Mediocrity Kills: How to Hire – And Keep – Only the Best Workers

Mediocrity Kills: How to Hire – And Keep – Only the Best Workers

by Mel Kleiman, MultiBriefs

The obstacle that all too often keeps any organization from being its best is the willingness to tolerate mediocre performers. Let’s face it, dishonest, unreliable troublemakers are seldom the reason businesses fail to excel – those folks get fired quickly. What really keeps success an arm’s length away are the mediocre players.

The optimal way to avoid hiring a so-so person in the first place is to always make perfect hiring decisions and provide excellent training. But if you inherit a less-than-stellar employee or mistakenly offer a job to the wrong candidate, bear in mind that it’s best to cut your losses as soon as you recognize the problem because it’s a big mistake to:
• Avoid biting the bullet now only to end up tolerating long-term misery
• Let the convenience of mediocrity trump the inconvenience of change
• Not take into account the long-term cost of substandard performance versus the limited-time payment of unemployment benefits

But beyond that, perhaps the most important thing to do is set up and sustain a culture of accountability. It starts with clear communications to job applicants, new hires and team members alike:
• Hold everyone accountable, including managers and team leaders
• Spell out what it takes to be a successful member of the organization
• Keep track of everything that is delegated

Here are a few more things you can do to build the best team possible:
• Recruit and interview religiously. Look for new hires even when they aren’t needed so you’re not forced to accept mediocre players
• Kick your hiring standards up a notch and don’t settle for less
• Strive to be an employer-of-choice. Is yours a fun place to work? Do you have family-friendly policies? Do all the members of your team enjoy working together? When you can answer “yes” to questions like these, you’ll attract top talent at every level.