Processes of Building a Quality Team - Recruit, Select, Develop, Manage and Motivate
Many people fear the future because the future is not predictable or controllable. Products change, buying patterns change, people’s needs change; in fact, just about everything changes. We as managers and owners can only control what we can predict. To help us through an uncertain future, we must have a People Management System and a Mission Statement in place so that we are better able to respond to the changes in our future. What are your company’s five-year goals? What are your company’s one-year goals? One month goals? In order to achieve our objectives, we must have the right people in the right jobs. We must maintain a system of recruitment so that viable candidates are ready, willing and able to fill openings created by termination, growth or attrition. With a clear understanding of our Mission and with the committed people in the right job, we will be better able to lead and respond to the uncertainties that lie in our company’s future.
Quantitative Versus Qualitative
Companies who are unable or unwilling to plan for the future will rely heavily upon hiring people based strictly on quantitative indicators. These indicators would be things such as: “Can they sell a certain product, can they assemble a certain product, can they receive or track a certain order.” Quantitative indicators can be easily measured, On the other hand, companies with a set Mission and Team Agreements try to hire people who not only have quantitative skills which are a must, but they also have good qualitative abilities. These abilities are not easily measured with facts, figures or numbers. People with good qualitative abilities are those people who exhibit loyalty, trustworthiness and dependability. They are usually good team players, can anticipate problems before they occur and are willing to voice their ideas and opinions when appropriate. If we as owners and leaders are able to recruit and select people that have the right quantitative abilities as well as qualitative abilities, we will be able to better ensure that the right person is in the right job. You will find, time and time again, people with the right amount of “can-do” ability and the right amount of “will-do” ability will exhibit good longevity and productivity with in your organization.
Now is one of those times of the year that many of us are beginning to think about hiring extra associates. Retailers may add seasonal sales clerks and stock people, manufacturing companies may add more line workers and inspectors and other organizations may add hourly people in order to meet seasonal demands. While all of these intentions are good and could help the economy. Most of these workers hired will be for general labor or semiskilled positions. These people, for the most part, will not be the individuals with whom you will be building the future of your company.
But, how do we start planning for now? And the future?
There are five things you have to be able to do in order to build quality organizations. Just five basic things. The first of those, the input source, is to recruit. If you personally cannot recruit quality, enthusiastic, motivated people into your organization, you are in deep trouble from the very beginning. Why is it that the best companies in America take their brightest young people and put them on the college campus to do recruiting? Because the brightest young people are the most attractive people they have to put out there. It is very difficult for one to recruit above their level of natural attractiveness. It is very difficult for you to recruit people that are better than you. Therefore, the quality of the organization is always limited by the quality of the manager. Seldom will a manager ever be able to recruit better people than himself. He will not be attractive enough to those better people. It sounds good in print to say “I have to recruit people better than I am,” however it is doubly difficult to recruit people better than we are. We should set our standards as attempting to recruit people who are as good as we are! What generally happens is the recruiter compromises and selects people that are much less than they are, therefore creating weaker and constantly weaker people organizations. He doesn’t go after quality (it takes time, effort and energy), yet the essence of his job is to build a quality team of capable people. Eagles don’t flock, we have to find them one at a time.
Selection is the second skill. After you recruit them, you have to be able to select the ones who can do it, will do it and will fit with your team and have the same kinds of values and ethics, the same interests so they can identify with your team’s common goals. The team-building manager must learn the distinction between intelligence and capacity to produce. Remember, many people today are educated beyond their intelligence.
The third skill managers must have is the skill to train. We must be able to communicate to people within the first 100 days of their relationship the survival skills necessary in their job. New people must have enough skill and knowledge to survive in the job. Many good people are lost in the first three months because not enough happens in that critical period to give them survival skills or they are just ignored. They are often the bright young people who are recruited, selected and ignored for the first 100 days. They begin to make their best contribution some place else and often with someone else.
The forth skill is to be able to manage. We have to set up systems of management that get us away from Management By Crisis and get us into Management By Objective. If you can’t do this, you might just as well carry a fire hose around because you are always going to be responding to the fires – – spell that problems – – as they are occurring as opposed to setting a structure or pathway on how you are going to achieve your objectives and goals. Let’s not confuse bad management with destiny.
“Far away, there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”
– Louisa May Alcott
The fifth and final skill team building professionals need is the skill of creating a motivational environment. Those managers who feel they must be motivators are riding the tiger and can never dismount. You do not have to be a motivator, but you do have to know how to create a motivational environment. Your team, in order to be motivated, must understand how what they are doing in the job will achieve the things they really want.
We work with management to develop these five key skills. How to recruit, select, train, manage and motivate. Regardless of one’s position – – owner, officer, or manager, you still have these basic team-building responsibilities.