What is your value? Are you sure of what it is? And how can you ensure that your employees have similar values to your own?
I was recently coaching a client through the process of adding to his staff. He was disappointed with the last three people he had hired so he wanted to be very thoughtful about how to go about getting “just the right person” in the two positions that were available.
One of the positions was a key position because he would be relying on this person heavily through interaction between other workers and customers. The second position was more of an isolated job, completing tasks and making sure ticks were consistently marked off on their own individual to-do list. He had a list of the skills for each position that were requirements for the new employees. What surprised me is that he said that they had to be like-minded. When I asked what that meant, he said they had to be on the same page with what he was trying to achieve. They had to be hard workers and do their best – just like him. He wanted to set standards and demand they be met.
Taking Hiring One Step Further
I had two other objectives to cover with this client. The first was to investigate why the last employees didn’t work out. To get to the bottom of this, I asked him to explain what was missing in their job performances. Surprisingly, he admitted that they had the skills he wanted and were hard workers. Although they weren’t perfect, they could have eventually been very good for the company. So what was the issue? Did they not want to achieve as much as him or want the company to be successful?
I asked and he agreed that he thought they were ambitious and wanted to reach the company goals. Okay, so what was the problem? This led me to the other objective I had in mind – finding out what “ruffled” him enough to let them go. He admitted there was just something about them that just “rubbed him the wrong way.” I can’t tell you how often I hear that sentiment expressed by small business owners.
The Difference-Maker: Values
If your values align with others, so do the resulting relationships. What it comes down to is that it is extremely important for all small businesses that the owner and staff share SIMILAR VALUES. A small business staff is very much like having another family. There are a lot of emotions involved with a small business and families and so having common values is extremely important. Achieving success is a common goal for many people. But what people are willing to do to reach that goal may be worlds apart. While some believe it’s ethics or morals, I think that values go even deeper.
- It may be ethically “right” to not steal from another. But is it stealing if you mark up a price significantly higher than usual and get a customer to pay that price?
- Creating a piece of marketing that looks like one thing – a feature story in a magazine or an ebook with your name as author – but is really something else – a marketing sheet for a make-believe magazine that doesn’t exist or a generic book written by someone else and resold. This may not be “lying,” but does it mesh with your values of fairness, honesty and integrity?
Where you stand on issues like these impacts how you run your business and the day-to-day operations of your staff. Not only that but it will affect the partnerships you create and the relationships you build. On what do you build your reputation and credibility? It’s your values put in action.