In the New Year, Protect Your Business’s Most Important Asset: People

group of happy workers on employment screening blogAny business that survived 2009 is positioned to improve in 2010. Hopefully, lending will loosen up, enabling businesses to invest in equipment or facilities. Hopefully, job losses will halt, employment will tick up, and consumers will again have cash to spend.

If your planning for next year includes adding employees, it’s a good time to reflect upon your most important asset—human capital—and plan on how you’ll inspire your people to perform at their best, while keeping them enthusiastic and productive about their work and your company.

Effective teams of workers are not happy accidents. In the leadership role, business owners and managers directly affect the performance of their teams. Hiring the right people and placing them in the right position on the right team is a delicate, but necessary practice. If it’s done well, your business will run better and more profitably.

Asking the right questions starts before the hiring process does. Ask your current staff what additional personnel they would hire, given the chance. Ask what they need. Ask what’s working and not working in their current team relationships. Listen well, and ask for input. Have a brainstorming session. While your employees may not have all the answers—or even many usable ideas—it’s important they feel included in the process. And usually, the workers on the ground are acutely aware of what’s lacking in their world.

During the hiring process, look for attributes that will fit in well with established teams. This doesn’t mean that your staff cannot work with someone who doesn’t share their musical taste or hobbies. It’s good to have a diverse group of people working toward a common goal, so everyone contributes his or her strengths. While skills can be learned, enthusiasm, a positive outlook, and passion to do well cannot. Debbie Downers will often bring everyone around them down, too.

Acknowledge and quickly deal with conflicts as they arise. It’s part of gluing a good team together. Certain rules, like fostering a sense of mutual respect, should be adhered to. Let your team know that open communication is always okay, and they’ll be more likely to put conflicts behind them.

Take the time to find the best people, thorough sound procedures, including pre-employment screening. Turnover is costly both in terms of dollars spent and goodwill lost when team members have to deal with new hires more than they should. Nurture your new hires, integrate them fully, and provide all your people the resources they need to succeed. Spend time and effort in 2010 to keep your most valuable asset—your people.

Be sure to check out our Pre-Employment Screening services. Protect your business, increase your peace of mind and lower turnover by hiring smart!

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