“How do you find those good employees and keep them?”

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A few weeks ago, I saw the following question in a business connection platform:

I seem to have the issue of getting good employees, it is a struggle. I go through hundreds of applications a week and when I think I found the right one they do stuff like show up late, not do the job correctly which ends up me having to refund the client and giving them free products to make up for it. How do you find those good employees and keep them?

There were already a lot of valuable comments already on the forum and I felt like adding the following ones, which I wanted to share with you today.

– Values: identify your company main values and vision. It can take some time. And then hire someone who fits with these values and vision. I have seen companies hiring less qualified people who would better fit with the company’s values because they knew they could train them to catch-up with the required skills and they knew these employees would be more likely to do the extra mile for the company.

– Co-creation: when people are part of the process to create something, they are much more likely to follow through than when they are just told being what to do. Co-creating is a really powerful way to get people on board and motivate people. That may include asking them how they see themselves doing the job, what would inspire and motivate them. For instance, one of my clients significantly decreased the turn over by being more curious about what each employee independently would expect/appreciate for meeting or exceeding goals instead of trying to figure it all out herself and with a one size fits all solution. It doesn’t mean you have to say yes to anything they ask of course, but it gives you a way to learn things and find options you couldn’t see.

– Expectations vs Agreement. We live in a world of expectations (we expect people to act a certain way, most of the time our way) but we never make sure they know it, understand it and more importantly agree with it. So, my invitation would be to clearly state what you expect them to do and who you expect them to be (we often overlook the way people be) and have them agree with it thereafter you can come back to that agreement to discuss any conflict. If they don’t agree, you can either let them go or co-create an agreement that would be acceptable for you and the company.

– Commitment: there is such power in commitment. Are they committed to do what it takes to make this work, which includes of course doing the work (see agreement), being open to constructive feedback to improve, bringing up frustration when they have some, or having any difficult conversation when necessary to find a constructive way to make the company and the people grow at the same time.

 Looking at oneself and being a model: the last part is often completely bypassed. It is to take a look at yourself and at your own role in this situation. What are your areas of improvement in leadership, in communication, what is your way of being, what are your blind spots, what are your fears? When we keep complaining and blaming others for something, it means we don’t see our responsibility in the process. And to be frank, it is hard to do without the support of someone external. Can you own your own humanity, vulnerability and weaknesses and then take responsibility and model great leadership by working on your own areas of improvement?

Take care,

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