Hiring the right people is the best thing you can do for your organization. Though time may be the most valuable resource, people are the make-or-break factor for any company. Most successful organizations are built upon great people who bring a variety of skills, knowledge, and abilities to the table. The wrong people could have all the time in the world and still fail, but the right people in the right positions can overcome time limitations to create success. Even if a company looks great on the outside, problems with human resources can spell disaster.
Cultivating Strong Leaders
When considering a leadership team, look for self-starters, team players, and people who aren’t afraid to take risks. The best leaders are able to communicate and execute their ideas, care for the people around them, and make everyone feel included. Executive teams should model behavior they wish to see in their employees.
Consider your past jobs. If you’ve ever had a bad boss, think about what behaviors or qualities made them “bad.” Perhaps they lacked organizational skills or didn’t know how to communicate effectively, or maybe they created a lack of transparency that left you feeling excluded or demeaned. Now, think about the best bosses you’ve worked for. What made them “good?” Keep these things in mind as you seek out executive candidates.
Author and business guru Jim Collins may have said it best in his book Good to Great: “You have to get the right people on the bus first!” Great leaders tend to hire great people who share their vision, work ethic, and attitude. This is not a new concept, so why do so many companies fail to build strong leadership teams?
Productive People Processes
It is no easy task to find the best people, and, in most cases, companies do not have effective people processes. The best people in an organization are often overlooked because management fails to ask the right questions and reward the highest performers. Losing key performers because you fail to reward them will push you further from your goals and, ultimately, create a toxic work environment.
It’s important to dial into every level of your company to find some of your best people and determine whether they should be promoted or otherwise rewarded. Ask if you have HR policies creating roadblocks or if there are issues with politics or bureaucracy muddying the waters of your workplace.
Engage at All Levels
Nobody reacts well to management staying in their proverbial ivory tower. When upper management engages with people at every level of the company, an encouraging and supportive environment is created. Being truly invested in the lives, ideas, well-being, and career development of people at every level is a great way to discover untapped potential, and candid conversations at various levels of the company are great ways to identify poor managers. Hourly workers generally have no problem telling the truth if their managers are not present and the conversation is confidential. You may even find that some of your hourly workers would make excellent leaders!
You must have great people at the top who can not only lead but also build a network of great people around them who share the common goal of building success for your company. Ask yourself whether your senior leadership has this ability.