HR & Management Tips

4 Easy Steps to a Great Mentoring Relationship with an Employee

February 12th, 2019

Being a good mentor means you’ve committed to helping someone else succeed in their career. It’s certainly a lot of responsibility. However, there’s much you can both learn from the relationship if you take the right approach. To ensure the experience is as fruitful as possible, here are four steps from Houston staffing industry experts, Murray Resources, to take during it:

Set clear goals.

This is the first and most important step. Having clear goals in place helps to define the process for everyone involved and it sets your employee up for success during the relationship as they have set objectives to work toward. So before your first meeting, make sure you ask yourself:

  • What do I want the mentee to gain through the experience?
  • How much time do I plan to spend with them?
  • How long will the process last?
  • How often will we meet?
  • Will it always be in person, or can we connect over the phone, Skype or other mediums?
  • What should the outcome look like?

Make them measurable.

When it comes to creating goals for your mentee, make sure they’re measurable, too. Otherwise, it’s difficult to verify they’re on the right track. For instance, if you’re in sales and your mentee is one of your associates, set the goal of increasing their sales by 10% over a certain time period. Then use that goal as the focal point to build the mentoring experience around.

Strive to get to know them on a personal level.

You don’t need to go out for drinks and try to be best friends. However, when you get to know the individual you’re mentoring more personally, you’ll learn how to best motivate them. You’ll also find out about what goes on in their life outside work, which can impact their effectiveness and performance in the office. These are all important details to know when you’re trying increase productivity and groom an employee for advancement.

Commit to regular meetings.

How often you meet is up to you. But it’s easy to blow off touch points when your calendar fills up and you get busy. However, regular meetings are a critical part of the mentoring relationship. These don’t always need to be formal; but there should be some where there’s an agenda and a longer conversation. They do need to be scheduled and adhered to consistently, though, for both you and your mentee to get the most from the program.

Looking for high potential talent to hire at your Houston company?

Murray Resources can help. We know staffing in Houston can be a challenge. However, our knowledge of the local job market runs deep and, as a result, we can give you unique access to talented individuals who are ready to step in and make an immediate impact at your organization. Contact us today to learn more.

Are You Setting Clear Expectations for Your Staff?

January 5th, 2016

One of your people isn’t getting the job done. They keep missing deadlines. They constantly come to you with questions. Goals are falling by the wayside and work quality is slipping.

Sound familiar? While a weak employee may be the culprit, another possibility is that your staff member is operating on unclear expectations. As a leading Houston staffing agency, Murray Resources knows when your people don’t fully understand what they’re supposed to be doing and when, they’re never going to be able to perform well.

So how can you go about setting crystal clear expectations – so your employees can deliver? Here are some steps to take:

Step #1: Assess the job.

Are the right people in the right roles? Do their job descriptions actually align with their day-to-day tasks and responsibilities? While a job description won’t define every aspect of a job, it does set forth an outline as well as basic expectations. So if you hire someone to perform a certain job, but that position doesn’t match at all what they’re currently doing, then that lack of alignment could be the cause of weak performance.

Step #2: Define goals.

As a manager, an important part of your job is to define goals for yourself and for your employees. In addition, you need to ensure the goals you do set match up with larger, organizational strategies and objectives. But before you assign certain objectives to your staff, work with each one in the goal setting and strategizing process. When they have a voice in it, they’ll be more vested and motivated to succeed.

Step #3: Set the tone.

Your people look to you to set the tone. So if you expect your employees to arrive at work by a certain time, or dress in a certain way, then you should live by those same rules.

Step #4: Talk often.

Don’t wait until year-end performance reviews to talk with your employees. You should be checking in with them regularly, even if it’s on an informal basis. It’s also much easier to touch base throughout the year to learn about issues, concerns, or questions they may have and deal with them before they become emergency situations. During these talks, you can let your staff members know too where they stand – areas in which they’re performing well and those that could use some improvement.

Step #5: Get new hires on board.

When you hire a new employee, make sure you define clear expectations from the start. You’ll reduce the chance of performance issues down the line if you explain what you expect, when you expect it by and how success will be measured.

When you don’t set clear expectations, it can result in a dysfunctional team that gets little done. Instead, take the steps above to define goals and expectations so your employees produce the best results.

Do you need help hiring for your team? Call the experts at Murray Resources. As a leading Houston staffing agency, organizations all over the city rely on our expertise to source, hire and retain top talent for permanent, temporary, part-time and contract opportunities.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

5 Tips for Creating a Great Team That Gets Results

July 8th, 2014

As a manager, you have to rely on your staff to meet goals and expectations. Sometimes, that’s easier said than done. Objectives can go unmet, deadlines unfulfilled and projects sit idle all because a team isn’t operating at peak efficiency.

To help ensure yours isn’t one of them, here are 5 tips to help you make the right moves and lead your team to success:

1. Look to another successful team.

If there’s another team at your company that is the model of efficiency and positive results, then look to them as a prototype of how to build your team. Talk to the manager of that department and ask them about how they built their team, lessons learned, mistakes made, and any advice they can give you. You can even ask to sit in with them on team meetings to observe how they communicate and interact with each other.

2. Know each team member’s strengths and weaknesses.

Get to know all your team members on a more personal level so you can learn about where they shine – and areas that need improvement. That way, you can ensure that 1) they’re in the position best suited for their capabilities and 2) you can better manage and motivate them.

3. Create shared and individual goals.

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources can tell you it’s important for your team members to know what the shared vision of the department is, as well as how they each fit in individually. So communicate the common goals you have for your team so everyone is on the same page and working together.

But also be sure to define individual goals, as well, so each person is clear on your expectations of them. This reduces ambiguity and ensures everyone is working in agreement with one another.

4. Show your team some love.

Employee recognition is priceless, and yet it’s also free. You don’t need to give team members big bonuses or expensive gifts to make them feel appreciated.

Instead, when you do offer recognition and rewards, make sure it’s timely, not a month after your team completed a big project. Also, when you’re rewarding someone individually, be specific. Point out the particular behavior you’re recognizing and tell them why you appreciate it and the impact it made.

5. Cut ties with weak links.

No manager likes to fire an employee; however, sometimes for the good of the whole team, it’s a must. Remember, if you make a hiring mistake, or someone is underperforming, they can truly sabotage a project, hurt morale, and impact customer satisfaction.

Have a vacancy in your company you need help filling? Contact Murray Resources. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, we  can help your organization find the skilled and dependable people you need, who are also a fit for your team. Contact us today to find out more.

Mentoring Programs 101: 7 Traits of a Good Mentor

May 6th, 2014

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows having a company mentoring program sounds great in theory. But not every employee is cut out to be a mentor, even your key players.

So if you’re wondering how to identify those employees who can serve as strong mentors to other staff members, what should you look for? Here are 7 traits of a good mentor:

Honesty. Some people have a hard time being direct and stating the facts. A good mentor, though, is unafraid to tell the truth. This is a critically important attribute considering an employee will never develop if they don’t have a sense of areas that need improvement.

Motivator. A good mentor knows how to push people to take risks, aim higher and achieve more. They strike the right balance between honesty and inspiration.

Listener. Being a mentor isn’t all about communicating knowledge; most of it is about listening, offering advice, and encouraging the mentee. In the beginning too, it’s about listening to the mentee’s wants, needs, goals, feelings, and fears.

Committed. Being a mentor takes a big time commitment. It’s not something that should be taken lightly, otherwise the mentee will become disengaged and demotivated. A good mentor is one who does what they say they’re going to do and takes a personal interest in the mentee – who they are, what their goals are, and strengths and weaknesses.

Open minded. Mentoring goes both ways. And a good mentor should be open to learning from the mentee, as well. They shouldn’t approach the relationship as if they have nothing new to learn.

Patient. The best mentors allow mentees to make mistakes and use those missteps as opportunities to teach them. Sometimes, too, the relationship can get a bit heated, particularly when it comes to constructive criticism, requiring a patient personality to diffuse the situation.

Positive Reputation. A mentor is a role model, which is why good ones generally enjoy a positive reputation in their field and are held in high regard by their peers.

When you choose employees to mentor who demonstrate these traits, you have a far better chance of facilitating successful mentor/mentee relationships. This, in turn, will help employees being mentored learn and develop into high performers.

Looking for a few, good mentors to join your team? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, TX, organizations all over the city rely on our expertise to source, hire and retain skilled, dependable and knowledgeable employees for their teams. We can help you too. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more.


7 Signs Your Leadership Skills Need Some Work

January 8th, 2013

You show up to work each day, ready to hit the ground running, manage your team, and deliver results. And yet, for some reason, your efforts are falling short, whether it’s a lack of respect from your team or less-than-stellar productivity.

What gives?

As a leading staffing agency in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that, for many managers, problems with effective leadership come from a lack of people skills.

So what are some of the people-related mistakes you could be making? Here’s a look at 7:

Sign #1: You don’t listen to your employees.

An employee comes to you for advice, guidance, or to air their frustrations…and you can barely look up from your computer to give them the time of day. You may think you can multi-task – listen and check your email at once. But what you’re communicating to your employee is that their problem isn’t really important enough to require your undivided attention.

Sign #2: You’re always negative.

Being a good leader requires you to be realistic…even when it means you have to tell your team things they don’t want to hear. But always bombarding them with pessimism and negative news – and not balancing it out with anything positive – is a recipe for a deflated and unhappy team.

Sign #3: You’re always positive.

On the flip side, if you’re always looking on the bright side of the situation, and glossing over any potential negatives, you’re not doing your team any favors either. When there are clearly issues or problems going on, employees expect for you to acknowledge them and put forth a plan for dealing with them, not repeat a bunch of empty affirmations.

Sign #4: You micromanage your team.

You are responsible for your team and the results – or lack of – they deliver. This, however, does not mean you should be a helicopter boss, constantly hovering over your employees.

Sign #5: You’re cold.

You show no interest in getting to know your employees on a personal level. You never crack a smile or demonstrate any warmth. Worse, you don’t offer any praise…even when an employee knocks it out of the park. But while you might think you’re simply calm and cool, you’re really coming off as impersonal and detached, impacting employee loyalty.

Sign #6: You’re a slacker.

You’ve earned your spot at the top, so now it’s time to take advantage of the perks in the form of two-hour lunches, leaving early every day, and delegating all your tasks to your team. But your employees aren’t going to respect you and likely aren’t going to work very hard for you as a result.

Sign #7: You’re two-faced.

You treat your boss and your clients like kings and queens, but behind closed doors, your employees must deal with your wrath. Or, perhaps you’re nice to an employee’s face, but then turn around and complain about them to one of their co-workers. This kind of treatment simply undermines morale and is a recipe for high turnover.

Every leader makes mistakes at one time or another. But most employees are smart – and if you’re regularly demonstrating the signs above, then they won’t respect you and will likely move on when an opportunity comes along. So work to sharpen your people skills!

Are You a Leader in Need of Hiring Help?

If part of your leadership issues come from not having the right people in the right positions, Murray Resources can help. As a top staffing agency in Houston, TX, we will partner with you to learn about your staffing needs and unique culture. We’ll then source and screen candidates with the right skills and personality to excel at your company.

Contact Murray Resources today to learn more.


How to Use LinkedIn to Find a Job

June 22nd, 2010

Not on LinkedIn? Then you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to promote your skills and search for jobs in Houston. In fact, the professional connections you make on LinkedIn can truly give you an advantage in your job search – and in your career.

Here’s how to get started:

Create your profile.

Think of your LinkedIn profile as your online resume. Create a detailed profile, including past employment, education, and qualifications. Also be sure to include keywords (such as Houston civil engineer) so that you will be easily found. If you have a professional headshot, you may also want to upload that to your profile.

Build your network.

The more connections you make, the more opportunities you will have. With that said…don’t go crazy with your connections. Only connect to people you know and trust.

Reach out.

Let your network know that you’re looking for a job in Houston, TX. The more people who know you’re looking, the faster you may be able to find a job.

Get recommendations.

Recommendations from people you have worked with in the past carry a lot of weight. A variety of positive recommendations will put you in the best possible light to potential employers in Houston.

Search jobs.

Use the job search section to find job listings you may be interested in.

Ask & answer questions.

The Answers section in LinkedIn is a great way to increase your visibility, as well as enhance your credibility within your particular field. Respond to questions, and ask a question if you need information.

Check if a company is still hiring.

Many companies today have their own pages on LinkedIn. So if there is a Houston company you’d like to work for, go to their LinkedIn profile and check out their “New Hire” section to see if anyone new has recently joined the company. Also, look to see if you know any of the company’s current employees so you can make a connection.

Get to the hiring manager.

If you do know someone at the company, ask that individual to forward your resume to the hiring manager. Hiring managers are much more apt to review a resume that comes from someone they know.

Find out about the company.

Again, if you know someone at the company, ask them for the inside scoop on getting hired at that company. If you don’t have an “in” at the company, then take a look at the profiles of existing employees to get a better sense of the backgrounds and experience of people who already work at the company.

Searching for a job can be a daunting challenge. But by leveraging the power of social media, you may be able to find the job of your dreams a lot quicker. And if you still need helping finding the right job opportunity here in Houston, TX, please contact Murray Resources. As a premier employment firm serving the Houston area, we can connect you with a variety of Houston job opportunities in fields such as administration, engineering, accounting/finance, and sales and customer service.  We look forward to helping you!


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