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Three Rules for Choosing the Right Employee (or Boss) and How to Be One of Them

Hi, I’m Henry Evans, Founding Partner of Dynamic Results.

Do you find in working with your teams that sometimes either your business results or relationships suffer?

Recently I was talking with a high-performing leader of a global pharmaceutical company. Like many of our best leaders, he delivers above his annual targets and, as importantly, he has very high employee engagement and retention. Everyone wants what he has achieved: exceeding expected business results while at the same time, building and maintaining a happy work team. To state this another way: they are doing great work, in an environment that feels great to work in.

When asked how he’s doing it, he said it boils down to knowing how to select the right people. After “many years of doing it wrong” he learned three things needed to measure when hiring, (or choosing the people you want to work for):

  • They are good at what they do. Competence should be a baseline requirement for your hires.
  • They love what they do. They aren’t dragging themselves to work. They are happy to be doing what they do, and they know the higher purpose behind their work. In this case, it’s the creation of drugs intended to improve the lives of cancer patients. If your job is manufacturing car parts, your higher purpose might be “keeping people safe while they drive”.
  • They are easy to work with. These are the people you want to be in meetings with; people you feel motivated to communicate with.
  • His experience shows that if you are missing any of these three criteria, results and/or relationships will suffer. His theory matches our own experience in coaching leaders.
    Most work conflicts or unrest that we observe are due to perceptions that people are: Incompetent (not good at what they do); Dispassionate (a buzzkill, party pooper, or energy vampire); or just plain Difficult (labeled as rude, jerks, etc.).

    In hiring, here are sample questions you may want to ask:

  • To establish Competence, ask scenario-based questions like “Please tell me about a time you had to solve a complex problem” (One relating to their job description).
  • For Passion, ask a question as simple as “Why do you do this kind of work?” or “Why did you choose this career?”
  • For Likability, ask: “Please tell me about the last three disagreements you had at work?” or “What is a personal trait people consistently tell you needs improvement?” or “What’s more important to you, relationships or results?”

    Whatever you ask and whatever you are measuring, please remember to tune-in to your intuition when making hiring decisions, or when choosing who to work for. Einstein said that “the best decisions are a combination of intellect and intuition”. He was a relatively smart guy so let’s listen to him.

    Collect whatever background data you need (work history, GPA, etc.), and check-in with yourself to see how you will feel working with this person. The best decisions are made when we use a combination of head and heart.

    I thank you for your attention.

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