By Stephanie Carnes and Amy Cooley
We all have a sense that things have changed and that we are entering a new beginning of sorts. These kinds of major changes can shift how we think about who we are, what we value, what we intend to do, and how we intend to relate to others, including our employees. Times of change can bring a new clarity to our thinking.
As you rebuild your team, you may find that this is the perfect time to look at your HR practices with new eyes.
Mission: With major changes in the marketplace, client priorities, and expectations may come an update to your mission statement. If you have a new purpose, make sure your mission statement reflects that.
Values: Political shifts, global health challenges, and other crises may have shifted your priorities, or given you further insight into what is important to you and your business. Readjustment: Employees who are returning to work will likely face an adjustment period. If they haven’t been working, they will need to get back into a routine. If they are introverted, they may have to get used to working with a team. If they are new to your company, they will need to go through your onboarding process. Reevaluate that process to make sure it still works for you, and consider team-building activities to start to rebuild employee engagement.
Policies and Procedures
Electronic communication/social media policies: Technology and the ways we use it change rapidly, as does legislation and enforcement around labor relations policy. Questions regarding what and how we communicate are at the forefront of this issue. Use of technology and social media has increased during the pandemic, and your policies may need to adapt as well—or at least be clarified.
Remote work policy: During the pandemic, you may have discovered new ways to approach remote work. In some cases, customer service or dispatch can be done remotely or partially remotely. Chauffeurs can’t drive from their living rooms, but maybe they can keep a vehicle at home under certain circumstances. Recently, you likely have been forced to seek out a certain amount of creativity in this area, and you might decide some changes are here to stay.
While business has begun to pick up, many operators are struggling to hire chauffeurs and other key personnel. As you interview potential candidates, it can be tempting to hire someone—anyone!—to get the position filled. Using behavioral-based interview questions will give you a better chance of choosing the person who fits your company’s needs.
Behavioral-based questions ask candidates to describe how they have handled certain types of situations in the past. We know that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, so encouraging job candidates to share how they have handled situations in their previous jobs will help you understand how they will approach similar scenarios if they work for you.
• Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond for a customer.
• Give me an example of a time you found a way to solve a problem.
• Can you think of a situation in which you had to tell a client “no” for a very good reason? What was the outcome?
We use behavioral-based interviewing questions all the time in the LMC Group’s recruiting, and one thing we are careful to do is ask the question, and then stop talking. Let the candidate take as much time as needed to come up with an example without prompting or offering extra information. You may be surprised what people reveal when telling you their stories. You may find that they are good problem-solvers and enthusiastic team members, or they may demonstrate a tendency toward negativity or lack of responsibility. Evaluate whether the way they handled the situation is how you’d want them to act if they were a member of your team.
Ultimately, your HR practices should reflect who you are right now. If you are rebuilding your team, you have the opportunity not only to reintroduce yourself, but also to hire people who share your sense of mission and values, fit your company culture, and help existing employees to understand and buy into the same. [CD0621]
Stephanie Carnes is the Spotlight Director for The LMC Groups. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Amy Cooley is HR Administrator for The LMC Groups. She can be reached at email@example.com.