Hiring good people can be a costly process.
Losing employees--regardless of cause--can be equally expensive.
And whether the long-time, ongoing issues are How One Bad Apple Can Create a Toxic Team, Crazy Co-workers , Bad Bosses, or the rule of No Assholes, people in the workplace are apparently driving other people in the workplace crazy.
What's Happening In Organizations?
Corporations have HR professionals, behavioral interview training,
search firms that screen and test, assessment centers, assessment
tests. . .
I believe that what is missing--and what needs to be purposefully added to the organization effectiveness equation--are Wisdom and Discernment applied with Integrity.
The vast majority of screening/hiring/promoting practices focus on education, experience, and task-related performance.
But take a hard look at the reasons for dismissal and lack of promotability (not a real word according to the spellchecker!). I've seldom seen well-screened people leave a company because of their technical incompetence. The issue is almost always one of "fit." "How" the individual operates is, in some way, inconsistent with what the organization really thinks is best for itself. (And vice-versa).
Do any of these reasons for separation sound familiar to you?
- He's not a team player
- We need people who can work without a lot of supervision
- We need people who can take supervision
- She doesn't provide enough direction for her people
- She provides too much direction for her people
- He doesn't think about options and possibilities when making decisions
- This company doesn't value my creative thinking
- This company doesn't value the fact that I always follow the rules
(Please feel free to click on Comments and add your favorites. If I get enough, I'll post a Top__List).
How Can We Change This To Make A Difference?
When we're hiring and promoting, wouldn't it be worthwhile to know who we're getting--not just what we're getting?
It seems to me that we need to understand at least two things in order to make that happen:
1. What "kind of people" do we want? (What values do we hold that need to be evident in our people)?
2. What does it take to develop and use wisdom and discernment needed in business?
What Kind of People Do We Want?
This seems to be the part that is overlooked. Sure, interviewers might say "I liked her" or "He seemed serious enough about the business." Deep down inside, don't we really need to figure out some general characteristics that will help the individual and the work team hit it off over the long run? If it's the kind of job that has management responsibility or potential, then what kind of characteristics do we want to see in our leaders? I know we want them to be able to reach their goals. But what kind of people do we want them to be while they are doing that?
When the issue of "best fit" arises, it becomes foolish to ignore the reality that "how" we are is, in part, the manifestation of "who" we are. To hire and promote based on intellectual/behavior criteria ignores the social and relational nature of organizations. An entire generation of managers, interviewers, and job candidates have been sold on the idea that "past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior." It sounds good. It sells well because it is "scientific." One can create behavioral questions or assessment scenarios that can surface and confirm whether or not a person has, or is able to, perform specific functions. That kind of validation is certainly important. But will that person be able to perform those things well in your organization, given your unique mix of relational expectations, communication patterns, systems, and management?
What if we decided to be intentional about the use of wisdom, discernment, and integrity in the process?