In times of change, it is critical to have a high performance team that can ride the storm.
High performance teams start at the top—with you! You cannot build your team overnight, but you must make a commitment to do it every day. Every leader I have ever met said the thing: what they like least about their job is letting people go. By building high performance teams, you minimize the worst part of your job and you get to maximize the best parts.
Here are three key elements that I have found to work from building the team here at Southwest Michigan First.
- Identify the Right People.
Without the right people, your product or service is irrelevant. A very rigorous hiring process is critical. At Southwest Michigan First, we use a screening tool to measure the intensity of talents of our applicants. Before we even bring in anyone for an interview, we only consider those who measure in the top 15 percentile in each area of measurement. Additionally, we consider an individual’s strengths to ensure they align with what the company needs. We don’t need five of the same person; we need five people who are strong in five different areas. Candidates who meet this initial criteria then go through an interview process with the entire team to assure team fit. If we do all of that right and we honor our system, we never have a bad hire.
- Give No Job Description.
Do not write a job description in stone. In fact your job posting, should not describe the job you are looking to fill; it should describe the person you are looking to fill the job. Too many times, I have seen job description used as an excuse to not do something. High-performance people do not want limits put on their execution and their leadership. Try not to use job descriptions beyond: “Do great things, and maximize your resources and impact.”
- Establish Culture.
Clarity and openness is critical to a healthy and functioning culture. We make sure our team knows their ultimate goals and we give them the freedom to operate. Our employees have the resources and freedom to achieve what we have agreed that they will accomplish. Because we hired the right person from the start, we know their performance will match what is required.