Most business owners would agree that assembling a great team is extremely difficult and equally frustrating. In over 30 years as a business owner, one of the most common statements made by other owners is, “if I could only clone myself, everything would be fine.”
We are not too far off from cloning humans. They already do it with other animals. Think of the advantages. No recruiting, no Indeed or Zip Recruiter postings, no auto responses from irrelevant people on Craigslist. Just the most awesome person, gift wrapped, exactly like you! Want real expansion… order several yous!
When someone makes that statement they are expressing that they are unable to find someone that can do what they are capable of. Many owners will even go as far as saying that “there is no one out there that can do what I do.”
It is absolutely a false statement and typically proclaimed when things are not going well and the person is extremely frustrated. It’s a huge world and I think there may be someone that can do things as well as you. I know you are special and very good at what you do but it’s like using the word “never” – you have to be very careful.
So I think the better approach is to eliminate the idea that no one out there can do what you do. They ARE out there! You just have to concentrate on using your resources to find that person.
Well, after a million discussions and listening to rants from angry owners and managers on this subject I believe the best question to ask is…. “If you cloned yourself, would you work for you?”
There are great people out there but is your business a place where they would want to work?
Think about why you wanted to own or manage a business in the first place. I would have to guess that a majority of you thought you could do things way better than the person you worked for.
Maybe you wanted more freedom without the boss riding your ass. Or maybe you like to make decisions without being second guessed.
You might have felt that there was a lack of trust with your boss or other employees. Maybe you felt restricted and there wasn’t much room for advancement. Or you didn’t like the shop or office because it was dirty and smelled bad. Whatever the reason, ultimately you didn’t see a great future so you made your move….
Good question, right! Well, if you want a top notch staff you should ask yourself that question on a regular basis. If you are truly honest you might pick out a few things that you don’t like.
Do you allow your staff to make significant decisions or does every decision need to be yours?
Can your people make mistakes, the same way you learned a lot, without rubbing their nose in it or you freaking out?
Do you enforce a company culture that has no tolerance for backstabbing, even from a high producing employee?
Do you share your vision with your employees and make them understand that there is no ceiling for where they can go with the company?
Is your company one that you would be proud to work for. What is the image? What is your company’s reputation?
Are you offering training to help people expand their capabilities? When they do work at being more capable do you reward them?
Do you create fun things that promote teamwork and team building?
Do you allow time for family and things outside work?
Does your company do important things to help your community?
Are you trustworthy and is your word good as gold?
If you want to attract and recruit excellent people you need to look at these things and more on a very regular basis. In addition to thinking about creating a place where you would work, take it one step further. Ask your employees what they would change about the company. At the end of the day they are the ones that need to feel good about working in the company. By listening to the people you work with and then actually making changes that they suggest, you are giving them some of the ownership of the company!
There is this group of crazy kids we call “millennials” and whether you like it or not, they are taking over. This group is a little different than us old folks. They want more than money. They want a place they enjoy working at and a place that they feel gives them room to expand, grow and flourish… those crazy little bastards.
I left my last job because I didn’t like a lot of the things that I mentioned above. I managed a pretty large and high volume shop. The owner had enough confidence in me to leave me alone to manage, but anytime I made a decision, I was second guessed. I had a technician who came in when he felt like it and did whatever he wanted to do. When I fired him, he called the owner and the next day he showed up and told me that the owner overruled me! How did that work for me when I had to deal with the rest of the staff? If a customer deserved a break and I gave something away as a courtesy, I was questioned on it. If the chain on the gate wasn’t pulled tight enough and the owner drove by at night I would get a call the next morning. Petty shit for someone working on a salary and putting in 60+ hours per week.
So I am very conscious about this subject and want my employees to be a large part of the ownership of this company. I want to continually work at creating a place that our employees can be proud to work at and enjoy going to everyday.
Do you think that would naturally attract people to come and work here? Do you think they feel it when they come in for a job interview?
So, if I could clone myself I would want me to want to work for me!