You may well have heard it said before that, “You get the people you deserve”.

If you look at the most fundamental requirement to grow a great business, it really comes down to your ability to identify, recruit and retain talent.  Every great organisation requires a great team to both sustain and grow their operations.

When you hire mediocre performers, you consign yourself to only ever being able to deliver mediocre results.  Worse still, mediocre performers will often negatively impact the productivity of the team members around them.

So, why is it that so many organisations struggle with finding and hiring great people?

Having worked with many hundreds of businesses over the last fifteen years, I’ve identified six major blocks that stand in the way of you getting the best people to take your organisation to the heights of success.

  1.  Lack of an inspiring purpose, cause or destination

It doesn’t matter what business you are in, it’s essential that you find a way to articulate to your team members:

  • The importance of the work that you do,
  • The significance of the problem that you help your customers solve, and
  • How you make the world a better place.

If you want people to go ‘above and beyond’ in their roles, they need to buy in to your purpose as an organisation, not as just a place to swap time for money.

2.Failing to create a high performance culture

Have you ever asked yourself why would someone want to come and be a part of your organisation?

  • High performers want to be part of a culture that will support them in achieving their best.
  • They want to know that they will be given the support, training and feedback to achieve their potential.

The basketball coach Doc Rivers was quoted as saying,

“Average players want to be left alone,
Good players want to be coached,
Great players want to be told the truth.”

If you clearly explain to new hires what you expect from them and, most importantly, WHY it will help them to be more successful, you will most often get what you ask for.If you want a motivated team, you need to hire motivated people.  Stop reviewing resumes based on skills and start looking at what the person does in their personal time and where else in their lives they have gone above and beyond for a cause they believe in.

A high performance culture requires that all people in the organisation are committed to on-going professional and personal development.

3.Not starting the hiring process well in advance of when you need the person

Great organisations are always hiring.  That is, the key leaders within them are constantly building networks of great people that they can call on in times of need.

High performers are usually already working for someone else. If you can offer them a better opportunity (it’s usually not about money) to grow, develop and achieve at the highest levels, then they will choose your organisation.

If you do what most of the market does and wait until the position becomes vacant and then throw an ad on a jobs website, is it any wonder you’re not attracting the best talent?

4.Not developing and documenting a standard recruitment system

Why have a system?

Simple, it’s a proven way to most efficiently and consistently hire great people.  Better still, you can then often delegate significant parts of this to your team members, so they can even hire in your absence.  A good system will make it significantly easier (and less time intensive) for you to recruit.

If you’re still interviewing all of your candidates face to face, you’re wasting too much time.  Consider using phone interviews to pre-screen and group interviews in roles where you have a good number of candidates.

5.Failure to make, keep or manage agreements

“You can’t manage people, you can only manage agreements,” is one of the key phrases I teach over and over again to my clients.If you spend your time managing people, you’ll end up frustrated and ineffective, and odds are they will be frustrated as well.Develop a clear job description for your team members and ensure that they sign off on it.

  • Ask them what they need from you in order to perform at their best.
  • Be sure to clearly communicate what you expect from your team, and
  • ALWAYS, always, keep the agreements that you have made to your team.

If you want loyalty from your team, you need to deliver loyalty to them.  If you ever find yourself in the position of not being able to keep an agreement, be proactive and let the person know at the first available opportunity.

6. Not building relationships with your team

If you treat your people as an expendable resource, then they will (justifiably) treat you back in the same way. So make sure you:

  • Ensure you take the time to get to know them as individuals,
  • Find out what matters to them in life the most and,
  • If they are down, be proactive in reaching out to support them.

As you demonstrate through your actions that you value your team and are truly behind them 100%, loyalty and trust grows.

When you need to give people feedback for improvement, they are much more likely to take it in a positive way if they believe that you are giving the feedback for their benefit, not yours.

So take a minute to reflect on how well you are delivering in the six areas above.  Understand that as your business grows, it doesn’t always need more people, sometimes it just needs better people and by that I don’t mean getting rid of the team you have, rather find ways to upskill, empower and challenge your people to go to another level.

If you’d like to discuss how Rapport Leadership can assist your organisation in building a leadership culture and  in bringing out the best in your team, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


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