DECEMBER 2014 ;e Costco Connection 13
FINDING EFFECTIVE EMPLOYEES is a constant struggle for business owners. Before
investing in a recruiter or search firm or
buying expensive advertising, employers
should try five simple techniques.
Assess your needs. Before you begin
the search for a new employee, analyze
the job. What measurable results and
accomplishments do you expect? Identify
the exact skills needed to get those results.
What are the personal attributes, attitudes
and qualities of the ideal candidate? Write
a job description that includes the results
expected of the position, the skills necessary
to achieve those results and the personality
traits required to fit in with the rest of the
team. List every task the candidate will
be expected to do. Include only what is
essential. Be sure that your expectations
are realistic: Can a single person do the job
you are hiring for?
Promote from within. As a recruiter,
I encourage my clients to look first within
their organizations to fill positions. Your
employees already know the culture of
your company, its goals and processes.
You may have the talent you need already.
Review employees’ original job applications
and résumés. Does that person in accounting also have an interest or background in
marketing or sales? Perhaps that administrative assistant has a talent for merchandising
or graphic design. Build loyalty among your
employees by promoting from within.
Incentivize employee referrals
Reward employees who refer job candidates.
When I was a manager at a games company,
we found many top people this way. People
tend to associate with others who are like
them, so if your top employees are productive, inventive and positive, their friends and
associates will probably have similar attributes. Reward staff members for success-
Think before you
hire a recruiter
HELP WITH HIRING
a recruiter and
You can reach her at
RECOGNIZING disengagement is one
thing. Ross says, “The key for managers in
re-engaging employees is simple; it calls
for being proactive and connecting with
people.” Ross has developed a plan for
re-engagement called ALIVE, which calls
for a two-way dialogue between a manager and an employee designed to discover
what motivates and engages the employee, or, conversely, what is causing the
disengagement. It includes these five steps.
Ask to meet with the employee informally, to touch base somewhere free from
office distractions, to see how the employee
Listen to what is being said, but also
to what is left unspoken. Someone who is
speak up and share
looking down usu-
ally indicate someone
Identify two or
three reaction steps you can commit to
doing for the employee, based on what
was seen and heard during the meeting.
Take a few days to digest
the information from the meeting.
Validate, with the employee, those
DISENGAGEMENT may be somewhat
expected this time of year, with the dis-
tractions caused by the holidays, but
what about other times?
“Disengagement isn’t always something you can see right away, as many
people suffering through this might be
smiling on the outside while crying on the
inside,” observes Costco member Ruth K.
ruthkross.com), author, speaker and
engagement evangelist, in her new book,
Coming Alive: The Journey to Reengage
Your Life and Career (Authority Publishing, 2014; not available at Costco).
She offers the following tips on how
to recognize signs of disengagement in
Increased absences or tardiness.
Employees show up when they want, not
when they are scheduled to be there.
“I don’t care” attitude. Employees
come in and do what is expected, but
don’t expend energy to make sure the
work is high quality.
Isolating themselves from others.
Isolation can be intentional, as when a dis-
engaged employee chooses to opt out by
sitting back in a group meeting and not
participating in the discussion, avoiding
hallway conversations or turning down
an invitation to lunch with others.
No creativity or input. Employees
stop being creative and innovative and
aren’t open to trying new things, retreating
to the familiar and routine, while doing
everything they can to stay under the radar.
Lethargic. You can usually tell when
someone crosses over from engagement
into disengagement by focusing on the
person’s energy level. It’s as if their move-
ments slow down and things seem to
move at a snail’s pace.
Ross suggests, “For managers, the
most important thing they can do to re-
engage their employees is to simply con-
nect with them. It’s not about slapping a
label on anyone as engaged or disengaged.
It’s all about getting back to basics and
having a ‘stay conversation’ that focuses
on asking employees how things are going,
listening both to what they say and what
they are not saying.”
ILLUSTRATIONS: © CORAMAX / SHUTTERSTOCK
... and taking steps
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