By Bryan Orr
A few weeks ago, my business Kalos Services was named #6 on the Entrepreneur.com list for top small business company cultures. This was an unexpected surprise and certainly a testament to the incredible group of people I get to work with every day.
How does that happen? How do you “find good people.” My business coach, Rick Corbin, jokes that if they are hard to “find” they must be hiding. I assure you, they are not. As soon as we stop “looking” for them and instead focus on attracting them, you will be well on the way to having a great team.
Many companies go out looking for people who are well trained and experienced, first, and everything else comes second. Quite the opposite, if you focus on the people themselves, before the skills, you might get more milage out of your hiring process.
Hire for Character
When creating job postings we always include the character element of what we are looking for: work ethic, honesty, teamwork, self control, etc. This is not to exclude applicants, but rather to communicate up-front that there’s something going on here that goes deeper than a paycheck.
We use interview questions to help applicants tell us what they care about; questions like “What do you imagine a day working at this job might be like for you?” and “What specifically do you think you will enjoy? What things would you dislike?” We want to get the applicant to explore their “Why” for working here.
If they are totally unable to communicate why they want to do this job, or if they are just coming to work for a paycheck alone, it will be a problem eventually. Steer clear.
Train for Skill
In today’s world you will want to have a plan for training every employee at every position like they have never done the job before. You can’t trust other businesses to have already trained someone, and while having prior college or vocational education is nice, it can have enormous practical gaps. It takes a patient person, especially if they have past experience, but it pays off.
We currently have weekly meetings where we incorporate group role playing and group feedback based on real life scenarios. This is a fantastic tool to help team morale and hone diagnostic and troubleshooting skills. If an employee can do a great job under this pressure with their peers they will also be able to do it with the customer in real life.
Allow for Creativity
Have regular conversations with your employees about whether there are new roles that they can take on. I remember John Maxwell saying that the most important decision any leader can make is “Who does what,” but you must know who wants to do what, and whether they want to do more.
I have found that the biggest motivator for my best people is opportunity. It takes being intentional about allowing them to be creative, asking them for their plans and ideas and then actively supporting them in executing those plans. It takes having conversations with them about the future they see and helping them see an even bigger future for themselves. It takes creating curiosity about the possibilities in your business.
Do you have an action plan for building your team?