The single most important factor that will determine the success of your company is the quality of your team. Specifically, how you select, develop, utilize and measure them. To me, these four functions represent one of a leader’s key strategic responsibilities. Yet, many business leaders/entrepreneurs seem to go out of their way to self-sabotage their people efforts. How do they do this? Well, consider the following:
- For starters, stop rushing to fill a job and then in your haste, you hire the wrong person, with the wrong skills and the wrong attitude. And to make matters even worse, you wait too long to fix the problem. Stop taking the hiring and selection process for granted.
- Stop hiring “farm” team players because you (incorrectly) think that’s all you can afford or you’re always looking for a “deal” to save some short-term dollars while putting your company’s long-term success at risk. Here are the facts: most farm team players never develop and cost you time, money and frustration to find that out. Start hiring franchise players; they develop faster and put “runs” on the board right from the beginning. The dollars you spend up front will come back to you many times over.
- You probably worry about your personal investments as you try to plan for your family’s financial security. Treat your team as your business’ biggest investment. Be as careful in hiring the members of your team as would in selecting what assets you put into your portfolio. The right decisions will pay you substantial dividends which lead to growth.
- Stop treating training as the cure for all that may be wrong at your company when it comes to people. Training at best is a “feel good” word that describes an activity, not a result. Stop paying for it. Start investing in the focused “development” of your team that will “result” in employees learning, increased engagement in their jobs, and enhanced levels of productivity, profitability and growth. Development helps you to retain high performing employees.
- Stop treating performance appraisal like a personality contest. It’s not about the forms or the act; it’s about the results for the employee, their manager, and the company. Your appraisal system must be genuine and rigorous, as well as ongoing so that every employee knows where they stand at any point in time.
Start with hiring and selection first, then work your way into the development, utilization and measurement areas.