Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
I don't welcome to foxnews.com live on this Tuesday after Thanksgiving hope everybody.
Had a great holiday weekend this show is called solutions America if you're joining us for the first time.
We do this show around this time every week and we explore some of the issues or problems that are facing everyday Americans.
For people all over the world for that matter -- you're watching this from overseas.
And then we introduce you to people who come up with solutions.
To those problems and these are problems big and small as you'll see we're gonna discuss over the next 25 minutes or so three distinct.
This and we different problems.
That all of which have an impact on people's lives and are important so you can find me on Twitter -- -- down.
We love to hear from you if you know of any ideas anything that that maybe you're in a ball went -- a part of the like to bring to our attention as a future topic for.
A future at the sort of solution America please feel free to send those ideas.
Along and with that let's get right to our first issue.
And if you're small business owner perhaps this is something that you have had to deal with the problem of un motivated employees and a possible solution.
Well we've got some tips on how you can get the problem under control and joining us.
Today is Paul McDonald who's a senior executive director at Robert half which is the world's first and largest specialized staffing firm.
And he joins us alive today good to see you -- that's very much for joining us.
Thank you very much -- glad to be here -- -- little problem is is it when when companies big and small.
Had employees who are not quite performing.
Up to par.
Well it's we surveyed many CFOs actually 14100 CFOs and the responses we get got back was that it's a great problem it's a big problem.
That Tom lost time for most managers and supervisors -- estimated to be about one day out of five so that's you know com.
A significant part of one week that people are managing.
Under performers or employees they need help.
With their -- day routine.
Let's go through a couple of tips that you provided for us -- -- Tips that employer is management can use in order to try to get the most out of some of their underperforming.
Employees in the first tip that you had with the planet face to face meeting why is that important.
-- the I actually say don't delay the performance issues.
Are our happen all the time.
And many managers many employers.
Would write a note put it in the file an address it in the performance repeal -- it could which could be annually it could be semi annually.
And I would recommended we recommend it Robert half.
Don't delay address the issue right away so it's fresh in the employee's mind fresh in your mind.
And you can you can set up a meeting and it in a structure where it's really a solid.
Not delay type of of venue.
Don't -- highway eighty in the downside to waiting as you forget the specifics.
And -- really doesn't know that you.
In the other performance treat -- -- under protective and he continue.
Yes the next two are to spend time preparing for this face to face meeting in men.
To state the facts clearly talk about that.
Yeah well thank you -- and and you know it you need to prepare with specifics.
You need to spend time in advance don't wing it.
Because you know if you -- it then you had you know -- leave it to chance that you're going to be very motivating.
To the employee.
If you you know prepare in advance you have a step by step.
Improvement plan that this employee can address and -- forward to the next level into productive -- he.
You -- hopefully.
Now doesn't always work out that way sometimes that the step by step plan doesn't always come -- -- question and that but then you've got to take other action.
Listen is is the next tip that you -- listening and write it down.
When you're listening to your talking about listening to the employee that you're having problems -- Well exactly and you want to find out what's causing the underperformance.
If it's an employee that's always been productive.
What's changed in their life what's changed in in in the work life or the home life.
If if you.
Ask open ended questions.
Then you're able and -- as opposed to tell tell tell you're able to glean the information.
And then design a plan to help deaf person to the next level for you actually know the facts at that point you're not guessing at what might be dead -- there the issue.
-- there might be something going on at home that it's it's a temporary thing that will resolve itself and then.
The -- them workers' performance could improve after that's that would be an important thing to know.
And write it down and I was interested -- to read the notes when you say write it down.
You really are trying to create up you know a sort of a formal record.
Of the discussion.
And some of the things that you discussed with with your employee in this meeting.
Well there's two reasons to write it down the first one would be to be able to write it down in in in give a written.
-- -- or written summary of what you expect from the employee.
Very good for them so that they know what to shoot four.
Number two from a legal aspect if your small business owner it's really good to have the file just in case it leads determination.
If it you know that's that's the that the worst outcome that could happen because it's really expensive to hire train and then -- -- an employee.
It's a lot easier to try and motivate deaf person to the next level and quite frankly by -- -- down you have a written trail just in case.
Use your judgment.
Improvements talk to us about those final two steps.
Well you know I think that number one use your judgment when I mean by an ad is.
And what we talk about all the time -- don't always criticize.
It's it's really easy to get into these situations where you're trying to improve the performance and help the employee get to the next level -- improve their performance.
But it is sometimes it turns into it too much of -- criticism.
It's you have to edit create a positive environment a motivating environment for that person.
If they are able to improve their performance many managers often forget to recognize the good performance.
The -- proverbial pat on the back they had a lawyer and a girl and we would really encourage you to really if you see -- change in behavior.
To recognize that and hold and it builds morale -- -- is really what keeps the employee motivated in the whole culture of your environment moving forward.
You mention the expense associated -- with having to retrain rehire retrain somebody new but at what point.
Do you decide to sort of cut your losses and saying that for whatever reason this is not a good fit.
And I've got to move in a different direction.
Well it it's a judgment call is is is you know everyone knows that's been through this before if you owned -- business sir -- a manager or supervisor for.
You know that you know if you -- it and you don't have specifics for the employee to shoot four to improve performance it's just a judgment call it's it's a gut check.
And I would really recommend and Robert half recommends this you know if you have a written record of what the stair steps are to get to the next level.
An employee is able to get to that next level then great if there -- not.
Then you can have actually a measuring tool to help you make that judgment easier for you.
If -- really -- -- more objective than subject of if you have that measuring tool of a written record and what they're shooting for.
All the time we have left I'd love to sort of -- flip this around for a minute.
And have you talked to some of the workers who are out there who maybe listened to this conversation right now.
In their minds feel that you know perhaps.
I'm not performing.
The way that my boss expects me to the way and that that my boss needs me to -- order for.
This company to be operating on all four -- so to speak.
What would you recommend to workers out there who may.
You don't want to improve their performance realize that there is an issue.
Is it is it.
Is it good I hit a way to talk to your boss about this and say hey you know perhaps you've noticed that I just want you to know that I'm working on myself.
Well and it and it I would highly recommend that the first thing being do a self assessment.
So if you're if you're an employee.
And -- and you feel your performing.
-- you're not sure if you're performing -- if you've been told that you're not performing the objective in your self assessment.
Act as if you're the supervisor.
Act is if you're the manager or the business owner that gave you the coaching.
And then in its hard to do but I really urge everybody be objective you ask you know what we're -- back.
-- -- I'm sorry to interrupt you but can you ask someone else for their opinion it is there.
A guy in the cubicle next to you you know who's unfamiliar with your work you say hey what do you think.
Well it it if you could ask a coworker I would like to say yes somebody within your network outside of the company.
-- a bit in your business network that person can probably give you objective.
Advice there is no bomb you know agenda.
That may be a coworker might have that sits in the next cubicle.
So I would say take it outside of the company to get some good advice from a business mentor not a personal mentor.
Great advice from Paul McDonald.
Who is senior executive director with Robert half which is one of those -- -- specialized staffing firms in the country there's Robert -- web site.
You guys place what kinds of workers.
Where -- work were publicly traded company that places worldwide finance accounting.
-- and highly skilled administrative staff.
Great well you're very kind to come on and talk to us and offered this insight to.
All the folks out there who are watching nice to talk with you again Paul McDonald you can find Robert -- on Twitter at Robert half.
All the best to you thanks very much for your time in your insight.
Thank you -- Quick break and then when we come back on solution America a totally different issue.
That people deal with especially if you live more urban environment but you wanna have a garden -- -- plant some fruits and vegetables -- you live -- them.
In an apartment in Brooklyn New York what would you do.
But we'll talk to somebody who came up with an innovative solution.
-- we come right back uncle.
Back -- -- -- with us -- we have a fun topic coming up now.
Well let's say you live in Atlanta as I was saying before the break and it in -- city.
In an apartment somewhere you don't have.
About a back yard or someplace where you could naturally plant a garden but you're interest -- growing fresh fruits and vegetables.
What he would do a case -- the issue is getting fresh fruits vegetables storing.
The winter time.
Or depending on where you live anytime of the year could could be tough the solution have a window farm in your home joining us is -- Riley who's the CEO of windmill farms and you can find them on Twitter -- window forms of the -- Britain for coming and.
Thank you so much for having what are what are we still farms welcomed their vertical gardens that -- that let you grow some of your own food at home.
Using it in the late -- -- have coming in through your window and as well as out of the -- claiming control that we already have in our apartment so it allows you to produce and and just keep continually harvesting.
Some portion on your own food even during the winter.
-- to come up with the idea.
Well I -- it just really loud.
A day that -- and and they -- and that is having dairy fresh ingredients and having to adversity.
But it's really hard to find out at this point in the year and I'm so I've always liked to -- heat some of my own salad greens and herbs.
In small vegetables growing but when I moved to until Brooklyn.
All -- and I was encountering all of these new problems like.
Lights I'm getting really dead circulation to my fans root systems in Potts wasn't really working.
And you know also just being able to do it indoors with a -- end.
So I -- I actually -- Iran and he now says technology that they've been doing around growing food in space using a technique called.
-- -- -- Which means it -- that you're feeding the plants and routes through the water that you're giving them.
We're taking a look just so you know the viewers at home received.
I guess -- a switch from your website.
Yeah okay so to these are vertically it took to tell us in there because there's no dirt involved is that what I was reading.
Precisely so we're essentially bottle feeding the plant's -- that sentence in there and there's a reservoir down at the bottom and it's been mostly -- get -- carry over to your syncing and a few teaspoons.
I'm I'm almost like a liquids away I'll add it and then that circulates -- up come on a timer that periodically it's -- dating the -- root system.
So okay so you're you're dealing with NASA technology which I love.
-- what have you found there's certain fruits and vegetables that.
That grow better indoors with your system as opposed to others who -- you pretty much -- what you want.
What you definitely cannot grow greens -- spots and no potatoes and carrots by.
A lot of the leafy greens and you really -- including things like -- which has become -- Popular -- -- let him on our house -- and also strawberries do well so that's one thing that's very popular with the kids for example.
And we also have a lot of people who just really want to have the fresh herbs like that oregano and the -- all the time in the chives that you're using -- not all -- -- all the time for cookies and especially in the holiday it like in stockings and so forth.
Did this speed do things cook but cook.
Do they grow more quickly.
With the -- farm as opposed to planting outside yes.
I'm in general -- tighter planning systems because you're feeding that -- and the best possible nutrition.
I and it doesn't have to grow these big root systems like it doesn't soil more of the plains energy against the top -- implant so.
A gross faster but also that clean as it is -- assimilating -- the nutrients and has much better flavor and texture as well.
Now I know that you have and installation now at the museum of natural history here in New York City which is on the upper west side one of the best.
Museums I think if you're coming to visit New York tell us about it we're looking at some pictures here of your installation would -- do it.
Yeah so I'm you know such an honor I had I absolutely love that museum attendance and that based on my -- pocket and -- -- -- and have basically a giant display and Bea systems that are really designed for apartments.
I moved back to have a giant array of them to be it a research garden.
And this has so we put those -- -- -- it's really been a tribute to agricultural biodiversity so.
We're trying to put as many different kinds of food plants and a lot of -- that.
You know our grandparents used to grow back that we don't we don't see is often in the grocery -- like we don't sit well.
So for example there are a lot of heirloom varieties.
And -- and both Deans and set I have a lot of different kinds of -- says.
That -- essentially well it's very quickly and so we don't see them in the markets.
I we're also getting people a chance to test case.
And it it's hard best plans a lot earlier than they normally get them at the market so for example -- dinosaur tail is one of the most popular things that they hit the exhibit.
Because it's so much more tender then when you get a real KL -- -- and an older kale at the market.
There was that an actual.
Kind of kill or did you just make that up because you're at the museum that's.
Where they have all the dinosaur bone isn't it's very it's -- very candid -- Ever heard of that kind of scale might also called lots and not Ocalan but it definitely looks like -- out of Jurassic Park it does not -- to look for it.
And you're gonna be there this installation is going to be there for a good long time and you said you were telling me before we started the you're really going to be able to conduct some great experiments.
What are you hoping.
To learn by time this installation is done.
Let me get the diet and then then the idea is to give people a little bit more understanding and -- for example the term organic means which -- kind of been dirty farmer term that we're all expected understands by.
It's really it's hard to wrap your head around and that kind of cool thing about our system as it is that.
When you play -- of organic and an organic nutrients right next one another one of these systems you can actually kind of see -- day.
The impact on flavor and in the way that the plants grow.
And so really we wanna just -- has -- some of these concepts to people and have them get to the point where they want -- -- themselves and they want to be doing.
Some of these -- experiments at home.
And that's when you feel like apple won't really be I'm connecting with people is when they're like I want to take -- home and I monetary myself.
Well we planted a garden with very young kids this year for the first time.
And it did not close the well on me and we did we got some cherry tomatoes out of it and I was pretty much hit.
Distraught I think birds came in just.
You know we can put the right kind of netting over the strawberry accidents that that was -- big disappointment but.
I think we may have hit on something here I'm gonna try to to get one of these for my house window farms dot org.
Is the website on Twitter that window farms and -- -- is the CEO.
Of -- forms good luck to you thanks so much for.
It's window farms dot coms not dot org that I that that is it in -- when you want more about actually.
British thanks very much for coming in nice to meet you thank you so much for having -- -- when we come back we'll switch gears and talk about one more issue.
This one has to do with folks who may be viewing and impaired -- vision impaired rather.
And what they can do in order to eventually movies in a way that they've never been able to before an important development.
Then we'll talk about come right back.
Welcome back I'm Rick pulled -- this -- solution -- glad -- with -- had a good show so far we've got one more story to talk about -- the issue here would be for visually impaired folks.
Who may have a hard time being able to eventually.
Watching movies either theater -- home.
Solution could be technology that enhances the movie experience for them imitate you -- lane as president.
Of Hollywood access LLC.
You can find them on Twitter at.
SA UD IA ODX.
And will will put up on the streets of people get sick doesn't exactly roll up and under today I'm sorry.
-- but good stuff.
And I like the idea here tell us about it this is.
-- we're gonna we're gonna take a look at I actually tell people at a at a little clip from the movie the Hunger Games that will explain exactly what this is all about before we do that.
When he talked to us about how how you -- -- came upon this idea.
Well audio description just as general intro point -- description is kind of a sibling service to a captioning provides for deaf people or people with hearing impairments.
Meeks a I'm -- verbal experience out of the visual elements of a TV show or movie so blind or low vision person.
Can actually enjoy all those elements of setting costumes body language facial expression.
That otherwise would be missed if you couldn't see the screen so this is we took that go ahead I'm sorry.
-- no -- up so we taken that which involved originally with -- theater.
Moved to television films and have created soul -- the acts.
Which he is -- an MP3 file.
That a blind person at home or ideally eventually -- movie theater can have on -- hand held device that plays independent of the production.
But in sync -- that so that they can listen to all those elements in tandem without necessarily even interrupting the experience of a sighted person.
Who -- who just wants the audio that came with the -- the production to begin.
So you have to sort of timed this out so that you know you are you -- the MP3 -- the solar DX to audio description doesn't.
Interfere with the dialogue where the action you know that -- visually impaired person wouldn't would have no problem hearing.
That's exactly right we we -- as to whether if there's a 52 pause between -- of dialogue or five minute pause.
We write a narrative and then record it.
So that we we get all the the vital information that goes along with the plot in the story and -- the tone in the mood that the emotional heft is there.
And -- it dovetails beautifully so that the final product is a complete experience for someone who doesn't have access to the visual information.
OK so this is the solo DX for the movie the Hunger Games which of course is a huge hit.
Oh we are too cheap to actually purchase the rights to be able to show.
The whole -- goes along with his audio clip.
But we do have a skill that will put up there so play along I had to give people a sense of exactly how -- -- let's take a look at a normal.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- Later cost contributes -- by -- chariots holding stick with the flame on its tip in the stands of -- and Peta who Wear black form fitting body suits.
OK so there we go obviously description -- bit of the cost to me and it really helps -- To sort of you know give a Fuller picture to someone who's visually compares to as to what what's going on on the street.
Yes I didn't bring my black -- anybody who with whom believe it but we're actually glad you didn't -- no -- sure looks great.
But if so how many how many movies have you done this for what what's your library look like at this point.
Well -- -- X is very new we opened our doors in March so at this point we have readers a lost -- that's available.
The Hunger Games and we are proudly adding television into the mix as well so we've added the Walking Dead we have the first season of the Walking -- completed.
We have princess bride under way.
As well as the first Harry Potter.
-- Harry Potter -- That's great and as far as working with the studios that.
Own the rights to -- which we decided not to do today but for me from your standpoint.
-- what kind have of a relationship do you have a kind of reaction have you gotten from Hollywood.
Well the reaction is one out of getting acquainted all the time.
The history -- a description this goes back to the late eighties.
Everyone is trying to provide access -- in different ways add digital technology has enabled much so what we are.
We view ourselves as as with solar the -- anyway -- kind of created accessory.
Imagine it will it's not so much about the dvd or I it's more about the dvd player or the movie projector.
We are the Smart talking dvd player.
Where the Smart talking.
Movie projector so we -- going hand in hand with all the developments right now that are under way with some of the other description providers out there.
Who were doing what they can to bring description digitally to theaters.
Where we're coming -- -- from a much -- consumer based angle it takes existing handheld technology and make -- easy easy platform wherever you live.
Mean I think this is available -- -- format is MP3.
-- anybody with any kind of other Smartphone.
Or with an iPod or any kind of an MP3 player that's how they would get this they would downloaded on to that advice and they just -- -- Thank -- anymore.
Exactly exactly and and they can have their earbuds you know -- had said things that they are.
Used to using their use of the accessibility interface on their hand held there's a number of devices that blind folks use.
The victory stream reader -- the braille note these all these devices which are tailored to that segment of the population also have MP3 capability.
-- so there's a lot of a lot of places to place the MP3 file.
And -- quickly -- I'm I'm personally not familiar with the technology how do you synchronize it.
You just have to press play.
All on both -- -- -- you're dvd player and your MP3 player at the same time and and you're good to go.
It it's it's sort of that we have a very friendly introduction on the beginning of MP3 each MP3 file.
That just takes you through to a moment of a sound effect will say okay you're gonna have your movie ready to play and you're gonna hear crickets where you're gonna hear a guitar Strom.
When you hear that sound effect you're gonna hit play on your MP3 file so it's kind of a one to step of a pause here a pause there and then hit play -- play.
Based on -- sound -- It's it's pretty intuitive it's telling cracking an -- the first thing you do it in my and I get it right but.
Believe me gets to be second nature very quickly.
You've never seen me make eggs for my kids that -- that's the -- Wait one more question because I I was listening to the Hunger Games clip -- real sort.
It sounded like the voice over artist that you used for that.
She wasn't really there wasn't a lot of like acting involved or anything dramatic involved with her delivery was more sort of more here let's just get to the -- because you know you -- we don't take away from the dramatic production of the actual film of that right.
It's it's a great -- point in fact -- with all the -- -- we work with.
We tell them kind of split the difference between a journalist.
And storyteller the idea is that they're sitting next to a blind loved one or a -- family member.
And there'd be -- the contents if the contents -- sure we hear a little better for its happy we hear a little bit but they don't need to lead the content the content can leave them.
Well this sounds great.
-- you aren't lane is the president the company is called Hollywood access services LLC.
And -- DX is -- is the new product and there's.
On Twitter you can finally out solo DX one.
Which is easier than that of the Twitter address -- tried to give out earlier you can find them online at solo -- DX.
Dot com good talking to tell you all the best good luck with the business.
Thank you very much have a great holiday thanks you too.
All right so great holiday gift idea if you have -- one on your shopping list who may be visually impaired might want to check this out.
In my -- also look for the window farms.
That we were talking about earlier growing fruits and vegetables indoors.
And we're glad to have all of our guests who joined us today again if you have any story ideas for solution America.
You can find me on Twitter at Rick pull down we'd love.
To hear from you.
Every -- issues and the folks who are solving them that's what we talk about every Tuesday afternoon right here on foxnews.com.
Filter by section