Chatting about the many facets that come with being a business owner, Cam, Dana, and Courtney offers some great advice, tactics, and real-life scenarios they have gone through that helped them pivot, learn and understand how to better manage their businesses and what it takes to create and retain great employees.
This week, Cam sat down and talked with Dana & Courtney, a dynamic sister duo with more than 17 years of experience in the events industry, about navigating the waters of Retaining Rental Employees During a Stressful Season. Dana and Courtney are known for their multiple businesses Anthem House, a Luxury Event Planning Company based in North Carolina, Hustle & Gather, a Consulting, Speaking and Podcasting Firm, and Bushel and Peck, their Floral Design Company. With hands in multiple businesses, Dana & Courtney have experience when it comes to learning how to manage employees, retaining a staff that continues to serve your company and clients, and navigating the tricky waters that come with being an Entrepreneur.
How invested are you in your employees’ needs? Are you listening to them when they are talking about a change that is needed? Do you know what they are going through in their own lives? Being in the event industry naturally comes with some level of underlying fear. After recovering from 2020 and how it flipped the industry upside down, are you doing what you can to take care of your employees? As the owner, you can take that fear and concern away from your employees. There has never been true value in the event industry, but you can certainly work to create value. Create a stable and retainable staff by looking at what you bring to the table. In doing so, gauge the needs and see what you can do to create stability. Is that health insurance? Is that a raise? Is that allowing your team members to be remote? Check your inventory of offerings. In doing so, you are creating value in your company and in return, getting longevity in your team. Check-in on their needs and ask, “Hey, how are you doing today?”. Know their “money”, and no, we do not (always) mean real money, but know what is important to them. Understand where you can meet their needs.
Like Cam, Dana and Courtney ask all candidates to do an Enneagram Test on their application during the hiring process. Understanding who your employees are and getting to know them at their core can be vital in learning how they will fit with your company and team. The test will help you learn what they are good at, and can better assist you with molding their position and understanding how they operate. When doing so, you are allowing the candidate to be their best self which in turn creates a positive working environment. By allowing them to flourish and do what they are naturally best at, because you took the time to understand them, you are giving them trust and empowering them. We recommend going to take the Enneagram Test (if you haven’t already) and learning who you are as a leader. Creating a healthy company culture starts within.
The first step to hiring for your company is to make sure you are looking and find the right fit for the role you are wanting to fill. In the events industry, there is a bit more flexibility when it comes to finding the right candidate. Think outside the box – who do you want on your team? What are your absolute deal breakers? Figuring those out beforehand will save you so much time and energy. Will this person be who you need them to be, represent your brand, and interact with the client how you would? When interviewing candidates, place them in a social setting. Invite them to an event or to have lunch with the team – seeing how they may or may not interact with your current team will be in your favor. If you like them in that environment, observe who they are most in tune with on your team, and get to know them as an individual person, this helps shape your company’s culture in making sure that you are making the right move with bringing them on. Lean on your gut reaction vs. what you see on paper. It is important to use your resources, network, and have people on your team that you can trust to lead the company culture how you would want it led.
You can hire the right person who fits the job description, has the requirements, recommendations, etc. but as the Leader / Manager of your team, if you have not figured out your boundaries and deal breakers, that could clash entirely and start your process all over again. Be intentional with your hiring process and make sure that the person you are investing in is in it for the long haul.
Having open communication and transparency with your team is something that you should also consider if you have not already done so. With listening and understanding the needs of your employees also comes talking about what you can and cannot offer. Saying, “Hey, I see you and I hear you, but we should revisit this in 6 months”. Explain why you need to wait to make these decisions or what is coming up in the next Quarter. Being transparent, talking through the options, and suggesting how you can compromise is a key factor in being a strong leader. You do not have to disclose super personal information, but rather open up a conversation that allows your employees to also understand where you are coming from. Setting up an open dialogue builds trust and integrity in your company and reinforces to your employees that you are listening, you see them, you hear them, and you are actively working to consider their needs. Transparency will always garner more trust.
With multiple networking organizations out there, Cam, Dana, and Courtney are part of multiple associations that have allowed not only exposure and growth for their roles as company leaders, but bringing their staff to the events has helped too. We encourage you to invite your team to NACE or a night out at a WIPA event. Let them meet and network with others in the events industry. They may connect with someone who is easily relatable and help them better understand what is going on with the evolving day-to-day. This allows more growth as a team, learning new problem-solving skills, and creates trust knowing that as their leader, you are trusting them to represent your brand and network under your name. Much like community over competition, there is community in networking.
We only scratched the surface on all that was covered in this week’s episode. We’d encourage you to listen to the full conversation wherever you listen to podcasts (i.e. Apple or Spotify). Next week we will drop an episode about Minimums and Maximums on Event Orders. Be sure to check it out!
Raven Scott | Podcast Manager
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