Building a Winning Team

With Jennifer Ménard-Shand, Founder & CEO, Staff Shop

Jennifer is a First Nations Ojibwe and French Canadian female entrepreneur who founded Staff Shop Inc.—an award-winning, full-service, certified-diverse staffing and essential resources firm with eight service lines and growing, that services Canada, the USA and the Caribbean. She was the Keynote Speaker for IBAO’s 2022 Spring Summit and often uses her platform to shine light on topics like Indigenous Truth & Reconciliation, EDI & Supplier Diversity, Indigenous-Women led businesses, and Labour & Employment Best Practices.

How should hiring practices factor into being an effective leader? 

Our responsibility as leaders is to move people into positions where they can be an A-player or move them out of the organization. We do that with our unique core value assessment and interview process which bypasses personality and gets to the innate unchanging nature of a person’s core, lifting each person to their highest level of contribution. You can try our core value assessment at the Staff Shop website for free and our team can debrief on results and job alignment. Every time you place people in positions that naturally feed their core values, productivity increases because they feel energized as opposed to depleted by their work. A resume can clarify someone’s skill set and capability to do the job, but it can’t tell you if they’d be happy.

“A-players need a meaningful mission to get behind and they should want to shout your battle cry from the rooftop.”

Once talent is onboard, what sort of practices do you advocate for as good tools for managing a team? 

It’s critical to understand a person’s end game prior to making a formal offer and even more critical to work backwards from there to help them achieve their goals. Develop a crystal clear roadmap to meaningful work and highlight the rewards that follow performance, ethics and character as opposed to throwing more material, money, status or power at problems. The extra $5-10K and fancy title that some employees jump ship for—there’s usually a deeper problem there. Invest in your assets, resources and infrastructure to show an employee how to earn extra income and responsibility internally. The grass is always greener where you water it. On the more practical side of things, aim for modern scalable practices, systems and processes—there are a lot of tools out there that are designed to manage teams efficiently and effectively. 

How does an organization’s identity and values affect hiring? 

Core values are the foundation of HOW organizations run and hold people accountable when used as a metric or KPI. Core value alignment is the only path to fulfillment and success in any relationship. WHY you are in business, WHAT the benefits of your business are, and WHERE you are going is what top talent looks for. A-players need a meaningful mission to get behind and they should want to shout your battle cry from the rooftop. Misalignment leads to toxicity, poor performance and damages the team and culture which only leads to turnover. 

Any parting thoughts? 

Just a reminder that it’s a decision, commitment, and duty to provide equal opportunity to anyone who graciously approaches your organization. And, measuring your progress regularly to ensure that all humans from all walks of life feel welcome and accepted is paramount. Employees come first. Clients and businesses don’t exist or thrive without happy, healthy employees who generate results and make a measurable impact. Top employers always lead by developing more leaders who leave big footprints in our world, and legacies worth following.

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