27 Apr

Do you have the right people in the right seats?

A question which has stuck in my head forever, thanks to an old boss of mine, “Do you have the right people, in the right seats on the bus?” has over the past couple of weeks come up in conversation with quite a few of my clients.
This is a powerful question because it makes you step back and view your business from a completely different angle. It’s not about the products or services or the systems you use. It’s purely about the people that you have, if they are the right fit for your business and if they are performing their duties as per expectations. A rather sobering question if you ask me.
The teams which function in our businesses are extremely important. You already know that as a business owner or operator, ultimately your team are the ones that make things happen. They are the ones who make the business come alive. They are the ones who represent the brand to the outside world.
With this in mind there are four key areas I would like to raise and possibly get you thinking about  when you start evaluating the “seating arrangements” on your own bus.
1) Skills and capabilities – every person in your team has a set of unique skills and capabilities, hence the reason for why you hired them in the first place. If you took a snap shot of your business as it currently stands, is every person within your organisation playing towards their strengths and focusing their attention on your business objectives or has their focus shifted?
Teams function well when they are able to get to know their fellow team mates and over time with some commitment from all parties, your goal is that trust starts to blossom. One ingredient which is key to the trust recipe is having a consistent core group of team members with very little unscheduled shifting of positions and people as possible.  As a business owner how do you maintain that core team? In today’s business world we are all aware of how easy it is to “jump ship”. People are often looking for greener pastures. What talent management process to you have in place or people development programme?
2) Emotional intelligence – When you evaluate your team members, instead of only measuring them on their ability to complete their tasks, it pays to measure their emotional intelligence levels as well. They may be highly skilled individuals, but if they have very little self and social awareness, or minimal ability to  self-manage, then they could be more of a hindrance in your business than an advantage. The beauty however about emotional intelligence is that it can be learned.
3) Values – It is said that people are guided by their own personal values, goals and needs first before they actively drive any business goals. With this in mind, do your team members share your business values? Are you aware of team members individual personal values?  Would it not be best to share in a common set of values and beliefs than to struggle with constant internal conflict with your team members?
4) Motivation and passion – Sticking with the bus analogy, you could call motivation the  the fuel of the business. Having a busload of highly skilled, emotional intelligent individuals is any business owners dream. However if these individuals don’t put fuel in the tank, the bus is going nowhere. Same for your business, if your team members aren’t motivated to drive the business goals forward, your business is going no where.
Internal motivation is key and when recruiting the right people should be a non-negotiable, but how are you as the business owner or operator motivating your team members?
With these four areas as a benchmark, how does your current seating arrangement look?
11 Aug

It Doesn’t End at Recruitment

Businesses spend a huge amount of time, energy and money on recruiting the right people. There is either a specific person or even department assigned to this function, or for some the recruitment task is outsourced. Either way, a lot of resources are dedicated to finding the perfect people.

Hidden Recruitment Costs

The costs don’t end there. Once the person has been hired there is training time needed to get the new hire up to speed, and they are never 100% productive from the outset. It takes months for the person to reach their full potential. In the mean time there is pressure placed on the existing team to carry this person whilst they learn the ropes. These hidden costs are rarely quantified in dollar terms, but they are still costs which need to recognised.

State of the Art Recruitment Processes

I’ve seen the rigorous selection processes which some businesses utilise when recruiting new talent. Candidates are expected to jump through hoops in order to make it through the first, second, third, fourth and in certain situations final panel interviews.

My question is, do you spend as much time and are you as attentive with these new hires once they have been brought into the fold as you are when following the recruitment process?

People can be wooed with talk of a bigger pay check, a romantic story of a dynamic corporate culture and awesome benefits, but after the honeymoon period has worn off, what is making them stay?

 It Doesn’t End at Recruitment

To receive a good return on your investment, you must acknowledge that the work doesn’t end once you’ve recruited the new employee. If anything, you should be spending more time and energy thinking up ingenious ways of how to retain your talent.

Questions to Think About
  1. What does your employee development plan, retention plan or employee engagement plan look like?
  2. If the business has one, how active is it?
  3. What makes your business unique and why should people want to be working for your business as opposed to the competition?
  4. Is your business as invested in these types of initiatives as they are with recruiting the next employee?
  5. How often are the managers engaging with new hires?
  6. Do you believe your new recruits and existing team members feel supported in their current positions?
  7. Do you believe your team members feel as though they can develop within your business?

As a business owner or manager, your job only really begins once the right people have been hired for the job. Dusting off your hands and walking away after they walk through the front door on their first day is a sure sign that they won’t be staying long.

Need some assistance? Contact me. nicole@tikumu.co.nz for professional business coaching.

03 May

Hiring the right people for your business, it’s not just about the qualifications.

Expectations. Consciously or subconsciously we all have them. They may be about the day you are going to have, the outcome of the meeting you are about to go into or the meal you are about to eat in the fancy restaurant that has just opened up down the road from your home. Expectations can be met, or sometimes the reality of the experience can fall very short of your desired outcome.

Where do expectations come from? Well, in short they come from our belief system. Our belief system “tells” us how certain things or certain people need to be or act in a certain way. This sounds pretty simple, but it is far from that. Depending on where you are in the world, who you interact with, how you were raised and what media you expose yourself to, all of these experiences add up to every single one of us developing our own unique version of how things need to be done. This makes life tricky, especially if you want to build a cohesive team within your business, where everyone is one hundred percent focused and drives the same action plan in order to achieve the desired goals.

So, as a business owner or manager, how do you get around this? How do you build a strong team and ensure that your team members are the right “fit” within your business? I am sure there are a number of innovative solutions, but here’s one you can try when you’re at that crucial recruitment stage.

Ensuring that your potential new hire is going to fit into your company culture is extremely important and therefore their “fit” suitability should be vetted early, preferably in the interview stage.

Ask your potential new hires what their expectations of the business are. To get a really good idea drill down into specific processes such as;

  1. What expectations do you have with regards to how your team should communicate? Drill down to understand their idea of what’s acceptable and what’s unacceptable in how team meetings, correspondence and deadlines should be addressed.
  2. What expectations do you have from your direct supervisor with regards to their management style, one-on-one contact time and their feedback style?
  3. What expectations do you have with regards to office etiquette and general conduct and behaviour?

Their answers will give you a glimpse into their belief system. How they like to see things being done, and how they would happily and comfortably operate in their ideal working environment.

For instance you might find a person, who fits the qualifications of the job, but they are use to working in a controlled and highly formal environment. Your business, on the other hand might be quite casual and relaxed with less formality and red tape.

The thing to note here, is that there is no wrong or right answer. Its just their belief system. You can now compare their expectations to how things are actually done within your business. If expectations match reality,  then this is a tick in the box on the long list of requirements you would probably have in your recruitment process. However, if there is a clash, then it is something to consider quite seriously before bringing the new person on board.  Something as simple as not meeting set expectations, can prevent new hires from reaching their potential within a new role. Feeling uncomfortable, unsettled and dangerously out of their comfort zone from the get-go can be damaging and costly to your business.

It’s not just about the qualifications.