Avoid excess turnover and trust your team to execute

June 27, 2017
Let's talk about how to hire the right person and how to know if you have a good team player working for you.

“I can’t get good help!” “If I could just find the right people.” “No one seems to want to work anymore and they keep leaving.” These are common phrases I hear from business owners and executives. I want to talk about how to hire the right person and how to know if you have a good team player working for you.  

We’ve talked in the past about “Delivering Feedback to Millennials (and everyone else),“ and “Psychological Safety (a critical part of delivering feedback).” Both talked about how to help people improve. Let’s talk about the traits and skills for a good team player. These attributes can all be worked on improved and are not related to skill. The three items you want to look for are:

  • Humble
  • Hungry
  • People Smarts

This list comes from a Book called The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni.  I would recommend the book for a deeper study.  There are many ways you can define the three and here are some that we have done for a service based business:

Ideal Team Player IS IS NOT
  • Asking questions
  • Apologizing for mistakes quickly
  • Accepting apologies
  • Praising teammates
  • Doing "lower level" work for the better of the team
  • Confident and knows abilities and advocates own ideas
  • Thinking they have all the answers
  • Never apologizing
  • Taking 100% of the credit for team work
  • Showing a "not my job" mentality
  • Going above and beyond (more than the minimum)
  • Looking for ways to contribute without being told
  • Looking for more things to do
  • Taking on challenges and tedious tasks
  • Asking "Is there anything I can do you?" to teammates
  • Taking shortcuts
  • Doing the bare minimum
  • Not doing anything to pitch in after their work is done
  • Over delegating work
People Smarts
  • Asking customers for their preferred name and uses it at least 4 times during each interaction
  • Introducing themself formally when they first meet a customer
  • Giving feedback to teammates when they see them not living up to the values of the company and the ideal teammate characteristics
  • Dealing with difficult customer/coworker situations with a smile, using empathy and emphatic speech and trying to solve the problem at hand instead of saying "We can't do that."
  • Gossiping
  • Being rude
  • Getting bad reviews
  • Not giving feedback to the team
  • Saying all the reasons why something can't be done

Once you have your list of what each of these three characteristics mean to you then you can start with your existing staff and see which of the three does each posses at a high level.  A person can have anywhere from 0 – 3 characteristics you feel they are strong.  You can also use this to create interview questions to make sure you find these characteristics in your new employees.

For more content, visit theleanwayconsulting.com.

About the Author

Ankit Patel | Managing Partner, The Lean Way Consulting

Ankit Patel leads The Lean Way Consulting as managing partner. Ankit's personal vision is to help people, organizations and communities flourish by using the proven thinking and methodology associated with Lean Transformations.

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