One of my favorite business leadership books is Jim Collins’ book “Good to Great”. A mantra from the book, “get the right people on the bus—in the right seats” (with the right training), guides the leadership, team, and company culture development work we do with our clients.
We find that companies who engage the right people in the right seats enjoy increased profits, strong teams, and staff retention. But, too many companies experience just the opposite. Why? There are a few reasons. I’ll share two here.
Fuzzy Core Values
Core values are the essential beliefs that every action is measured against. These beliefs are crystal clear and lived minute-by-minute. A company’s values are so strong that every single person—no matter their role—needs to align with those values.
Sadly, too many companies do the “core values exercise”, whip the values up on the website, make a few beautiful posters to hang around the office, and put a check mark next to “Write Core Values” on the to-do list. They might be dusted off during a new employee onboarding process, then forgotten.
Clear, impactful, and livable core values are essential to building great teams. If a candidate doesn’t fully align with the company core values this is probably a sign that the wrong person may get on the bus (aka your company) and drive it off the cliff!
Does your company have “ride or die” core values? Hiring team members who are a great fit, ready to rock results, and achieve company goals rests on the foundation of unshakable core values. Are your company core values rock solid and lived every day?
Ignore Red Flags
Many companies we work with are in fast growth phases. The pressure to hire people can silence the “red flags” about a candidate’s character or culture fit. What is the company culture? It is guided by core values, as well as, the practices, policies, and expectations that shape interactions? If a core value is teamwork and a candidate is lukewarm about working on a team (which is discovered during interview process), don’t ignore that red flag.
Great teams are built on trust, accountability, transparency. As finding great candidates is more difficult, ignoring candidate red flags in any three of these areas can undo everyone’s hard work, trigger profit loss, and missed milestones.
Technical skill and competency are not sufficient reasons to hire. Leaders who’ve faced the ugly impact of hiring the wrong people always say: “We can train technical skills and support competency development in a role, but we can never train or develop character or make someone a good culture fit.”
Right People Right Seats
Develop and test company core values is key. But the work doesn’t stop there. To get (and keep) the right people in the right seats, invest and consistently train those values at every level of the company. Develop teams that are built on trust, accountability, and transparency. This set of key action steps supports increasing revenue and building great teams that do impactful work.
Jenny DuFresne is the CEO of DuFresne Solutions Group, a training and leadership development firm, helping companies develop mid-level leaders, emerging leaders, and shape company culture for success. Learn more at www.SeekLeadership.com.