If you’ve ever had to fire an employee, you will know how unpleasant it can be. Even when you know it’s the right thing to do for the company (and probably for them), it still leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.
So, how can you be sure that you aren’t going to get it wrong again the next time?
In our experience, a good place to start is by looking at what it is that makes your best members of staff so good. And as with most great solutions, you will find that the answer is probably remarkably simple – your best employees are more likely to share in and be committed to your company’s values.
Right now, you might be thinking that ‘company values’ sounds a lot like phoney corporate speech used by over-paid marketers to justify their salaries. And in some instances you would be right. Company values don’t mean squat if you aren’t using them to your advantage. Follow these easy steps to write values that do make a difference.
Writing values that will make a difference to your hiring powers:
Stage 1: Pinpoint the people in your business who you trust and value; the ones who are truly giving you and the company their all. Ideally, these are individuals who’ve been there long enough for you to know their quirks and traits as people, not just as colleagues.
Stage 2: Make a list of all the things that make these people so valuable to your business and things that make them awesome to work with. You should list out everything – whether it’s their experience, skills, work ethic, their determination, sense of humour, whatever. Do this for everyone you’ve chosen.
Stage 3: Now, cross out anything in the list that is related to (a) a technical skills, (b) to knowledge / experience or (c) to intellect. Why? Because while these are important, none of them relate to human values.
Stage 4: Your list is probably quite small by now. Now comes the time for some reflection. Think about the people who you’ve had to let go throughout the years. We’re going to take a guess and say that they didn’t have all (or even some) of the values you’ve got on your list.
Remember, the aim of this process is to find people who showcase the right set of qualities that will help your business thrive, over and above the technical skills and experience they have to actually do the job to a high standard. Technical ability and skills are important, but they are the bare minimum requirement for an employee. They have to be your business’ kind of people to really add value.
If you’d like some tips on how to know if an applicant has what it takes once you start interviewing, read part two of our ‘Hiring Workplace Superstars’ blog.