Achieving Happy Growth

Jaclyn Crawford Foresight, Guest Post, Management Leave a Comment

Balancing existing staff with new hires in 2014

Building a successful team of people is one of the most challenging aspects of any business. As the economy continues its march to recovery, companies seek to build their organizations with new people to support new growth. At the same time, recent studies show that many are considering new jobs in the coming year.

That said, the million-dollar question is: How do you manage bringing in new people and protect against losing your existing staff?

My experience building and managing teams shows that individuals have a set of natural skills and abilities beyond their job knowledge that are almost impossible to modify. In order to be truly successful, it is important to understand and acknowledge these characteristics in both your existing employees and anyone you are considering bringing on board.

“How do you manage bringing in new people and protect against losing your existing staff?”Eric V. Holtzclaw
With the new year underway, it is worth investing time in understanding what motivates your employees, what they are good at and where they need support. With this knowledge, you can build a team that works well together and is more likely to stay with your organization for the long run.

Here are four techniques you can use to accomplish your teambuilding goals in the coming year:

1. Introduce assessment tools.

There are many tools available to help you understand your employees better. DISC and Myers Briggs are good well-known examples. There are less traditional tools, too, like Mindtime and DNA Behavior, that provide insights into how your employees think and approach problems. It really does not matter what tool you use, so long as it is used consistently for everyone on your team. A consistent evaluation ensures you are comparing like information for each individual.

Pay close to attention to the results from these resources, and contemplate what they convey regarding what your employees do well and not so well in their current positions. By utilizing an assessment tool during the hiring phase, you can map the attributes of successful employees within certain roles.

2. Implement 360-degree reviews.

Most companies perform reviews between only the manager and direct report. Consider instead a review process that includes a handful of the peers that work with your employee on a day-to-day basis. Doing this properly requires that the feedback from peers be provided anonymously, but I have found this type of information is incredibly valuable in uncovering unexpected issues or inefficiencies within your organization so that you may address them.

3. Understand your employees’ “why.”

Your staffer very likely has something that he or she enjoys doing outside of the work performed for your company. Gaining an understanding of what that is and how it is supported (or undermined) by the priorities they have on the job is a great way to improve their job satisfaction and longevity with the company.

I have a key employee who is heavily involved in coaching lacrosse. Often business travel or project work has the potential to conflict with this activity. I know it is important to him, so I allow flexibility in how he arranges his travel so he can be in town to make important meetings and games or travel directly from locations where his team may play over the weekend. This is not always the most cost-effective route for the company to take, but it ensures that he will be more likely to stay on board and improves his satisfaction with his job. It is easy to justify because the minor difference in travel cost is far outweighed by what it would cost the organization to replace this person.

4. Share the results.

When you learn information about your team, share it with them. Information from assessment tools, anonymous feedback from the team and an understanding of their true “why” shows you are in touch with who they are as a person, not just an employee.

Making peer employees aware of what makes each of them tick is a great way to get your team to bond and work more closely together. Once they recognize and celebrate differences, they can use those differences to support one another and advance the organization.

One of your highest-priority goals for 2014 should be spending time on and implementing management processes and techniques to protect your most important asset: your employees.


Eric Headshot

Eric V. Holtzclaw is the author of “Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior.”

Comments, thoughts, feedback?