Managing Underperforming Employees

By Rachel Douglass
Membership & Engagement Manager

Last week’s Small Business Owner Roundtable with Newman University Business Dean Brett Andrews was insightful – to say the least. It had attendees reflecting on not only how keyed into work their employees are, but also evaluating their own performance.

According to a recent Forbes study, four reasons employees underperform include:

  • Instructions were not clearly understood
  • They don’t have the resources
  • They don’t have the ability
  • They just don’t care


Can you tell which of these bullets are a leadership issue versus an employee issue? If you guessed the first three bullets as leadership issues (with the last bullet being an employee issue), you’re right. The activity served as a friendly reminder to all: employee issues usually begin with the leader or management.

Employee performance issues can become toxic if they’re ignored. As Andrews said, “It’s important to understand the difference between misconduct and poor performance when evaluating employee issues.” Misconduct can easily be defined as willful disobedience, while a performance issue is categorized as the failure to meet minimum standards.

Andrews walked attendees through six easy-to-follow steps to help address employee concerns. Those six steps include:

  • Early recognition
  • Early notification
  • Continuous observation and documentation
  • Verbal warning
  • Written warming
  • Conclusive action

Whether you utilize these specific steps or not, Andrews encouraged attendees to strive to adhere to a consistent and trackable procedure to optimize workplace positivity and increased productivity.

Love of people, community unite #SmBizAwards finalists

Our 2017 Small Business Awards finalists truly couldn’t be more different when it comes to the industries they span (think from roofing to retail). But what they all do have in common is a love of people and a love for their community. The Wichita Eagle has profiled each of the 10 finalist companies in today’s edition, and links to each story can be found below.

There is another opportunity to hear directly from the finalists at next week’s Sunrise Scrambler, where a representative from each company will share some entrepreneurial insights about what has contributed to their success. The event will be held from 7:30 to 9 a.m. on Wednesday, April 26. Then the Small Business of the Year will be announced at a luncheon on May 24.

About the Small Business Awards
Small business is at the heart of what we do at the Chamber, so we’re so pleased to celebrate the 13th annual Small Business Awards this year. This annual program offers well-deserved recognition to small businesses for their achievements and contributions to our community by offering the opportunity to showcase their company, share their story and be rewarded for their efforts. Click here to learn more about the program and to see a list of previous award recipients.

Top 3 Moments from Honors Night 2017

By Courtney Sendall
Marketing & Communications Manager

Each year when Honors Night concludes, I think, “This year was the best yet.” And while I have only attended 5 of the 54 Honors Night celebrations, this one was no exception because the Honors Night Committee once again selected highly deserving individuals and organizations to recognize in front of 665 members of the business community.

This year’s honorees included Dawson Grimsley, Chris Callen, Foley Equipment Company, Conco Construction, Howard+Helmer, and the Wichita Art Museum Art Garden. (Click the links to view the videos played at the event <<< you want to watch the videos.)

                                                                2017 Honorees

In no particular order, here are my favorite moments from Honors Night 2017, all of which left me feeling energized and excited about the future of Wichita.

  1. Howard+Helmer unveiling their new brand: Alloy Architecture
    At the conclusion of the video highlighting Over the Years award recipient Howard+Helmer, Principal Dave White announced he had some exciting news to share with the Honors Night attendees. After beginning with a restroom remodel project in 1981, their company has significantly contributed to the landscape of Wichita (think MarkArts, WSU’s Rhatigan Student Center & Shocker Hall, and Church of the Magdalen to name a few), and the Chamber was honored that they chose that moment to unveil their new brand: Alloy Architecture. We can’t wait to see what the next 36 years will bring.
  1. Chris Callen accepting the {FIRST} Exceptional Young Leader award
    In his humorous and sincere acceptance speech, Builders Plus CEO Chris Callen credited several people, ranging from his drum line instructor to his parents, for his success. In responding to people who question his motivation for launching GroundWork, a startup hub in his Builders Plus office, he says this: “I want to live in, I want to do business in, and I want to prosper in a great city. Period. That’s my dream.” Chris’ “doing something” attitude is something we should all emulate to make Wichita better than it was yesterday. Watch Chris’ Honors Night video here and view a live stream of his touching acceptance speech on the Young Professionals of Wichita Facebook page.
  1. Dawson Grimsley on giving back, texting and driving, and Fords
    I briefly introduced myself to Dawson at the Honors Night rehearsal on Monday afternoon, and when I saw him on Tuesday evening, he shook my hand and said, “Nice to see you again. It’s Courtney, right?” Working at the Chamber, I have the wonderful opportunity to meet a lot people, but it’s rare that they remember my name upon second meeting (and I’m guilty as well). So I was a Dawson fan even before seeing his Honors Night video and hearing his acceptance speech.

    In his video, he spoke about the responsibility that business owners have to support charitable organizations and pointed out that the more money you make, the more money you can give away (love that theory!). The video was also sprinkled with clips from the Davis-Moore PSAs that he became known for, and he delivered a live PSA during his acceptance speech when he urged audience members not to text and drive. From the stage, Dawson told Chris Callen that he seemed like a great guy, aside from the Ford truck he drives, but promised to make him a great deal when he visits Davis-Moore to trade it in.

Again, I encourage you to check out all of the honoree videos at the links above, and you can view photos from the event on the Chamber Facebook page.

I’d love to hear what your favorite moments from the night were, so tweet your comments to @ChamberWichita.

Local Awards to Celebrate Local Honorees

By Rachel Douglass
Manager of Membership & Engagement

The Chamber’s annual Honors Night celebrates an outstanding individual, exemplary corporate citizens, exceptional commitments to the community, and striking architectural achievements. Each honor is bestowed in recognition of a unique contribution to the enhancement of our community.

The event is a tradition started more than 50 years ago in 1963. New this year, though, will be the honorees’ awards. For the 2017 Honors Night, three local glassblowers were commissioned to create awards for our six honorees (listed below). Bob Adams, Chad Droegemeier and Robin Lies are glass blowing instructors at Chamber Member CityArts. They not only agreed to assist in the creation of the awards, but they plan to use the award proceeds to purchase new blow pipes and wooden blocks for CityArts.

Chad Droegemeier works to create one of the awards that will presented at Honors Night on April 11.

“This was a great opportunity for us to partner with the Chamber on a long-standing Wichita program, while also giving back to a studio that offers so much to Wichita’s art scene,” said Robin Lies, General Manager of Burnell’s Fine Jewelry and Design (also a Chamber member).

“As a Chamber that strives to celebrate Wichita pride, it felt like a natural decision to recognize our Wichita honorees with locally-made awards,” said Angie Elliott, Vice President of Membership & Engagement. Glass blown awards will also be presented to the Tier 1 and Tier 2 Small Business Awards recipients this May.

Honors Night 2017 will be held Tuesday, April 11, at Textron Aviation Activity Center, 9710 E. Central. Tickets are available for purchase online or by calling 265-7771.

The 2017 Honors Night recipients are as follows:

  • Uncommon Citizen: Dawson Grimsley of Davis-Moore Auto Group
  • Exceptional Young Leader: Chris Callen of Builders Plus Construction
  • Spirit of Wichita: Foley Equipment Company
  • Over the Years: Conco Construction and Howard + Helmer Architecture
  • Keeper of the Plains: Wichita Art Museum Art Garden

    Robin Lies is the general manager of Burnell’s Fine Jewelry and Design and a glass blowing instructor at CityArts.

Chamber’s Inclusion Strategy Featured in Wichita Eagle Insert

2017 Chamber Chairman Scott Schwindaman provides an update on this year’s strategic priorities in our six-page quarterly insert that published today in The Wichita Eagle.

Our six-page newsletter is published quarterly in The Wichita Eagle to update the entire community about how we are fulfilling our mission and vision. The two front-page stories in today’s edition of the newspaper insert share information about our Diversity and Inclusion priority and how the Chamber is leveraging our regional strength to advocate for business in Topeka.

Be sure to pick up a copy of today’s insert so you’ll know–

  • Which 15 Chamber members to congratulate on their important milestones
  • Who will begin leading our Government Relations team on May 1
  • Which 31 new organizations we’ve welcomed to the Chamber since December
  • How your generous Centennial Campaign contributions are being used
  • Which Chamber Board members are leading each of our four strategic priorities
  • Who to congratulate on graduating from this year’s YPW Leadership Academy
  • How to register for April and May networking events

You may also read and share the insert by following this link to our website.

Contact us if you need additional printed copies of the insert for you team or for your recruitment materials. Our next insert publishes on Thursday, June 29.

Chris Callen to be honored as Chamber’s first Exceptional Young Leader

Chris Callen, CEO of Builders Plus Construction and Grit Virtual, is the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce’s first Exceptional Young Leader. He will be recognized at the annual Honors Night celebration on Tuesday, April 11.

In honor of the Chamber’s Centennial year, the Exceptional Young Leader award is being added to the lineup of traditional Honors Night awards. Its purpose is to provide premiere recognition of extraordinary young talent through service to community and noteworthy accomplishments. Future recipients will have a history of demonstrated leadership within their job and philanthropic involvement.

A graduate of Maize High School and the University of Kansas, Chris assumed the role of CEO at his parents’ business, Builders Plus Construction, in 2013. Since that time, the company has brought high-tech to the construction industry through the use of virtual reality, which led to the launch of a new division of Builders Plus (Grit Virtual) earlier this month. The company has seen four years of record revenue with Chris at the helm and was one of our 2016 Small Business Awards finalists.

An entrepreneur himself, Chris is passionate about supporting start-up companies in Wichita. When Builders Plus relocated to downtown Wichita, he dedicated 2,200 square feet of space to GroundWork – A Startup Hub for start-up companies to reside. Currently, five companies and three freelancers are utilizing the space.

In addition to his professional accolades, Chris serves the community through involvement on several nonprofit boards, including the Arthritis Foundation, Wichita Symphony Orchestra, and the Associated General Contractors of Kansas. He also acts as a mentor for the e2e Accelerator and is a member of Young Professionals of Wichita.

Formerly announced Honors Night award recipients include:

  • Uncommon Citizen: Dawson Grimsley
  • Spirit of Wichita: Foley Equipment Company
  • Over the Years: Conco Construction and Howard + Helmer Architecture.
  • Keeper of the Plains: Wichita Art Museum Art Garden.

Please join us in congratulating Chris and all the other 2017 honorees!

Reservations for Honors Night may be made online. For tickets and additional information, visit wichitachamber.org/HonorsNight or call 316-268-1123.

Chamber surpasses Centennial capital campaign goal

At today’s Chairman’s Lunch event, Chamber President & CEO Gary Plummer announced the completion of our Centennial Celebration capital campaign. Originally launched with a goal of $650,000 on Dec. 1 of last year, it concluded today with a total of $706,306.

The funds will be used to make updates to the public areas of our headquarters, originally constructed in 1972 at 350 W. Douglas and frequently used by our 1,600 Chamber members, 25 committees and five affiliates.

But the changes will be more than just cosmetic our organization prepares for the next 100 years of leading the community. Funds will also be used to initiate new programs focused on inclusion and education policy.

“Two of the Chamber’s four strategic priorities in 2017 are centered on these new initiatives that we believe will help establish the foundation for our future legacy,” said Scott Schwindaman, 2017 Chamber Chairman and President of Lubrication Engineers. “Our Education Policy priority will focus on the important issue of funding for K-12, and our Diversity and Inclusion priority will focus on specific tactics that will further position our region’s image as a leader in this area.”

“All of these improvements, both physical and in our programming, have been made possible through generous donations made from our members to our Centennial fundraising campaign,” said Plummer. “A special thank you to INTRUST Bank who committed $100,000 to kick off our campaign.”

A complete list of Centennial Celebration supporters can be found on our website here.

Dawson Grimsley to be honored as 2017 Uncommon Citizen

Dawson Grimsley

Dawson Grimsley, retired President and Owner of Davis-Moore Auto Group, is the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Uncommon Citizen. He will be recognized at the annual Honors Night celebration on Tuesday, April 11.

Established in 1974, the Uncommon Citizen is the Chamber’s most prestigious individual award. It recognizes those who, by their individual efforts year after year, have made uncommon contributions to the people and institutions of Wichita and the surrounding area. Recipients are honored not only for their role in business but for their participation in cultural, civic, social and philanthropic activities.

Grimsley spent his entire career with the Davis-Moore Auto Group team, purchasing the dealership in 2001, when he became president and majority owner. A well-known community philanthropist, he used his company’s advertising channels over the years to highlight the work of a number of local nonprofit organizations. The partnerships he forged with Muscular Dystrophy Association, United Way of the Plains, the DUI Impact Center and the Kansas Humane Society, provided needed visibility to their important community services.

His dedication to community safety through television, radio and print advertising campaigns earned Grimsley numerous local, state and national awards during his career. His promotion of safe driving became an integral part of Davis-Moore’s messaging, branding and identity. The safety campaign he initiated continues today under new CEO Sean Tarbell.

Grimsely and his wife, Patty, have four grown children and seven grandchildren. He retired from Davis-Moore on Dec. 31, 2015.

Formerly announced Honors Night award recipients include:

  • Spirit of Wichita: Foley Equipment Company
  • Over the Years: Conco Construction and Howard + Helmer Architecture
  • Keeper of the Plains: Wichita Art Museum Art Garden

The announcement of the Exceptional Young Leader award will be forthcoming.

Reservations for Honors Night may be made online. For tickets and additional information, visit wichitachamber.org/HonorsNight or call 316-268-1123.

Our new website is live!

Chamber Marketing and Communications Manager Courtney Sendall welcomed the team from Howerton + White to the January 26 event to announce the launching of the Chamber’s new website and the unveiling of the rebranded signage at the south entrance to the building.

The Chamber’s new website went live yesterday. Here are some of the features we’ve incorporated to improve our user experience.

Our Membership Directory is now searchable by Google.
This Directory used to be a PDF that was updated monthly, so this upgrade is a great benefit to our members for their own Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as well as ours.

The site is now  mobile friendly.
Besides being more easily viewed on phones and tablets, this change also helps our Google ranking and makes it easier for our members to use our site when they are away from their desk.

Both Chamber events and Community Calendar events can now be added to your Outlook calendar.
Just find the event you want to add from our Calendar section and use the Add to Calendar button. This is a great benefit for our members who list their events on the Community Calendar and a nice feature for members who want to add both Chamber and community events to their Outlook calendars.

We’ve increased the visual appeal of the site with a cleaner look and better images.
One of our new front-page features includes images from our last three blog postings to pique interest in the latest Chamber news.

We’ll be able to update information more quickly.
The new editing tools provided by Howerton + White are easy to use and our staff can now create new pages and make other needed changes more efficiently and effectively.

The website and our blog have also been updated to incorporate our new branding. And our staff has reviewed and improved the content to make it as concise and accurate as possible so that users can easily find what they need.

Websites are never finished and this one is no exception. We will continue to look for new ways to improve our site and encourage you to forward us your ideas about how to maximize it.

Our special thanks to Courtney Sendall on our staff for leading and executing this project with our partner, Howerton + White. She’s put in many extra hours on weekends and after 5 pm to guarantee that we have the best possible product. Producing a new website is a daunting task and she’s ensured that we all have a great new tool that reflects our commitment to meeting the needs of our members.

We also want to thank Alan Kennedy and the rest of the team at Howerton + White. Alan provided us with exceptional customer service on our previous site and we appreciate his round-the-clock dedication and assistance on bringing this new site to life.

Announcing the recipients of 54th annual Honors Night awards

The Chamber will recognize an outstanding individual, exemplary corporate citizens, exceptional commitments to the community, and a striking architectural achievement at the 2017 Honors Night event on April 11. In addition to the tradition awards of Uncommon Citizen, Spirit of Wichita, Over the Years and Keeper of the Plains, the Exceptional Young Leader award will be given for the first time in the history of the program (recipient to be announced at a later date). This will be the 54th year for the annual event.

The 2017 award recipients are as follows:

Foley EquipementThe recipient of the Spirit of Wichita award is Foley Equipment Company. Established in 2002, this award is given to an organization or not-for-profit organization that received the Over the Years award at least 20 years ago, in recognition of its continued strength of employment, leadership, innovation, and community involvement. Foley Equipment Company won the Over the Years award in 1979.

The two recipients of the Over the Years award are Conco Construction and Howard + Helmer Architecture. The Over the Years award recognizes businesses and institutions with long-standing performances as good corporate citizens and major contributors to the community’s economic well-being; displaying leadership, innovation and community involvement.

Copy of Logo KC+ICTconco construction

 

 

 

 

 

The recipient of the Keeper of the Plains award is the Wichita Art Museum Art Garden. The Keeper of the Plains award recognizes an outstanding architectural achievement completed by a firm, organization or individual, which has contributed to the beauty of our community.2016-wichitaartmuseumRED

The Uncommon Citizen award and Exceptional Young Leader award recipients will be announced in the coming weeks.

Honors Night 2017 is presented by Metro Courier, Inc. and will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 11 at Textron Aviation Activity Center, 9710 E. Central. Tickets are now available for $90 per person or $720 for a table of eight and can be purchased online at wichitachamber.org/HonorsNight.

Formal invitations will be sent to Chamber members, but the general public is also invited to attend.

Sponsorships are still available. Contact Rachel Douglass at 268-1127 for more information.