Most adults spend 40-45 hours a week at work. That’s one third of our lives in the same field, with the same responsibilities (for the most part) day-in and day-out. It’s…a lot. But if your employees are filling the right seat at the company, you’re pretty much guaranteed to see results—and your team is going to be inspired to work harder and, better yet, be way happier.
What is a “right seat”? Glad you asked!
Everyone has talents, and hopefully, they use those talents to excel at (and enjoy) their career. But to do that, employees need to be in a position to use those talents. Someone who’s struggling isn’t necessarily a “bad” employee; they might be the right person, just not in the right seat.
Before hiring, define who the “right people” are
Every company is different. Someone who flourishes in a fast-pace, large-scale environment might struggle in a self-motivated, smaller setting, and vice versa. So, before you begin the hiring process, ask yourself, “Who exactly are we looking for?”
Take a step back, and consider the following criteria when hiring someone new:
- Connection to your company’s core values
- Experience level
- Ability to meet expectations (logistics, location, etc.)
How important are these factors in your company’s hiring process? Which is the most important to you? The least? Why? What are your deal-breakers?
Spoiler alert: There’s no right or wrong answer. This exercise is just to get you thinking about your company’s unique needs, as well as who you should be hiring.
Make sure your team members are in the right position
You can have the best team in the world—but if they’re not filling roles they understand, want or have the ability to do, you’re not getting the most out of your team (and they’re probably not very happy in their position, either).
If you already have regular meetings with your direct reports, weave this idea into the conversation. Ask them, in a respectful way, how they feel about their position. Make it clear that you are genuinely open to receiving an honest answer, for both your benefit and theirs. If they ask for it, give them feedback. Align on their goals, struggles and wins. Let them guide you to understanding, and use that knowledge to either keep them satisfied in their current role, or discuss transitioning them to a role that better suits their experience, personality or capacity.
If you’re not already having regular meetings with your direct reports, we strongly recommend doing so. Annual performance reviews are great, but monthly (or even weekly!) check-ins honestly work wonders. When it comes to optimizing your team, communication is everything.
Prioritize your company culture
Having qualified, experienced employees is great…but what about nice, fun employees?
If a prospect won’t fit well with your company culture, it doesn’t mean they’re a bad person. It just means they’re not the right person for your organization—there just isn’t a right seat for them to fill.
And on the flipside, an inexperienced candidate who fits perfectly with your culture can always learn as they go. But you can’t teach someone to align with a culture they don’t internalize and empathize with.
Don’t be shy about putting your company culture first. It boosts workplace teambuilding and communication, and can lead to long-term employee satisfaction (i.e. getting that turnover rate down, meaning big savings to your bottom line!). In fact, some hiring managers explicitly look for inexperienced candidates, and for good reason. Fostering a team that’s productive, experienced and fun is nothing to shake a stick at.
Putting it all together
The right people in the right positions make all the difference. Seriously, we mean it! It improves employee satisfaction and productivity, helps enrich your culture and leaves a positive, lasting impact on the numbers.
Define who you’re looking for. Make sure they’re happy. And once that’s done, keep them engaged with a strong, meaningful company culture. Your employees (both current and future) will thank you for it.