The Coaching Management Philosophy:
In this new edition of the Vistage podcast series, Vistage member Dave Nelsen interviews Jim Carchidi, the CEO (Chief Enthusiasm Officer) of JFC Staffing Companies, a direct hire and temporary placement company. JFC Staffing Companies was originally started by Jim’s parents, who built it from the ground up, and passed it onto Jim. In this discussion, they talk about what makes a good leader and a positive work environment during a time when there are high levels of employee dissatisfaction.
Happy Employees Lead to Happy Customers
Jim’s company was chosen as one of the best places to work in Pennsylvania, based entirely on anonymous feedback from employees (versus companies submitting an application). They have also been named to Inavero’s Best of Staffing Client List, indicating that happy employees leads to happy customers. A recent Gallup poll states that about 70% of the American workforce is not engaged, and Jim finds this to be an “epidemic.” To him, having a happy, enthusiastic workforce is just as important as having a satisfied customer.
The Coaching Management Philosophy
According to Jim, leaders need to learn to take the “chief problem solving hat off” and really listen to the input of their employees. Employee success equals company success and often they see things that someone with a big picture scope — like a coach on a football field — might not see as clearly. Listening to people needs to be personal, and management can’t try to take on the tasks of fixing everything single-handedly. A company is a team, and the leaders are the coaches.
The Power of Communication
Jim’s staff endeavors to be high-tech, as well as high-touch, ensuring that the use of today’s technologies doesn’t hinder personal interaction between human beings. He stresses that management communication sessions every month are vital to ensure continued improvements in employee performance. “It is unfair to rely on the annual review as the only time to give and get feedback about performance and management style,” he says, “not only for the employee who might be garnering criticism that comes seemingly out of left field, but also for the employer, who may have had to tolerate a full year of sub-par performance.” Communication, he stresses, is key, particularly face-to-face communication.
Express the Goals of the Company
One of the things Jim learned from a Vistage speaker was to articulate the grand scheme, long-term visionary ideas for their company, and to involve his employees in the development in the implementation of those ideas. He was taught to send a letter outlining the goals for the company to his employees home, where their families might also read it and get involved.