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MANAGEMENT: How to Identify "A" Players in Your Organization?
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How to Identify “A” Players in Your Organization?

By Marwan Emile Faddoul (Managing Partner, Qadisha Consulting)

BT 201707 MANAGEMENT 04
      霍尼韦尔的前总裁劳伦斯•博西迪曾说:“我确信没有什么比雇佣和培养员工更重要,因为到最后你依赖的是人,而不是企业战略。”一个企业招聘并留住的员工才是其未来不竭动力的源泉,而为了在激烈的市场竞争中拔得头筹、取得进步,企业管理者需要的不仅仅是一名“合格员工”,更需要找到优秀人才方能助力企业发展。然而,几个小时的招聘并不能帮助你分辨出谁才是最佳人选,擅长面试的人并不意味着他也可以在日常工作里表现出色。

      《合伙人:如何发掘高潜力人才》(It’s Not the How or the What but the Who)一书的作者费洛迪用了三十年的时间去评估和追踪企业高管,他得出结论:“随着商业环境变得越发反复无常、复杂模糊,以能力为基础的评估也使雇佣正在变得越来越低效,”费洛迪说,“企业和它们的领导者必须进入物色人才的新时代。”

      那么如何物色真正的人才呢?

      在寻找人才之前,让我们来了解一下人才需要具备的素质。优秀人才是积极主动,善于解决问题的人;优秀人才在遇到困难时不会抱怨,而是采取行动解决问题。最后,也是非常难能可贵的一点是,优秀人才能发现其他的优秀人才,或是普通人才最擅长的方面,并将他们带入团队共同成长。

      单凭特质很难识别人才,让他们投入实践中才能真正显出差距。优秀人才在工作中可以抗住各种压力,认清情况、保持冷静,并一个个地解决问题。另外,作为领导者,与团队分享遇到的问题,说明情况,和大家一起并肩工作,也有助于你区分“优秀人才”与“好员工”。最后,在领导暂时离开时,优秀人才或说优秀员工可以很好地帮助团队度过这段“过渡期”——优秀员工正是那个“在换轮胎时还能保证车辆正常行驶的人”。

BT 201707 MANAGEMENT 01
In today’s world, intense competition along with buyers’ high demand on advanced products, cheaper prices and amazing customer service is pushing companies to innovate and continuously improve their internal process. For a company to reach the standard that the market is looking for, several elements must be put in place, including, a state-to-the-art solution to customers’ pain points, a proper strategy and most importantly an incredible team that seeks perfection.
 

hl managementNow, how to have such an outstanding team in your organization and how to identify your “A” players?
 

Over the past five years of my life I have interviewed more than 200 candidates to work in our company. Based on my personal experience, not all candidates who did well in their interview were able to perform well during work. I realized that many people are simply good at doing interviews, cracking cases and giving right answers, especially among young graduate students with limited work experience.
 

Speaking of this matter, we, as managers with years of experience under our belt, can distinguish a good candidate from a great one. Nonetheless, a 2 to 3 hour interview is not enough to identify your “A” player.
 

Why is that? Simply because time with specific achievements during work, can help you discover your tier one players.
 

Your “A” players will have characteristics and behaviors that make them top performers. These characteristics are vital for the success of your company.
 

Before I discuss ways to identify “A” players, let me share with you some key criteria that any “A” employee must have. First of all, unlike “B” and “C” staff in an organization, “A” players are the ones who take initiatives. They always work on finding ways to improve themselves and people around them for the sake of the company. Second of all, “A” people seek ways to make a positive change and they do not stop until they find a proper solution. “A” players do not nag or complain yet try to understand the issue and take action to resolve any problem. Finally, “A” players - and this is very important - are the ones who can bring the good in you and make you give your best. They say “A” players will identify “A” players and bring them on board. That saying is true, but I would add that “A” players can identify the “A” part of a “B” payer and bring it to life, of course with the will of that person.
 

Note that having a degree from a tier one university along with several years of experience in a multinational company is important yet not a must to make a candidate the top employee we are talking about.
 

In addition to all these characteristics we can give tons of known elements regarding entrepreneurship and leadership that fit the “A” player mentality. Though let us not go there and let me share with you the 2 most effective ways to identify an “A” player.
 

BT 201707 MANAGEMENT 03
Put your staff in the middle of the battlefield

Why this task is important? It is important simply because it will to identify the best from all the others. Most employees, when under pressure, panic, stress, do make a lot of stupid mistakes and blame it on others. Most of the time, “B” and “C” players, under such a situation, give up and run away. I have seen many managers presenting their resignation, as they are unable to handle the pressure of work. Remember, not every day is sunshine and rainbow. Similarly in companies, there are days where, staff has to work overnight and during weekends, to submit their project on time. There are times where competition kicks our product out of a market or even where the company is facing debt and cash flow problems. Under these circumstances, “A” players acknowledge the situations, stay calm and start working together on finding solutions to their problems by solving one problem at a time.
 

Note that as leaders, we also have to do our job, and inform our team on what is going on in the company. It is important to be transparent for two main reasons. On one side, one person cannot solve a problem on his or her own, especially when we are talking about issues that affect the company as a whole. Therefore, sharing the issue at hand and being transparent about it will help the team to think of better solutions to tackle the problem. On the other side, presenting the truth in front of our team will help distinguish the leader from the follower and the “A” player from the “B” player.
 

An example on this matter is when hiring new employees our company puts them in a three-month intensive program. During this period, staff will have to handle task that are above its knowledge and capacity and they will have to work long hours and will have competitions on regular bases. The idea behind this program is to make sure to keep the best in our company. Eventually at the end of the program, out of five new employees, two to three would survive and stay, the rest would quit. Bear in mind, mistakes are more expensive than a couple of broken test tubes and harder to clean up. You can call it talent chemistry but when we surround ourselves with the right players, something magical happens.
 

BT 201707 MANAGEMENT 02
Manage from the back

As Freddie Mercury once said: “The show must go on”
 

In general when the leader is not in office, the rest of the team takes a break. How many of us have noticed the behavior of the staff when the top manager is on a trip? They usually relax and work less hard than usual, as in their mentality there is no boss on top of them. In addition, when a staff is leaving to a new department or to another company, he or she tends to neglect the transition to the new employee.

As new employees are welcomed aboard, “A” Players will help facilitate the transition. The company environment can often be volatile, so a talented “A” Player is a necessity in leading employees through difficult transitory periods.
 

In other words, the “A” Player is prepared to keep the bus moving while changing the tires.
 

In conclusion, if we consider that the company is a big puzzle, every piece of the puzzle would represent a member of the company. If one piece is missing the image will not be completed. “A” players will make sure to cover that empty space and to keep the image perfect, i.e. the business running, even during your absence as a leader.
 

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