Think HBR

“You just can’t get good people”…

Harry Raftos
Have you ever said this? Normally you say this when exasperated by something one of your staff members has just done. Well guess what? You get the people you deserve.
Its human nature for us to blame others when something goes wrong in our lives and our businesses. So when you see an employee acting in a way that’s contrary to your expectations of the position they hold, it’s easy to blame them rather than ask yourself the following tough questions:
What system did I use to recruit this person?
Did you use a systematic recruitment process to bring this person onboard your Team or did you just employ your brother in law’s first cousin’s wife? We’ve all fallen into the trap of the “convenience hire”. You’re desperate for some help so you just throw a person at the problem.
Have I engaged and inspired them with my Vision?
When you bring on a new Team member, are you sharing your Vision and Goals for your business with them? Do they feel like they are a part of something bigger than their day to day job? In coaching hundreds of businesses over the last 16 years we have found that most employees are highly motivated by “brightness of future” but most business owners never provide it. The most common complaint we hear from employees is that they don’t understand what is expected of them. The most common complaint business owners make is that their employees aren’t driven to achieve the goals (that they’ve never shared with them).
Do they have a clear cut role description and key performance indicators?
In our experience most new employees are thrown in at the deep end. Yes they have a position description in their contract that’s never referred to again. Most employees are unclear of exactly what’s expected of them and how their performance will be measured. Once your Team have clear cut, objective kpi’s to work to, they will surprise you with how motivated they are to achieve them.
Do I review this person’s performance on a regular basis?
Most business owners review their employees every 1 or 2 years. This review is normally driven by a fear that they will lose the person if they don’t raise their wages. Reviews are typically ad hoc and subjective. We recommend quarterly reviews. Why?
Because once 12 months has gone by it’s often too late to correct inappropriate performance or to keep your Team motivated.
Quarterly reviews give you the chance to “catch your team members doing something right”.
Do I provide my Team an opportunity to be heard?
Most business owners work too hard because they try to do all the thinking in their business. If you don’t provide your Team members with the opportunity to contribute their own ideas, to think for themselves and to try new ideas, you will forever be trapped by your business.
To create a business that truly works without you, you need to develop great systems but most importantly you need to learn how to attract and keep great people.
For more information contact Harry Raftos at
Harry Raftos 4 Harry Raftos

Harry Raftos is a Director of Momentum (formerly Action-COACH Newcastle).  Harry has a broad range of business experience, including 6 years at James Hardie Building Products where he was named NSW Sales Person of the Year in 1998.  Harry is a licensed Business Coach with Action-COACH and graduated from Action's training programme in May 2001.