Hiring is paramount in building a successful workplace culture.
Employers usually hire people based on three things:
- Skills - these are the “doing" things such as – being great with numbers or with communication; using a particular accounting system; able to handle activities at speed.
- Knowledge - this is the “data" loaded on your “chip" … the one in your head, and includes all your experience, and the learnings from all the things you have done before. It could include engineering, the theory of physics, how to make coffee using an espresso machine or even how a warehouse works.
- Attributes - this is who you are- the unique person that makes you different. It's your hopes, dreams, aspirations, prejudices – the diplomat or straight-talking individual, whether you're outgoing or reserved, a big-picture thinker or a stickler for detail.
These first two areas are typically what people list on their resume or CV. But if you do a very basic interview and hire a person based only on their resume, you're hiring for skills and knowledge, but you may have missed a lot by not looking into their attributes.
Eventually, you may find some of your employees are not the right cultural fit because you failed to ask them about their passions, what they really like to do, not just what they've done before during recruitment. Training and development won't change those fundamental attributes.
Enthusiasm tops knowledge every time
If you've hired the right kind of person, you can train and develop them.
A motivated, curious person who is smart in the right areas and loves what your business is doing can become one of your greatest assets.
Hire people on their values and on their attributes; hire the person, not the resume. Training and development is then a very straightforward process. You identify the skills and knowledge gaps and find an appropriate course or trainer.
Three tips to keep staff in your business
- Be consistent in your values and rewards
You can't just have a great recruitment strategy if you haven't done the cultural work or the behavioural work. Your reward and incentive systems should then encourage the right behaviours. Each business will choose different remuneration packages, whether that's salary, an annual bonus or commission,
2. Aim for the virtuous circle, not the vicious circle
The virtuous circle is: I create a culture, I communicate it properly. I hire people around that culture, partly for their skills and knowledge, but more importantly for their attributes. I reward them for good performance. The customers love what they're doing, and give them great feedback, and they love their job and they stick around for the next cycle.
The vicious circle is: I never really articulate my culture. I hire on a random basis, but mostly for skills and knowledge. My staff do an okay job. The customers beat them up on a regular basis. They hate their job and don't want to stick around so they go, and then I repeat.
3. Make sure remuneration is fair
People don't just come to work for money – they come also to grow and to learn and to have fun. But they do need to be paid properly fairly for what they do., because money is a de-motivator if it's not done correctly .
Through my remuneration consulting business, we discovered that it was more important that people felt they were fairly remunerated in the context of their colleagues. That's just as important as being competitive in the marketplace for that particular service.
For example: if your employees are all paid around 5 per cent less than the market rate, but they are all paid proportionately in relation to each other and the job they do, you'll have a happier team than if you have a group that is overpaid in relation to the market, but not paid fairly internally in relation to everybody's job. That doesn't mean you should underpay your staff to the market; it just shows how important it is to your staff that they feel fairly treated.
Profit with purpose
Having a winning workplace culture contributes significantly towards the success of a business of any size. The idea of 'profit with purpose' has become an even more important consideration for business owners in recent times – and it is one that is likely to resonate over the longer term.
Large companies are starting to look more closely at their supply chains and ask questions of 'purpose' to smaller businesses, as are investors. It's a change that all companies should take heed.
If you run a cafe, making coffee and selling muffins – you might think, I'm not really changing the world. But add in your purpose, and then each day you aim to build a small friendly community with your customers, giving them top quality, sustainable food at a great price and making Fair Trade coffee with love and care. In your own small way, you start to make the world a better place.
Most businesses can find a purpose behind their profit, no matter how small. When you think about that purpose and articulate it, you can take pride in what you do, and that resonates, with your staff and your customers, and it becomes a big part of your future success.