Happy Employees Equals Happy Customers

Posted on: May 28, 2015

Happy Employees Equal Happy Customers

How to hire, train and retain to increase profitability

Several months ago one of my small business owner clients needed to hire a new staff person, I advised them to take his time, conduct the necessary backround checks and get a really good feel for the candidate before making a permanent job offer. Nonetheless, the client panicked and decided it was more important to fill the position quickly.

This happens all the time.

The hurried hire was let go three months later, after demonstrating unethical business practices, irate behavior and a lack of professionalism, among other things. But the damage was done. Three years and six figures later my client is still entangled in litigation with the disgruntled employee.

It’s just not worth the risk. Sure is is probably the worst case scenario , but it happens. That’s why employers need to take their time, hire the right person for the position and do whatever it takes to retain the good ones. And if they don’t have the skills or knowledge to do it , trust the experts, that why we are here.

Plain and simple: Happy employees equal happy customers, which translates to increased profitability. When employees are not satisfied, your reputation is at stake. While it can be painful to leave a position unfilled, the pain of a bad hire is much more painful on everyone.

Employers must figure out exactly what they want and need before they begin the hiring process. When a position is vacant, that’s the perfect opportunity for a company to really assess and fine tune the job functions of the position and think about what kind of person they’ll need to meet those requirements.

Hiring is an intricate form of match making. As in real-life love, most solid unions in the work-place don’t result from a single blind date, and the courtship sometimes means multiple interviews.

It’s all about getting the right people on the right seats on the bus. It’s more important to hire for fit and train for skills. It’s more about an attitude that will positively impact the company than a skill set. I’d rather have someone who has the desire, the motivation and ability to rise to the occasion versus someone who is the best at what they do, but does not relate that well with the other staff, customers or the goals of the company.

Ideally you should hire for fit and skills, but we can all learn skills.

Fit meaning the characteristics or personality that you bring to the job, team or organization, is harder to change and harder to find . For a new employee to succeed he or she must be embraced by the existing team. If that does not happen, the new personal will not be successful. That’s why I say fit is so important.

In the face to face interview, ask candidates for specific examples so you understand how they did their job or approached a situation. The how is much more important than knowing what they did . The first meeting between the employer and the candidate should focus on fact finding , rather than trying to empress each other. It’s not about selling yourself, it’s more about discovering if it’s a good fit , and I mean both ways.

One of my client's company that doesn’t take hiring shortcuts, has grown in staff from 42 to 100 in the past three years. We implemented a program called “Hire Right”. The program involves a preliminary phone interview, a meet –and –great session, a reference and back round check, an online assessment to evaluate thinking skills, behavior traits, comprehension and reading ability, and finally tandem interviews with two managers.

Yes, the process is extensive, but the [new hires] do appreciate the process because they, in turn know the company and that they’re really going to take the time to take care of their employees, and they do.

The most important thing is to keep the employees happy. Once workplace moral is low, it’s like cancer, it just spreads and spreads until others quit and the business starts to decline.

To prevent “cancer in the work-place, another secret is to hire slow, fire fast. Sometimes employers can take all the steps to hire a great employee, but it still doesn’t work.

Nothing is guaranteed. Sometimes , people have to switch seats on the bus or even get off, and that’s OK. However, as soon as management realizes an employee is not going to work out, it’s better to let that person go before productivity falls and the person brings down other employees.

THE TRUE COST OF TURNOVER

  1. Recruitment advertising and services
  2. Screening and interviews
  3. Background tests and drug testing
  4. Training for new employees
  5. Equipment, supplies and uniforms
  6. Possible overtime or burden of other employees
  7. Increase in unemployment insurance

Consider also the loss of productivity due to: an empty position, co-workers covering for missing employee , decrease morale, training a new worker , time it take new hire to get up to speed and customer complaints.

THREE FACTORS FOR SUCCESS

ALIGNMENT: Employees clearly understand the company’s products, services and mission to help the company succeed.

CAPABILITY: They have the knowledge, tools and resources to do the job effectively.

ENGAGEMENT: They are engaged ,love what they do ,enjoy coworkers and want to help the company succeed. They feel they are contributing to the company’s overall success.

WHEN COMPANIES MEET THESE THREE CONDITIONS, THEY ARE MORE LIKELY TO BE MORE PRODUCTIVE AND MORE PROFITABLE.

If you would like more information how to inprove your hiring process, or implement “Hiring Right” into your company, please call me.

Aloha,
Roger