We all have a choice where we work and how we share and distribute our knowledge, wisdom, energy, and passion.
In a recent organizational survey, the #1 write-in benefit that potential employees identified was…”Employee Benefits and Incentives.” I am certain they were referring to the existing benefits, i.e. health benefits, vacation time, overtime, employee bonus programs, etc.
However, my path of thinking as a CEO was, “what benefits and incentives do the employees bring with them every day to work?”
During interviews and employee review moments, I would always try to blend into the conversation a few of the following thoughts:
- Ethics is a huge part of managing large organizations. I would ask what work ethics they bring with them each day to work.
- I asked them if they understood the mission, product, and service that we produce and provide. “I don’t know” is not a wrong answer. This always opened up a great conversation on what we do, and what the members and community expect.
- I always took seriously my first impression of them, and would ask what their first impression was of all of us on staff. Everyone on staff was the “Director of First Impression”. I reminded them that others, from every walk-in visitor to phone call, notice if we are clean, organized, use professional communication skills, eye contact, listening skills, etc.
- Another great interview question I’d ask was, “What will you bring to this organization, and how will every person on staff benefit from having you join our team?”
- One question that was seriously considered in my decision on a potential new staff person was, “Tell me about any hobbies you have”. I would listen with genuine sincerity, not interrupt, and then ask them if they could be as passionate about their position with us as they were about their hobby.
When we have the opportunity to add to our staff, we all want to make the right choice the first time, so take a moment to really understand if it is a fit for both the applicant and your organization.
The majority of my hiring decisions over 20 years were reached by the simple thought that their attitude was more important than their skill set. I knew I could train for skills, tasks, etc., but every hour of every day we were open to the public, and that first impression was our golden opportunity to serve those that came into our sphere of influence for information, advice, directions, and referrals. It is our privilege to have a staff that excels with each inquiry. Our guests, visitors, members, board members, and community deserve and expect this excellence.
These are just a few seeds of thoughts for when you get the privilege to expand your staff as you build a stronger and more productive organization. “Would you hire you?” is a question that should be asked more often. Try it at your next staff meeting and listen to what your team has to contribute. I always felt a bit of pride when I heard my staff answer that question affirmatively among each other. As you put into practice these ideas, I suspect you will hear the same!