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  • Writer's pictureCarole Stizza

Small Business Tips to Attract Great Managers

Updated: May 31, 2021

Extensive research has been conducted over the last 40 years on more than 2.5 million manager-led teams in over 195 countries. Gallup uses this data and their findings to help organizations understand how to maximize human capital when it comes to hiring and developing great managers. They have found that anyone who has the natural capacity to represent all 5 characteristics that define a great manager is rare, however, many who possess the capacity and desire to be a great manager can be developed. Setting up an entire organization to support managerial development also has financial rewards, including a:

  • 48% increase in profitability

  • 22% increase in productivity

  • 17% increase in employee engagement

  • 5% increase in customer engagement

  • 17% increase in talent retention

Gallup recommends implementing 7 key criteria to build a sustainable talent management system with a focus on gaining and cultivating great managers. These steps are:

  • Align

  • Attract

  • Recruit

  • Assess

  • Hire

  • Onboard

  • Develop

While Gallup offers these 7 steps for cultivating a workforce filled with great potential managers, their talent assessment program is a high-ticket item normally attainable to larger organizations. (Read full report here, pp. 39-41.)

Individual and small businesses rarely have the extra funds to hire and retain such robust programs, so I’m going to offer a slightly different version to give you an idea of how to implement Gallup’s recommendations on a smaller scale.

  • Align – Ask yourself, ‘What do I want my customers to brag about after they’ve worked with us?” Then ask, ‘What do I want my employees to brag about when working for us?’ Create both lists and compare them carefully. This is where organizations determine the knowledge, skills, abilities, and employee behaviors required to achieve the desired outcome of happy clients. Then set up systems to create the desired results of retaining happy employees with the right talent.

  • AttractThink hard about why someone would want to work for you and your company. Rarely do people want a paycheck and nothing more. Most employees report wanting the ability to be a part of the team and clarity in expectations of how to succeed at their job. They report a desire to know what is achievable if they stay and grow with the company. Acknowledge what your company can offer and why it’s important to their success. Be real, don’t overpromise what you can’t offer. Put together the package of what you can offer: holidays, your time off policy, benefits of any kind, and the intangibles – if they apply – (like) flexible scheduling, family leave in emergencies, donation matching, etc.

  • Recruit – Once you identify the KSAs and behaviors required for success with your customers, understand where those candidates may come from or be attracted by and recruit with gusto beyond what you need now. You must attract the right talent, select who you need at the present, and remain connected to the talent you want to see come your way when you have more openings due to growth or economic success. Stay connected with those candidates and track where they go. Recruiting is not a one and done deal: even for smaller companies. If you stay connected with the talent that applied to work for you and understand what they wanted – when you can offer that you have a warm market to start. It’s true that your employees may outgrow your current job, but they might also want to work for you for completely different reasons than you first thought (affiliation, pride in working for a community business etc.). Stay connected!

  • AssessIdentify who has the talents you need through your hiring process. There are several free assessments online but unless you know how to interpret them for the job at hand, they’re simply fun exercises. I personally recommend doing a team assessment to identify the strengths and gaps your current team possess before you start hiring new employees. That way you can hire for diversity of thought rather than group think; the attitude you need to meet your client’s needs, and you can figure out what aspects beyond talent will help the whole team succeed.

  • HireInterview with the right questions to discover the best talent. If you are struggling to understand what questions work, reach out to an HR professional or an Interview Coach.

  • Onboard – This is crucial to set a new employee up for success. Create a system of expectations of what to accomplish (with guidance and support) their first week, first 30 days, first 60 days, etc. If you want people to stay, you must set them up for success right off the bat. Hiring is only the first step: onboarding and developing are where you true success will grow.

  • Develop – Know how to develop your employees by knowing what you expect, what they expect, and what you can offer them in the long run. Offer guidance and support to make sure they can learn, grow, and be evaluated on that growth. Everyone wants to know where they can grow, make sure you know how to provide this.

While these 7 criteria seem daunting to those who have never implemented anything other than a help wanted ad, I can assure you they will make the difference in the long run success of your organization: even if you are only a team of 3 to begin with! To start, I recommend doing a team assessment of your current strengths to understand what you are currently doing right. This is always a great place to start and opens doors for how to maximize this as you grow.

To find out more, attend an upcoming workshop on Strength Strategies or contact Carole directly: Carole is a Sr. HR professional, Talent and Engagement Coach, and Speaker and Author emphasizing empowering employees and encouraging emerging leaders to thrive.

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