Posts Tagged ‘Doug Bizzard’

The Journey from Zero to Sixty: Part Two

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

In today’s video blog, CAI’s Vice President of Membership, Doug Blizzard, continues his discussion series about the journey small employers take, from hiring their first employee to their sixtieth. Doug has broken up the journey into four phases, and will discuss the second phase, from 11 to 19 employees, in today’s video.

While the first phase of development for small businesses is very CEO-centric, Doug explains that CEOs must learn to let go of some of their duties and delegate them to managers during this second phase. With a growing business comes growing responsibilities, and in order to thrive in this stage, Doug advises CEOs to

  • Departmentalize: Create organizational structure by bringing in managers who will report to the CEO and take some of the weight off of his or her shoulders
  • Reevaluate the staffing front: Let go of employees that you have outgrown. It is difficult to do but will ultimately open up new positions for employees who can help your business get to the next stage
  • Add regulations including the Civil Rights Act and the ADA

Tune in next time to see Doug tackle the third phase of the Journey from Zero to Sixty. As always, please contact our Advice & Resolution team at at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746 if you encounter any further challenges with the growth of your small business.

The Journey from Zero to Sixty: Part One

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

In today’s video blog, CAI’s Vice President of Membership, Doug Blizzard, begins his discussion about the journey small employers take, from hiring their first employee to their sixtieth. Doug starts by breaking the journey from zero to sixty into four phases, and will discuss the first phase, up to roughly 10 employees, in today’s video.

Doug explains that the key to this first phase is survival. For the CEO, this first phase will be the busiest time of their lives. From taking on hiring, firing, financing and managing, Doug succinctly described this phase as “chaotic.” In order to make it out of this most trying period, Doug suggests small businesses must:

  • Hire carefully: find employees who will fit the established culture and are willing to take on a range of responsibilities as the business grows
  • Solidify your work culture/policies: Create your first employee manual and other workplace documents as your near 10 employees
  • Lay out a clear plan for growth so that each employee understands his or her role and stake in the company’s ultimate success

Doug closes by reminding small businesses to stay abreast of state and federal regulations in order to protect themselves from harm. By following these steps of hiring the right people and laying out a clear plan for your company’s culture and future growth, Doug believes you will make it through the challenges of this first phase. But once you do, how will you handle the next challenge? Find out next time as Doug lets us in on the secrets to tackling Phase II.

4 Tips to Act Like a Detective When Hiring Job Candidates

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

CAI’s Director of Membership, Doug Blizzard, offers several strategies to help you make solid hiring decisions in today’s video post. He suggests that you act like a detective during the interview and hiring process to make sure your new hire is the right person to do the job. Doug says that organizations should objectively piece together clues to find their new employee. However, many hiring managers act like first-time car buyers—nervous, unprepared, settle for the first thing they find, etc.

As a detective, Doug encourages you to take your time during the hiring process. Actively find out if job candidates have the character and credentials to fill your open position. Doug gives you four ways to pull off a successful investigation:

1)      Screen for Organizational Fit

Many leading companies believe cultural or organizational fit are more important than specific job skills. Hire someone who fits your workplace culture, and you’ll likely spend less time dealing with a bad hire who affects the morale and performance of your other employees. Doug says you can’t teach character. He lists several ways to screen for organizational fit in the video.

2)       Require Letters of Reference

Doug suggests having your job candidates provide you with two letters of reference—one personal and one professional. The letters will tell you a lot about the candidate and help you indentify the type of character your candidate has.

3)      Ask Behavior-Based Interview Questions

Job candidates are prepared for standard interview questions, such as their strengths, weaknesses and even what type of animal they’d be. However, Doug says the best predictor of success is past results. Identify success factors for your company’s available position, and ask your candidates how they were able to have similar results at their workplace.

4)      Perform Background Checks

In the video, Doug says the cost to perform background checks pales in comparison to the price of a bad hire. Fifty-three percent of all job applications contain errors so performing this step is crucial.

If you have additional questions or would like more information to help you with your hiring process, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

3 Tips for Achieving a High-Performing Workplace

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Today’s post features CAI’s Director of Member Development, Doug Blizzard. In this video, Doug dives deep into the topic of positive people practices and how they have a substantial effect on company success. Doug points to a Cornell study that found that companies implementing effective people management strategies experienced 22.1 percent higher revenue growth, 23.3 percent higher profit growth and a 66.8 percent reduction in employee turnover.  

Sounds like this should be easy, right? Positive people practices, lead to engaged employees, leading to better business results. Doug says wrong. According to recent research, nearly two-thirds of US employees aren’t fully engaged at work. Doug lists the following reasons as to why some employees aren’t as engaged: asking your team to do more with less, passing business costs to employees and not giving proper management training.

Despite the less than thrilling numbers on engagement, some companies are able to achieve high-performing workplaces. Doug says they get there without above market compensation, better benefits, or flip flop Fridays. 

How do they do it? He gives three reasons:

Create a compelling vision for the company

Define why your company exists and communicate that clearly to your employees. Doug says a strong company vision is magnetic and motivating. The why is what compels people to want to work for you rather than just having to work for you.

Build a culture for the 95 percent

If your people practices are weak, you will not build a high-performing organization. He says that a company’s people systems can build, support or destroy a winning culture.  In the video, Doug asks you to take an honest look at your people policies.  Are they designed for the 95 percent of employees that want to do a good job or for the 5 percent that misbehave? Try designing for the 95 percent and you’ll likely see company morale, employee effort and performance improve.  Doug says the 5 percent will leave or you’ll help them leave. 

Practice positive management everyday

Doug says that front-line manages are the most critical link for almost everything your employees do.  Most people quit their supervisor, not the company. Research finds that poorly managed work groups are 50 percent less productive and 44 percent less profitable than well-managed groups.   Make sure your people managers are effective and watch performance improve, he says.

For additional guidance on achieving a high-performing workplace, please contact Doug Blizzard at 919-713-5244 or