"Whatever your life's work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better."
--- Martin Luther King, Jr.
One of the main concerns I hear from sign company owners and managers I meet at various events such as trade shows, seminars, or on various webinars is that finding the right employees is difficult. It is not that people are not available. In today's economy it is easy to find people who say they want to work. No, the difficulty is finding people who want to be a part of something bigger than them. It is finding the right candidates who have some sense of ambition and drive--- someone who will go out of their way to make things work instead of making work.
It is easy to be cynical when you see a particular generation who think they are entitled to rewards without work. They have rights. They have a desire to get what they think the world owes them. They, have no job.
"The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand."
--- Vince Lombardi
Of course, it is not just a generational thing. We don't want to stereotype and put a particular age group into the same basket. There are indeed hardworking 20-somethings who through good upbringing or whatever, have latched onto the concept that if you don't work, you don't eat. There are those willing to do what it takes to help the company succeed, even it is not in their job description. These are rare jewels and if you find them, keep them on the payroll at all costs.
For those on your team now, make sure they understand that when the company succeeds, we all succeed. Stating that, "It is not my job," reduces that person to the back of the line in company profit-sharing (or should), and eventually out the door. What we want are employees who take the initiative to do what it takes regardless of whose job it is.
"If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first."
--- Mark Twain
Even owners and managers can sometimes shy away from what needs to be done. It is easier to put off the hard things in lieu of the simple, easy-to-accomplish tasks first. But, we must remember we are always being watched by our team members. We might not think so, but we are. We need to tackle the difficult things first. This helps us to get over the difficult hurdles early and it sends a message to the troops that they can and should do the same.
"The man with the best job in the country is the vice-president. All he has to do is get up every morning and say, 'How is the president?'"
--- Will Rogers
If there is an "easy" position in your company that an employee is occupying, consider cross-training that person for more difficult tasks. Of course you will have to increase their salary, but it is worth it and a lot cheaper than hiring and training someone new.
Create a mantra in your company for everyone to repeat every morning. It is simple. Have everyone say, "It's my job!" Corny, I know, but it sends a message that when a team member sees something that needs to be done, they either do it, learn how to do it, or bring it to someone's attention who can do it.
"Sure it's a big job; but I don't know anyone who can do it better than I can."
--- John F. Kennedy
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Advertiser - Welcome to the Fabulous SGIA Zones
Seen at a bait shop in Georgia:
"Ice cold watermelons! We have worms!"
In a city restaurant:
"Open seven days a week and weekends!"
A sign seen on an automatic restroom hand dryer:
"Do Not Activate With Wet Hands"
We need those funny signs you've seen in your travels, come on, we know they're out there.
Send them to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.