In our last post we discussed a huge issue in many organizations–high turnover and theft tied to a disconnect between management and employees.
This article will shed light on how to recruit, hire, train, and retain quality employees—and how management is key to your success, or the trap door to failure.
Slow to Hire
Your managers are key. Who you hire to manage your team members is very important and you need to be more impressed with how they manage and lead, more so than what their resume says. You should be slow to hire an employee and extremely slow to hire a manager. “What?” you ask. Yes. If your work relationship is slightly similar to a marriage, then you should go through the stages that leads a couple to marriage.
Let us provide you with a visual….
In a personal relationship (that leads to marriage), there’s usually the first meeting, a first date, and quite possibly there’s a second date, third date, fourth date, and then the fifth date. At some point between dates six and twenty, the two of you decide to take things “up a notch” in your relationship. Then you eventually enter the courting phase. You’re both seeing the long-term benefits of staying together and being a genuine couple. Months or even years later, one of you gets the courage to pop the question and ask the other, “will you marry me?”, and months or years after that, the two of you exchange vows at a venue before witnesses.
Did you notice that you didn’t go from the first date straight to the altar? There was lead-up. You got to know each other. Trust was built and established. You needed to test them out like you would test multiple suitors. You’re going to only say “I do” (hopefully) to one person, so you need to make sure that he or she is the right one. You need to get a true sense for their values, how they see marriage and commitment, and your respective roles and responsibilities in that marriage; get a better grasp of their long-term goals, and whether or not you both can really do this for the long-haul. This isn’t a “we met several hours ago, got drunk and went to the drive-up wedding chapel in Vegas, and got hitched” kind of connection. We’re talking about something much deeper and intentional.
Now consider your professional relationship. Why would you go from the first interview straight to a job offer? What do you truly know about this person other than what they put on a resume and job application, and what they told you during your 30 to 60 minute interview?
You know how they dress (if the interview was in person), the quality of the resume paper (if it wasn’t emailed to you), and how well they answer questions (and if you recycle the same traditional questions, then this applicant did a great job memorizing the same traditional responses). You also may discover whether they ask a lot or just a few questions. Maybe their body language expresses confidence, humbleness, or shyness. It’s a possibility that they may share something personal like: they just moved here from another city, they have a dog or cat, they love a certain brand of coffee, they are an early bird or night owl, etc. But you don’t truly know the key aspects that you need to trust them to do not only their job, but to reach for a higher standard. You don’t truly know if they are a team player, a team leader, or a drain on society.
Now let’s raise the stakes.
If it’s not wise to go from first interview straight to job offer with an employee, why in the world would you do it with a manager? What has this person done, shown you, or expressed in a short period of time, that would convince you that he or she is capable to lead and manage your team of 10, 20, 40, 75, 100, 300, or heck–even one person?
Why is the slow hiring process also important?
If your largest expenditure goes to recruiting, hiring, training, and paying employees–why keep a revolving door at your company that forces you to shell out thousands or millions in having to recruit, hire, train, and pay for replacements every few months?
When you invest the time in getting to know job applicants and make sure that they are the right “fit” just like you would wait to see if someone is “marriage material”.
Back to the Managers
Some of you may be thinking, “well okay, but what does this have to do with managers?” Everything. If you invest more time in getting the right managers aboard then they will help you to get and keep the right employees aboard, and then they will do their part to lead their team members into the business courting phases that help to imbed the positive cultural elements that you want your team to possess. They will work diligently to make sure that your team members have adequate buy-in, connect on a mentoring level, to help make sure that career goals are established for each team member, and help keep your turnover rates low through positive reinforcement and healthy engagement.
By investing properly in recruiting, hiring, and training the right people, you will ultimately receive an ROI of manager-leaders and not manager-processors. You will have managers who are considering your strategic, tactical, and operational goals and plans, not just focused on checking off task lists, and herding your “sheep”. You will have genuine leaders, not leaders-by-title-only. There is a difference.
To build up the best employees you need a strong management team on every level of your company. Strategically, tactically, and operationally, your managers need to be solid and working together. Senior (top) managers need to be equally aligned with front-line (bottom) managers, as they are with mid-level (middle) managers. As the old saying goes, “you’re only as a strong as your weakest link” and in business, it’s foolish to think that the link is at the bottom. It can very well be in the middle…or worse, at the top.
In our next post we will take you through the next steps to get your company where you need it to be…
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