“Good people are hard to find.” How often do we hear this comment from a disheartened business owner? What exactly do we need to do to find these ‘good’ people? Where do we find them? How do we engage them? What do we mean when we use the word ‘good,’ as it applies to business?
Good, as defined in the dictionary, includes the positive qualities of being morally excellent, pleasing, admirable and virtuous, as well as doing that which is right. People who are good are seen as being genuine, honorable, clever and competent. These intrinsic qualities are highly valued in any successful business.
Chesterton was once asked, “What in your view is the biggest problem facing the world today?” In his typical style, he simply replied, “I am.”
The message in this is clear, in terms of finding good people. It all starts with the owner and the managers at the top. Simply put, the business owner and managers in the ‘good business’ must exhibit and model the qualities of good leadership they are seeking. They must strive to be constantly ‘good’ themselves.
If you are not attracting good people into your business, perhaps you should start by asking yourself where the problem might lie. In considering your answer, keep in mind the following three key factors for developing a business that will attract good people.
In small business, good governance begins with being trustworthy ourselves and developing a business culture that embodies that trust in our relationships with others. This is accomplished through establishing work environments that build positive connections between people. Relationship building in business is an ongoing dynamic that everyone must be committed to and engage in.
Relationships are built on agreed codes of practice, agreed principles and standards of acceptable behavior. There must be a shared understanding of doing that which is right toward each other. When someone does something right, it must be rewarded. Likewise, when someone does something wrong, it must be addressed immediately.
The successful business owner or manager holds him or herself accountable by way of example in setting this ‘trust’ culture. They make sure that the people in the business are clear about its purpose and that everyone has clear objectives that are well understood by all. Everyone knows what part they play in achieving the business objectives. Where the benefits, accountabilities and responsibilities are shared within strong bonds of mutual trust and clearly defined roles and functions, high performance is the result.
Effective businesses have clearly understood planning mechanisms in place. A successful small business plan ensures that the company’s objectives are met. This is because the people within the business know exactly what they need to do.
People throughout the business also have the opportunity of feeding their experience and knowledge into the planning systems. No one, single person within a successful business has all the answers. Therefore, effective business owners and managers adopt a stance of humility, and they are always listening for that new piece of information from the people around them to incorporate into their thinking and planning. This is what gives them the adaptive edge that is missing in a mediocre business. Planning is based on honest and open relationships and two way communication. This ensures that bad news, as well as good news, is talked about and acted on.
Business policy development, systems, procedures and processes all support the objectives and goals of the business. People throughout the business are engaged in sharing their ideas and thoughts and making positive contributions to the overall wellbeing of the successful business.
Measure What You Do
Every successful business that attracts good people is a fun place to work, and it gets things done. One of the reasons that this is the case is that results are celebrated and rewarded. The ‘good’ business makes sure that it has measures in place to mark milestones and achievements. The business performance management process is everyone’s responsibility.
Measures are written into the planning, in terms of key result areas, key performance indicators and benchmarks that make sense to the people who meet them.
When striving toward a vision of what the business can be, employees’ energy, achievement and motivation are all at high levels. This forward momentum is activated by having clear goals, responsibilities and measures clearly spelled out for everyone.
Good people love working in businesses that deliver tangible results for both the business itself and for them personally. Such environments reinforce their own dedication and allow them to feel like they are making a significant contribution. In turn, this creates high levels of personal satisfaction.
Peter McLean is a highly experienced Coach, Senior Manager, Consultant, Business Owner and Company Director. He successfully coaches top Executives in some of Australia’s leading multi-national companies. One such Senior Executive recently won an International Award for Excellence within his particular field. In addition, Peter works extensively in the Public, Private, Commercial and Not-for-Profit sectors, delivering outstanding results for his clients.