Today’s installment was submitted by Jeff McGraw of The Callos Companies in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Jeff serves as the chair-elect of NPA’s Board of Directors, and has been a member of the network since 1994. The Callos Companies provides a broad range of human resource services including recruiting & search, temporary staffing, and PEO services.
Hot chocolate or hot cocoa, whatever name you give it, is a heated beverage of melted chocolate, milk and sugar. A rich and creamy drink fit for gods, warriors and kings. A drink that was first introduced by the Mayas over 2,000 years ago. Hot cocoa was an essential part of the Aztec culture and was used medicinally to treat stomach ailments. Today, hot chocolate is consumed throughout the world and enjoyed by the young and the old…except in my office!
It was a simple question from my office administrator, “Can we purchase hot chocolate for the office?”
Our send out and job order activity has been slow and our corresponding placements and sales revenue is behind our numbers from last year.
As a result my response to this “hot chocolate” question was an authoritative, “No!”
What was I thinking? Prohibiting the purchase of hot chocolate with company funds would send a message! A message of “let’s go,” “kick it into gear,” “work hard,” “get more send outs and job orders,” and “work the split placement network.”
Or did this cocoa prohibition actually backfire? I can see and hear it now. The whispering about what a holiday Grinch I am, the angriness of not being able to wrap their hands around a warm mug of melted chocolate and heated milk or worse — the bootlegging of generic wrapped packets of hot cocoa being distributed behind my back!
Once I stepped back and thought about my answer I came up with a much better decision. As an owner, I see financial statements, monthly reports, and general ledger statements but I realized that my recruiting staff does not. Each recruiter has their annual sales goal but that’s it. Why not be more transparent? I decided to develop recruiting budgets (a profit and loss statement) for each recruiter at each desk. Then I worked with each recruiter to teach them how to run their desk like their own business. Now each recruiter has a better understanding of the costs to “run their business” and how this relates to required activity and ultimately revenue.
Now, they will be prepared to answer the next time someone asks, “Can we purchase hot chocolate for the office?”