One of the biggest challenges facing organizations today is finding and retaining the right talent for the job. Businesses have to become more and more competitive to survive in challenging economic times, and a key to doing this is staffing your company with a great team. Management has to adapt to changing environments and take on new approaches to hiring and retention to ensure a superstar team.
Here are the 12 Most powerful ways to staff your company with star employees:
1. Empower your company with great leaders
Leaders who are engaged, committed and motivated to work as part of the team.
2. Encourage your leaders to interact with their team members on a day to day basis
This ensures that they have a true sense of what is happening, and puts them in a position to always respond.
3. Know your environment
Determine what behaviors in the environment will generate reward for employees. Hire people who are motivated by what you have to offer.
4. Be open and authentic in presenting your company to new candidates
Give a thorough overview of what they can expect. Don’t just stick to job tasks. Include environment, team behavior, and walk them through what a day looks like in your company. Be as open with them and as authentic as you would be with your existing employees. Have you heard about how being authentic in Social Media is the key to success? Well being authentic when you are interviewing is also a key.
5. Allow the potential candidate to meet existing team members
Something that I do when hiring is to have existing team members meet with the candidate. I encourage the candidate to ask existing employees any questions they may have. This gives them a chance to feel if it is going to be a good fit from the start. Don’t wait for the first weeks of work for things to come up when it is too late and you’ve already spent your time and energy on the hire.
6. Take the opinion of current employees into consideration in the hiring process
Their perspectives are different than the hiring officer or the manager. These are the people who will be working closest with the new employee. Let them conduct their own “interview”. Existing employees can often shed light on people from a different perspective. They will have special insight that will contribute to the long term success of the team. Let them have candid talks with the new hire. Get their feedback. This also gives current star employees a sense of value and ownership of their own team. People who feel valued and empowered stay.
7. Get continuous feedback from employees on how things are going
Services such as Rypple or Cleargears allow for this kind of feedback in an anonymous way that allows people to express what is really going on. Getting this kind of feedback give you an opportunity for recognition, support and opportunities to identify potential issues in operations, morale or service. Addressing issues and being proactive keeps the environment positive and productive.
8. Recognize individuals and teams for their accomplishments regularly
Everyone feels good when something they do gets recognized. Organizations are machines. Star employees need to hear about how they are doing – machines can’t do this, but leaders and colleagues can. Create an environment where recognition on individual and team levels are part of the “routine”. Celebrate each others’ success, recognize both small and large accomplishments on a regular basis and people will thrive. (Rypple also provides an excellent, self managed tool for doing this easily).
9. Be trustworthy and reliable: listen and respond
Things go wrong, people have off days, humans have conflict – when this happens, listen. Listen to people and ensure that people know who they can talk to about issues. Clearly define and assign people to be there and resolve issues. Half of solving the problem is listening. Once you have heard the problem, be committed to respond, investigate and resolve issues. Part of being in a strong team is working together. Most importantly, however, is having someone for employees to rely on so they can focus on their work and do what they do best.
10. Create opportunities for people to be engaged
People who are happy in their positions are engaged. Hold meetings or activities that bring people together and use team communication to help everyone stay in the loop on an ongoing basis. Yammer is a great tool which I have used in my department to keep team communication active. Encourage idea sharing, value adding activities, and active participation. (Example: We have “Team Think” meetings and we also take our employees on activities like Dinner Cruises, Cocktail evenings, Bowling.) It is also important to have fun together.
11. Focus on strengths and give opportunity for development
Everyone may be doing the same job tasks, but every individual has their own strengths and special qualities. Managers should take the time to get to know each of their employees. be observant, ask questions and then develop an understanding of who they are, where their strengths are and what their goals are. Create opportunities in the team to use those strengths and reach those goals. Acknowledge these thing so people know they are valued and they matter as people to you. If you use the strengths of your people you will always have a winning team.
12. Do not lose your focus
Make a commitment to all of the above points and review yourself and your managers on a weekly or monthly basis. Are the employees of your firm happy? Do they feel recognized? Have you created touch points to stay in tuned with what is happening? Have you addressed issues and resolved problems? Have you created opportunities for people to use their strengths and develop their skills? Are people feeling fulfilled and rewarded? The importance of reviewing this regularly, and maintaining consistency is critical to ensuring you have created an environment where star employees can not only shine, but stay and drive the company forward.
When people are happy, feel engaged, recognized and are given opportunities they will thrive at their careers and in their job. Like attracts like – keep your superstars happy and the environment will thrive. This kind of engagement makes for an exceptional team, and this is what lays behind any great company: great employees.
Featured Photo Courtesy of suez92 via Creative Commons.
Mila Araujo is a Social Business Strategist and Speaker, she has a diverse background in management, public relations, non-profit, and events; she is a Director of Personal Insurance at Ogilvy & Ogilvy, Montreal. In her previous roles, Mila organized international conferences on health care, as well as programs to promote health for seniors and children in partnership with the Government of Canada. In 2009, she worked with Modica Communications on the development of the Centre for Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility, part of the Canadian government's Corporate Social Responsibility strategy. Mila is a contributing author for several online sites, including 12 Most, Business2Community, Winning at the Insurance Gamble, Grow, and her own blog Perspectives featured in AllTop. Mila’s lived in Los Angeles, Paris, and Hawaii, and calls Montreal home. Mila is an active member of the Social Media community and Producer of #140 Conference Montreal. She’s passionate about connecting people, non-profits, employee engagement, leadership and using social tools for driving business to new levels.
@Milaspage Great post! It's so important that companies hire the right people to fit their culture, mission, and growth strategies. These points can really help them hone in on how to do so. The one thing I would add is that companies also can't be afraid to fire the wrong people. The ones who are toxic to the team environment and stifle the growth and creativity of a team or department. When people from one department seem to start jumping ship, it's time to ask some tough questions and find out what (or who) is really killing your star employees.
@susie_parker@susie_parker Its an excellent point. The environment is made up of all your team players, if some members of the team are creating issues, or not carrying their weight, it definitely discourages the team and brings the whole operation down. Thank you Susie! :)
Great insight, Mila! I especially love the idea of consulting your current employees when making hiring decisions. The most important part of a workplace culture is how well team members function with one another. You want to hire someone who "plays well with others." Who better to ask than those "others?"
@douglaserice Thanks Doug! When I first started doing that, I got funny reactions initially from everyone: interviewees, the head hunters and even the current team members. However, after the fact, I got really positive feedback. The members of my team loved being trusted to "interview" and feel out the new hires. They had great insight from questions the potential candidates gave them - and overall to date its been a great new part of my hiring practice. Its out there, but sometimes you have to step out of the norm and just do what makes sense. Glad you like the idea too!
Love this list!!! So much of the success of a company is based on who is there. I especially like #5. It's hard to be a superstar if you don't fit in with the other superstar players. Thanks, Mila. Great job!
@jeanniecw Thank you Jeannie! :) The reality is, everyone is a superstar in their ideal environment, so I think the real root of it is to match the environment to the new hires, so that its just a fit. Thats what I try and achieve, and when the energy is right and people feel good about their surroundings, their coworkers and their jobs, you can't help but have superstars.
On the same note, its very important to listen to whats happening and be involved to maintain or nurture positive environments. Like anything, if you leave it alone because you think it is all good, or ignore small things, your environment and your team of stars may suffer. Its hard to keep that balance, but its worth it.
I think a big problem companies have in finding talent is current hiring practices, where machines frequently make the first cuts based on predetermined data. This leads to more interviews with those more adept at gaming the system than those who perhaps have less “machine-friendly” resumés, potentially missing out on wonderful candidates.
Much more important is talented hiring professionals putting in the due diligence to ferret out the best qualified candidates, having more in person contact where people’s skills and talents can be truly accessed and the right cultural fit determined. Perhaps one cannot cast as wide a net this way, but I think the results will be far better.
It has always been my belief that when things aren't going well with employees, you really have to look up the line at who is running the show, or perhaps better put, who isn't doing their job to run the show. This applies in hiring as well, do the people hiring truly understand the job at hand, do they really understand the skill set needed, and are they able to figure out how to determine in a genuine way if the person applying is truly suited. Its a huge challenge. I think of employee/employer relationships as just that >>relationships. Things have to fit, and the words on a resume or a person's titles are not what will determine if the "marriage" is going to work. We need to really think about why things that don't fit, don't and work at being creative and adapting to our talent pool to figure out how to make things work, and build on that with new hires that fit and enhance the organization & culture.
This is really an amazing post. You highlight a lot of things that people probably know and just don't think about enough - and sometimes that is the exact type of knowledge that can make the biggest difference for a person or a business. Thank you for this!
@margieclayman Thank you so much Margie! Sometimes organizations or hiring managers are so stuck in procedure, anything out of the ordinary seems outrageous, We need to be forward thinking and ask ourselves ... Well, why not?
Common sense often gets overruled by "the way it has always been done". Sometimes I think you just have to be bold and genuine. Rock the boat. >>Hiring innovation. Our talent, our employees, our companies are worth it.
The trick is as individuals, my point #12: always keep on top of yourself to make sure you are doing what you intend to do, always. That's the challenge, I do my best to work on it every day.
The tools I mentioned, @yammer@rypple@cleargears help keep communication active & feedback flowing if you do have one of those busy weeks and you don't get in on your touchpoints.
Its definietly a balancing act, but well worth it.
That's very important in my book. I work for an IT firm and they always get our feedback on hiring individuals interested in working with us. We tend to call it like it is and talk like "sailors" when no one is looking, so having someone that can be themselves, get their work done and still close business gets hired fast! We can usually tell in 10 minutes if they will be a perfect fit or not.
We don't evaluate people based on some "piece of paper" that they obtained from a University because sometimes some of them don't have no common sense, but if they fit into our environment and willing to work hard, it works every time.
@Sonia (Sunnnee) Sonia, it sounds like you work for an awesome company, and I'll bet it makes you all feel good about your own team. I think, it also would let the new hires understand that you, the existing employees, are important to the firm, and probably makes them feel better too knowing they passed the test. People pulling their own weight in a team, or bringing something in that existing team members feel are assets or can contribute is so important. Thanks for writing about the cool things your company is doing. I love hearing about it!