Three Keys to Finding the Right Employees

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In his bestselling book, Good to Great, Jim Collins popularized the notion that an organization’s success is highly dependent upon its ability to get the right people in the right seat. Easy, right? Well, yes… and no!  The secret to finding the right employees to work for you – and keeping them – is very straight forward; all you need to do is surround yourself with individuals who share and live by your core values.

There are three keys to mastering the “right people” part of your business:

  1. Establish a set of core values that you genuinely embrace and commit to live by week in, week out.

    • List them in your Vision/Traction Organizer (download one here);
    • Put them at the center of every one of your people processes, including hiring, reviewing, firing, rewarding, and promoting; and
    • During your quarterly update — where you review how you did the last quarter and roll out the updated version of your V/TO — share stories of your people exemplifying each of your core values._
  2. Establish a meaningful bar regarding what it takes to be a right person.

    We encourage our clients to use a tool called the People Analyzer (download here).  It’s an extraordinarily simple table that allows you to rate each employee in terms of how he/she lives each of your core values.

    • A “+” means and person exemplifies that core value;
    • “+/-“ means he/she lives that core value more often than not; and
    • “-“ means someone exhibits values that are antithetical to yours.

    Make it clear to your employees that they need to be genuine culture carriers; consequently, they need to have more pluses than plus/minuses, and there is no room for a “-” on the chart.

  3. Once the bar has been set, walk the talk. DO NOT keep the wrong people around, no matter what.

    If your top-producing sales person makes you a lot of money, but doesn’t live the core values, he has to go. Keeping him will tear away at your credibility and send the rest of your workforce the message that you’re not really serious about all this core values stuff.  When you identify someone who is “below the bar”, institute the Three Strike Rule:

    • Share the people analyzer with him and show him the issue(s);
    • support each issue with three examples (because it takes three data points to show a trend);
    • let him know this is Strike One and that he has 30 days to correct the problem (unless the issue is severe, like fraud);
    • document the meeting and both of you sign it; then
    • meet again on day 31. If the problem persists, let him know he will have 30 more days to correct the issue, and if it is not corrected at that point, you will have to let him go.

If you implement these practices and stick to them, in time you will find your right people issues are nominal. And you will be blessed to be surrounded by what my wife refers to as her “High Fives”: people who enhance our energy, passion, inspiration, enthusiasm, self-worth, hope, and curiosity; people who just make us better versions of ourselves.

Next week, we’ll talk about getting people in the “right seats”.  Until then, may you build with passion and confidence.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. - Blog - November 18, 2014 (3:41 pm)

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  2. People stuff: the fourth dimension of capacity - Blog - December 4, 2014 (1:34 pm)

    […] about the notion that to get great people for your organization all you need to do is get the right people into the right seats. The short hand for right people part of the equation is do they genuinely […]

  3. People stuff: time span capacity in management - Blog - December 18, 2014 (10:20 am)

    […] looking at the individual and what makes him or her appropriate for a seat – i.e. that he/she clears your cultural bar and GWCs the role) – and started to drill into the layers or strata of your Accountability Chart. […]

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