Where are all the great people?
When the people factor of our business is working well, the results are apparent. Most CEOs and owners would agree that money-related issues are relatively more straightforward than dealing with the Human Resource component of running a business. Yet, it’s nearly impossible to sustain healthy growth and excellent performance without engaged and passionate people focused on satisfying our customers.
According to author Patrick Lencioni, the employee’s relationship with their direct manager is key to sustaining long-term employee engagement and motivation. This relationship is more important to job satisfaction than pay, benefits, working hours, and other ‘perks.’ Since the way our managers operate is directly related to how well we lead them and the company, this is inherently a fixable issue! Consider these critical questions as you assess the human resource element of your business. If you are looking for top performers, who are engaged, committed, want to work hard and think like owners, these questions will help lead you down the right path:
1. Do your employees regularly take initiative, doing more than is asked of them… solving problems, improving processes, helping others, and reaching for more responsibility?
2. If you could ‘take another shot’ at hiring for each position you filled in the past year, would you be satisfied to rehire the same individuals? Note: If ‘No’, what percentage would you keep?
3. If your best producer or sales person left today, do you have someone likely to achieve at or above the same level ready to replace them?
4. As you scan your functional areas, is the productivity and managerial skill set of your least effective manager at least 70% of your best manager?
5. Is it normally possible (and expected) for you to promote from within?
6. Do your managers help their direct reports monitor and improve their personal performance, with specific plans/goals for each person?
7. Do you have such plans in place for each manager that you’ve also shared with them?
8. Do you trust your team, without question, to make decisions that are in the best interests of the company?
9. Do team members enjoy positive relationships; genuinely knowing and respecting one another, and appreciating each others’ unique contributions?
10. Are your internal processes sound enough to smoothly supply an excellent product or service without constant ‘fire drill’ re-work?
11. Do the best people in your field want to work for you, and are your current employees your best referral sources?
12. Do your people do great work because they know that their job truly matters or because you inspect it?
13. Would you be comfortable if your employees talked to your industry’s leading publication about your company, its mission, and values?
14. Do employees sense they’re continually growing and learning in ways that are valuable to both the company and their own long-term career potential?
15. All things considered, can your team members say they’re proud to work for your company for more than a paycheck?
Consider reviewing these questions with your key management team as an entrée into deep discussions on this vital subject. These conversations will produce invaluable insights related to your company’s greatest strengths as well as areas requiring remedial improvement.