Author Archives: Tim Tucker


Conscious Capitalism: Finding Your Higher Purpose

A special thank you to Tim Tucker, co-owner of Express Employment Professionals ( for the great following submission!

For some time now, businesses have been gaining a bad reputation. Ideas like capitalism, profits, wealth, and entrepreneurship once inspired and garnered praise, but now they are increasingly being vilified. There are many reasons for this, some justified and some not, and the reality is that some blame lies on both sides of this argument. But, as business owners, it is within your power to help change this image and show that at least your business has a conscience.

In the recently released book “Conscious Capitalism,” authors John Mackey of Whole Foods Market and professor Raj Sisodia “argue for the inherent good of both business and capitalism.” They propose that “entrepreneurs are the true heroes in a free-enterprise economy, driving progress in companies, society and the world.” To support this, they present four specific principles that companies should follow to not only communicate this reality to the world, but also grow their organization. The first principle to consider is to find your higher purpose.

Make a Difference:
Forbes defined the process of finding your company’s higher purpose as uncovering the difference it is trying to make in the world. This is something the most profitable and highest esteemed companies have in common – they all know their purpose. Disney exists to use our imaginations to bring happiness to millions. 3M is in the business of improving every company, every home, every life. The American Red Cross is daily enabling Americans to perform extraordinary acts in the face of emergencies. Do you know what your business purpose is?

Create Value:
Mackey and Sisodia believe that “business has a much broader positive impact on the world when it is based on a higher purpose that goes beyond generating profits and creating shareholder value.” Psychology has shown that it’s vital for individuals to find purpose and meaning in their lives. And it’s just as important to the business itself. Finding a higher purpose for your organization is all about creating value, an idea that is all too often confined to just marketing or advertising. Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, explains their stores “are our canvas upon which we can paint our deeper purpose of bringing whole foods and greater health to the world.”

Discover Your Business’ Purpose:
Defining the value that your company brings to the world is a step that some owners naturally do during the strategic planning part of the start-up process, but sometimes that purpose can get lost. For other business owners, this is something they never even consider. But it’s not too late. You can uncover your company’s ultimate purpose by asking and honestly answering some questions:

• “Why do we exist?”
• “Why do we need to exist?”
• “Why is the world better because we’re here?”
• “Would we be missed if we ceased to exist?”
• “What core values animate the enterprise and unite all of our stakeholders?”iStock_000011979035XSmall

As you uncover your business’ purpose, it’s important that you don’t negate growing your company or being profitable. Mackey and Sisodia believe that profitability is best achieved by not making it the primary goal of the business. After all, you can’t fulfill your higher purpose of fueling growth and progress within your community if you don’t generate profits. As a business owner, you have the unique opportunity to run an organization that serves a higher purpose and to change peoples’ lives for the better, which will ultimately prove that businesses have a conscience, too.

Investing In Your Employees

“Innovation” is a hot concept right now. As well-known author and speaker Guy

Kawasaki sums it up, “‘Innovate or die is how the world works.” Usually when people

discuss innovation and business, it’s associated with a company’s new product or

revolutionary process. But those are actually just the outcomes. True innovation stems

from a company’s workforce. So when you see a business with the inability to innovate,

the heart of the problem actually lies in the leaders’ inability to hire and retain quality


Finding and keeping top talent is what will make or break a company in the “new

economy,” so it is vital that as leader you do what it takes to ensure your business’

success. In order for your employees to become innovative in their responsibilities and

your employers ahead of the competition, you have to do three things. Building trust,

cultivating passion, and inspiring loyalty must be at the top of your to-do list if you want

to protect your workplace from one of today’s top business challenges – the inability to


Build Trust

Trust is a two-way street. First, your employees must trust you in order to have the

freedom to be innovative or motivation to work hard. This only comes through honest

communication and consistent follow-through from your leadership. On the flip side,

you also have to trust your employees. Kawasaki points out that you have to, “Trust

your employee(s) enough to make the right decision for customers. When you show this

level of trust and empower employees, they do the best work that they can.”

Cultivate Passion

Today’s successful businesses have the most engaged and enthusiastic employees.

But that passion has to originate at the top. “The leadership team must be passionate

in order for the rest of the organization to be passionate,” said OtterBox founder and

CEO Curt Richardson in a recent article. “Who wants to come to work for

someone who is just going through the motions and working for the next professional

advancement?” So make sure you’re excited about your company’s goals and mission,

then work to spread that excitement.

Inspire Loyalty

Maintaining an innovative workplace means that you must also foster a loyal workforce.

Hiring top talent is the first step, but keeping your talented workers engaged and

invested in your business is the only way to achieve long-term success. There are many

ideas out there on how to build employee loyalty, but it really boils down to leadership.

As the leader, you have to be willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done, says

Kawasaki. “Employees need to know that you’ll do the dirty, hard, and frustrating jobs


If you want your business to be successful and stay ahead of the competition, then you

must realize that hiring and retaining top talent is the only way. A passionate, engaged

workforce is the key to becoming an innovative industry leader. But, it’s up to you to

provide an environment that allows your employees to innovate. Give them what they

need, and they’ll return the investment, ten-fold.

3 Sure Signs of Effective Leadership

Everyone has their own opinions of what characteristics make up a good leader.

From well-spoken and patient to charismatic and forceful, the list of qualities

can run the gamut. But, sure-tell signs of effective leaders aren’t in their traits,

but in their results. As you look within your own company and try to gauge the

effectiveness of your own leadership, or the leadership of others, look for these

three indicators.

Consistent Growth

True leaders know they are neither perfect nor omniscient. They are always looking

for ways to be better and never veer from the path of self-improvement. One of

the best signs of a good leader is a slight spirit of discontent. You have to be able

to recognize that you are better today than you were a year ago, but still focus on

becoming even better a year from now. And, growth can never take a backseat to

your busyness. In the book Great Leaders Grow, by Mark Miller and Ken Blanchard,

they point out that, “If you get too busy with your job to grow, your influence and

your leadership will stagnate and ultimately evaporate.”

Continual Success

If the proof is in the pudding, then a good leader’s team will achieve success again

and again. This is true in the business world and on the football field. Take Terry

Bradshaw, former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback who led his team to multiple

Super Bowl victories, for example. You could not be an ineffective leader and

still lead your team to win four Super Bowl titles. A poor leader might have a few

victories, but continual success is the result of good leadership. A recent Forbes

article echoes this assertion with its statement, “The result of good leadership is

high morale, good employee retention, and sustainable long-term success.”

Contagious Spirit

Another quick way to determine the quality of someone’s leadership is to look

at their teammates, co-workers, or employees. Are they excited about what they

do? Are they stepping up and taking on leadership roles of their own? A leader’s

power doesn’t just rest in his or her ability to do a task well, whether it’s throwing

a football or running a business. The real power lies in their ability to inspire

greatness in their team. You are not a true leader if you simply inspire fear or

mediocrity. Good leadership begets good leadership.

Many people proclaim themselves to be good leaders. After all, no one wants to

be told that they’re a bad or ineffective leader. But, good leadership is proven

through results, not words. If you really want to gauge the effectiveness of your

own leadership, consider your growth, your team’s success, and your teammate’s

attitudes. Those three elements will tell you what you need to know.

New Year, New You as a Boss

Welcome to 2013! As a leader in your company, you’ve most likely been busy during the past few weeks thinking about what your team or department can do in 2013 to take business to new heights in terms of production, customer service and innovation. But with a new year comes new opportunities for you to develop and grow as a leader and boss.

Here are just a few ideas for you to put into action in 2013 to be the best leader you can be for your organization.

Get Social Media Savvy

If you haven’t already come to the realization that social media is changing the way business is conducted, you’ll need to this year. According to VerticalResponse, a small business marketing company, nearly 90 percent of small businesses are on Facebook, while nearly 70 percent have a presence on Twitter. Those businesses are participating in networks with more than one billion and 140 million people respectively. People are no longer just talking about their experience with a business to a close circle of friends; they’re letting their entire social network know what happened. And if your business is great at customer service, engaging consumers online could lead to some great brand advocates for your company. However, customer loyalty can easily go in the other direction as well. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to research and find out where and how your company can be active in the growing social media space.

Read, Read and Read Some More

If you are not reading one book a month, whether it’s on business, leadership or your industry, you’re going to be left behind and possibly put your career or business at risk. Don’t let a lack of time be an excuse for you to miss out on the knowledge and opportunities that reading can provide. The leaders of some of the most successful companies today are avid readers. The late Steve Jobs of Apple had a collection that included Shakespeare and Plato, Phil Knight of Nike had a library of books behind his office and Microsoft’s Bill Gates lists Catcher in the Rye as one of his favorite books.

It’s quite simple: the better the leader, the more they typically read. Take advantage of a new year and new start by setting an achievable goal of reading a few books each quarter in 2013. No matter what format you prefer to read on, you can really read anywhere you go.

Be a Mentor, Get a Mentor

Think back to how you came into the leadership role you are in today. Who inspired, taught, counseled and listened to you? Now think about a person in your business or personal life that you could offer those same skills to. Not only will being a mentor to someone allow you to pass on your knowledge and advice to another generation of leaders, you will be challenged to learn more and grow more so you can offer more to your mentee.

The best leaders also know that having a mentor leads to more success and increased fulfillment in their work. A study by the American Society of Training and Development showed that 75 percent  of executives believed mentoring played a key role in their careers,  and companies reported that managerial productivity increased by 88 percent when mentoring was happening. Take some time and think about who’s around you that could be the person you learn and gain insight from.

2013 is full of opportunities and possibilities for you, including being proactive in becoming the best boss you can be. Take advantage of this fresh start and see what new business trends, good books and new learning relationships can offer you.

For More Information Contact:
Tim Tucker
(812) 333-6210

Avoiding High Turnover Begins with Making the Right Hire

As the economy has begun to improve during the last few months and signs of production and job growth become more consistent, your business may decide that hiring a new employee is the next step in growing your market share. But as research and most employers suggest, making the right hire is no easy task. The wrong hire can cause turnover and the harm it causes is something every hiring manager or business owner should be concerned with.

Costs associated with replacing an employee include recruiting, training, lost productivity, and new hire expenses, which can total up to 150% of the employee’s total annual salary according to author Bill Bliss. And while there are several incentives or programs a company can offer employees to encourage employee commitment, turnover can often be traced to the hiring process. In fact, research from the Harvard Business Review shows 80 percent of turnover happens because of a mistake made during this process. Here are a few ways you can feel confident you’ve done everything you can to make sure your next hire won’t be walking out the door in six months.

Relevant Experience
There may be several qualified candidates for any one job, but take into consideration the experience each person has that is specific to your business or industry. There may not be any candidates who have the specific industry knowledge you’re looking for, but don’t discount experience in the same daily tasks that the position requires. And if the top candidates for the job have several years of experience in your business’ industry, but lack an understanding of the specific job you’re hiring for, keep them in consideration. In an online survey on, a blog for today’s business leaders, 65 percent of respondents believe qualified experience was the most important part of the employee selection process.

Culture Fit
When bringing on a new employee, it’s important to make sure that person fits your company’s culture before they ever become full time. Recognize what your business’ culture is and then identify the top candidates that line up with that culture and vision. If your company holds a more professional business attitude, from meetings to dress style, address that in the hiring process through interview questions. When businesses are open and honest about the culture and attitude they expect of their employees, they are more likely to attract the right talent.

Train to Hire Better
Being properly trained and prepared to hire the top talent your company needs is an important part of hiring right. Researching candidates, recruiting skills, an understanding of the hiring climate and knowledge of the laws associated with interviewing are all essential skills to have for someone in a hiring position.

Reckless hiring is one of the top threats to a successful company in today’s business climate. Don’t let the high costs of turnover and the dangers that come with hiring the wrong employee affect your business.

For More Information:
Tim Tucker, franchisee
Express Employment Professionals
116 S. Madison St. Suite B
Bloomington, IN 47404

The Biggest Advantage You Have Over Your Competitors: Your Employees

They keep your business running. They keep you motivated. They help you achieve success and they are constantly being looked at by your competition. Your employees are your most valuable asset, and if they aren’t engaged in their work with the company, they may be looking for the next job opportunity elsewhere. Competition has leveled the playing field, and investing your time and resources into making building a focused workforce that is enthusiastic about working for your company is an investment in making sure your business survives and thrives.

If your business is filled with disengaged employees, who do their eight to five but are “checked out” mentally from their work, you’re losing money.

In a recent Gallup employee survey, it’s estimated that employee disengagement costs businesses $328 billion every year, with national trends estimating that an employee’s lost productivity could cost 34 percent per $10,000 of their salary.

The implication of employees becoming disengaged in their work has far reaching affects that should cause concern for business leaders. Engaged employees are more productive, more profitable, and more likely to stay longer with your company. So what can business leaders do to make sure they aren’t losing ground, and potentially profit, by having a company full of employees who have “checked out”?

Encourage Learning
Employees are looking to grow their knowledge and understanding of their industry or field, and an employer who fosters an environment of learning means employees are likely to stay. According to the Corporate Executive Board, a research and business consultation company, employees who are engaged are 87 percent less likely to leave their companies than disengaged employees. With a job market that is beginning to rebound, it’s likely that your top employees will receive interest from other businesses. When your organization offers opportunities for employees to participate in industry-related associations, attend conferences to add to their skill sets, or encourages further education with incentives, you’re building a company for the future. Mentor and future leadership programs are also a great way to create loyalty among workers.

Live Your Values
Companies that lack a set of clearly defined values that are lived and breathed by the entire organization are missing out on a facet of business that can attract, and keep, the most talented and dedicated employees. This type of organizational culture must start at the top and be present in every level of leadership down the chain of command for it to make a significant impact. The next generation of workers is looking for employers who are not only passionate about their business, but who also clearly live the values they have defined as important to them. Recruiting and keeping the youngest and brightest minds in your field will take more than just an attractive salary and benefits package. It will mean holding your co-workers and yourself accountable for living up to the values laid out by the leaders of the company.

Recognize and Reward
Studies have consistently shown that turnover is hurting small businesses, costing as much as 60 percent of an employee’s annual salary according to the Society for Human Resource Management, and when employees aren’t feeling recognized for their work, they are prone to leave. You can battle this common business cost by implementing a system that promotes frequent employee recognition with verbal and written communications, as well as rewards that will show your gratitude for a job well done. Businesses should also take advantage of performance reviews and provide regular feedback to employees as they make improvements on their past reviews.

Take a look at your current workforce. Is your business filled with employees who will work hard to see the company succeed even in difficult economic or uncertain times? If you haven’t considered the cost of disengaged employees, don’t go another day without considering how you can make sure it doesn’t negatively impact your business.

For More Info:
Tim Tucker, franchise owner
Express Employment Professionals

Business Leaders Lose Six to Nine Hours to Disorganization

Express Employment Professionals’ recent hiring trends survey of more than 18,000 business leaders brought to light some interesting statistics about time management. The survey confirmed what many in business have struggled with for years; there isn’t enough time in the day to accomplish everything.

The survey found that 31 percent of leaders did not consider a lack of time in their day an issue in their roles. For the other leaders in business, the survey revealed some telling information about what causes the lost time and how it can cost companies money. More than half of those surveyed said they lose nine work hours a week due to a lack of organization and 57 percent said they lose six work hours a week because of a lack of time due to disorganization.

Disorganization not only hurts deadlines, projects, and leadership accountability, but can cost companies money in lost hours and missed business opportunities. According to the survey, disorganized employees who earn $50,000 a year can cost companies an estimated $11,000 a year in lost hours. Whether it’s office and desk clutter or a flood of unorganized emails every day, lack of time management can hurt the entire company.

But, the affects of this lost time are not only contained at the workplace. In a 2009 survey conducted by AOL, 62 percent of at-work email users check their work email over the weekend, and 50 percent check it while on vacation. This trend can lead to stress in workers’ lives which can cause more strain and distraction while they are at work. Taking work home leads to health problems as well. In a 2008 Health of Financial Advisors report, 63 percent of the respondents who said they lacked time management skills, also experienced health issues including sleep apnea and high blood pressure.

In the hiring trends survey, 55 percent of those surveyed said their company did not provide training on managing increased workloads. As a company leader, it’s important to take action by holding a class and providing resources for employees to learn from so they become more productive and happier in their careers. As new employees join the organization, provide materials on time management expectations of the job and check back with them to make sure they’re meeting those expectations.

Stress and worry do not have to be the status quo at your organization, and the cost of letting them become part of your culture is too great to let disorganization continue. At Express, we can help your company manage the work overload by meeting human resources needs through flexible staffing, evaluation hire, and a toll-free HR hotline. We can also provide knowledge-based training programs to help your employees stay engaged and learn valuable time management techniques.


For More Information:

Tim Tucker, franchise owner

Express Employment Professionals

1907 S. Walnut St.

Bloomington, IN 47403

(812) 333-6210


Building Employee Morale Takes the Entire Team

Henry Ford, founder of the century old Ford Motor Company, once said “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” Ford was a great achiever because he realized the power of teamwork, where people working together can accomplish goals that would have been impossible to attain alone.


Teamwork is the key to building company morale. Working as a team not only helps employees work toward a common goal; it also fosters an environment where co-workers respect one another and function well together. Creating great working relationships will help streamline processes and boost productivity.


According to an Express Employment Professionals survey of 15,000 current and former clients, less than 30 percent of businesses are currently offering team building activities to boost morale.

In any business, making sure that employees work well together is essential as it makes for both a happier environment and a more profitable company. Employees who feel they are part of a team tend to provide quality work at a faster pace. What can you do to better build up your team?

Make Every Individual Feel Like an Important and Contributing Member of the Team:

  • Appoint a team leader to oversee the progress and to keep everyone motivated to finish a project on time.
  • Assign jobs according to each team member’s strengths for the highest level of success possible.
  • Praise team members for a job well done. Acknowledge each person’s hard work and dedication and be sure to pass along any positive feedback from clients or upper level management. “Great teams do not hold back with one another. They are unafraid to air their dirty laundry. They admit their mistakes, their weaknesses, and their concerns without fear of reprisal,” said Patrick Lencioni, author, leadership expert, and president of The Table Group.

Teambuilding Activities and Ideas:

Here are some easy tips to implement teambuilding ideas that numerous successful companies have put into practice.

  • Recognize each team member’s birthday by either a card signed by everyone, a birthday cake, group gift, or simply singing Happy Birthday together.
  • Volunteer for charity work as a team. Your team could raise money for a cause, run a 5K for a charity, or volunteer at the local homeless shelter serving lunch.
  • Go out to lunch together at least once a month to help build camaraderie.
  • Set up a team rewards system. If your team completes a project successfully, consider giving them a “jeans day,” bringing breakfast one morning, letting them leave an hour early one Friday, or giving out gift cards as a way to reward the team for working together.
  • Bring in a teambuilding expert to conduct a day-long session/seminar with your team.
  • Form a morale booster committee to plan yearly events such as company picnics and BBQs, company softball games, a potluck or Easter egg hunt — anything to get the company employees together to have fun and get to know each other.

Almost 40 percent of clients surveyed by Express felt that the lack of morale was from feeling unappreciated — something that can be an easy fix in most businesses. Remember, by doing team building activities, rewarding progress, and developing work relationships, businesses can make employees feel appreciated and in turn, build a more successful, productive, and happy workforce.

Overall, team building will boost office morale, and morale in the workplace is critical to the success of any organization.

For More Information:

Tim Tucker, franchisee

Express Employment Professionals


Back to Basics: How Your Leadership Style Can Fit Any Team

The following is a guest blog from Tim Tucker, a Chamber member and franchise owner of Express Employment Professionals. All of the views and opinions expressed in this post are solely Tim Tucker’s and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce. To submit a guest blog e-mail DeJohn Rose for more information.

Employees often have similar objectives: career growth, fulfillment, getting the job done. But achieving optimal results in a way that’s agreeable to everyone can be a major challenge. Goals may align, but their successful completion is partially determined by the day-to-day interactions that form individual leadership styles.

What makes a leader?

You’ve heard the saying that leaders are born, not made, but that’s only partially true. Integrity and intuition may be inherent, but people skills are sharpened through experience.

Establishing trust, resolving conflict, and being an effective listener are just a few of the many traits that can be developed through time and teambuilding. While some people’s skill sets are simply better suited for dealing with certain challenges, being able to handle diverse situations and personalities is part of most job descriptions.

Identifying your leadership style and understanding its strengths and weaknesses can help you decide what’s working and what needs improvement.

What’s your leadership style?

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) identifies three common styles: authoritarian, democratic, delegative. Beyond employee productivity, these varied approaches affect workplace ambience and morale.


Strengths: Organization is the main skill of the authoritarian leader. His or her priorities are clear and employees are fully informed of expectations. These leaders work best with passive co-workers.

Weaknesses: Authoritarian leaders can be seen as micromanagers instead of team players. Neglecting to seek feedback and collaborate in a personable way can isolate peers and conflict tends to arise with differing opinions.


Strengths: Communication and creativity are this leader’s strengths. The democratic leader wants to hear others’ perspectives and welcomes a variety of solutions. Their sense of priority allows them to focus on the details without losing sight of the main objective.

Weaknesses: Decision-making is sometimes problematic for the democratic leader. Too many viewpoints, heightened by a desire to please all parties, can complicate the process. Impartiality may also waiver as the employee becomes more emotionally connected to individual co-workers.


Strengths: Delegative leaders instill confidence by allowing others to manage their respective tasks with minimal input. Their leniency allows for creativity and work best with those that are highly motivated.

Weaknesses: Priorities sometimes seem unclear to others, as the delegative leader is often more focused on the big picture than the details of how to accomplish it. The tendency to shirk from responsibility sometimes gives co-workers the impression that they are “on their own.” Delegative leaders can seem disengaged, which contributes to a sense of chaos.

Back to basics

Managing employees is a process unique to every organization and its corporate culture, but here are some guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Be flexible: Capitalize on your strengths, but be aware of others’ needs. Although you should strive to be consistent, tailor your approach in response to each employee and his or her personality.
  • Focus on the person, not the issue: Respect is the foundation of every great relationship. No matter what your management style, basic civility is always imperative. Remember that every employee is a human who deserves your respect; you are working with someone’s wife, father, daughter, or friend.
  • Find out what motivates your co-workers: Show genuine interest. Find out what they’re seeking in their current position and do what you can to facilitate their goals, whether you’re a supervisor or a peer.

Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your leadership style will help your team achieve optimal results. True leaders recognize that communication is a two-way street. Seek dialogue with the people around you to find out what’s working and what you can improve. Ask for pointers from a mentor and accept that all change takes time. Work on issues gradually to become the leader your team trusts.

Getting Back in the Job Market

The following is a guest blog from Tim Tucker, a Chamber member and franchise owner of Express Employment Professionals. All of the views and opinions expressed in this post are solely Tim Tucker’s and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce. To submit a guest blog e-mail DeJohn Rose for more information.

There’s no time like the present to lay the groundwork, start networking, and update your résumé to get back in the job market.

Research indicates that hiring trends are on the upswing. A national hiring trends survey of employers conducted by Express Employment Professionals shows commercial and clerical positions will likely see continued hiring increases for the third quarter. Express surveyed 10,181 current and former clients across the company’s more than 550 locations in the United States and Canada. Thirty-four percent of respondents plan to hire full-time light industrial positions in the third quarter, while 28% plan to hire for administrative positions. The survey also reveals that 13% of respondents plan to hire for engineering positions and 11% plan to hire for information technology positions.

According to CareerBuilder and USA Today’s latest nationwide survey of employers, 41% of hiring managers plan to hire between July and December. One in five managers plan to hire full-time employees in the third quarter. The survey showed that employers are primarily focused on recruiting for customer service, sales, and information technology positions. Continue reading