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3 Fundamental Truths of People Management

06 October 2021

Today I want to talk about three simple truths, that all high-performing companies understand and benefit from. They form part of a key understanding about the recruitment and retention of employees and getting the best from your team.

  1. Focus on the WHO, not the WHAT.

The first one is, that the focus for these companies is on WHO. They don’t spend too much time lost in designing the entire process or putting together all the details of what they’re trying to achieve. They’re looking for the right kind of talent, someone who has the right attitude and right value systems, and who can adapt very quickly, to the changing environment around them.

I want you to reflect on this because many consider the WHAT necessary before the WHO is identified.

Yes, you need to have a vision, but then if the WHAT or the end goal of the company changes, after a few years, people may get disinterested.

Think of it like being on the bus. The journey has started because you’ve told the passengers where you are headed but 10 miles down the road, you need to change course. They are just going to jump off the bus because it is not the direction they expected to be travelling in.

The right talent wants to be part of a high-calibre team. And that’s what attracts them. It’s not so much about where we are heading, the exact details of it. There can be a broad vision but they will together figure out, where the company can potentially head, to maximize its impact. There is a huge distinction in this alone.

  1. When you have the right WHO, motivation becomes irrelevant.

The second simple truth is, that when you have the right WHO, the whole discussion around motivation becomes irrelevant. You don’t need to motivate the right talent.

When you see companies throwing in extra perks of the job, like gym memberships and free dental plans, huge respect, that’s nice, but all these frills are not what’s important in the long run, to the right people.

You don’t need to motivate the right talent, they are already motivated. They are inspired, to be part of this team and to achieve the goals, that they together have defined, and are passionate about.

Rather than what can be done to motivate your employees, it is more important to be mindful of avoiding demotivation.

You can read more about how to avoid expensive recruitment mistakes here.

  1. Without the right WHO, you can’t expect top results.

The third, hard-hitting, but simple truth is that, if you don’t have the right talent, then it doesn’t matter about your HOW and WHAT. However amazing the vision is, if you have substandard talent, it will still produce substandard results.

Look at your team right now, including yourself. See whether you have the right who’s on your bus, who needs to get off, who needs to become more aligned and who needs to become part of your thinking process.

Together you can define an exciting what. Together you can ensure that the company is heading in the right direction, and you don’t have to worry about motivating them because they are motivated. You all are enjoying this journey together, as a team.

For more about making sure you have the right components in your team, read my article on making the right choices for your business.

All of these points are part of being a business leader. Your role is to ensure that the talent in your organization is always of top quality. Not everyone can fall into that category, there will be some people in the bottom rung and you need to decide what happens there. Whether it’s training, or development or exit.

It sounds very idealistic and it won’t happen overnight. It is an ongoing journey, much like many of the topics we discuss here but I hope this has helped you put some of your recruitment fears into perspective.

If you would like to discuss anything else to do with the recruitment or retention of your team or have another issue that is particularly concerning, please feel free to get in touch.

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