Your Employees Are Not Your Greatest Assets
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer
Wow, I bet that title shocked you. Especially coming from me. This title is a quote that I took from Jim Collins in his book Good to Great. In fairness to the esteemed author, he did go on to add that the right employees are your greatest asset. The key to doing this is understanding who the right employees are, finding them, and then keeping them. If you can’t find the right person, wait to make the hire. Don’t feel like you need to make a person fit because you can’t find the right person. Better to have an empty spot for a span of time than to hire an almost-right person. Let’s start with what the right employees look like. What might some of their characteristics be? Here are just two that come to mind.
Passion – We need to hire employees who have passion. Passion for life, passion for people, and passion for the organization’s mission. Why? Because we want to hire people who are self-motivated. People who won’t need to be watched or pushed into action. Since motivation can best be described as an internal drive to fulfill a need, we want people who allow their passion to draw them into action. A great way to determine if a person is passionate about their profession is to ask them if they have a burning question related to their profession that they are trying to find the answer to or find a solution for. If they are passionate about their profession, they will be thinking about it even when they are away from work and striving to make a difference for the organization, customer, client, or end-user.
Growth – Now you knew that I would fit growth in, didn’t you? The right person will have a growth mindset. They will be looking to get better in their professional and personal life. They will be hungry for new ideas and new possibilities to learn and grow. You can ask people if they have a growth plan, or how they stay up to date in their skills. You will need to be mindful of preferences for learning. Some may prefer classrooms and books while others may prefer podcasts and TED Talks.
Remember only the right employees are your greatest assets. If you haven’t found the right employee don’t just fill a space, wait until you have found the right person. We have just touched on two characteristics that you should look for. If you would like more, please join Marisa and me on Episode 105 as we discuss several other key characteristics of the right employee.