Roadtrip Roundup: NPMA Academy Presenters
September 11, 2015
September 11, 2015
This year’s National Pest Management Association Academy theme was Motivate, Collaborate, and Innovate. It is organized by the NPMA’s Leadership Development Group (LDG) and sponsored by Dow AgroSciences. It took place in Henderson, Nev., in July.
The event, which is in its 20th year, featured educational sessions designed to challenge how attendees recruit, communicate and lead their employees. Nationally recognized speakers included Eric Chester, Rowena Crosbie, Deborah Rinner Godwin, and AmkK Hutchens.
The presentation from Eric Chester, an employment consultant who founded The Center for Work Ethic Development, focused on recruitment and retention. His high-energy approach walked the crowd through some personal examples of working with the younger generation early in his career that caused him to start sharing his message. He discussed how it is often the perception of managers that influence the way decisions are made, vs. actually stopping and listening to what is important. For example, studies show most managers believe that money is a driver with Millennials (born 1982-2004) and employment; but when asked, most Millennials respond that meaningful work and a sense of accomplishment are the must-haves. (What better industry then ours to be able to accomplish both of those on a daily basis?)
Chester challenged the group with some best practice sharing, which included talking about:
- What are you doing to find good people?
- What interview questions do you ask every applicant?
- How do you show your people that you care about them outside of work?
- How do you recognize and reward excellence?
Through these four discussion questions, the group was able to start the networking that Academy is built on and lead it to the next day, which was focused on effective communication.
Rowena Crosbie, a professional business trainer and founder of Tero International, discussed how the focus should be to improve everyone’s communication in an organization, not just yours. This strategy will force others to push the improvement of communication throughout as a team.
Keep in mind that the only message that matters is the one that is received. “That may sound pretty basic,” Crosbie told attendees, “but you need to remember that you cannot take the message that was delivered back.”
The key is to focus more on how the message being delivered sounds and looks, and less on the content; this will help influence the perception of the message. When delivering a message, she said, 93 percent matters on the sound and feel. Only 7 percent matters on content when someone is developing a perception on a message delivered.
She issued a challenge to attendees: “Call your business voicemail and listen to it from the standpoint of a customer. Then call around to other service companies and listen to theirs.”
This will help develop awareness of the message you are delivering, she said, and whether you need to reconsider the message you are delivering on your voicemail.
Moving into the afternoon, corporate interculturist and Tero VP Deborah Rinner Godwin spoke on “Managing Your Organization’s Brand.” She continued with the message that Crosbie left off on with how others perceive you — but more on a public and networking level. For example, she gave four etiquette pointers just for when attending networking events:
⦁ Make sure that anything you carry at the event is in your left hand, so your right hand is ready to extend to shake someone’s hand.
⦁ If you’re being introduced to someone while you are sitting down, stand up and introduce yourself.
⦁ Plan out at least three people you want to meet at the event, and make that your focus before any other activity.
⦁ Always close the conversation, so that the individual feels he or she was very important for you to meet at that time.
Business strategist AmyK Hutchens kicked off the Academy’s final day with a presentation on how to “Ignite Brilliance” in your leadership. She talked to the group about the five critical questions every leader must ask:
- How do you define a healthy company culture?
- How do you define “great” leadership?
- How do you define a “great” team?
- How do you define a “great” client relationship?
- How do you define “great” performance?
Hutchens suggested that these be defined in what she called a culture handbook, which is separate from the traditional policy manual. This handbook answers the questions above from the employee’s perspective rather than the one making the rules. Taking this approach allows the employees to have a voice while maintaining the image and feel one would wish to have.