One of the foundational premises of Top Line Performance is that the answers to most of the problems that a business faces are resident in the people who are already inside the organization. It’s the practice of continuously looking over the organizational talent (the workforce) devoid of biases about what “high performers” are supposed to look like.
One “given” to keep foremost in your mind: your company, itself, does not have to be a participant in global enterprise to be impacted by the consequences of businesses around you who are global competitors. The reality is that your company will be forced to compete for talent and will be forced to function in a business climate that is changing faster than at any time in history.
As you begin 2023 let’s build a checklist for not only making new-hire decisions; but as a lens, as well, to assess your existing staff. Viable businesses will both find themselves “recruiting” talent and “growing” talent from within.
You tell me if I’m right or wrong when I suggest this description of the workplace you live in. In my work, I am constantly hearing that “change” has brought complexity. It’s harder to just do the “basic” things. I hear managers and owners describe “volatility in their work environments”. I hear frustration around “a lack of willingness to collaborate” across departments and with clients/customers”. I see mental exhaustion in the eyes of line supervisors who are expected to do much more with less. I encounter managers who are intimidated by the number and variety of stakeholders and what they consider “ambiguous” expectations. And, I hear of the critical need for decision-makers who can apply sound judgment in a world where available knowledge is increasing exponentially.
So, what might you look for in your next candidates for hire? What do you nurture and develop internally in the talent your company already employs? Here is my list of “high performer” characteristics: (Not in rank order of priority)
· Evidenced proactive behaviors versus reactive behaviors
· Calm in the face of the unexpected, (with the ability to gather information, consider multiple response options, make educated decisions and then implement
· Strong communication skills (which includes both the ability to communicate to others as well to listen to and candidly value the input of others)
· On-going learner (open to ideas, values opportunity to continually learn new things, embrace change)
· Possesses a big-picture perspective (ability to see beyond the obvious, beyond the short-term future)
· An ability to prioritize and participate in the “process of planning” as a tool
· Evidenced capacity and behavior that reflects “valuing people” and their potential
That’s all it takes. Are you up for the task?