The “Ideal Work Personality”

This past week our company experienced something very tough to get through…our main server crashed. An entire week of no database, client files, phone numbers, appointments, forms, etc.

But here’s what’s interesting… The whole place was in full-blown chaos and confusion yet somehow we were able to pull together and function at only slightly below our normal capacity!  Additionally, many of the weekly statistics had actually improved over the week prior!  WOW, I am still impressed!

Not to brag or anything, but I do have some incredible staff with a great work ethic.  It was amazing to see the group all working above and beyond the “normal” to produce the necessary levels of production, despite all the barriers in front of them!

So where is this leading?  It all starts with better hiring methods. With every applicant, we keep our eyes on the following: “will this person’s abilities and personality be an asset to the existing group and those he/she will work side-by-side with? Uncertainties usually mean a poor choice.

DATUM: Good workers do well with other good workers, their production remains high and their morale healthy.  This is a key datum AND it should be considered in your hiring choices.  (The opposite is also a factor – low production workers beget low production in co-workers.  Where one worker gets away with it, another will look to slow down and do less.)

So what is an “Ideal Work Personality”? Can it be listed as individual traits?  I would say YES.

Here are some of those traits we look for when hiring…

On-time and punctual: They would be energetic and excited to be part of your team. On time is definitely one indication that a person wants to be there!

Motivated by purpose: All applicants want to make a living and usually the more the better!  But more important is their desire for the group and each individual within it to improve and expand, not merely working at a money-motivated job.

They are helpful: If a co-worker’s having a problem, would they make the extra effort to help each other?  Healthy competition is abounding, but the bigger view is always toward the group as a whole, working together and doing well.

Uses proper tools for improvement: If a staff witnesses actions that violate company policy would he/she do something about it?  In our group it is expected that it be written up. That person would then be assisted in understanding the appropriate policy better and how to better apply it.  This is never done with opinions, or upset; only the facts are gone over in a way the person can understand and do something positive about it. All staff should understand this as help, and never to prove the wrongness of others.  (We intentionally discourage staff finding fault in others, but their help in writing it up is always well acknowledged.)

Able to work well with others: We definitely look for the potential clash of personalities before hiring. We usually have another staff over the area for which they’re being hired perform a secondary interview; this has turned out to be very helpful.  If the applicant rebuffs in any way, well, you just got a true taste of them.

Know what to expect in the future; a person’s small blemish now usually turns out to be quite painful later – applicants are usually on their “best behavior” for the interview and if it’s not so “best”, watch out and be forewarned!

Productivity: We set minimum quotas for individual production as well as overall targeted production for each unit.  Quotas are minimum production levels which warrant the pay / money being spent; if the production doesn’t warrant the pay, something must change fast!

Each week we set additional quotas shooting for higher levels of production to move the company towards expansion. Honestly…any staff not meeting there quotas despite additional help will not make it long in our group.

Willingness, Interests and the Future: All staff should have training periods worked into their schedules as continued education for their jobs. This can be to improve skills on computers, customer service, communication, or any of the technical aspects of their job. The idea is continued improvement enables each area to achieve new levels of productivity.

Here’s a good hiring question… What are their interests and plans for the future?  You want to know their dreams and life ambitions.  Do they only require a job for the next year? Have they moved from job to job because they really haven’t looked at their future?  Or are they interested in a career?

A career is usually where one is willing to work hard, where one wants to learn as much as possible and in good time to move up in position.  Isn’t that the kind of person that might also   be more responsible? The idea behind this is you are about to put your company’s hard-earned money into hiring and training this person – you’re investing your money… but are they invested in your company?

In all honesty, someone yearning for a career in modeling is not going to be the full-on, aggressive staff for any other type company.  It’s simply an interim job; a job they’ll never be able to express much enthusiasm or drive for.  But, sometimes this can work out as a temporary help for you; you’ve got to know what your company requires as well.

OK, this should’ve given you an outline of what “personality” or traits to seek in new staff.

Just reword the above list making each a negative trait!  Those would be the ones you would watch out for; ones which usually do more harm than good in the long run!

I am proud to call my staff MY TEAM and to work alongside them everyday!

If you don’t feel the same about your team, start weeding out the good from the bad using the above as your template. Work hard to retain the good team once you have it; it makes a world of difference between work becoming a grind versus being a challenge and adventure!

Craig Ferreira, CEO                                                                                                                        Survival Strategies, Inc.