIT that is an estimate. This seems a bit high to me, but these are their figures. Between $9000 and $19000 is spent onboarding a new employee, including training, onboarding, and the amount of time spent bringing them up to speed. Make sure you’re willing to put in the time and effort.
When I mentioned resources for workers, one of the most irritating things is when you sit them down. Whether it’s a landscaping firm. They claim that you sent them out on a task and they arrived with dull pipe cutters or a broken lawnmower. In a tech firm, you could say, “Yes, you have to work, but we don’t have internet, a computer, or headphones for you.” They don’t have the real resources they need to be successful.
Keep it in mind. This is one of those locations, as far as I’m concerned. Look, I’ve made a lot of errors in my life. I’ve made a number of these errors throughout the course of my career, and I’ve founded six businesses. So far, they’ve all been successful, but not without some setbacks. I’ve made some amazing errors. I’m sometimes ashamed to admit that I kept making them. I have a proforma as one of the things I do, and I still do to this day. That is one of the services provided by Liveplan.
As I figure out who and when I can employ them, I let the proforma govern and make choices for me. If you have a proforma, as Liveplan does, that’s great. You may add a line item to your budget and say, “OK, I’m going to employ Bobby.” This is how much money I make. These are my outgoings. Bobby is the person I’m going to employ. I can enter all of Bobby’s expenditures in that column, predict them for the next year, and see how they’ll impact my company.
My advice is to go to Liveplan if you don’t have a proforma. They’ll take you through the process of creating one for yourself. You can search online for a spreadsheet, but this is a considerably more time-consuming procedure. That’s OK. Make no major financial choices without consulting a proforma. Allow it to have complete control over your business. Another-
Caroline Cummings (Cummings): Matt, I just wanted to ask you a short inquiry.
Matt Rissell: Are you sure?
Caroline Cummings (Cummings): I’m curious as to what you mean by run rate on a technical level.
Matt Rissell (Matt): That is an excellent question. A run rate is what a business did in the month of January, for example. Let’s suppose they made $100,000 in a given month. You might remark, “Well, my revenue this year is going to be $120000.” That isn’t a typical run rate. If you were to predict your present revenue, that would be the case.
Let’s suppose you made $8000 in December and $6000 in November. So far, you’ve had six, eight, and 10. Let’s assume your run rate is 12 per hour. Let’s suppose you’re planning a big March and expect to make $15,000 in that month. In simple terms, your run rate is the growth in income based on past and future events. That should hopefully address your question. It’s an excellent question.
Be truthful to yourself. If you’re doing your run rate, you may make a huge error. Isn’t it true that you have the overconfident entrepreneur? When you think to yourself, “Oh, March is going to be fantastic,” you get yourself into trouble. Make sure that when you’re predicting and calculating your run rate, you’re being cautious and using conservative figures. If you say, “Yes, I’m ready to recruit an employee because of this wonderful thing that’s going to happen in three months,” and it doesn’t, you’d best be alright. That employee must be able to feed themselves and their families. Taking on an employee entails a great deal of responsibilities. It even goes up when they have a family, whether they want it or not.
A few more short things to consider when you’re ready to hire: number one, do you have a new channel in the works? You’re taking a look at your company. You say something along the lines of, “I’m not sure whether I’m going to employ someone.” Do you have a new channel you’re attempting to grow? Is it possible for you to keep up with your present workload? In other words, there are a lot of businesses and entrepreneurs out there that stifle their own development because they think, “Oh, I have to do everything.” I’m just going to work myself to death. They impose their own limitations on themselves.
Last but not least, are you turning down work? If you’re a contractor, do you ever turn down work? You might be a landscaper or a construction firm. If you’re beginning to lose interest in what you’re doing. Now check to see whether the job is lucrative. Check to see whether it makes sense. Allow your proforma to make the choice once again. These are some indicators that you’re ready to hire your first firm.
Getting a payroll firm is something I strongly advise. Before you recruit that individual, engage a payroll provider like ZenPayroll (which, by the way, works well with TSheets) or a professional employer organization (PEO) to handle all of the logistics, taxes, and legal aspects of employing an employee. They take up a lot of those risks. That makes things a lot simpler and less intimidating. That is something I strongly suggest.
Now, fast, who do you employ before we get into how you lose one? This, too, might be a subject unto itself. I’d be remiss if I didn’t touch on a couple of these issues. First and foremost, who do you hire? This is something I tell folks all the time. It’s something I do on a regular basis for myself. That’s how you do your own interview. Go grab a chair, or two chairs, as the case may be. Take a seat in one of them. Start interrogating yourself with the emptiness facing you.
When you start asking yourself questions, divide the things you’re doing into three categories: things you definitely, positively should not be doing, things you absolutely, positively should be doing, and things you absolutely, positively should not be doing. Things you can do, but don’t necessarily like, and aren’t your sweet spot. Then there are the things you can knock out of the park.
I’m not a very technical person. I’m not a professional engineer. That is not my opinion. I know how to accomplish it, plus I’m a natural mathematician. Technical is something I am well aware that I should avoid at all costs. I usually bring someone technical with me to any of the businesses I’ve established before I even start the company. Now, if you’re a technical person, I’d want to address a common misconception that people have, which is that they believe, “Oh, I can’t manage my business because I’m a technical person.” I work as a technician.
That isn’t true at all. I think that you can lead your organization from any position inside it. To put it another way, you may be on the legal side of things. On the financial side, you can be. You may work in the marketing department. You have the ability to lead your business. Don’t believe that just because you’re a techie, you can’t be the CEO or a business leader.
How else will you know who to employ if you don’t conduct your own interviews? All of the data indicate that hiring someone from someone you know is one of the greatest methods to acquire a new employee. Hire someone who comes highly recommended. I’ll give you a short statistic. If an employee was hired via a recommendation, the average duration of employment for all first employees is two years, with a 45 percent retention rate. It’s 20% if you get it through employment boards. After a year, 20% of those who found jobs via job boards stay, and just 14% after two years. That is an amazing amount of data.
We discussed how costly it is to replace an employee. Make no doubt about it. We’ve been fortunate to gather a bunch of workers at TSheets that believe in what we’re doing, and that’s how we’ve been able to expand. They’re enjoying themselves. They love working in this atmosphere. They’re enlisting the help of their pals. In fact, we sat with a bunch of my workers while we were preparing for this. I inquired of them. I said, “Can you identify a single TSheets employee that did not come through a referral?” No one has abandoned us. We’ve experienced a near-zero turnover rate. In the past several years, we may have lost two individuals.
Another thing to consider is that following your intuition isn’t nearly enough if the employee doesn’t show up or the recruit doesn’t come through a recommendation. According to statistics, 40% of all resumes and job applications are based on totally incorrect or over-inflated facts. In other words, unless they came through a recommendation, you have no clue who the person in front of you is. If they come through a recommendation from someone you trust, you’ve earned a significant edge in the hiring process.
Caroline Cummings (Cummings): Matt, I’d want to ask you a question.
Matt Rissell: That’s right.
Caroline Cummings (Cummings): Did the research you mentioned earlier regarding the percentages of workers that come from job boards vs referrals break out baby boomers against Gen Y or was it more general?
Matt Rissell (Matt): That is an excellent question. That was a general’s statement. That wasn’t a generational question, but it’s an excellent one. I’d be curious to see if anything has changed.
Caroline Cummings: All right. Thank you very much.
Matt Rissell (Matt): That is an excellent question.
Then, when it comes to choosing who to employ, my advice, and who I am, is to always recruit. Always be recruiting, ABR. It’s just as difficult to market your goods or service while you’re out to dine. When you’re as enthusiastic about your widget or service as you are, it’s easy to get carried away. You’re putting all you’ve got on the table. When it comes to recruitment, do the same thing.
I am a strong believer in this theory. It’s a fundamental belief of mine that a company’s potential is limited by the sum of each individual’s ability. In other words, even if you’re a rock star, if you hire individuals with very low potential, your company’s ability and mountain-climbing potential will be drastically diminished.
Everybody wants to be a rock star. You must constantly be recruiting in order to get rock stars. I’ll even employ individuals, A-players, and put them on my bus even if I’m not sure which seat they should be in. I’ll take them on my bus if I can afford them and they’re great. If they’re searching, they’re usually already employed. I’ll figure up a way to pay for them. When you hire smart individuals with a positive attitude who are enthusiastic about your business, they will find a way to contribute.
Hire individuals that are currently employed as much as feasible, like I just said. As tempting as it may be, stay away from close friends and family. Because so many individuals want to work here at TSheets to employ excellent friends, I’m still tempted on a regular basis. I’ve ruined more relationships than I can count, and it’s not worth it. Because of the emotions involved, family makes it much harder. Keep your distance from them.
Caroline Cummings (Cummings): I’m simply going to jump in, Matt. I’ve been in that position before, having started a number of software businesses on my own and falling into that trap. It’s a tough task, but you must treat it as if it were a mantra and adhere to it.
Another issue for you, and this may come up in your discussion, is do you have any recommendations for the recruiting process? When you’re going through the process of interviewing?
Matt Rissell (Matt): Yes. That is, in fact, the next stage. Thank you for your inquiry.
We don’t go into great detail. We don’t go into great detail about the interviewing process. There’s a lot more in this section. There have been books published on this subject. I’ll go over the fundamentals and some of the things we’ve done that we know are correct. In this instance, since the process of losing an employee in 10 days has already begun. The interview procedure is unquestionably the starting point. I’m pleased you inquired. Yes.
First and foremost, although this may seem obvious, do not be transparent. Don’t be upfront if you want to lose your workers in ten days. You think to yourself, “Oh, that’s not such a big thing.” That is, of course, fundamental. Not at all. I’m going to offer you some real-world instances of why and how I handle this.
First and foremost. You will be interviewed by an excellent employee or a good candidate for employment. I’m referring to the excellent ones in particular. They’ll conduct an interview with you. When you consider the movie in this context, it’s a fantastic image because it depicts the moment they all agreed to do this, how to lose a man in ten days. Obviously, there would not have been a hilarious movie if they had been honest with each other. It would have been a hilarious movie since the dating process would not have been a problem.
The same may be said of the interviewing process. When they start asking you questions, you’ll be inclined to tell them what they want to hear. That is something I strongly advise you not to do. That implies you’ll need to think about who you are as a business before you go into any of your interviews. What it’s actually like to work there. What will lead to their success, and what will not lead to their success. So, what are the major issues? What kind of individuals are they? Distinct companies have different cultures. What kind of work ethic do you have?
What I do, I’ll tell you. Because we only have 40 workers, I still interview each and every one of them throughout my interview process with them. I’m the final person to be interviewed. I take a seat. After that, we chit-chat for a minute, just small conversation about whatever is on the wall or anything. I begin by asking questions. Then I put a stop to it. I say, the meeting’s agenda is for me to ask you some questions. You’re going to ask me a few questions. When you come to me with questions, I respond, “My aim for this is to commit to you.” This is what I tell them. I promise to be completely honest with you. The last thing I want is for you to start looking at this business going after three or six months. Wait a second. This is not the business for which I joined up. This is a unique situation.
Then I’ll say, and all I want in return is for you to be honest as well. We’ll ask questions so that we don’t find out three to six months later that the person we hired wasn’t the one we hired. Basically, when I commit to being open and honest with them, they become more relaxed. They begin to be open and honest with me. Then I begin to question them, “What do you truly want to do?” It’s astonishing what occurs all of a sudden. Their vigilance begins to wane. They think to themselves, “This is exactly who I want to be.” This is exactly what I want to accomplish with my life. It begins, and it sets the groundwork for a fantastic discussion.
One of mine will be given to you. One of the things I know as a TSheets qualifier is that you may find some benefit in this. I said, see, when I began TSheets, I knew there was one thing I wasn’t good at: micromanagement. I’m not one of them. People often state, “Oh, I despise micromanagement.” I’m not interested in working for a micromanager. That is neither a good nor a bad thing; they just need it. In a government or a bigger company with a lot of bureaucracy, they are excellent workers to have. People, there are several layers of supervisors who are looking over each other’s shoulders.
As I already said, there is nothing wrong with it. That’s all right. You’ll have clear expectations at TSheets. You’ll have a clear idea of what you’re meant to be doing. You won’t be coming in every day and having someone tell you what to do. You must be self-motivated and ready to come in, and although we have a lot of fun, you must be willing to work hard. You must work hard. That is just who we are.
As amusing as that may seem, the only workers who have ever left TSheets fast, or we’ve had to remove employees from TSheets rapidly, are those who didn’t understand it. I’m not going to get into it now.
Caroline Cummings (Cummings): Matt, I wanted to chime in and explain what has worked well for us at Palo Alto Software when it comes to interviewing. It wasn’t as effective when we didn’t have the method I’m going to describe. We have a five-part interview procedure in place. First and foremost, since it’s for business development and sales people on the team, it’s very important if I’m recruiting. I want to hear how they are on the phone, so we make a phone call. I’m interested in hearing how they manage themselves. We exchange a few emails to observe how they communicate through email.
I then give them a homework project that requires them to create a presentation using Google Docs and other technologies that we utilize. I’m already attempting to act as if they’re a member of the team to see how it works.
After that, they do a 30-minute in-person interview with me. Then, since they’ll be working on my team, they submit their assignments to the rest of my team. I’m beginning to see cultural fit, how they communicate, and how they deal under pressure.
After that, I look up references. I usually check a peer, a subordinate, and someone they report to to get a decent idea of what others who have worked with them in the past have said about them.
Finally, if they make it this far, we do a culture assessment with the management team. I appreciate how you invite folks in and then need them to interview with you at the end. So that we can cover all of the bases. By that time, you’ll have a decent idea whether or not this individual is culturally compatible.
Surprisingly, half of the students never complete their homework assignments. It helps filter out a lot of individuals while also saving time and money, as you said before. Hiring is an extremely costly process.
Matt Rissell (Matt): That’s an excellent five-step procedure, and we follow it as well. I didn’t want to delve into detail; instead, I wanted to ask you a few questions. It would be fascinating to compare and contrast some of those stages with what we do. Thank you for providing that information.
Caroline Cummings (Cummings): That will be a separate webinar for you and me.
Matt Rissell: I think we should go ahead and do it. We should definitely do so.
Another one I have in the interview process, simply a simple idea. Just don’t lead them astray. These are some of the most frequent errors I see individuals make when they quit businesses immediately soon or very fast. In the first three to six months, for example. When someone makes a promise they can’t or don’t intend to fulfil. It irritates the workers greatly. This is something I’m telling you right now. If you tell people such things simply to attract them into your business, it will cost you more money in the long run if you have to tell someone anything about your company that isn’t true. So don’t lead them astray. Don’t make promises about promotions and increases that you won’t be able to keep. Just like you would when marketing a product or service. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. I’m referring to underpromise and overdeliver.
While applicants are working elsewhere, one of the greatest methods for us to attract them is when they are unemployed. And they say things like, “You know, I was promised there was upward mobility and that I might go to a management position.” Currently, I work as a senior manager. They have no intention of employing a diverse set of people. To be a part of the executive team, you must have a particular appearance and gender type. Those are the ones that are really exceptional. That’s simply ripe for the plucking. Something that will entice you, yet won’t lead you astray.
After you’ve employed somebody and they’ve signed a contract. How to get rid of an employee inside the first ten days. The first step is to just not have a strategy if you want to lose them fast. I’m referring about you, the people who probably only employed one, two, three, or four people here. Because if you’ve recruited four or five people, you’ve realized, “Wow, I need a strategy.” If you haven’t already, then perhaps this will save you from wondering, “Why did I have a dissatisfied employee straight out of the shoot?”
Now, I’m not asking you to have a Google-level, Amazon-level, or Zappos-level onboarding strategy, right, with trinkets and toys and exorbitant trainings. I don’t anticipate a completely [inaudible 25:46] system, but here are a few things you should include in your strategy.
First and foremost, create a job description. Take the time to write out exactly what they should be doing. Then you should agree with them. Ascertain that they are fully aware of the situation.
The second item on the list is team member introductions. Take them on a walk. It makes no difference to me whether your workers come and go or if you have mobile personnel. Assume you have salespeople or a service business with customers coming in and out. Take them on a tour. Take the time to introduce them to others for a day.
The next step is to assign them to a trainer or mentor. Basically, if you have a corporate trainer or anything similar, they don’t have to be the one who teaches them on the product or the real trainer. It’s someone who will, in a way, be their big brother or sister, guiding them through the first few weeks at the very least. This makes it easier for them to get on board. Someone has been assigned to show them around. They’ll be taken out to lunch by someone. You don’t always have time to do that as a CEO or entrepreneur. For the first several weeks, have someone who will act as their shepherd.
After that, think about how you’ll train them. Even if it’s only a list of books to read and plans for job shadowing, I mean it. Have a strategy in place for how they’ll receive the training they’ll need to succeed at their position.
The next step is to set specific 30, 60, and 90-day objectives. The 60-day and 90-day goals may now be a reach. If you can come up with an objective for this, it should be to help them succeed. If you can persuade an employee to succeed right away, particularly the ones you want to retain, success will spawn success, I guarantee.
Do I need to sign a W2 when they arrive and go? Have someone who can take care of all of your HR paperwork. Have everything prepared ahead of time. There’s another one. Lunch with the founders has been a big differentiator for TSheets. In a moment, we’ll go through this in more detail. We take them to their seats. We take them out to lunch and tell them, “Look, you’ve already crossed the line.” We’ve arrived. You are free to ask whatever questions you wish. Some of the amazing questions they ask are insane. This is a fantastic chance for us. We inform them about TSheets’ past. We say things like, “Gosh, it was only a few years ago that we couldn’t afford to take folks out to lunch,” and we’re correct. And so, in a sense, make sure they always have that perspective of what it was like in the start.
Next, make sure they understand your purpose and vision, as well as who you are as a business and where you’re going. It’s like, I’m a pilot, and someone gets on my aircraft with me and has no clue where we’re going. Make sure they understand where you’re going as a business and what you’re trying to achieve as CEO.
Finally, while communicating that goal, make sure they understand what they’ll be doing on a daily basis and how it will impact the vision. To put it another way, how their work, their piece of the jigsaw, fits into the bigger picture. I’d want to tell you a tale, but we’ll have to wait until next time.
Following that, thus after hiring. You were successful in bringing them in. How to get rid of a worker. You will lose your employee if you establish unreasonable expectations. If you set them up for failure straight away, or if their expectations are unclear. Unless they possess the necessary resources, initiative, and self-assurance. They need to be able to play with their balls. They must have the courage to approach you and ask, “Look, what do you want of me?” Unfortunately, this is something that individuals are forced to do. Do not compel them to do so. Sit down with them and brainstorm how it will appear in 30 days if it is a success. Make them explicit, and re-establish their chances of success. Another excellent method to hire someone is to locate someone who is in their first year of employment in a firm that isn’t set up for success. That’s still a rock star, but he lacked the necessary equipment. There were no defined objectives.
We do stuff like this to establish expectations. If you’re going to be a developer and you hired them, study this part of the code base. They should be able to accomplish things on their own.
Another is for services such as customer service. We tell you that within two weeks, you must be able to deliver a demo to one of our other internal customer experience representatives. Here’s an example, and we’ll teach you how to do it. Then it’s up to them to go through the process, understand the product, and be ready.
As a result, there are expectations. If you want to get rid of them in ten days or less, just haze them. You’re about to be shocked. Yes, this isn’t a fraternity, correct? Send them out for 30 seconds and have them perform keg stands or something similar till they pass out. That is not what I am attempting to convey. What I mean is that there are many practical instances. You may be giggling. It still occurs on a regular basis. It accomplishes this through shattering trust.
I can offer you many personal instances, such as when I was in college and took a job as a waiter. It was the first day on the job for me. You may not think this is a big issue, yet it immediately shattered trust. It was a big hit with everyone. They were training me how to go through the closure list at one of my jobs while we were shutting down the restaurant. Matt, we need you to empty the hot water container, they stated as they stared at me. What do I use to empty the hot water container, I wonder? So go grab one of those huge tubs over there and empty the hot water container, they instructed. I must have spent an hour dumping bucket after bucket of boiling water from the bin. You can’t ever empty the hot water bin, it turns out. It simply keeps going on and on.
In any case, they thought it was amusing. To be honest, things didn’t work out. However, I now believe that there are several excellent methods to begin. I really suggest that you initiate your workers, but you must first prepare them. We have a staff meeting every other week, which is something I encourage. It’s an all-hands meeting, so all 40 of us gather in a room and speak. One of the things that occurs is that all new workers are required to learn our fundamental principles. If they can’t repeat our fundamental principles word for word, then their boss must perform 20 push-ups. I’ll have to perform 20 push-ups if they repeat them word for word.
Needless to say, as part of my exercise routine, I wind up performing a lot of push-ups. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s something we do for all of our guests. It puts them in a position to succeed in front of everyone, which I can’t stress enough. Even big corporations, I believe, fail terribly in this area.
Caroline Cummings: Matt, that’s a fantastic addition to your culture. That’s fantastic.
There’s one more question for you, and it’s a very excellent one. Is it possible that if you’re continuously hiring rock stars all around the globe, other businesses will take your employees?
Matt Rissell: Oh my goodness, I’m speechless. That is an incredible question. That is an excellent question. The answer is beyond a doubt. In fact, this year alone, an outside business has hired almost half of my staff. Because they are rock stars, there are a lot of them. They’re the finest I’ve found thus far. They’re the best I can get my hands on, literally. They are in high demand.
What’s intriguing is that most of them were promised more money, at least according to what I’ve heard. However, we have not lost any employees to the outside world or to another business. The reason, and I am certain of this, is that we have a fantastic product, but that is not all. It’s part of our way of life. I’ve really prepared a whole presentation on how culture dominates everything. Culture, after all, takes precedence over strategy. Culture takes precedence over whether you have a good or poor product and how people believe in it. It’s a component of your whole picture. It’s an important element of your mission. It’s a natural part of the process when you walk through the door.
Having rock stars is an intriguing concept. Really clever individuals and really excellent high-performing people like to be around other smart people as long as their egos are checked at the door. It’s true that I’m referring to birds of a feather. The more rock stars you acquire, the more rock stars you will be able to retain and recruit. They’ll desire to be in one other’s company.
Caroline Cummings (Cummings): Matt, that’s a fantastic response. Thank you very much.
Another great topic to ask, especially in startups or small companies with a dynamic atmosphere. You’re attempting to operate your company as efficiently as possible. What happens if you employ someone for one role but later need to alter their job description? Or do you wind up slamming them with work that isn’t part of their job description? How do you deal with that? I’m aware that you’re both very trim. You and your team run a tight ship. How do you go about doing that if you need to alter someone’s job title?
Matt Rissell (Matt): First and foremost, that is a fantastic question. It certainly does. It occurs on a regular basis. As a founder, entrepreneur, or top executive, you’re well aware that this is part of your responsibilities. It occurs on a daily basis.
The first is what we do when we have to alter that with someone, and it’s one of the things I learnt on a side note that may address your question. If we have an individual that is underperforming but has the potential to overperform, don’t automatically assume they need to be fired or let go.
One of the things I learnt, and I had to learn it the hard way before getting fortunate. It’s difficult to tell the difference. They’re probably on the correct bus, but they’re in the wrong seat. That’s something we’ve done, and it’s something I’ve done. If I look at someone’s potential and who they are as a person, I admire them for all of those things, as well as their skill sets and talents. Because of my experiences, I am now far more ready to just relocate them to another seat. Caroline, did it solve your question?
Caroline Cummings (Cummings): Yes. That’s fantastic, in my opinion. Thank you very much.
Matt Rissell (Matt): That is an excellent question.
Okay. As a result, don’t haze them. Next, throughout their first few weeks, do not allow children to ask difficult questions. This portion of the movie, in my opinion, was simply funny. What occurs is that they’ve only been dating for three days and are just three days into a relationship. They already attend couples counseling, despite the fact that this individual is not a professional. Caroline, have you seen this? Have you seen the film Caroline?
Caroline Cummings: I have, indeed. Yes, I’ve watched the film. It’s really funny.
Yes, Matt Rissell. Anyway, it turns out that she isn’t a therapist in this specific section. She’s a friend of the girl’s. It’s essentially putting him in a position to fail once again.
Essentially, what I’ve seen is that new workers enter a business and immediately begin asking very tough questions. It’s going to happen, believe me. Most entrepreneurs, in my experience, get irritated or feel intimidated by these difficult questions.
If you want to lose excellent workers because they will ask these difficult questions, simply downplay them or create a “thing” out of every inquiry or anything they dispute. We’ve made the decision to embrace them. In fact, we encourage it. In fact, we constantly encourage all of our new workers to ask plenty of questions. It seems like this is how the questions usually come up. Why do you people do things the way you do them? Frequently, the response is that we’ve always done it that way or that we couldn’t afford to do it any other way. That is an excellent question.
They will provide you a fresh perspective on your business, your product, and your procedures. Employees are actually asked, “What suggestions do you have?” After you’ve been here for a week, you’ll be cursed with TSheets knowledge, as we call it. To put it another way, once you’re in here, it’s not a curse. That isn’t a terrible thing. It basically takes away your capacity to be objective and get a fresh viewpoint. As you enter, you will get immersed in our culture. Ask questions about why we do things, and how they started, since that’s how we’ll be pushed, and it’s how we’ll improve. Embrace those questions as hard as you can, since you’re the one who most likely developed those things in the first place as an entrepreneur or leader.
Next, don’t be relational if you don’t want to lose your workers. Again, I believe this is fundamental to a business and some of the things we do. If you’ve watched the movie, you’ll notice that one of the things she does to be relational is to attempt to push him away. She refers to herself as Princess Sofia or something like. Nicknames are, in my opinion, a positive thing, and a good thing inside the business. It allows employees to develop a personal brand inside your business. What are our fundamental values, for example? They must be nicknames that are acceptable. I like giving people nicknames, and they seem to enjoy it as well. I double-check everything.
Healthy living is one of our fundamental principles, as is working and playing hard. Everyone receives a complimentary gym membership. We’ve got a lot of individuals that are in great condition here. Fit and Miss is a brand that we have a couple of here, and it’s one of the brands out there. We have a lot of amusing nicknames for individuals, and they adore them. People begin to think of themselves as managers or entrepreneurs. They’ve never had an employee before or are fresh to the industry. It makes me feel uneasy. It is possible to have a connection. Even a relationship with your workers, I’d suggest. It’s something I promote. Yes, I do. You’ll never mix up being a leader with being a buddy again. It doesn’t have to be buddies like the ones we spend out with on weekends. You may still be friends with someone and have a professional connection with them. Relationships are important.
Caroline Cummings (Cummings): Matt, I’d want to ask you a question. This is a nice one as well. You’re also receiving some excellent and challenging inquiries. I’m not sure whether you’ve ever had to do this in any of the businesses you’ve managed where you’ve had to establish a culture with workers that are virtual or spread out over a large geographical area. How do you create such a culture?
Yes, we have, Matt Rissell. In fact, we used to have remote workers when we initially launched TSheets. In fact, for nearly a year, we were all working remotely from our homes. Then there were four sites at Cartridge World. Because they were allocated to certain places, not everyone got to see each other very often. Even today, with TSheets, we have some individuals from out of state.
One of the things you can do in a distant position is to schedule face-to-face meetings at least a few times a year, if at all feasible. Nothing can take its place. The second mistake is to overcommunicate. You can imagine how difficult it is to have everyone in a workplace on the same page and communicating. When everyone is constantly distant, it has a compounding effect in terms of difficulties. Make sure you’re communicating all of the time. Number three is to be cautious while using email. It’s quite simple to make a mistake while communicating through email. Number four, as an entrepreneur or leader, you should continue to hold group meetings. So that people can hear you when you make your presentation, get everyone on board so that they can hear your passion, purpose, and belief in the success of your business. They have to hear it from you to believe it, whether you’re experiencing a fantastic new opportunity or a slump.
Caroline Cummings (Cummings): Yeah. Matt, that is excellent advice. I would add to that as well, having worked in Ireland and the United Kingdom. We made it a point to see each other through Skype or Google Hangout at least once a week. That adds another dimension to the voice, allowing you to see each other in the conference room or while working from home, maintaining a personal connection. Maintain the personal relationship’s feel, since this is all part of the culture. That is an excellent question. Thank you for inquiring.
Matt Rissell: That’s right. It’s getting more common. Because remote workers have the capacity to link in, more businesses are turning to them. Everything can be done via the internet. I definitely suggest having a home base if at all feasible, and bringing others in if they’re in the same region.
Caroline Cummings: That’s fantastic.
Matt Rissell: After that, you’ve got them on board. Allowing them to have some personal space is a certain way to lose them. You might be a service or landscaping business that just comes in and out. Give them a place to nest if they’re in customer service and have to share a desk with someone in whatever manner, shape, or form that you can. Everyone has a varied degree of nesting desire. At TSheets, we have a wide range of extremes. Isn’t it true that we’ve moved in the startup? We had three or four go-to-market utter failures, depending on how you measure it. I’m referring to bombs. Every one of them had a new location when we were in Boise. We had to relocate many times. The various degrees of people’s urge to nest could clearly be seen.
If you don’t provide for someone who has a strong need to nest, as we call it, they will abandon you. They’ll do it. They’ll be in a bad mood. If they don’t have it, it has an impact on their security and confidence. We recently purchased our own 14000-square-foot facility at TSheets [inaudible 45:32] to let folks know that this is where we’re going to be. I had no idea what was about to happen. As a consequence, a number of our workers have begun to purchase homes in the vicinity of our building, knowing that we are not going away.
In terms of nesting, I know someone at work for whom all they need is their laptop and a cup of coffee to do so. Others, on the other hand, need curtains, walls, trinkets, toys, sweets, many different buckets of candy, non-candy food, paintings, and photographs. They have their favorite spices, and I don’t just mean a few. I’m talking about a whole drawer full. They’ve got plants. They have a lot of chairs, like a lot of chairs. They have curtains up and these walls may be removed to change the quantity of light. I mean, it’s incredible. It’s like a home away from home in a sense. I like it because the more they nest, the more at ease they get. The more at ease they are, the more willing they are to work hard, put in long hours, and hustle. They enjoy themselves while doing it.
The next one, and this is crucial. I mean, this gal in the movie How to Lose a Guy was a jerk. She’s like a professional jerk, you know? She appears in a variety of films. Make your workers feel like you’re completely unreachable if you want them to quit. I believe it’s just absurd, and it appeals to the bosses’ concerns more than the workers’. It causes everyone to feel uneasy. Don’t just push people about.
Unless my door is closed, which isn’t very frequently, I keep it open all the time. Visitors are welcome to come in and ask me questions. I want to connect with them, and they want to connect with me. They want to hear from you and establish a personal connection with you. It makes no difference to me how large you grow. Don’t put yourself in a position where you can’t be approached. If you get the opportunity to meet Brad Smith at Intuit, which employs 10,000 people, I believe he is a wonderful example of this. He goes for a stroll. He embraces his coworkers. I’ve seen a supervisor shoving their staff away from them. He’s a CEO with a net worth of $24 billion dollars, and he really says no. He walks up to them and offers them a huge embrace, saying, “Hey, it’s wonderful to meet you.” Welcome to the firm. That goes a long way. Don’t behave as though they’re inaccessible.
After you’ve hired them, make a strategy for their whole future. Let’s suppose you become a rock star and, like the person who asked the question, you begin to be terrified. You say to yourself, “Oh gosh, I don’t want my workers being recruited and leaving.” This is how the next ten years will look if you attempt to put all these shackles on them and herd them into a look. If you watched the video, you’ll see that she made cutouts of what their photos of their children will look like after four days together. Employees are irritated by this. Employees want to be able to leave at any time. If people feel free to go, it implies they have the ability to decide whether or not to remain. You want workers who have a lot of authority.
If you think about it, the last thing you want to do in this situation is make a rut for them so that they can see all the way down the road straight ahead of them. It’s as though you’re driving through the desert. You were planning on taking a road trip through Utah. When you’re going down a hill, you can see for what seems like 40 miles. There’s nothing else except this long road out there. It doesn’t seem to be very fascinating to them. Don’t make them feel as though you’re smothering them by planning too far ahead.
We don’t have a lot of time to get into this since it’s one of the final ones here. Don’t find out what’s essential to your employee if you want to lose them. One of the first things that I, and all of our executives here at TSheets, do is learn about their priorities. They’ve already arrived. Are they a large family? Here you’ll find elite road bike racers. That is exactly what they do. Whatever it is that they are essential for, act important to it, just like any other connection. Act as though you don’t need to be significant just because you’re their boss. That they should show an interest in what you care about. Reverse the process. If you do the opposite and show them how much you care, they will put in a lot of effort. They’ll be completely devoted to you.
That’s all there is to it. TSheets is shown in this image. TSheets is a scaled-down replica of the original. This was completed about eight months ago. Since then, we’ve hired an additional 25% of our workforce. We’re going on a golf excursion. We have two golf excursions each year. We all dress up and have different themes. When we do it together, it’s a lot of fun.
I hope you all had a good time with this. If you have any questions for me or would want additional information on how to be a CEO, recruiting new workers, or anything else related to being an entrepreneur, please contact me. I cover everything from the financial side to the soft side of being an entrepreneur. Tsheets.com/ceo is where you may join up. So you make your way there. Bplans is also a fantastic resource for any entrepreneur-related knowledge.
If there are any more questions, Caroline, we just have one or two minutes. Actually, I believe we’ve run out of time, but I’ll return it to you. Thank you very much for inviting me to participate in your webinar.
Caroline Cummings (Cummings): Yeah. Thank you so much, Matt. That was incredible. I appreciate how you utilized a very entertaining movie, “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” to generate a parallel discussion about a really serious subject. Presenters that provide information and convey a narrative are always my favorites. I’m going to remember a lot of what you said. I’m sure the people that attended the webinar will remember it as well.
We still have a few more questions, but we’re out of time. Fortunately, we were able to answer about 90% of the queries. But, Matt, what we’ll do is send them to you. This webinar has been recorded. I’m sure you’ll respond to them within the next several days. This will be uploaded on Bplans.com. We’ll post the questions, as well as the answers and a video, so you may view it whenever you like.
I know some of you were unable to see this with your business partners and want to have them participate. As a result, you’ll be able to go to work. Matt is serious about his offer to join up for his newsletter and contact him personally. He has a friendly demeanor. It’s fantastic to have a direct route to a CEO who has created an incredible business, a fantastic culture, and who makes himself accessible. Thank you once again, Matt. Thank you so much, TSheets. Thank you to everyone who has listened in. Take precautions.
Watch This Video-
The “personality testing in employee selection” is a webinar that discusses the personality tests that are used for employee selection. The webinar was hosted by Lenny Teytelman, who discussed how to lose an employee in 10 days.
- how to hire good employees
- process of hiring employees
- how to attract employees with benefits
- how to prepare for an employee leaving
- how to transition an employee out