Jacky Leonard's blog

Square pegs, round holes?

Categories:  Business Coaching, Training & Coaching, Delivering Authentic Customer Experiences

"...the right person, in the right place, at the right time.”  CIPD

One of my consistent observations is the power of people within an organisation…and I’m not just talking about the suits.  Staff at all levels of the organisation have their own specific role to play.  However, like parts of the human anatomy, if one piece is neglected it doesn’t take long before it breaks down and needs attention.  The medical profession can do marvellous things to put you back together again and repair the damage, but sometimes your body will reject the implant, treatment or medication, simply because it’s just not compatible. 

So what has this got to do with your organisation?

Well, you may have tried, or be trying to do the same thing i.e. ‘implanting’ the wrong people who you later have to reject because your culture and their values are incompatible, or neglecting those people within your organisation who are doing a great job because your focus is on the 20% who are underperforming.

Because time is tight and you’ve got your own job to do driving the business, these underperformers are sometimes not dealt with quickly enough and before you know it they’ve infected others with their inappropriate behaviour.  Pretty soon you have an epidemic of demotivated and poorly performing staff that will cause you a lot of wasted time, money and energy to put right.  Dealing with performance management issues eats away at these precious resources.

So where do you start?  Right at the beginning.   You must recruit the right people; the ones that share your passion, energy and drive.  Your organisations culture and their values must be aligned at the start or you’ll end up with an unhealthy cultural fit.

According to Gareth Roberts, author of the CIPD’s (Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development) Recruitment and Selection publication, "Recruitment and selection is the foundation of all other HR activity. Get it wrong and it doesn't matter how good the development programme is, how well an employer motivates their staff, how well they manage their performance, or even how well they reward them - they are always making up for that one bad decision.”

Regularly reviewing the work required within your area of responsibility will enable you to identify any shortfall in your team’s knowledge, skills and competence and allow you to fill the gaps by selecting the most appropriate intervention e.g. training, mentoring, coaching etc.  Continually developing team members offers opportunities to promote from within, however this still needs to be achieved through a fair, equitable and non-discriminatory process.

Regardless of how good an employer you are, there will be times when a vacancy arises.  Making a prompt decision about the most appropriate option i.e. restructure, replace or job share, will help you to start the recruitment process swiftly, avoiding any unnecessary drop in service.

The best candidates will be able to demonstrate the right balance of technical expertise and behavioural skills for the job role. However, it's up to you to provide a fair, unbiased and equitable recruitment process so you can make the task of finding the most suitable candidate as easy as possible for job seekers and interviewers.

Over the next few months I’ll be running Recruit & Retain Staff Workshops in collaboration with CIMSPA.  Using practical tools, models and learning activities, this 1-day workshop will help you to successfully navigate the stages of the recruitment process and put the right person in the right place at the right time.

Forthcoming dates include:

23 June in Rochdale

06 July in Cwmbran

28 July in Belfast

13 October in Rusden

For specific details on venues, times and cost just follow this link to the CIMSPA website http://www.cimspa.co.uk/en/events/cimspa-events.cfm and book your place.

I hope to see you soon.