Are you hiring and developing the kind of people who will be capable of building a business that really makes a difference—or are you simply filling seats?
You hear companies make the claim all the time that, “Our people make the difference.” And yet, when you look at a lot of these companies, they’re really no different from their competitors. “Our people make the difference” is a nice slogan, but that’s all it is unless there’s something that makes those people different. Simply filling “head count” so that all of your positions are filled isn’t going to make that kind of difference.
So what does make a real difference? Sure, you need to hire well to begin with, and here are some helpful thoughts about going beyond the typical interview questions in order to get to some of the right people. But what’s really required is more than just hiring “good people.” If you’re serious about growing a great business it requires a commitment to developing the people you hire.
It’s also not enough to simply tell employees that your want them to “get better at their jobs.” As a business leader you have to make sure you provide opportunities for your employees to learn; to deepen their knowledge; to increase their skills; and to take on additional responsibility. And sometimes that means providing opportunities for them to fail. Of course that begins with you. If you’re not modeling the concept of learning and improvement yourself, how can you expect your team to do it?
Take a look at your company. Are you creating an environment that emphasizes improvement and learning on a personal level? Are you committed to helping your employees develop their knowledge, skills, and sense of responsibility? If you’re interested in some additional thoughts about building the people who will build your business, check out this article.
If you really want your people to make a difference, then you may need to make a difference in their environment.