Today’s installment was submitted by T. Jeff McGraw of Callos Resource, LLC in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Jeff serves as the chair of the NPAworldwide Board of Directors, and has been a member of the network since 1994. Callos Resource, LLC provides a broad range of human resource services including recruiting & search, temporary staffing, and PEO services.
One of my childhood life learning events was being responsible for returning a carton of sour milk to our local grocery store. Don’t stop reading already…trust me, the story of sour milk makes sense!
In 1975 there was no technology to alert the consumer to whether or not the jug of milk that they just picked up was spoiled or not. Back in the day, one wouldn’t know this until they arrived home and opened the carton, only to have the milk curdle in their freshly poured cup of coffee or taste the sourness as they ingested their first spoonful of Fruit Loops. At the time my mother would place the task of returning this spoiled grocery item on her 10 year old son; that’s me if you were wondering. So there I was dropped off in the parking lot to walk into the store to face the middle-aged store manager standing behind the glass-enclosed office built upon a three-foot platform (just to make the task even more ominous). What did the lesson of returning the sour milk teach me? Actually a lot! It taught me how to speak up, how to face my fears, how to be aggressive and how to be responsible. Sure, my mom was more than capable of completing this task on her own, but she chose to teach me how to be responsible, aggressive, fearless and most importantly to speak up. The late founder of our recruitment firm, John Callos, would tell us, “Don’t give your staff the fish to eat, but rather teach your staff HOW to fish for themselves.”
In a Wall Street Journal essay written by Rob Lazebnik, “The Adults We Failed to Raise,” he refers to our recent class of college graduates as members of the Most-Loved Generation: They’ve grown up with their lives stage-managed by their parents. As a result, he writes that this generation is incapable of making a single choice on their own and that they are incapable of making decisions because, as parents, we have provided them with all of the answers. The suggestions of Mr. Lazebnik are the same with our children as with our staff employees: It’s time that we provide them lessons in life skills, business skills and decision making. Staff training can allow you to provide a more independent work environment that can add to employee retention and provide you the opportunity to work on your business rather than in your business.
Training your staff or teaching them “how to fish” is just one way to ensure a sustainable business. Joining a split placement / cooperative recruitment network such as NPAworldwide can provide additional means to sustain your business. Through a recruitment network, your recruitment firm can also seamlessly add contract / temporary staffing services to your business. Your network may even offer discounts to back-office or employer-of-record service providers.
Building a sustainable business by working on our business rather than in our business takes time, energy and thoughtful planning. Developing strategies like the ones offered here can get you started on the road to a successful and profitable business model that can survive with or without you.