From Forbes: 4 Steps to Building the Team You Need

The toughest part about starting a business is never with the product and always finding the people. The only way to truly be successful is to use other team members’ skills and leverage them to build a profitable company.

This is no easy task. Common complaints from business owners include:

“I just can’t find ‘good’ people.”

“I always have a high turn over of staff.”

“Employees don’t work as hard as I do.”

“Can I run a business where I do not need employees?”

The “Golden Rule” for hiring the right person is to realize that people work hard when their personal goals match those of the companies. Once they deviate, people move on to other opportunities. Here are four steps to building the team that you need:

  1. Slow to hire. Identify employees that have skills that are complementary to yours. Rather than using a recruiting website, try to get referrals from other employees or people you know. Give hiring incentives to make this happen. Include a line in your email signature stating the employees you are looking for. When hiring, don’t let your ego get in the way. Hire only the best available at the price that you can afford. Talk about compensation early in the process. Ask them to give specific examples of the work experience that is needed in this job, then shut up and listen. If you have to choose, hire for attitude over skill.
  2. Do training. This step is many times skipped and the results can be catastrophic. When training, teach the systems and processes within the company. Most employees want to know the bigger picture. Ask for frequent feedback from the new employee and their co-workers. Skills competency tests, if appropriate, can measure progress.
  3. Actively manage.  Remember that people respect what you inspect. Ensure there are clear management reporting lines with no back channels. This is especially important in smaller companies. Implement formal or informal quarterly performance reviews. Valuable feedback can be given just by “walking around”. As Ken Blanchard states, “Catch someone doing something right!” A mix of qualitative and quantitative incentives always work best.
  4. Quick to fire. If trained properly after 30 to 90 days, it is easy to identify the valuable employees. In fact, everyone in the company knows who they are. Fire the employees that are not contributing quickly since they are sucking productivity and profits out of your company.

How have you effectively hired and retained your best team?


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