Fix of Fire?

I was reading the other day of Jack Welsh’s philosophy that people fit into four categories of performance:

  1. Live the firm values and do produce: keep them!
  2. Live the firm values and are not producing: keep them and develop their performance.
  3. Don’t live the values and don’t produce: easy–fire them!
  4. Don’t live the values and do produce: all organisations struggle here. They should be fired or coached—but many organisations do neither.

Let’s start with the basics. First, recruit people that are naturally aligned with your values. However this I find my clients often struggle:

  • Candidates are not being screened for alignment with company values
  • Candidates are not being asked enough self revealing questions
  • Those who do the recruiting are using rapport techniques to put candidates at ease, which results in them revealing who they are

A job interview shows the candidate at their best so it’s up to the recruiter to ensure that it is an accurate and honest face. Here are some recruiting questions that apply to all roles in a company:

  • Which of our company values are most aligned with your personal values? Why?
  • Please tell me some times in your career when you’ve most powerfully embodied our values?
  • What is your purpose in life and why would working with us help you achieve it?
  • What are the 5 career accomplishments you are most proud of? Why?
  • What are 5 adjectives used to describe you by: colleagues, bosses, friends, yourself?
  • What makes a working environment most compelling?
  • Where do you want to be career-wise in 3 years? 5 years?
  • Please tell us a bit about your past entrepreneurial experiences and why/how you’d fit in with us.

Now let’s move on to the people in categories 2 (lives the values but not producing) and 4 (don’t live values and do produce) above. Work on turning them around initially through a coaching process. If that doesn’t work, it’s time to let them go. To start:

  • Determine what a realistic coaching/turnaround period is: 30, 60 or 90 days, depending on the complexity of the behaviour change.
  • Next , define the specific behaviour(s) you need changed, as well as what level of support you are willing to provide.
  • Last, determine the consequences if the behaviour does not change (Demotion? Termination?) or if the behaviour does indeed change (Keep current job? Move to another role?)
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