I: Recruiting

The right attitudes and behaviour will pay dividends

No matter how robust your recruitment process, we have all had reason to question our decisions at times. Whether you are recruiting a new member into an existing team or a Manager to run the team, take some to time to consider more than just the hard experience or qualifications that you require.

Build up a profile or checklist for the soft skills, the key behaviours that you would want the recruit to exhibit and the attitude that you would want to experience. A poor attitude creates friction much more quickly than a lack of experience. This type of background planning will aid your interview process by producing a more rounded ‘picture’ of the person that you are looking for and by understanding how the new recruit will fit in and work with other members of staff you will speed up the time taken for the new recruit to become productive.

Of course, there are some specific qualifications or expertise that might be a pre-requisite for the role that you are recruiting for, however many skills can be taught or developed once the incumbent is in place.

Before the new recruit starts, invest some time on planning their induction or ‘on-boarding’. This involves more than a welcome on day one and a company sweat-shirt. Consider what their challenges will be from day 1-30, 30-60 etc and how you, or their manager can support them at each stage.

This exercise is far from a waste of time and is something that many companies ignore. The faster that the new recruit settles in, finds their place and understands how your firm and colleagues operate, the more quickly they will understand how to contribute.

To help any new recruit understand what day to day working in your company might feel like, explain at interview stage what the culture of your company is and how this looks day to day. If you’re not sure what the answer is, consider how ‘stuff gets done’ in your company; what are the unwritten rules; how do people interact with each other; what are the prevalent positive behaviours and attitudes?

Given that you are investing time and effort to bring the right people into your business and then providing them with the environment in which they can perform at their best, don’t prevaricate over a difficult decision if a team member does not wish to perform or behave, especially when you have provided additional support to them.

Protect Your Investment

You need to protect your investment in the entire team. There is a risk that one persons’ negative attitude can affect the performance of those around them. If you avoid the decision, the quality of your leadership may some into question by other team members.

All of this ‘gossip’ will reduce motivation and focus on the agreed objectives. It is highly likely that you will see an uplift in performance and motivation once this bad apple is removed.

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