By Gina Trimarco, Chief Results Officer
“We can’t find good employees” is a phrase I continue to hear from nearly every client. No matter what the industry or geography this sentiment is shared often. And while we are a smaller company that doesn’t depend on many employees to manage our businesses, I do have many years of experience of recruiting, hiring, training and retaining employees. I know how hard it is, especially in geographically challenged areas. I also know it’s possible to build amazing teams. I’ve done it several times. How? It took an investment of time, intention and a clear understanding of “why” people should work for us. And no, the “why” is not all about money.
Lately this has become my personal mission to prove to employers that they CAN find the right employees IF, and only if, they are willing to do a few things:
- Change their attitudes that employees only care about money
- Set aside time to revisit, revise or recreate their company’s mission, vision and core values to determine who would fit best in their company’s culture
- Research what’s important to employees
- Determine “what’s in it for them” (why employees should work for the company)
- Communicate the mission, vision, values and benefits to prospective candidates AND current employee
Most of the time leaders are just trying to “keep things running” and this process (above) rarely happens. To follow this process means they can’t hire the next “warm body” that applies. It means they might not have enough employees for the operations until they have the right employees. It means they might lose revenue because of that. It also means they’ll save money in training (turn over) expenses plus the costs of the wrong employees creating customer service issues that cost money. AND it also means a cost savings in retention of other employees who might quit due to the wrong employees being hired.
Stop operating in the now … meaning don’t hire people just because you need them NOW, unless you’re willing to suffer the cost consequences. The upside of hiring a “warm body” because you feel desperate is that you’ll quickly learn who you don’t want on your team. And frankly, companies sometimes need to learn that lesson (as long as they don’t repeat it). We DO encourage our younger, entrepreneurial companies to go through this process.
There’s a reason why companies like Google, Whole Foods and Quicken Loans land on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies To Work For list. The reasons go beyond pay and ping pong tables. Check out the list to learn more.
You can quickly start to remedy this issue by meeting with your leadership team WHILE getting input from all of your employees to get a clear picture on your company “why” (mission/purpose), core values and vision. We’ve been guiding a lot of companies through this process lately and it’s been pretty cool. Recently we received this feedback in a post-training survey:
“We hung up the company culture poster we created in training and hung it in our restaurant. Had all employees sign it. Made everyone feel like they were part of something.”
I must confess. For years I didn’t really understand the importance of a company mission until Simon Sinek came on the scene with his book “Start With Why” – he made it so much more simple to understand. Your mission goes beyond WHAT you do or HOW you do. It’s about WHY you do it and why anyone else should care. It’s your company story. And humans relate best to stories.
As the founder of our company, our company “why” is based on my personal “why” and will continue to morph based on our team’s input. Our “why” also guides us on who will fit best as employees AND clients for our culture. When Zappos.com got clear on their mission, they relied on their employees to communicate what they thought the company values were before documenting and sharing those values and mission publicly. It’s an evolving process that can serve as an awesome structure for growth.
Again to reiterate, our company “why” stems from my personal “why” – to inspire others to see the opportunities in the obstacles so that they can make the impossible possible. Hiring and retaining the right people may feel impossible but anyone can do the impossible … if they’re willing.
Need help with figuring out your company “why”? Join our upcoming business retreat where we’ll help clients work through this process.
ABOUT THE POST AUTHOR
Gina Trimarco, Chief Results Officer, knows how to pivot to profits from problems and find joy through the process. Her philosophy is that performance pays and people need to be trained to perform on the stage of business to achieve results.
Gina successfully pivoted her coaching firm, Gina and Company, into the new Pivot10 Results, a training and development company that helps business teams to quickly adapt their communications and engagement skills in leadership, customer and sales to achieve results by providing them experiential learning tools and strategies.