You don’t need me to tell you that communication’s one of the most important aspects of managing a business. How your vision is outlined to and bought into by your team is what makes you a special leader.
Getting this message to new and potential recruits and across departments is therefore vital. We also know that applicants often apply to the company – because of the environment created – rather than to specific roles. So clarifying these values is vital.
Assuming your business objectives are set for the next 1, 3, 5 years etc., (i.e., what you want to achieve in terms of market, financial targets and by when?) then I suspect what needs to be worked on now is how these goals and objectives are communicated throughout the organisation and how you would like employees to behave as they do their jobs.
What behaviours are important to support your ‘brand promise’? Do you have an acceptable code or behaviour set that you hire, reward, compliment, manage and fire against? (Yes, I said fire!).
This isn’t difficult. But is crucial to any company. Particularly if they’re planning on rapid growth.
These values need to be set by Senior Management and current employees need to be allowed to contribute to the process. When you’ve established your core behaviours/ behavioural framework, you can then instil the culture you want by using this framework to select new employees and manage existing employees, through these behaviours to achieve objectives, projects and rewards.
Choosing Your Channels
If you don’t communicate with each stakeholder in your business effectively, then you’ll have inherent problems.
Communication mechanisms need to be established outside of the obvious ones. (One-to-one communications, face-to-face, email and instant messaging are some of these.)
I’d suggest you establish some communications that are systematic such as scheduled one-to-ones, town-hall type communications and an agreement of how meetings are recorded and communicated after an event to establish follow-up protocols.
A meeting that doesn’t have actions and follow ups is worthless and sometimes establishing a pattern to meetings helps here.
A simple pattern to meetings is as follows;
1. Title of the meeting
2. Share brief good news
3. Record who attended the meeting and meeting duration
4. Actions resulting from the meeting, who owns the action and when will the action take place and in what time frame (always under promise and over deliver, is a hint to making these actions positive)
5. Ask how people felt the meeting went and record these sentiments
6. Establish the date for follow up if needed and put it in the diary.
7. Sometimes establishing a simple meeting template helps here and when used frequently you can establish a rhythm to meetings that becomes natural over time.
Every person has a preferred way of communicating and a preference of how they like to be communicated to. Imagine if you had an insight into everyone’s communication and decision making preferences do you think this would help get things done better and faster?
A really good way of doing this is through what Insights call Discovery and you can use psychometrics to establish this through a one day learning initiative that you can conduct initially with your Senior stake holders and then when you realise how effective this is you can decide over time to integrate this into your business.
At HRLocker for example we hire behaviours, not just skills. Therefore we know we are recruiting people with the attitude and ability to upskill themselves when necessary. We also all share our insights profiles so we know how to communicate with various individuals, mindsets and characters.
How to Interview and Hire
Hiring, in my experience, is one of the most vital aspects in growing a business. Establishing what you need to hire, when to hire and how to find and attract the correct applicants is only the start of this.
The most important part of this is training your hiring managers how to interview so you increase the chance of making the most accurate hiring decision and when the process is done correctly this also increases the chance of enticing the correct hires in accepting your offer.
Just because you’re the best techie in the company doesn’t qualify you to hire the best Developers.
Interviewing and hiring is a learned skill. Just like developing in C# or working in .NET, you must learn – or be trained how to do it – and with practice you perfect this over time.
Career path and job responsibilities and structure
When you have your ‘story’ right, when your Managers are skilled up how to write good job specifications and you’re now getting your fair share of excellent candidates to hire, what else can help those candidates make the decision to come and work for you?
The answer to this question is that they have a good career path to follow once they start helping you achieve your collective goals.
The development of a career path structure gives your potential recruits a visual of how they can progress within the company – and what paths are open to them.
You can get rid of the myth that to progress in the company you must become a manager.
If the only way you can progress in the company is to become a manager, often this results in promoting your best Techie – while losing your best Techie and gaining a poor manager.
This can be avoided by establishing a career path structure that caters for managerial careers, commercial careers and specialist technical careers which all companies need.
Establishing a worthwhile career path structure isn’t difficult. But requires time and a few in-house champions of the cause (normally at senor levels in the business).
It requires thorough communication of the initiative throughout the company, possibly via those town-hall type gatherings.
Then of course there’s rewards. (Comps and Bens) But that’s a whole other post for another time.
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