Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce (HHIB-CoC): Workforce is a critical issue for our local businesses. Everyone wants a magic bullet, but there might not be one. How can some of these businesses solve these workforce issues? 

Scott Beebe (SB): We can take one of two approaches, and there’s a time for each of them. We can take the strategic and “in the now approach” that puts bandaid on the issues without realizing that whatever lever we pull today will have consequences tomorrow. It’s easy to drive down 278 and see a billboard that says “$3,000 signing bonus.” Let’s run that down the trail. Eventually, you’re not going to want to do that bonus. So who’s the first person who doesn't get that bonus and how do you respond to that?

That’s why it's really important to take a principled, long-term approach to things. Is finding people hard right now? Yes, it’s really hard. Ask yourself if you are having great integrity in your recruiting, hiring, and onboarding process.  

HHIB-CoC: You’re going to be chatting with us about the local workforce issue during Small Business Week on May 17. Tell us about the topic of this seminar and why you think it’s relevant. 

SB: We’re going to talk about something different when it relates to personnel during Small Business Week, but I want to be clear that we’re as bullish about operational, marketing, and sales focus today as much as we are about personnel. 

We’re not going to give strategies. Culture that’s not something driven by bean bag chairs and ping pong tables.

Culture is actually a biology term. Think of a petri dish. Whatever you put in it, stuff grew out of it. When it’s exposed to heat, moisture, and light, it starts to grow. So if you put these ingredients in a  petri dish: unpredictability, frustration, lack of process, lack of communion … guess what will grow out? Frustration, anger, irritability, confusionsiox. But if we’re able to take principle, process, system, repetitions, meaning, and relationships, into the  petri dish, guess what’s going to grow out? That’s what we will be focusing on during the seminar. 

HHIB-CoC: What do you think is the biggest mistake that businesses make when it comes to retaining their workforce? 

SB: I think it’s that leaders forget that people are human beings. One thing that we recommend that is so easy, but hard from an engagement standpoint, is team member check-ins. You ask the same five questions every other week. It gives them and you a platform to communicate. We have to plan those conversations … the good, the bad and the monotonous. 

HHIB-CoC: A lot of entrepreneurs by nature are big picture thinkers, and are not great with process. How do you deal with dealing with those whose process is not their strong suit?  

SB: The first thing that we do is tell them that they don’t have a choice. Organisms and organizations are complex, but you have to make the time to do it. Running an organization is a responsibility. When it comes to running a business, there are some things that as an owner, you just have to get over. 

The reality is, we have to ask: Are you running the business or is the business running you? And if you’re running it, are you following a process? 

HHIB-CoC: Either you run your day, or your day runs you. There’s a buzz around town about My Business On Purpose. Tell us about what you’re all about. 

SB: We do one thing really, really well and that’s liberate business owners from chaos. That’s what we spend our day thinking about and our time doing. We do it because we want them to make time for the things that matter most. We work with businesses that have between two and 50 employees, and work with the owners to build systems, process and articulate all of their purposes using our Business On Purpose roadmap.