May '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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20 1 4 M ay Printwear | 2 3 2 2 | Printwear M ay 20 1 4 Know when to bounce Former General Electric Company CEO Jack Welch is the author of the best-selling book "Winning" and a passionate advocate of talent management. He believes that business owners should assess their employ- ees every year, and divide them into three categories: the top 20 percent, the middle 70 percent, and the bottom 10 percent. While the top 20 should be showered with praise and reward, and the middle 70 percent are giv- en coaching and goal-setting— with an eye toward growth op- portunity—Welch opines that there is no sugarcoating what must be done with the bottom 10 percent. "They have to go." The Bounce option of talent management is still an invest- ment strategy of sorts. Defined as removing under-performing in- dividuals, bouncing some of your employees doesn't have to be done heartlessly. Offering early retirement or severance packages, and providing outplacement ser- vices to workers that are no lon- ger needed or who don't meet ex- pectations often softens the blow of termination, and the two sides can part without ill will toward each other. Throughout a downsizing in your shop, ensure that you are acting fairly and in the best interest of the business, have clear crite- ria for your decision and consult legal advice. Regardless of the degree to which your employees gel, your talent management strategy will need to be revisited. Something that you buy at the beginning, you might decide to borrow or build once you have additional time and resources. Technology will inevitably make the economics change in time: don't get overly wedded or senti- mental about prior practices. Boldly revisit decisions as your business shifts and grows. Good luck! Often, business owners will assign a person to a particular job and then relegate their skill development to 'on-the-job experience.' This is wishful thinking. Giving someone the title or responsibility to perform a function, regardless of their potential or eagerness to tackle the job, without including direction, guidance, feedback and incentive to improve is a certain recipe for failure. Building a competent and effective employee or work group takes time, patience, and a detailed development plan that is evaluated and modified along the way. buy When companies don't have the time or expertise to develop talent internally, they go outside to get it. This is where the Buy investment is the wise way to go. Buying is defined as acquiring new talent by recruiting individuals from outside or from other departments within the organization. Positioning your shop as an employer of choice by developing and maintaining an attractive brand, trustworthy reputation, and employee value proposition is crucial here. Customer and supplier involvement in recruitment and hiring practices has been used successfully by many com- panies, and networking with industry and business associ- ations has also turned up great prospects. Online and tra- ditional "classified ad" recruiting continues to be a leading source of connecting with good job candidates. With Internet recruiting, business owners have instant access to the necessary information they'll need to find the perfect person for the job. Keeping contact with and re-hiring former talented employees is also a common practice. borrow When there's not enough work to justify hiring, the Bor- row investment is the smartest bet. Borrowing is defined as partnering with consultants, contractors, trusted business associates, and vendors to provide the talent needed immediately, in the interim, or to explore and possibly develop the need for a permanent position. The borrowing talent approach is all about accessing skills and know-how through out- sourcing. For example, engaging a temp agency to provide a warm body to "fill in" for some- one that is on an extended absence or who has suddenly left the company is a great way to try out a potential new employee. Contracting outside workers and consultants mitigates the risk of making a bad hiring decision, accelerates innovation and productivity, and likely provides for otherwise inaccessible talent, right now. An interesting twist in the borrowing investment are corporate exchanges. Let's say you are in dire need of having the services of a marketing professional and one of your best customers has just such a person. Meanwhile, that same customer could use the skills and expertise of a great maintenance engineer, of which you employ. The two companies could enter into an arrangement for a two-month exchange of talent to work on a specific project or scope of work. Interestingly, the two individuals in the exchange will learn more than just the aspects of the project on which they work. The exchange could forge a stronger relationship of good- will and cooperation between the two organizations. Your Personal Business Trainer | | | | Cast a Wide Net Putting together a championship team requires more than just hiring or engaging a bunch of talented people. a smart business owner will continuously ask him/ herself these questions: • Will the people we hire work well together? • Will they develop a shared vision and commitment to our business and customers? • Will they actively participate in shop meetings, and be positive, respectful, and encouraging to each other? • Will they adopt a "winning" attitude about their work and its contribution to our success? pw PW_MAY14.indd 22 4/17/14 9:39 AM

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