How do small business owners ensure they will hire employees that will contribute to the organization’s long-term success?
The *most* important consideration in hiring is not skills or potential. It’s values – your company’s values and the candidate’s values.
First, define what a great team citizen looks, acts, and sounds like. If you want people of integrity, define what integrity means on your team. If you want people with a servant heart, define what behaviors demonstrate a servant heart.
To make your company’s values observable, tangible, and measurable, define them in behavioral terms. One client described their integrity value using these behaviors:
- I do what I say I will do and keep my promises.
- If I see or hear of actions that reflect badly on our company or team member’s integrity, I raise the question so integrity is not eroded. With values defined in behavioral terms, all organization members need to model them, from the business owner to the new hire.
Hiring for the values match is different than hiring a skilled worker. You must interview for citizenship as well as for performance! You must include questions that gauge the candidate’s work ethic, service mindset,cooperative interaction skills, etc. Their responses will enable you to assess whether they’ll be a good values fit for the team and company.
Once the values-aligned player is hired, define their performance standards. Formalize expectations in specific, measurable terms. Then align all leader’s and employee’s plans, decisions, and actions to exceed performance targets while living the organisation’s values and Behavior.
This is a different approach, but proves its worth with a safe, inspiring work environment where employees thrive, customers are WOW’ed and profits.
Image Credit: grantrobertson