Leadership + Management | By Scott Schulte,

Does Your Company Culture Need Some Work?

Creating an environment where employees are happy to be working, enjoy their jobs, and feel like they’re part of a team may sound like an idea straight out of the movies. But it is possible to have that type of environment in your company. In any company.

Here are four ideas to think about to help you determine what kinds of culture challenges you may be facing with your team.

  1. Is there an atmosphere of teamwork?

A cohesive, well-developed team will consistently outperform any individual, no matter how talented. Ensuring every staff member is working effectively with the rest of the team is critical for consistent and constantly improving results.

Questions to ask: Thinking about the environment in our organization, is it truly a team working together and helping one another with everyone focused on the same ideas and vision of the company? Or is it a group of individuals who come into work each day and get their jobs done, working in relative isolation or perhaps in silos?

  1. Are your roles clearly defined?

In order to perform jobs effectively, everyone needs to have complete clarity of exactly what their role is and how it contributes to the overall vision and goals of the organization. If people don’t understand how the work they do impacts the team, the goals, and the clients, then it’s easy to dismiss it as unimportant and treat it as such.

Questions to ask: How well do our groups and individuals understand their contributions and worth to the organization? Do we have current job descriptions clarifying these ideas for everyone on the team?

  1. Are people being held accountable?

The most successful organizations have built-in accountability systems for every role. Each person should feel like they are contributing to the company’s success and take ownership of that role. If this isn’t happening, the organization as a whole cannot thrive.

Questions to ask: What expectations do we have of our people? How do we hold them accountable? Do we have natural systems and/or formal systems in place? What are the consequences of poor performance?

  1. Does your organization have direction and leadership?

Your leadership creates the organizational vision and set the goals and the tone for everything that happens in the company. How leadership treats employees directly correlates with how the staff treats one another and your clients. If your leadership team is excited about your team and is willing to invest in employee development and growth, this will positively impact the entire organization. Negative feelings and attitudes will create a negative environment.

Questions to ask: What is the leadership team modeling with their behaviors? Are we/they a cohesive group or combative and disorganized? How do we/they interact with and communicate with the team? Do current behaviors demonstrate that we/they care about other team members?

What next?

If you feel good about your answers to these questions, you may just have the culture you want. If you didn’t like the answers you had for these questions, then get to work making changes by first asking yourself one final question:

What is keeping us from creating an environment where teams thrive?

Your answer may be as simple as, “We just haven’t thought about it.” Or, “We know it’s a problem, but we don’t know what to do about it.” It’s also possible that you have a more systemic problem and the leadership team is part of the problem.

Either way, you’ll need to start from the top. Company culture doesn’t get built from the ground up. Address your leadership issues first. Come to a consensus as a team on what needs to be done, then get to work.

As you make changes, your cultural environment will start to shift. Stick with it. Don’t back down. It probably won’t be easy or quick, but it will eventually be very rewarding.

At Sonus Benefits, we build cost-effective, long-lasting benefits strategies to keep your business and your employees in optimum health. We help clients throughout the greater St. Louis area identify and manage complex employee benefits challenges. If you would like help managing your employee programs, we may be the insurance consultant and business partner you need.

Leadership + Management | By Scott Schulte,

Being a Good Leader Takes Courage

Just because you’re the person in charge doesn’t mean you’re a leader. Yes, most leaders want their organizations to be successful. But many them have don’t have the courage to actually follow through and do what it takes.

In order to take your team where they need to go, you need to have the courage to take a stand and to make the tough decisions required to bring about success.

You’ve got to commit

It’s not enough to simply decide you are going to take a risk or do something new. You have to be willing to put yourself in uncomfortable situations in order to make that happen.

Being a true leader means digging deep. It means finding the courage to take on some or all of the following challenges:

Rejection – When you are forging a new path, rejection and challenges are a normal reaction. But when you believe strongly enough in your ideas, you will be able to move beyond the initial sting of rejection and help your team gain a level of understanding, acceptance, and enthusiasm for your vision.

Connection– Business is all about connections. You need to connect to the right team members, partners, and clients. Strong connections happen when you have the right conversations. Sometimes, these are also the tough conversations. Leaders who share their ideas openly, honestly, and frequently are the leaders who do great things.

Follow through – Sharing an idea is great, but we all know actions speak louder than words. It’s not okay to introduce an initiative and then disappear or to say one thing and then do something different. If you want to get others motivated, you have to let them see that you’re the first one to buy in and that you’re 100% onboard. You must lead by example.

Authenticity – We all have ideas about who the world says we should be as individuals, as business professionals, and as organizational leaders. However, those ideas may or may not be relevant. True leaders are those who don’t get caught up in what they are supposed to be. They find the courage to be what they need to be for themselves, the organization, and the team.

Vulnerability – Leaders need to be innovative, take chances, and yes— sometimes fail. This is the road to learning and improvement. Leaders who are afraid to fail in front of their own teams create an environment where it becomes too dangerous for anyone to make an attempt that may not succeed. The only way to build a culture of honesty and innovation is by being honest and innovative. And by finding the courage to put yourself out there.

Accountability – Great leaders hold themselves accountable, during the good times and the bad. Not only to they take responsibility for their own actions, they also hold their teams accountable for their behaviors and results. Sometimes, great leaders have to let go of the idea of being nice in favor of being effective. This can be tough. Sometimes you lose employees. Sometimes you lose friends. But this is what true leadership looks like.

Find your courage

Even Superman would probably admit it’s not always easy doing what’s right. It’s difficult, challenging, and sometimes terrifying. But it’s also hugely rewarding.

If you’re in a leadership position, it’s time summon your inner superhero.

What are you waiting for? Put on your leadership cape and get to work.


Leadership + Management | By Scott Schulte,

Easy Employee Check-ins: It’s Possible!

It sounds crazy, doesn’t it? But there is a way.

Would you like to see:

  • Your managers lead their teams more effectively?
  • Your employees more engaged in their work?
  • Everyone more focused on the priority issues related to their jobs?

These things aren’t as out of reach as they may appear. Sometimes, all you need is a bit of clarity. And about 10 minutes.

Step 1: Create clear expectations

Before you can reasonably expect each team member to stay focused on priority issues, you’ll need to make sure they understand what those priority issues are. You’ll also need to clarify what behaviors will bring about the desired results, as well as how to measure and report back on progress, challenges, and successes.

Here’s how to make those things happen.

a.)   Define what success looks like

For each team member, define the critical results you need them to deliver. We’re not talking about all of the things they could potentially do, but those key results that, when delivered, address a majority of the contributions needed from that role.

b.)   Determine key behaviors

For each of the critical results, define the driving behaviors behind it. Again, this doesn’t need to encompass ALL behaviors that contribute to the results, but those one or two actions that when performed consistently will ensure that results are delivered.

c.)   Establish ways to measure progress

Make it easy for everyone to know when the behavior is being performed effectively and efficiently. For each driving behavior, identify how it can be objectively measured. This measurement becomes your performance indicator. Of course, not all behaviors are easy to put numbers to. Sometimes, you’ll just have to agree that certain behaviors will be discussed.

d.)   Encourage self-reporting

Nobody should be more invested in the success of a position than the person filling that role. Give each employee the responsibility to self-track and self-report their results to their direct supervisor. Don’t overcomplicate this part. The last thing you want is for employee self-tracking to turn into another full-time job. Two critical results with two driving behaviors is a great place to be.

Step 2: Find 10 minutes

Anyone on your team with direct reports should commit to giving each person 10 minutes of their focused, one-on-one attention every week.

It doesn’t sound like much, but that 10 minutes can have a huge impact on performance and results. The key is what you do with the time.

A 10-minute agenda for leaders and direct reports:

  • What was your biggest success of the week?
  • What was your biggest challenge of the week?
  • What were the results of your work this week? (Depending on the nature of your performance indicators, you may want to only include this question once a month.)
  • If you could only accomplish one thing over the next week, what does it need to be?
  • Did you accomplish your one critical thing from the last week?

That may sound like a lot to get through in 10 minutes, but if you direct each team member to come with the answers already identified, they can definitely address all of them in 10 minutes.

Keep it simple. And consistent.

If your 10-minute check-ins regularly become half-hour meetings, you’re not making the best use of your shared time. And someone will start making excuses as to why they can’t happen. Keep these weekly check-ins to 10 minutes and everyone will be willing to participate regularly.

Of course, there will be issues that arise requiring more than a 10-minute conversation. This is good! But don’t try to cram the discussion into your allotted 10 minutes. Scheduling a separate meeting to get more in-depth with the topics will help address employee concerns, refine processes, and continue to move everyone in the right direction.

It’s amazing what happens when we consistently spend a little bit of time discussing priority issues. Communications improve, attitudes improve, and results improve.

Who knew a few targeted minutes could do so much? Start having weekly check-ins with your team and see what 10 minutes can do for you.

Need a better ROI on your corporate employee benefits? At Sonus Benefits, we’re not interested in just finding you a policy for this year. We provide strategic employee benefits and human resource management services to help you build a better future.


Leadership + Management | By Scott Schulte,

The Beauty of Making Mistakes

Nobody likes to mess up. And the only thing that seems worse than messing up is having to admit it, acknowledge it, or talk about it. Seriously. Who wants to admit they made a mistake? Especially at work!

But here’s the secret truth few of us want to see: Your workplace relationships can actually improve when you learn to admit your mistakes.

For real?

Yes, it sounds counterintuitive. Because when you mess up, you feel bad. Plus, you assume others will be disappointed in you. And they may be. But you can be sure that disappointment will multiply exponentially if you refuse to confess to or acknowledge what you’ve done.

If you’ve messed up with an employee, client, or colleague and your plan is to just try and ignore it— good luck.

That mistake will sit there, giant and heavy, like the proverbial elephant in the room. Everyone can see it, but no one wants to risk bringing it up. By not taking responsibility immediately, you’ve doubled down on the damage. Now you’re not just dealing with the fallout from your mistake. At this point, you’ve also got yourself a credibility issue, and that’s a much bigger problem.

About apologies

When you own up to a mistake, you’re accepting responsibility for your actions, as opposed to simply apologizing away bad behavior.

Apologies work when they’re sincere and infrequent. In other words, getting caught up in a constant cycle of mistakes and apologies isn’t going to get you anywhere. But when you own up to a mistake and subsequently change your behavior to eliminate the need for future apologies, you can experience substantial growth. The kind of growth your team can see and appreciate.

The upside of screwing up

Admitting your mistakes can actually have some pretty significant benefits.

Most people recognize how difficult it is to take responsibility when you screw something up and will appreciate the effort on your part to come clean. And while there may be some anger about the issue at hand, being honest about such things can actually help build trust and reinforce character.

Even better, instead of wasting everyone’s time trying to figure out who caused the chaos, or fuming because that person refused to ‘fess up, your team is now free to focus on mitigating damage, finding solutions, and moving forward.

If there are specific workplace processes that played a role in causing the problem, you can revisit those also— when everyone is calm and the primary issue has been resolved.

We’re only human

As a team, we’re all better off when we are willing to admit our individual failures, adjust behaviors, and work toward solutions. And let’s face it. We’d probably all rather work with someone who isn’t afraid to make the occasional mistake and be on the level about it.

Honesty, trust, and credibility. What’s not to like?

Struggling with issues like employee recruitment, benefits administration, and staying in compliance? At Sonus, we’ve got tools to make it easier. Get in touch to find out what working with a true employee benefits consultant feels like.

Leadership + Management | By Scott Schulte,

Is it Time to Fire Someone?

Firing people isn’t fun.

And because of that simple fact, company leaders, owners, and managers will often allow certain employees to hang around way longer than they should. Even when it is completely obvious to everyone that they are no longer a good fit.

Why does this happen?

In many cases, it’s simply a matter of weak leadership, and not wanting to own up to the toughest, most unpleasant parts of the job. But sometimes it’s more than that. Sometimes it’s personal.

As team leaders, we can become so connected to our employees that we develop a sense of obligation. We know them as people. More than that, we like them as people. So we choose to keep them on staff, despite their poor performance. We fail to take action. We look the other way. We sigh and hope for the best.

While this kind of empathy may seem like a good thing, it can also be bad for your business.

Doing the right thing

As a company leader, your first obligation has to be keeping the organization healthy, and a healthy organization requires everyone on the team to be contributing.

If, as an employer, you aren’t taking care of your business, it will only be a matter of time before you are unable to take care of the people who work there. And that’s not good for anyone.

You have a responsibility to every individual on the team. The success of your company is tied to the success of your employees. And vice-versa.

You must hold everyone accountable. Including yourself. Your responsibilities include:

Communicating the company culture, values, and direction

Setting clear expectations for every individual to contribute

Giving meaningful feedback and managing employee performance

Providing the training, coaching, and resources to allow everyone to contribute successfully

And when you have an individual who isn’t willing or able to contribute to the team, you have a responsibility to either find that person another position within the organization or terminate his/her employment.

Yes, it’s tough

No one said it was easy. But keeping underperforming or toxic employees around isn’t good for anyone. It’s a frustration for leadership, a headache for HR, and a morale-buster for staff. At the end of the day, the cost of not firing someone can be very high. And the longer you let things go, the more expensive it gets.

So how do you know when it’s time?  Here are three ways to help you determine if someone needs to go.

  1. It should always be difficult to fire someone. If it isn’t, you waited too long.
  2. Other employees should always be a little surprised when someone is let go. If they aren’t, you waited too long.
  3. You should never be in a position to badmouth an employee who has left. If you are, you waited too long.

Not firing an employee might seem like the nice thing to do or the easy way out. But when you wait too long, not only do you allow poor employee performance to slow you down, you damage your own credibility with everyone on the team.

Your employees are counting on you to keep the company healthy, and that responsibility extends to your team, your company, and yourself. Sometimes, it includes sending some very nice, but very unproductive, people out the door.

It might not be easy, but it’s important.


At Sonus Benefits, we build cost-effective, long-lasting benefits strategies to keep your business and your employees in optimum health. Located in Sunset Hills, MO, we help clients throughout Missouri and Illinois to identify and manage complex employee benefits challenges. If you would like help managing your employee programs, we may be the insurance consultant and business partner you need.


HR Strategy | By Scott Schulte,

It’s Time to Talk Compensation

When you hire for an open position, you’re making an important business decision that affects your bottom line. Because of this, it can be tempting to hold back information about compensation until you’ve had a chance to evaluate one or more candidates.

But this common employer mistake could be causing you to miss out on some great talent.

How so?

Many employers get so wrapped up in their own numbers and desires they forget the simple fact that every job seeker is also making a very important business decision. And one that drastically affects his or her bottom line.

Expecting candidates to be able to do this without providing adequate information about compensation packages is asking an awful lot. In fact, many of today’s talented applicants won’t even try. Because it just doesn’t make sense.

  • According to a Career Builder survey, 74% of job seekers said they expect to see salary information in a job posting, and 61% expected to see information on total benefits.
  • Research by Jobvite found that money is still the number one factor in a job seeker’s decision to leave or accept a position.

Put that shoe on the other foot

Think about it. Would you agree to hire someone to fix your car without getting an estimate? No way! You need to know what the potential cost is so you can decide if you want to have the work done there, if you can afford to have the work done there, or if you need to keep on looking.

The same is true for those you are looking to hire. They may be interested in your company, but they also need to determine if they want to work for you, if they can afford to work for you, or if they need to keep on looking.

Help them make that decision

If you’re an employer or hiring manager who’s still afraid to talk openly about compensation early in the recruiting process, you’re living in the past. And that isn’t where today’s top talent wants to be.

Time is money. And as a busy business owner or HR professional, you’ve got limited amounts of both. Don’t waste a single minute (or dollar!) dancing around the topic of compensation.

You’ve set a salary range for the position or you wouldn’t be hiring. Be upfront from the beginning and let people know what it is.

Get over the fear

Many employers worry that if they reveal specific compensation numbers, they will be giving away some or all of their power. This fear is a big concern and a big stumbling block.

It’s true that talking about salary early in the recruitment process will take away your “I’m withholding information from you.” power. But you’re still the employer. You’re still the one in the hiring seat. A little extra transparency won’t change that.

In fact, being transparent about your salary and benefits packages could earn you some additional respect. Not only are you being upfront and honest, but now you have to negotiate pay based on REAL factors like job-related skills and relevant experience.

And honestly, isn’t that a much more interesting and critical conversation?

Put it out there

If you want to hire the best and brightest employees, don’t keep them in the dark.

At the end of the day, you and your potential new hire are both making a very important business decision. In order for it to work out well, it’s got to meet both of your needs. It’s got to be a good fit culturally, professionally, and yes— financially. On both sides.

Providing key compensation information will allow you and your future employees to make decisions in the most effective way.

Now that’s real power.  

Recruiting and retaining employees is easier when you can proudly offer a comprehensive benefits plan that makes your team members feel as valuable as they are. At Sonus Benefits, we build cost-effective, long-lasting employee benefits strategies to keep your business and your employees in optimum health. Get in touch with Sonus to see how we can help your organization become a local employer of choice.

Leadership + Management | By Scott Schulte,

Unlocking 5 Keys to Motivation

If you’re introducing a new initiative in your company, you understand the significance of getting your team onboard. After all, the success of the initiative is largely dependent on the levels of team motivation and support.

Unfortunately, when we introduce something new, we often focus only on why it’s important for the business that the initiative is successful. And we leave out other possible motivational factors.

Sure, your team has a tangible stake in the success of your organization. But the company is only one of several areas of motivation for the various individuals on your team. The other four areas include society, customer, team and, of course, self.

Breaking it down

If you were to divide everyone on your team up by their primary motivating forces, you’d likely end up with a pretty even number of people in each category. If you want your entire team to get behind your cause, you’ll need to communicate the potential impacts that new initiative will have based on each key area of motivation.

For example, let’s say you’re going to invest in a new sales technology. To make sure you’re hitting for the cycle, you’ll need to address each of the five motivational factors as you approach and communicate the change.

1.) You may start with the fact that increased sales are necessary due to poor organizational growth over the past X number of months or years. To get the company back on a positive track, there is a need to invest in, and commit to, this new technology. This will speak to your company motivated individuals.

2.) Having made that point, you might go on to explain how, because of low (or no) growth, company profitability has suffered, and you will no longer able to contribute generously to the community and/or causes your employees care about. This will resonate with those motivated by society.

3.) You could also talk about how the new technology platform will provide a much more customer-focused process, ensuring your ability to acquire great customers and keep them happy with enhanced customer service and experience. Your customer motivated people will relate to this.

4.) Of course you’ll want to explain how departments and teams will benefit from the new technology, which will allow everyone to work more efficiently and build more effective team processes and structures. Those motivated by team will see the beauty in this.

5.) Finally, you could appeal to individuals in your organization by clarifying how the results of this new technology will lead to increased financial incentives and/or career growth opportunities for everyone involved. And now you’ve got your self-motivated folks on board.

Rounding it out

For any organizational initiative to be successful, you have to ensure the broadest level of support possible. If you aren’t taking the time to tap into the various motivational forces as they appeal to everyone in your company, you’re missing opportunities to get everyone on board.

Increase motivations and you will increase buy-in, enthusiasm, and ultimately – success.

Need a better ROI on your corporate employee benefits? At Sonus Benefits, we’re not interested in just finding you a policy for this year. We provide strategic employee benefits and human resource management services to help you build a better future.

HR Strategy | By Scott Schulte,

2 Ways to Win the Talent War

It’s not enough that you need to worry about how to find great talent. In today’s business environment, you also have to worry about how to keep that talent from walking out the door.

Check out these not-so-fun facts from Jobvite:

  • 45% of workers will jump ship for a new job— even if they are happy in their current position
  • 50% of employed job seekers view their current positions as only temporary
  • Employed job seekers reported searching for new positions during their commute (38%), on the job (30%) and even in the bathroom (18%)

In other words, your employees are looking for work. Maybe even on company time.

And even if they aren’t looking for work, other companies or recruiters could be looking for them. A quick LinkedIn search by industry, company, or experience can provide all kinds of potential job “candidates” who didn’t even think they were on the market.

Wondering how you can protect yourself from a mass employee exodus?

Here are two things that will help you build an organization where people want to work. And stay.

1.) Competitive compensation

Like it or not, compensation is still the number one factor for job seekers when choosing whether or not to accept a new position. Today’s employees don’t just want living wages, they expect them. And if they aren’t receiving them, they’ll move along.

Make sure your wages are in line with your industry, positions, and the cost of living in your area. Do your research on this one. A lot can change in a relatively short time.

No matter how much your employees love you, if they can’t pay the rent, they won’t be able to stay. Make sure your compensation structure is in alignment with the wider business market and the local housing market. Businesses who aren’t offering adequate salaries will be receiving a lot of resignation letters. And companies committed to offering attractive compensation packages will see an influx of incoming talent.

2.) Kickin’ culture

So we just said that money was a primary factor involved in employee decision making. But it’s a little more complicated than that. Yes, wages are a big part of the picture, but more and more, employees are looking for things you can’t put a price on. Health. Flexibility. Balance. Opportunity. Acceptance.

High salaries will get talented people in your door, but if they’re not happy once they’re there, you might as well install a revolving one.

Are you giving employees what they need to be healthy and productive team members? Here are some key things they value.

Health – What kind of health plan do you provide? Is it a bare bones, high deductible number so complicated even a rocket scientist couldn’t figure it out? If so, it’s not going to do much for longevity. Work with your benefits consultant to come up with a plan that offers maximum coverage for minimal cost. Don’t be afraid to get creative. Sometimes the best solutions are ones you haven’t heard yet.

Flexibility – Gone are the days when Mr. Cleaver went to work and Mrs. Cleaver tended to the house, kids, and everything else. We’ve got news for you. Life doesn’t stop between 8 and 5. Employees have kids, parents, pets, and many other things to take care of. Offering flexible schedules and remote work options can help employees take care of business while they take care of life.

Balance – Despite the glorification of the 24 hour hustle, most people don’t want to sleep when they’re dead. They want to sleep tonight. And tomorrow night. And the night after that. A high-strung, stressed-out, overworked team may deliver results in the short-term, but not in the long run. Keep workloads and staffing levels manageable. Offer paid time off that allows for vacation, sick time, and personal days.

Acceptance – No one wants to feel like they can’t be who they are. And yet so many workplaces have rules or cultures that keep employees from bringing their whole selves to work. Whether it’s rigid appearance standards or a culture that’s rife with harassment and discrimination, these things will chase away good talent at lightning speed. Don’t just have an EEO policy… Live it. Better yet, celebrate it.

Opportunity – Do you offer employee education, development, and career paths? Your best talent isn’t interested in staying stagnant. They want new challenges, new skills, and new responsibilities. If you want to keep these people around, you need to help them grow with the company, not out of it.

The happiest, most loyal employees feel valued, appreciated, and taken care of. If you want to win the talent war, design your compensation and culture in a way that leaves no room for doubt.

Recruiting and retaining employees is easier when you can proudly offer a comprehensive benefits plan that makes your team members feel as valuable as they are. At Sonus Benefits, we build cost effective, long-lasting employee benefits strategies to keep your business and your employees in optimum health.

Leadership + Management | By Scott Schulte,

When it Comes to Your Business, There’s No Such Thing as Small Stuff

Don’t sweat the small stuff is great advice. As long as you’re not running a business.

Because if there’s one thing most business owners can agree on, it’s that details matter. You’d never ignore a tiny little accounting error. Or a tiny little hiring error. Or a tiny little compliance error. Because really, there’s no such thing.

Take apostrophes, for example. A lot of people have trouble using them correctly, which is understandable. Honestly, they’re a little confusing. But what’s not okay is thinking that a tiny little punctuation mark couldn’t possibly affect your business.

The truth is, when it comes to your brand, everything matters.


Yes. Everything.

And while poor punctuation may not literally cause your business to shut down, it can definitely cause you to lose some credibility.

In reality, plenty of people may be more than willing to head on over to Bob’s Best Burger’s, despite the extraneous apostrophe. I mean, really. What’s the worst that could happen? If they’re prone to throwing in things that don’t belong, maybe you’ll get a few extra fries in your basket!

But if you’re a serious customer looking for a serious professional you can trust, you’re not going to be as easy going. Far fewer people will risk handing their legal issues over to Brain & Brain Expert Lawyer’s. Or engage a high-end consulting company marketing to Fortune 500 CEO’s.

Why? Because customer satisfaction lies in the details. If they can’t trust you to get your signage, your marketing, or your even your own name right, why on earth would they trust you to handle the things that matter most to them?

It’s really quite simple

It’s not necessarily about potential customers being overly-judgmental. Sure, there may be an occasional grammar snob who enjoys sneering at your business card with disdain. But for most of us, it’s much less complicated.

It’s all about trust. Or lack of it.

The fact that virtually all punctuation fixes (not fix’s) are a quick Google search away isn’t helping you build credibility. There’s an easy solution available, but you’ve obviously chosen not to invest the 30 seconds it would take to find it. So why should your potential client think for even one second that you’ll go the extra mile for them?

Detail’s matter

See what just happened there? You’re losing confidence right this very second, aren’t you?

The main point here is that details really do matter. Something you think shouldn’t make a difference might just be a deal breaker for one of your clients. As a business, it’s important for you to pay attention to the little things. Ignoring “tiny” mistakes will eventually reflect poorly on both you and your business.

Invest in your processes and put your best foot forward. Your team, your team’s teams, and your team’s teams’ teams are all depending on you.

Tired of working with insurance salespeople who only think one year at a time? Wonder what it would be like to have a broker who looks beyond your annual policy? At Sonus Benefits, we’ll provide a corporate employee benefits strategy to help you achieve your long-term your vision. Get in touch to find out how.


HR Strategy | By Scott Schulte,

3 Keys to Employee Retention

Employees are easy to keep when there isn’t much competition or opportunity. But when the employment market shifts to give job seekers the advantage, it can be increasingly difficult to hang onto your talent.

It’s not rocket science. It’s supply and demand. Unemployment rates are low, which means candidate pools are shrinking. Meanwhile, Baby Boomers are retiring in large numbers, leaving employers scrambling to fill open positions. The combination of these two factors is the proverbial one-two punch.

Unlike during the recession years, employers are finding they now have to compete for talent. Highly qualified candidates are gaining the upper hand when it comes to job search, and talented employees can be easily found with a quick LinkedIn search.

Your employees don’t even need to be looking for a new job to be presented with opportunities. Potential new employers are already looking for them.

A whole new world

You’re going to have to work harder than ever to find, hire, and keep to your best people. If you’re not thinking about how to maximize employee recruitment, engagement, and retention, you’ll want to add it to your To Do list.

Here are three ways to get started:

1.) Evaluate your hiring processes

Do you know what it’s like to be recruited by you?

According to Career Builder, probably not. Their research revealed that only 31 percent of employers have actually applied to an open position at their company to see what the process is like.

You may think your online application is super slick, but do you know that for a fact? Does it work as smoothly as it was designed or are you missing out on candidates due to antiquated technology or inefficient processes? Even something as simple as a broken website link can cause frustrated candidates to skip on by. Now just imagine the damage a poorly written job description can do!

It’s time to take a dive into your employee recruiting processes.

Are you dragging an entry level candidate through three panel interviews? Taking way too long to move interviewees through the process? Waiting for buy in from six different departments before you make an offer? Of course you need to evaluate job candidates, but guess what? They’re evaluating you, too. If your hiring process isn’t friendly and efficient, your candidates will be scratching you off their lists.

Go through your recruitment process from start to finish make sure it’s quick, easy, and appealing.

2.) Change your filters

Remember when you had hundreds of applications coming in for every open position? Back then, you had to filter out large swaths of applicants just to get a manageable candidate pool to work with. It wasn’t a luxury to eliminate candidates based on small details, it was a necessity just to shrink the pile.

Employer who are using the same filters in this new market are going to run into trouble. Put some thought into the things you really value in an employee, and then use that criteria to evaluate the filtering mechanisms you have in place.

Are you requiring five years of experience for a position that doesn’t really need it? Are you immediately tossing out resumes because of a single typo, regardless of the rest of the content? Are you ruling out candidates that have tattoos, piercings, or green hair? In today’s job market, you’re probably doing yourself more harm than good.

You may need to extend this evaluation into to your company policies as well, as more and more talented individuals opt out of traditional cultures and into less restrictive environments.

Depending on what industry you’re in, this could be a super quick fix or the beginning of a long, slow process. But the longer you wait, the more likely you are to find yourself with fewer and fewer candidates to choose from.

3.) Up your job description game

Very few dynamic, talented people are going to get excited about a bunch of corporate jargon and a laundry list of tasks. If you want candidates to be enthusiastic about your positions, write your job postings and descriptions to get at the kind of person you want to hire.

Looking for a marketer? Ask interested applicants to describe their favorite ad campaign and why they think it was effective. Looking for a salesperson? Ask them to sell you on why you should or shouldn’t watch Game of Thrones. Looking for an engineer? Give them a story problem to solve, preferably one that involves weight and angles. The point is, make it compelling. Make it interesting. Make it reflect what it’s actually like to work at your company.

And don’t be afraid to be upfront about compensation. The time for luring candidates with the promise of a steady job at a mystery salary is over.

According to a 2015 Jobvite study, money is still the number one factor in the decision to leave or accept a position. But many employers are all too happy to leave this important part of the conversation out. Compensation is the elephant in the room. If you don’t address it, your candidates are going to get frustrated— and look for someone who will.

Recruiting and retaining employees is easier when you can proudly offer a comprehensive benefits plan that makes your team members feel as valuable as they are. At Sonus Benefits, we build cost effective, long-lasting employee benefits strategies to keep your business and your employees in optimum health.