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CEO Spotlight: Joe Mancuso of Workuments

Posted on May 12, 2014
Natalie O'LaughlinWritten by Natalie O'Laughlin | Email author

joe-mancuso1Entrepreneur, Joe Mancuso is a successful CEO to four organizations. You read that correctly—FOUR! In this interview, we asked Joe how he gets his incredible motivation. Attributing his motivation to always being a problem-solver, Joe shares how in fact, he was simply trying to solve a problem when he created the HR software system, Workuments. Continue reading below for the full interview!

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Helios HR: What motivates you?

Joe Mancuso: I’ve always been motivated by solving problems. Maybe it’s the mathematician in me.  When I first came out of school, I was an actuary and in that capacity acted as a troubleshooter.  Even with things that I knew nothing about, I’d keep digging until I would be able to figure out how to solve the problem.

When we first looked at HR technology it wasn’t our intention to build a product; we were actually trying to find a cloud based software product that fit our organization. We have four other companies with unique needs and we found the talent management software that existed was limited, difficult to work with and expensive. In addition, these products would force us to change our business practices to match the software. We saw this as a huge problem and so Workuments was born. With the Workuments revolutionary design, we are able to configure the software to match our desired business processes. Problem solved!

Helios: How do you define your leadership style?

Joe: I don’t know that I have one specific leadership style.  I adapt to the scenario and/or situation at hand.  In other words, if we’re in a crisis situation – I may have to use a very autocratic style. Depending on the experience level of the people pertaining to the situation, I may dictate, coach, or delegate. My ultimate goal is to always empower people; I prefer them to lead the way.

Helios: How do you encourage your team to innovate?

Joe: I encourage my team to take risks.  I want them to take chances – I don’t want them to be scared to try. If they go in and take a chance, take a risk, and it fails, it’s okay. It’s how we all learn. I truly believe that fear is what holds most people and businesses back. I’ve noticed so much growth and innovation in my team when they are in an environment where they don’t feel like they have to look over their shoulder every time they do something. Instead, I teach them to find opportunities in events that seem negative. They end up taking ownership of what they do. This can be quite empowering!

Helios: What’s your top challenge today and how do you address it?

Joe: I think the biggest challenge we have now is to let people know a product like ours exists.  Historically, when a company looked at talent management software they tried to find something that they could possibly live with. They ended up settling for the least painful process dictated by the software. So our challenge is to let companies know that they don’t have to conform-they don’t have to settle. They certainly don’t have to be a slave to software in running their company. Workuments conforms to their needs!

The best way to address this is through demonstration. We’ve heard comments like-“I’ve never seen software like this before” or-“Wow, what can’t this software do, can it launch, missiles?”  By the way, that’s was the first time we said no to the customer!

Helios: What’s the best piece of advice anyone’s ever told you?

Joe: “Inspect what you expect.” Whether its task assignments or even legal requirements, verify they were completed as required. Its sounds so simple and obvious but I believe it is one of the biggest mistakes most leaders make.

This concept is just one of the unique design capabilities built into Workuments. With Workuments, inspection can be part of an automated process- helps reduce the possibility of human error and therefore helps protect an organization and its leadership. We’ve seen examples in the news where someone did not inspect what they expected!

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