Everyone knows that business is all about people. But even experienced CEOs can get caught in the day-to-day grind of reports and meetings. A renewed emphasis on these five basic talent strategies can improve performance and drive results.
1. Hire right
It sounds simple, yet many companies have a tough time doing this well. Forget about looking for the star athlete who scored the winning touchdown back in 2001. Instead, hire people with enthusiasm and a good head on their shoulders. Then get out of the way and let them perform.
2. Give your people the tools they need to be exceptional.
Imagine being on a racetrack where your competitor is driving a Bentley and you’ve been assigned a Volkswagen. Any doubts as to which of you will be taking home the trophy? Everyday, businesses are asking their people to compete with organizations that have finely-tuned engines. These people eventually putter out and the organization replaces them, yet continue to do business as usual.
Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh ensures that workers at all levels of the organization have a wide array of continuous leaning and inspiration to choose from. In fact, “Pursue Growth and Learning” is a core value at Zappos. The company offers a variety of training opportunities and invites thought leaders from backgrounds ranging from personal development, education, philanthropy and happiness to share their ideas at the all-hands company meeting.
Invest in development, even when budgets are tight to ensure your employees can impress those who are most important to you – your customers.
3. Fire people who no longer deserve a place on your team.
Many companies struggle with what to do with people who aren’t working out and are then doing everything possible to avoid implementing the advice they have been given. Failure to take action often costs the organization loss of revenue, repute, and lower productivity. Founder and CEO Brett Rose of Ft. Lauderdale-based UNCS, a distributor specializing in manufacturer closeouts and overruns says that, “People outgrow their companies, and sometimes their companies outgrow them.” Rose’s company has achieved high levels of success over the past ten years. To get to the next level, Rose understands he may need to make some unpopular decisions. Take action today, before another day goes by.
4. Recognize those who are doing the lion’s share of the work.
It happens in many organizations. You have a few people doing a good majority of the work. Let those people know that you appreciate their efforts. Take this one step further by giving them a promotion or at a minimum, a generous bonus.
People yearn for recognition from their employers. They just want someone to recognize they are giving their best. Be that person or they will find someone else who will thank them for a job well done.
5. Conduct Stay Interviews, Day In and Day Out.
Companies conduct exit interviews in an effort to keep great people from leaving. Of course by the time employees get to this phase of their career, they already have one foot out the door. What if instead, you conducted “stay interviews?”
CEO Marla Kaplowitz is CEO of New York City-based MEC North America, a top media agency. Kaplowitz is frequently on the front lines gathering intelligence. She holds monthly management breakfasts, conducts town hall meetings at remote offices and takes time to chat with employees. Kaplowitz also performs “stay interviews” throughout the day, allowing her take the pulse of the organization so she can make course corrections along the way, instead of taking action after a mass exodus.
Roberta Matuson, is the president of Matuson Consulting (www.matusonconsulting.com) and author of the newly released “Talent Magnetism” (Nicholas Brealey, 2013) and also wrote “Suddenly in Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around,” a Washington Post Top-5 Leadership pick. Monster.com frequently turns to Matuson for advice on talent. Complimentary subscriptions to Roberta’s monthly newsletter, Talent Maximizer, are available.