Daniel Poussart is a human resource professional with a long track record of success. He is SHRM-certified, and he has a tremendous amount of knowledge regarding workplace development, training, and safety. He also upholds high ethical standards and all of his work, driving to do the best job he can for his company and his clients.
Ravitz Family Markets is a third-generation family-owned and operated business that has been supporting its community since 1968. Stanley Ravitz passed the family business on to his sons, Ron and Steve, who empowered their sons to one day take over the family business. After tragedy struck in 2020 – Steve Ravitz passed away due to complications from Covid-19 – his three sons, Jason, Shawn, and Brett took larger roles within the company to continue leading the company forward in their father’s footsteps.
I believe that productive employees are motivated by personal connection and empathy. My typical day starts with checking in with each employee to find out what they need from me to be successful. Sometimes, just knowing that their manager cares about them and is interested in what they are doing is enough to motivate an employee. Other times, they may have very specific needs that need to be addressed. Either way, asking what they need and genuinely caring about their personal and professional well being is how I make each day as productive as possible.
I like to plan out even the smallest details of an idea before presenting it. Collaboration is so important when it comes to creating and cultivating new ideas. I will bounce ideas off of co-workers, associates, and other industry professionals just to make sure I have a well rounded and methodical approach. Bringing an idea to life entails garnering support for its success, as well as enthusiasm for the types of change it will create. The more people on board with a new idea, the better.
Automation in the retail industry really resonates with me. Contrary to some HR professionals, I believe that automation creates more jobs for retail workers. Ten years ago, self-checkout kiosks at the grocery store were a new and novel concept. Now, almost every retailer offers some type of cashier-less check-out system, while maintaining the same number of employees. I believe that automation will revolutionize the retail industry and HR professionals who embrace this trend will ultimately find success.
Efficiency guides me in my professional career, as well as in my personal habits. I am a multi-tasker who enjoys working on multiple projects at once, splitting my focus in order to finish more tasks. I enjoy breaking work tasks down into individual components to find the most efficient way to complete them. Once a streamlined process is defined, any task can be completed in less time, leaving more time for other activities. I think this habit stems from one of my biggest pet peeves: feeling like my time is being wasted. I got a subscription to Audible so I could listen to audiobooks during my work commute. If I have to sit in traffic, I might as well learn something while I do!
Slow down. Enjoy the small things in life. Focus your energy toward people, activities, and workplaces that bring you joy and spend less time worrying about those that do not.
When you work in retail, the general public can sometimes cause managers to become jaded and feel negatively toward the intentions of others, including their own employees. I believe that all employees are inherently hard-working and want to be successful at their jobs. Many of my coworkers do not agree with me on this and believe that employees typically will not complete tasks without being constantly watched and managed throughout the process. However, I have found that, when leading with calm energy and empowering employees to do their best work, most people are frustrated with the obstacles they face at work rather than the work itself.
Be kind. I have watched so many failed managers burn bridges with former employers or coworkers, creating a toxic workplace in their professional lives and a negative reputation for themselves. Managers who lead with kindness stand up for employees who are being treated unfairly while de-escalating conflict and strengthening relationships along the way. Adding fuel to the fire only enables conflict to grow and create a toxic workplace.
Always do the right thing. This applies not only to give the customer what they want but also to following up with employees to make sure they understand policy and procedure. Managers should lead by example, setting the tone for ethical decision making and fairness in the workplace. However, communicating expectations is the best way to get employees to understand why doing the right thing is paramount to growing any business.
At the beginning of my career, I was often too invested in the individual success of employees, allowing myself to feel personally at fault when an employee decided to leave the company for another job. I have learned through experience that guiding an employee through a complete and satisfying employee life cycle is the ultimate goal and the length of a career depends entirely on the goals of the individual, not the skill level of their management team.
11. What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers? (this should be an actual idea for a business, not business advice)
Invest heavily in employee referral programs. Honestly, no reward amount is too high. Employees who refer family or friends are personally invested in their success and both parties are highly motivated to perform. In my experience, every employee referral has led to two excellent employees.
Without a doubt, the best $100 I have spent is on my SHRM membership. I think, on average, I visit SHRM.com about ten times a week, sometimes more than three or four times a day. Whenever new legislation passes or an HR circumstance arises, SHRM has multiple viewpoints that help put everything in perspective.
It seems like every day I find a new reason why I love using Excel. I use spreadsheets to track employee progress, maintain compliance with state and local laws, as well as tabulate return on investment for HR-related projects. I am a visual learner, so the ability to set up conditional formatting with colour-coded columns makes it so much easier to organize and interpret data.
I highly recommend Never Split the Difference by Christopher Voss. This book has changed the way I approach negotiations both in my personal and professional life. Not only is it an enjoyable and entertaining read, but the strategies Voss describes are highly relatable and instantly change the power dynamic in any negotiation situation. I have used strategies from this book to negotiate salary, de-escalate irate customer interactions, and formulate a game plan for high stakes union contract negotiations.
Ralph Waldo Emerson is credited for saying, “What you are shouts so loudly in my ears I cannot hear what you say.” I think this beautifully sums up two crucial strategies that all HR professionals should follow. Actions are much more impactful than words and policies and procedures that are not followed by all are not treated with respect. Additionally, body language often communicates a point before a single word can be spoken. HR managers must understand this if they want to be successful in interviews, negotiations, and conflict resolution.