Hiring an employee is kind of like dating … the interview can be all roses, but then on date #1, you really start to understand who it is you’ve hired. And ‘Oh no’, you got it wrong.
In a big business, one bad employee won’t really kill them, but in small business, we need basically everyone to be a great performer if we are to build our revenues and profits. So, how do we get and keep good people… ?
I remember when I was 21 and hiring people for my business right at start-up phase and I turned to my Dad for some wisdom and hopefully encouragement. I said, “You know Dad, I just can’t seem to find any good people.” To which he ever so bluntly replied, “You know son, you get the people you deserve.” “Gee, thanks Dad, so motivational.”
Motivation I didn’t get, but a reality check I did. The really great people didn’t want to work for me, yet.
So, over the years, I’ve come to realize that even though I probably wouldn’t be quite as blunt as my Dad, I would have to agree with him. I have noticed that with my own companies and just as often with the business owners I’ve coached, Dad was right.
When you run a great company, you get great people. When you are a great leader you get great people, and vice versa.
At the time I wasn’t a leader, I would have been lucky to be seen as an average manager, and thus I was rewarded with the type of employees who like working for a manager who really wasn’t any good. So, how did I go about fixing it.
I started to look at what sort of company a great employee would want to join, what sort of leader they really want to work with and learn from. Then, and only then could I go to work to build a company they would want to be employed by.
So, just to get you started, great team members (not staff) want to work in a positive, rewarding, successful organization where they have the ability to give input, get the job done and be recognized for their work.
They want a company that is going places where they can learn, grow and build a career. If that’s not you yet, then keep building.
So, Step One: is building a great business they want to work with
Step Two: is becoming a great leader who they want to learn from and work with.
I read every book, went to every seminar, got myself a mentor and went to work on becoming a much better leader of great people. Finally, I started to get the people I needed and wanted to help build a great company.
That said, even with all of that, in today’s marketplace, it’s getting tighter and tighter. We are running out of great people. With the labor market as tight as it is, we have to think of our help wanted ads as more of a marketing piece than ever before. We have to almost sell people on why they would want to come work with us.
And they say the new IR laws are making it tough on employees. Crazy.
As small business owners right now, we’re paying the highest wages we ever have on average, we’re finding it harder to get good people. That is if anyone will even show up for an interview and as I’ve always thought, when business is booming, the employees have it the best they ever can.
At least we do business in a country now where as a business owner you are allowed to let people go without the fear of them suing you and taking your whole business, or at the very least wasting hours of your time defending yourself anymore.
Yes, getting and keeping great people is vital, and yes it’s harder now than it has been in a long while. But, the next time to feel yourself saying, “I just can’t get good people”, take a look in the mirror and ask yourself, what sort of company do the great people want to join, and go do it.
A message from Brad:
Hey there, I hope these blogs, along with my webinars and video series have helped guide you through your entrepreneurial journey thus far.
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Your business is the true backbone of the economy and I want to do everything to help you survive and thrive through this time. I hope you find this helpful.