Over the past several weeks, we’ve taken a deep dive into our Member 360 tool, one of the multiple proprietary business tools that we make available to our CEOs and business owners. This week the series continues as we look at Human Resources.
Taking a more in depth look at each topic and rating your business in each area is important for the health and growth of your company. Human Resources is just one piece of the Member 360. If you haven’t see the full evaluation tool, you access the full MEMBER 360 here.
This week, we’ll look at the HUMAN RESOURCES questions and why they are important.
We are “slow to hire” and “quick to fire”
Being “quick to fire” is extremely important for the health of your culture. If you have a toxic personality on your team, or someone who is chronically not meeting expectations, the rest of your team knows it and they are watching how you handle it. Not handling it effectively is one of the biggest demotivators for the entire team. Most companies hold on to poor performers far too long. The best thing you can do when you know someone isn’t a good fit for your team is to free them up back to the marketplace. How does your company rate in this area?
On the flip side, many companies are also too quick to hire, instead of being “slow to hire.” This can actually result in hiring a toxic or unqualified person. It can also stress your cash flow if you haven’t taken the time to analyze the true cost/benefit of the new hire. Being “slow to hire” usually results in building a more quality team and leads to better profitability. Are you “slow to hire”?
Poor performers are being addressed and star performers are being rewarded
If someone is a good fit but is going through a period of poor performance, rather than being “quick to fire” it may be better to do some mentoring and training. Of course, this is only a good idea if it’s done early in the poor performance cycle and noticeable improvements are made. Holding on to a poor performer too long is a common mistake by many businesses. How do you rate?
For your star performers, it’s important to reward them regularly. Note, this doesn’t always have to be in the form of compensation. Acknowledging successes in front of the their peers, showing sincere gratitude, and saying “thank you” regularly, are simple forms of reward that can go a long way. One other note about your “star performers” … don’t pile on work to the point of burn-out. It’s easy to give star performers the more challenging projects or load them up with more than your average or poor performers. While they may appear happy to take on the challenge initially, if this is done over an extended period of time, it can lead to resentment and job dissatisfaction.
We use an effective and formalized hiring system
Do you have a set of written interview questions for each position in your business? Do those questions measure more than basic job skill qualifications? Do your formal interview questions address culture, attitude, motivations, and goals? Many companies have a short set of basic skill questions for interviews, but the most successful companies have a more effective, detailed, and documented interview process that not only assesses skill but fit to the company culture.
Our employees have read, understand and sign our Employee Manual
Most large companies have employee manuals that new employees are required to sign that they’ve read. Most small companies don’t have one, which is a mistake. It’s imperative that you have an employee manual, no matter how small your company. The employee manual (or lack of one) becomes a legal document should issues arise. Not having one can leave you at great risk. Outside the risk of not having one, it’s simply good practice to ensure your employees know your company vision, mission, processes, and expectations in the work place. If your business doesn’t have an employee manual, it’s something you really should invest in. If your company does have an employee manual, but it’s been on the shelf for years, you should review and revise it to ensure everything is current and correct.
We have written job descriptions and expectations for every position within the company
The more specific your written job descriptions, the better. Many companies have job descriptions, but most fail to include expectations. Expectations are a critical piece when it comes to reviews … without clear expectations for job duties, there’s really no way to effectively evaluate performance. This can be an issue if you have a poor performer, as well. Without clearly specified expectations, it’s easy for them to assert that they “didn’t know what was expected”. Does your company have specific job descriptions with clearly identified and measurable expectations? If not, it’s probably worth addressing this gap sooner than later.
Our new hires are effectively trained and onboarded
A new job is one of the biggest stresses in life. Think about that. How’s your onboarding process … honestly? You may have made the perfect hire, but then how do you setup their experience for the first day of work? Are they shown a cubicle or desk, given stuff to read/sign and then left to their own devices for any length of time? If you showed up as your new hire on day one, how would you feel about how you were treated? One of the best books you can read as a leader is called, “The Power of Moments,” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. In the context of HR, the premise is that the first day of the new job is the perfect opportunity for you create a “moment” – an experience that makes the new hire honored that they were chosen and made to feel like the most important person in the world. Beyond the initial onboarding process, having an effective training processing is also critical. If you are open to honest feedback, ask your last few hires how the onboarding and training process was for them. As with everything, reviewing and improving on these processes is essential.
We conduct regularly scheduled staff meetings that are highly effective
People hate meetings that are a waste of time. Getting everyone together regularly to discuss “problems” and “rules” is counter-productive and can lead to poor morale. Effective meetings are different, on the other hand. They are learning oriented, training opportunities, positive, motivational, and “reward” opportunities. How do your staff meetings stack up? What’s the vibe? Does the team love them? Or do they hate them? How can you change them up to make them more effective?
We review the performance of our employees regularly
As with anything in business, it’s imperative that you measure performance. It’s no different when it comes to your team members. Going back to the job descriptions with clearly defined expectations really sets you up for success in this area. If you aren’t reviewing performance regularly, it’s likely because you don’t have anything to measure it against. When conducted in the right way, employees actually look forward to performance evaluations. If you have the right team in place, they all want to do well and they want to be acknowledged for doing a good job. Where they show weakness, they want to be mentored, coached, trained, and rewarded for doing a better job. It’s human nature to want to do well and be noticed for the same. If your employees don’t look forward to performance evaluations, it may be time to review your process and technique. Evaluate how you might change things up to make it a more positive and rewarding experience for all parties.
Our MEMBER 360 is an incredibly valuable tool when you look at each question in depth, as we have done here. This is the type of exercise we go through in LXCouncil meetings with our CEOs and business owners. If you’re a CEO, business owner, or entrepreneur who really wants to build a wildly successful business, you need more than a dream — you need a dream team.
Simply put, that’s what LXCouncil is … it’s a dream team comprised of other business owners, just like you. Peer advisory councils are an entrepreneur’s secret weapon. Members gain access
to knowledge and insights that their competitors often lack. That extra edge can really make
a big difference in how a company performs in a competitive marketplace.
If you are interested in learning more about becoming part of a peer advisory council, let’s start a conversation!