How One Staffing Agency
Aligned and Inspired It's Entire Team.
Josh McKee, Founder and CEO of Atlas Staffing, explains what his company does the way a professor would: “We grease the wheels of the economy by helping labor move from one company to another depending on demand and who needs it.”
Businesses call on Atlas Staffing to obtain the people they need, when they need them.
Sometimes those people fill contract jobs for a period of time. Sometimes they take positions that result in a long-term hire. Some of Atlas’ workers want the former, others want the latter. McKee tries to make all of them, and their employers, happy.
It’s not easy, and making it harder is the fact that unemployment in the United States has dropped steadily for years. It now rests right around 5%, where economists say it becomes difficult to find people.
McKee’s figured out how to do it. In fact, he’s so good that he’s expanded to four locations across the Pacific Northwest, from Washington to Idaho.
How do you produce that kind of growth?
“We have a high intensity workplace,” he says.
“We have managers who are expected to hit their KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). They have to close a certain amount of business. They have revenue goals they have to keep track of and hit. They have net profit goals they have to keep track of and hit. And they also have their daily activities that they have to keep track of and hit. That’s a lot of pressure.”
And it would be the source of a lot of confusion, if it weren’t for the platform that Results.com brings to the table.
How to Make Meetings Matter
“Results.com is the killer app that makes it all possible,” he explains, adding that he puts it up on a big screen in each of his offices.
This creates a healthy competition between locations, but at the same time, it also serves as “a constant reminder to my managers that they have this awesome system they can fall back on to create solutions.”
For a high-intensity business like McKee’s, coordination is critical, and so he’s trained his managers to manage through Results.com.
“The killer app is the Meetings,” he says.
Every week he holds a “Pulse Meeting,” where each of his managers updates the rest on how they’re tracking towards goals.
“We have a policy of ‘no optional-ism,’” McKee says. “The meetings are sacred; they happen and you work around the meeting. They don’t get postponed, they don’t get shelved.”
They also don’t waste time. “People come prepared. They pre-populate their plan to close the gap” between where they are and where they want to be.
And “where they want to be” includes a lot more than accountability for the business KPI they’re making move.
“One of the exciting things about accountability is that it doesn’t have to be rolling up a newspaper and thumping people on the head,” McKee said.
“It can be gently reminding people of who they said they wanted to be, and helping them get there. That’s been a renaissance in thinking.
“My job is to create systems and to facilitate for people so they can maximize their potential.”
Transparency Builds Culture
In many ways, McKee has used the trasnparency inherent in Results.com to develop a culture dedicated to maximizing potential.
“The transparency is the glue,” he says, “and the sooner you embrace it, the happier you’re going to be.”
At the Pulse Meetings, everyone’s progress is plain to see by everyone else, enabling a great deal of learning.
McKee’s managers “identify the gap. People know. They’re not hiding it from anybody. Nothing is going to fall through the cracks. Identifying the dark corners, if we have them, is much easier, because there’s so much clarity.”
Even though they compete on one level, all the managers are accountable to the company as a whole. So when one “identifies a gap,” the others help him close it.
McKee uses the application to push this culture down the ranks. “Every manager does a one-on-one with all their direct reports every week,” he explains. “And one thing we talk about is, ‘What is the one thing you can work on to do better this week?’”
By developing teamwork like this, and by using the platform to encourage people to reach their full potential, McKee “gets alignment on a daily basis and on a weekly basis.”
“The whole point of it all was to use a system so the business wasn’t running us, but we were running the business,” he says, and clearly “we” includes everyone on his team.
“It’s so empowering from a leadership point of view to be able to point your people in a direction like that, and to give them the tools they really need to be successful.”
Running his business with Results.com makes managing his mangers easier, and makes it easier for them to succeed at managing their direct reports.
“My job is to remind them to go back to the process,” McKee says. “The system is the thing that helps you grow and become better – if you embrace it and show fidelity to it. That’s been the biggest thing.”
Of course, when his people succeed, so does his business.
Opening new offices, obtaining new clients, serving all the people who find work through his efforts – it all fits together into a single whole.
Not only is he greasing the wheels of the economy, he wants to be an entrepreneur who “elevates people every single day.”
“I want my actions to align with some deeper principle, some deeper meaning,” he says.
Results.com lets him succeed at that, and at business, simultaneously.