July 1, 2021
Overcoming Hiring Challenges In The Restoration Industry
When it comes to hiring capable and motivated people in the cleaning and restoration industry, the task is much easier said than done. With an increasing shortage of individuals pursuing trade jobs, the talent available is in short supply. As a boss or hiring manager, how do you find the talent necessary to run a successful business? How do you decrease the employee turnover rate? How do you manage a winning team? From the team at Violand, here are some tips on finding and hiring the right employees for your cleaning and restoration business.  Make Your Company Known Step up your hiring game and make your job openings known through multiple channels and platforms. We live in a digital-friendly business environment that makes advertising jobs easier. Be sure to establish a strong presence online that allows you to share your brand and expertise to all your potential hires. Building an online presence takes time and persistence, but it will pay off in the long run by helping you recruit qualified hires. Don’t Cut Corners In The Hiring Process While it may be tempting to hire anyone who submits a resume, avoid taking shortcuts in your hiring process. It’s a risk
November 20, 2020
5 Truths of Business Continuity
5 Truths About Business Continuity as proven by 2020  Timothy E. Hull, CR    2020 has certainly proven to be an eventful year. Aside from a global health pandemic, national economic shutdown, social unrest, and a heated presidential election, the events of this year have wreaked havoc on the emotional well-being of most every American. We saw Main Street shut down in the blink of an eye. Professional, collegiate, and local sports totally disrupted in almost every way imaginable. And educational institutions completely reengineered in a matter of months. In retrospect, 2020 has been as close to a cataclysmic event for modern day society as we may get. Or hopefully get, as it’s not over yet!   Despite an economic shutdown, a stock market crash, record unemployment, and a virus that seems to have dominated the headlines of every media outlet on the planet, business continues. In the restoration and damage repair industry, not only is it continuing, a case can be made that it is flourishing for companies that were even moderately well-positioned and properly managed.    In my previous article, Pandemic-Proof Your Business, I explored four ways small business owners can position their company and pandemic-proof their business. Amidst the observation and testing of this theory in real life, we can conclude there are 5 truths which have now been proven about
September 20, 2020
Recession Pandemic-Proof Your Business
Recession Pandemic–Proof Your Business  Timothy E. Hull, CR    In the midst of what may arguably be the most significant global event since World War II, economists, politicians, community leaders, and most members of civilized society are struggling to come to grips with what the real fallout of COVID-19 will look like. Despite differing views and philosophical differences, the one thing many agree on is that this is far from over, and the real impact of this event will be felt for a very long time.  With unemployment rates lingering at record high levels, economic stimulus packages coming to an end, and state social distancing restrictions changing daily, how does one even attempt to predict what the future might hold for business? Even Wall Street is sending and receiving mixed signals. The prime lending rate is next to nothing, real estate markets are crazy, consumer spending is up, and nearly every logical economic theory would suggest that the worst is yet to come.  My career in the restoration field started in September of 2002. At that time, I was told the restoration industry was a “recession-proof” business. My observations and experience over the past eighteen years have supported that theory. This is not to suggest, however, that the world of restoration is bulletproof. And, if there was
August 20, 2020
Emotional Intelligence: One of the Keys to a Healthy Company Culture, Part IV 
Emotional Intelligence: One of the Keys to a Healthy Company Culture, Part IV  Tom Cline   Each of the attributes we’ve covered in this series on Emotional Intelligence (EQ) builds on the others. That is certainly the case with this fourth and final installment where we cover the element of Relationship Management. Skills developed in the previously discussed areas of social awareness, self-management, and self-awareness all feed into success in this last area.   Relationship management is the ability to build value-adding relationships with others. A person strong in this trait understands and realizes the value of building relationships even with people with whom they don’t get along.    People with high relationship management abilities make everyone they interact with feel they matter and are valued. When they communicate with someone who has failed to complete a task or meet the expected delivery date or level of quality, it is done in such a way that the person knows where they missed the mark, but it is not done in anger. Relationship management requires taking intentional steps to ensure these positive connections are healthy and beneficial to both parties.   Employees need to understand how they can influence positive connections and teamwork in their personal and professional relationships.    Author Daniel Goleman, a recognized authority on EQ,  says the competencies involved in managing relationships include:  Developing others   Inspirational leadership  Change catalyst  Influence  Conflict management  Teamwork and collaboration  These competencies are often viewed as leadership skills, but
July 20, 2020
Emotional Intelligence: One of the Keys to a Healthy Company Culture, Part III
Emotional Intelligence: One of the Keys to a Healthy Company Culture, Part III  Tom Cline   The first two articles in this four-part series on Emotional Intelligence (EQ) introduced the overall concept and explored the characteristics that are widely believed to make up what is termed “personal competence”—our ability to stay aware of our emotions and manage our behavior and tendencies. The last two installments will focus on the traits that make up our “social competence”—our ability to understand other people’s moods, behaviors, and motives to improve the quality of our relationships.    We begin with Social Awareness, which is defined by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves in Emotional Intelligence 2.0 as the ability to “recognize and understand the moods of other individuals and entire groups of people. It’s the ability to observe body language, facial expressions, and even posture in an effort to respond appropriately.” These nonverbal cues represent the major portion of how others are communicating with you. They let you know how others are really feeling, how their emotional state is changing from minute to minute, and what is truly important to them.   In a team setting, social awareness manifests as members helping others through stressful situations by recognizing nonverbal signs, understanding the triggers that we discussed in Part I, asking questions, and being empathetic to help others who
June 20, 2020
Emotional Intelligence: One of the Keys to a Healthy Company Culture, Part II
Emotional Intelligence: One of the Keys to a Healthy Company Culture, Part II  Tom Cline    Part 1 in this four-part series provided an introduction to the concept of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) including identification of the four characteristics that are generally agreed to be at its core.    The first characteristic, self-awareness—thoroughly understanding yourself and your effect on others—was reviewed. This included our personal strengths and weaknesses relative to our emotions, how they affect us, our ability to think and communicate rationally, and how they influence our thoughts and actions.    This installment covers the second trait of what is termed “personal competence”—the need for self-regulation.   Consider a time when stress overwhelmed you. Was it easy to think clearly or make a rational decision? Probably not. When you become overly stressed, your ability to think clearly and to accurately assess emotions—your own and other people’s—becomes compromised. Effectively engaging your emotional intelligence means being able to use your emotions to help you to make constructive decisions about your behavior. It is the ability to control emotions and impulses. People who self-regulate typically don’t allow themselves to become too angry or jealous, and they don’t make impulsive, careless decisions. They think before they act.    Characteristics of self-regulation include thoughtfulness, comfort with change, integrity, and the ability to say no. Employees with this perspective and skill are the ones you want on your team; the
May 20, 2020
Emotional Intelligence: One of the Keys to a Healthy Company Culture, Part I 
Emotional Intelligence: One of the Keys to a Healthy Company Culture, Part I  Tom Cline    It isn’t necessarily the smartest people who are the most successful or feel most fulfilled in life. You may know someone who is academically smart yet is socially inept and unsuccessful at work or in their personal relationships. Many believe that focusing on and learning to raise your Emotional Intelligence (EQ) can help you more effectively deal with the stresses and emotions in your life, thereby helping to increase your success and fulfillment.    Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and defuse conflict. It can help you build stronger relationships, succeed at school and work, and achieve your career and personal goals by enabling you to connect with your feelings, turn intentions into actions, and make informed decisions about what matters most to you.    Much has been written about the growing importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace, the majority focused on management and leadership positions. The Harvard Business Review recently reported that EQ represents about 90% of the difference between average and star performers at the top tier of executives within an organization.    The Future of Jobs report for 2020, published
March 20, 2020
When Employees Do Their Best Work
When Employees Do Their Best Work  Timothy E. Hull, CR    One would normally not think of a tailgate party for an NFL football game as an appropriate venue for providing inspiration for sage business advice. However, when you bring together some pretty intelligent folks, good food, and a few high-octane beverages, you never know where a conversation might go. This is exactly what happened this past fall when I had the privilege of attending such an event with some friends, where theories of employee engagement and productivity started flowing freely.   The good–natured banter surrounding company cultures, bosses, and corporate politics took a sharp turn after our second round of drinks when my fellow members of Steeler Nation began to reminisce about days when they felt they had done their best professional work. Now, we’re not talking about bar stool buddies critiquing last week’s play calling by the offensive coordinator. These guys are accomplished, corporate professionals with MBAs from Carnegie Mellon University’s illustrious Temper School of Business. So, when these guys talk business, it’s usually best to pay attention.  The statement that piqued my interest the most was when one of them proclaimed that he felt as if he did his best work when two conditions existed. The first was when his boss had a direct line to the CEO (healthy working relationship.) And second, when his
February 20, 2020
The Challenge of Setting Big Goals 
The Challenge of Setting Big Goals  Chris McQueen    Over the past three months, I participated in many conversations with small business owners who were planning their businesses for 2020 and through the next decade. During these conversations, many found it difficult to think about reaching long–term goals. Instead, they focused on tasks that could be completed immediately.   This is not a surprise. There are many sources of research indicating how humans are hardwired to seek out immediate gratification. Small business owners are no different, so how are you expected to focus your efforts to make lasting change?   I am reminded of a story about lions, field mice, and antelope that American author Tim Ferriss uses to frame tasks. A lion must select prey carefully. Field mice are easy to catch and provide satisfaction for a moment, but the effort needed to catch a mouse is more than the energy provided by consuming it. If lions hunt field mice all day, they will eventually starve. Because of this, the lion chooses to hunt antelope. This animal is much larger and requires more effort but will feed the lion and their pride with sustaining energy. By focusing on a larger animal, the lion will miss out on several “wins” that capturing field mice would provide, but the lion will ultimately lead a longer fulfilling life.   Reflect on the previous month