Posted: 03/16/2018 Category: RG Company New
Posted: 03/13/2018 Category: RG White Paper
In scientific circles, DNA is short for deoxyribonucleic acid. It is the essential component of life, carrying the genetic information that dictates the organization and function of living cells. It is the blueprint that determines who we are. From physical and personality traits to criminal convictions, DNA is a powerful aspect of our lives.
Every company – whether great, mediocre, or lousy – has its own unique DNA, an overarching culture that dictates the organization and function of the workplace. Culture, when applied properly, can predispose your company to greatness, much as Michael Jordan was genetically predisposed to athleticism or Stephen Hawking was predisposed to genius intelligence. A toxic culture, on the other hand, will make every day an uphill climb, as with any number of inherited diseases.
How can you harness the power of culture to boost your competitive advantage, attract and retain the best talent, and increase productivity and morale? It’s as simple as D.N.A.
DEFINE What the Culture Should Look Like
As of yet, we don’t have the ability to select a person’s DNA profile. The workplace DNA, however, is very much in our control. Your company does have its own unique culture, whether you have defined one or not; it is to your advantage as a leader to guide its expression.
To define your company culture, you first need to define what is important to your organization. Those old standbys, mission and vision, are an important driver of culture. Google has a list of “Ten things we know to be true.” Their beliefs include “It’s best to do one thing really, really well,” “You can make money without doing evil,” and “You can be serious without a suit.” (More on Google later.) For Southwest Airlines – which consistently ranks among Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work – their defined Purpose is to “Connect people to what’s important in their lives through friendly, reliable, low-cost air travel.” Their Vision is “To become the World’s Most Loved, Most Flown, and Most Profitable Airline.”
Next, ask yourself what kind of employee will best drive your mission and vision. This doesn’t mean hard qualifications – advanced degrees and certifications don’t build culture. Rather, your team’s attitudes, traits, dispositions, motivations, interests, and commitments that contribute to success. Southwest has three general values that they admire in their employees, which they call “Living the Southwest Way”: Warrior Spirit, Servant’s Heart, and Fun-LUVing Attitude. From striving for greatness to treating others with respect to not taking yourself too seriously, you can see exactly how Living the Southwest Way is connected to Southwest’s Purpose and Vision.
Former Senior Vice President of People and Leadership Development Dave Ridley describes Southwest’s culture in this way: “The only way to consistently deliver remarkable service on the front line is if your people are being treated in a manner that reflects how you want them to treat the external customer. Southwest considers its employees as internal customers – and their wellbeing is valued equally or even more than the external customer. We want to create an environment where our people enjoy where they work, who they work with, and who they work for… Their positive experience working for Southwest makes it much easier for them to want to give our passengers a positive experience.”
NURTURE Your Ideals within Your Employees
Once you have determined what you want your corporate culture to look like, it’s time to nurture it. Like any other living, breathing thing, culture will often develop a mind of its own – in its infancy it needs a lot of attention simply to survive, but that doesn’t mean you can step away once it’s developed a little self-sufficiency. Even as it begins to stand on its own, however, there are plenty of dangers that still lurk in the shadows.
One related misconception about company culture is that it is necessarily defined from the top down. Ideally, leaders define what they would like the culture to look like, but it is important to note, that leaders do not always have direct control over the ways in which culture is ultimately expressed. Returning to our DNA analogy, Michael Jordan and Stephen Hawking had to work hard to fully express the potential that lay in their genes. Similarly, it will ultimately be up to your employees to realize the full potential of your workplace DNA.
Our genes dictate what we can become, but it is ultimately our choices that determine what we do become. It comes down to the age-old Nature versus Nurture argument: you need both genetics and environment to get the whole picture. In the workplace, you need both the cultural ideals and the right people to carry out that vision if you want to achieve great success.
It is easy to say that you want your employees to Live the Southwest Way; it’s much harder to cultivate the type of talent that displays those characteristics on a daily basis.
The best way to ensure you are hiring talent that is going to be a good cultural fit is to hold behavior-based interviews. That doesn’t mean inane brain teasers designed to test creative thinking, like “You are shrunk to the height of a nickel and your mass is proportionally reduced so as to maintain your original density. You are then thrown into an empty glass blender. The blades will start moving in 60 seconds. What do you do?” (Note: Although Google used to ask questions like these, they have since abandoned the practice because it simply wasn’t effective.) Rather, behavior-based interviews focus on questions that elicit specific examples of past behavior. “In what ways have you demonstrated creativity in your current position?” “Tell me about a time when you had a miscommunication with a team member or client. How did you resolve this communication breakdown?” “What is the most difficult decision you have had to make? How did you arrive at that decision? What was the result of your decision?”
Google is a great example of a company that has really nurtured their cultural ideals. They have inadvertently defined what culture looks like not just at the Googleplex, but at companies all through Silicon Valley. Google has certainly had great success with their model; for six years and counting, they have topped Fortune’s list of Best Places to Work, and they receive millions of job applications every year. So many other tech companies have tried to mimic their success that the idea of an internet startup office filled with foosball tables and nap pods has become a cliche.
We’d like to let you in on a little secret: Google’s cultural success is not about any of those things. It’s not about the free meals prepared by world-class chefs or the afternoon volleyball games. Instead, it’s about a deep respect for their employees; the perks are simply Google’s way of showing that they value the hard work their employees put in, and of supporting a healthy work-life balance even when employees have to put in long hours. They nurture their ideals by seeing them through day-in and day-out.
Not all work environments are going to lend themselves to “fun-LUVing” attitudes and afternoon volleyball games, though, and work culture is not one-size-fits-all. In a pharmaceutical lab, for example, scientists must take their work seriously at all times. Frivolity and process experimentation must necessarily give way to keen attention-to-detail and professionalism. One is not better than the other; the key is simply in finding what works best for you and your organization.
At Pepsi in New Zealand and Australia, the CEO encourages employees to “leave loudly”. His reasoning is that when leadership makes a show of leaving early to pick their kids up for school, for example, it communicates to lower level employees that they are welcome to do the same. “I’d like you to be a hero at work, but I want you to be a hero at home. If you’re only a hero at work, you’re only doing half the job.” Given this philosophy, do you think Pepsi would benefit from offering employees three free gourmet meals a day? Probably not; inherent in the offer is the assumption that employees are (at least occasionally) likely to be in the office for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Google knows that its employees are going to be putting in long hours – the tech industry is filled with younger employees fresh out of college and ready to build a name for themselves who don’t yet have many family obligations, and, of course, the tech industry never sleeps. The environment at Pepsi is neither better nor worse, it’s just different.
ASSESS Your Progress and ADJUST Accordingly
Another thing that Google does right is assessing and adjusting their efforts. From Project Oxygen, which studied what makes a great leader, to Project Aristotle, which studied team dynamics, Google is always measuring what works best in the workplace – then they follow-through, doubling down on what works and changing what doesn’t.
At its heart, Google is a data company, so perhaps it comes as no surprise that they study the analytics behind every aspect of their culture, from the way people respond to the color painted on the walls (apparently purple got a negative response), to the ideal length of time to stand in a lunch line (three to four minutes allows the optimum opportunity to meet someone new, without wasting time just standing around). When they noticed through their analytics that their free food policy (unlimited snacks in addition to three gourmet meals a day) was causing employees to gain weight, they adjusted their practices to promote more healthy eating – color-coding foods by healthiness and reducing portion sizes. Even those infamous nap pods are backed by data: a short power nap is shown to add significant boosts to creativity and productiveness.
You certainly don’t need to go to those lengths, but you should be continually informally assessing your current culture. And sometimes, when things aren’t going the way you had hoped, you may need to do some adjusting. That could be a staff meeting, team building exercises, or fine-tuning your policies and hiring processes.
Do a DNA Test
Now, I suggest you conduct a “DNA test” on your workplace. What values does the company espouse? Do your current business and hiring practices support these values? Are your employees happy in the current work environment, and are they positively contributing to its continued development? What are your cultural strengths? And in what areas would most benefit from improvement?
What does your workplace DNA look like? Let us know in the comments, then share this article with your network of culturally-savvy (or not-so-savvy) executives.
Posted: 02/27/2018 Category: Industry New
A Candidate's Market
According to the article "Ready, Set, Jump!: How to Profit From the Ultra-Tight Job Market Right Now,” published in the most recent edition of Fortune magazine, “About 6 million jobs are open at U.S. companies, near an all-time high.” Meanwhile, unemployment is near a record low, with Management occupations at 2% and Business and Financial Management at 1.7%. (For perspective: The Fed currently considers 4.6% unemployment as representing “full employment”.) In other words, it’s a candidate’s market.
As the CEO of the world’s leading Executive Search Firm serving the Chemical, Consumer Products and Technology Industries, I can attest first-hand to the sweeping economic changes and increasingly competitive war for talent. A quick drive through any major metropolitan area will sufficiently demonstrate how vigorously the economy is heating up – even in Pensacola, Florida, with a population of less than 450,000, a short drive to the mall will include a multitude of scenes filled with cranes and construction sites.
What does that mean for employers and C-suite executives? How can you attract and retain the top talent that comprises your biggest competitive advantage?
One of my biggest takeaways from this article was the need to focus on the human aspects of leadership; corporations are learning that soft skills (like the abilities to overcome adversity and to make emotional connections with subordinates) are more important than hard skills (like a college degree or specific niche experience). “In 2018, you’ll hire people you never would have hired in 2008,” in part because “past performance is not the best indicator of future success.” This makes techniques such as behavior-based interviews far more important than the traditional screening of resumes for keywords.
More importantly, hiring teams need to recognize that they must impress candidates just as much – if not more so – than candidates must impress hiring teams. If your hiring processes are not up to par, top talent isn’t going to choose to join your organization. If you begin with a low-ball offer, candidates won’t stick around for negotiations. In the current economic market, your organization needs top talent more than top talent needs your position: make sure you are treating your candidates like the superstars they are!
What are you doing to attract and retain top talent in an economic environment that favors candidates? Let us know in the comments, then share this article with your network of hiring-savvy (or not-so-savvy) executives.
Posted: 07/14/2017 Category: Industry Trade Show
Ropella got into the spirit of Vegas during IFT17 and let visitors to our booth try their luck at winning some very nice swag. Among the prizes were a $250 gift card, travel mugs, and pens so nice that people in our office fight over them. All of our winners were notified this week and are looking forward to receiving their prizes.
Congratulations to our grand prize winner, Amber J. from Parker Products; hearing that she had won $250 made for a great kickoff to Amber’s week. Other prize winners include Hannah K. from Colony Brands, Inc., Michael R. from Alliance Corp., and Landon L. from Kerry Ingredients.
Posted: 07/06/2017 Category: Industry Trade Show
The Ropella Group went to IFT17 in Las Vegas, this past week. Over the course of the four-day event, they connected with industry leaders, met with key clients, and formed many new partnerships, as well. With 20,000 in attendance, 100 sessions, and 1,200 exhibitors, there was much to do at IFT this year.
The Annual Meeting and Expo brought together the most creative minds in the food science industry and gave us the opportunity to gain exposure to the most innovative products and technologies. Across all industries - especially within food and beverage production - there has been a strong consumer push for all-natural products.This drive was a major theme at the show this year, with an emphasis on natural, "green" ingredients that help CPG manufacturers reduce costs while preserving the delicious flavors that make their products great. Progress was another important theme, with a lot of buzz around research into new ingredient innovations.
Strawberry Shrub Vinegar from IFF: Promotes gut health
There is no question the Food Industry is booming right now, heating up the talent war and requiring a significant change in talent acquisition strategy. Ropella is trusted by clients from Fortune 500 Multinationals to Brand New Start-Ups. We partner closely with each client, exploring each unique situation, and customizing our process to help them in identifying, recruiting, and retaining the best possible talent for their organization. The propietary SMART SEARCH SYSTEM together with our experienced, specialized teams of Consultants and Recruiters, are our recipe for success.
For more information, visit us at http://www.ropella.com or call us at (850) 983-4777.
We look forward to helping you Grow your Great Company.
Posted: 05/16/2017 Category: Industry Trade ShowsRopella Newsroo
The Ropella Group went to NYSCC Suppliers’ Day in New York City on May 2-3 at the Jacob Javits Center. The 38th annual event had a prominent focus on sustainability. Attendees were able to learn about the latest sustainable ingredients and formulation trends, through product innovations on display, interactive workshops, dedicated content, and global expert speakers. With nearly 9,000 visitors this year, the event was well-attended with a high level of foot traffic to the 435 exhibitors’ booths.
The change in venue provided an accessible, convenient and enhanced trade show and conference experience. "The move to the Javits Center offered a more spacious environment allowing more companies to be under one roof. It was so much easier to get in without the long lines of the previous years. People stayed to enjoy the event longer in this improved venue", said, Ropella’s President, Robbie Ropella.
Over the course of the two-day event, Patrick Ropella, Chairman and CEO, Robbie Ropella, President of Executive Search, Scott Schmieder, Director of Client Partnership Development, and Samantha Burris, Client Manager, connected with over 300 personal care, cosmetics, and ingredients industry leaders.
The Ropella Group finds top talent exceptionally fast with our SMART SEARCH System. If you have priority roles to fill and missed us at NYSCC Suppliers’ Day, give us a call at (850) 983-4777, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let Ropella know how we can help you Grow your Great Company!
Posted: 04/13/2017 Category: Industry NewsIndustry Trade ShowsRopella Newsroo
This past week, Patrick Ropella, CEO, and Jeff Bennett, VP of Client Partnership Development, traveled to London for in-cosmetics global, the leading event for personal care ingredients. While there, they met industry leaders to discuss The Ropella Group’s executive search services and our SMART Search System.
The conference hosted its largest attendance in five years, and the atmosphere was abuzz with optimism for the future. Frequent topics of conversation included strong plans for growth among both ingredient suppliers and personal care product manufacturers, and positivity regarding an improved regulatory climate in the US.
This outstanding news in the personal care industry signals an upward move in the global economy as a whole. “The economy in London is exploding. From the vantage point of the London eye I counted almost 100 cranes across the skylines – all building new skyscrapers,” said Patrick Ropella.
The Ropella Group attends many of the top industry tradeshows and conferences on a regular basis to network, speak, and stay abreast of industry news and trends. If you missed us at in-cosmetics global, perhaps we’ll meet you at SCC Supplier’s Day, InformEx or IFT in the near future.
Call us at (850) 983-4777 or email us at email@example.com to find out more.
Posted: 02/03/2017 Category: RG Public RelationsIndustry Trade ShowsRG White PapersRopella Newsroo
Scott Schmieder, and Jeff Bennett, Client Partnership Development leaders, attended the 2017 ACI Annual Meeting & Industry Convention at Grande Lakes in Orlando, Florida. ACI is the industry’s leading best business-to-business networking events in the cleaning products industry.
At the convention, Scott and Jeff connected and met with many industry leaders to discuss The Ropella Group’s executive search services and our SMART Search System. The frequent topic of conversation was succession planning and the lack of internal talent in place to fill many coming retirements. The cost of a vacant position can mean the loss of revenue and even market share. So, if you have not started succession planning, contact us and we can help.
We have assisted many clients throughout the Detergents and Personal Care Industry in areas such as:
The Ropella Group attends many of the top industry tradeshows and conferences on a regular basis to network, speak, and stay abreast of industry news and trends. If you missed us at ACI, perhaps we’ll meet you at in-cosmetics, AFPM, SCC Supplier’s Day, or IFT in the near future.
Call us at (850) 983-4777 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Posted: 12/21/2016 Category: Industry NewsRG Executive Search PlacementsRG Executive Search AssignmentsRopella Newsroo
The chemical industry had a dynamic year, and through the success of our clients, the Ropella Group had a record breaking year growing great companies. With our highly effective SMART Search System, we helped to fill very hard to place positions on the commercial and technical side, finding the right person for the right hire.
Here are some of the exciting successes we have been a part of this year:
COO at Peter Cremer
Vice President at Monolith
R&D Director at Melaleuca
General Sales Manager at Glatfelter
Head of Corporate Communications at LANXESS
Vice President at Chemtura
Business Manager at William Blythe
As a global executive search firm, we take pride in our 95% search completion rate in a variety of industries. We know that in the chemical and technology industries, searching for the ideal candidate can be highly challenging.
Along the way, we treat candidates with care as we continue our search process. Here is what one candidate shared:
“It has been your diligent follow-up, meeting arrangements and resources that have made me truly feel strongly about not only Edgewell but Ropella. Since then, I have recommended and commended you and your organization to a few choice friends of mine. Not to lay it on too thick, I just wanted to extend my sincere gratitude. After all is said and done, you have made me a believer, both in the potential for my career and in this process.
Please continue to do what you do each day. If no one else ever tells you, I want you to know, you are making a positive difference in many lives.”
Want top talent from competitors?
Have multiple roles to fill?
Leaders planning to retire?
Just received a resignation letter?
If you have a position vital to your companies’ growth and need exceptional candidates, exceptionally fast, give us a call at 850-983-4883 or e-mail us at email@example.com.
Mention how you found us on our company blog and receive a $1000 discount toward your next search!
Posted: 08/02/2016 Category: RG Company NewsRG Employee NewsRG Public Relation
Celebrating 30 years of growing great companies in the Chemical, Allied, and related industries, Ropella Group added new team members to support new demand for executive search expertise. Each team member brings a unique skill set and background to the Ropella Group.
Yvonne Baboi, Executive Search Consultant
Yvonne is from Northeast Ohio and recently moved to Florida last summer. She was a middle school teacher, taught at the Correction Facilities in Ohio and Georgia, and currently teaches part-time at the local college in Pensacola. She came onboard with the Ropella team in January 2016 as an Executive Search Consultant.
Cathy Barret, Executive Search Consultant
Cathy joined Ropella Group as an Executive Search Consultant in March 2016. She relocated to Pace late 2015 to be near family when her youngest went to college. Cathy offers strong interpersonal skills and brings an accomplished background in marketing, sales and volunteer management to her executive search team.
Olga Danilov-Palacios, Administrative Assistant
Olga joined Ropella Group full-time in March 2016 as an Administrative Assistant. She came to the U.S. from Moldova as an international student at the University of West Florida earning her BSBA in Management and MBA degree. With her high attention to detail and strong organizational skills, Olga works to help the research and business development team at Ropella. In her spare time, she likes spending time with her family and their wonderful dog.
Brian Moore, Executive Search Consultant
Brian is a recent BSBA graduate from UWF and joined Ropella full time in May of 2016. He is from Pensacola, Florida. Brian has unique leadership and teamwork skills that help fulfill his role as an Executive Search Consultant.
Nam Nguyen, Business Development Research Associate
Nam is a recent MBA graduate from UWF and joined Ropella Group full-time in May 2016. He is a long time Pensacola native. With his unique skills in research and interests in technology, Nam works to help with the business development, marketing, and social media team at Ropella.