Ashley and I were on a date weekend and three places that we went to eat were all noticeably short-staffed. In one local public house, with around 30 tables and a full bar available, they had one, non-kitchen staff working…one.
We all tipped her well, helped serve ourselves, and cheered her on but the realization hit. Regardless of cause it is hard to find good people right now.
Meeting us at the front door of another restaurant we visited was a smiling hostess who, after some conversation, was laughing that the only reason she was there is because her friends work there and called her last minute to see if she could come help “seat people”. She technically was not on the payroll.
The vision of our business is calling for growth and growth is calling more people but how do you hire the right people when you can’t find any people to hire?
Someone told me last week, “INDEED (the online job posting site) must be making a killing right now!”
Probably so, and yet finding and hiring the right people seems to be killing us.
I’ve got hard news, and even harder news…and yet there is hope.
The hope is this, people are still people and people migrate towards experiences they find fulfillment in.
The good news is that the bar is low right now for business owners creating a fulfilling work experience for people to migrate towards.
The other bit of good news is that people are still people and people are social…they want to share things with others they know. But the things they share must be remarkable…worth remarking about.
How can you create a remarkable culture that a very small group of people will be attracted to and then go and invite their friends?
This is the hard news…it ain’t easy, but it is doable.
Let’s take this in two parts. Part one, creating a remarkable culture. Part two, finding the right people to come join your remarkable culture.
Starting with part one, how do we create a remarkable culture?
For many, it means ping pong tables, free sodas and snacks, cadillac-style benefits, and unreasonable perks that do more to promote not-working than aligning great people to do great work and lock in on a collective mission.
Culture has very little to do with ping pong tables and Reese’s Pieces.
First, in order to have a great culture, you simply must have a written and installed structure.
Noise and shifting foundations are the new landscape for our society. We are being encouraged to each have our own worldview. It is a curious thought that after deliberation leads to the realization that society cannot function without agreed upon collective structure.
Too much structure leads to dictatorial rule, too little and truth becomes relative and stop lights become suggestions rather than law.
In business, structure equals written vision, mission, values, process roadmaps, job roles, org charts, hiring and onboarding processes, and consistent communication hubs like team meetings and daily huddles.
Bad cultures are built (yes, bad cultures are actually built) by business owners who say they have structure, and then disregard the structure.
Second, in order to build a great culture, you must repeat and maintain your structure over time.
Built by leading your weekly meeting…every week.
Built by working your hiring and onboarding process…every time.
Built by reviewing your mission and values…at every gathering, at every sales call, on every page of your site. Talking about them in real conversation when you rise up, walk around, and lie down. They become engrained.
Built by showing up to your huddle…every time.
Bad culture is built by saying you will do this, and not showing up.
Culture is created through the intentional planting of either the right or the wrong ingredients…it is your choice.
Culture is not reformed in a retreat, or after a two-week strategy period with a culture consultant. Culture responds directly to the effort you apply to the systems and structure you create.
Ashley and I want to be married for a long time so we put a series of structures in place that facilitates connectedness in our relationship like dating weekly and getting away quarterly. You could say, “that’s not love if you have to schedule your relationship!”
I’m not sure it’s love if you don’t intentionally schedule it.
First, KNOW the job role you are asking people to commit to and KNOW the processes you are asking them to do.
A good job role will be a simple outline of all the tasks and processes you are asking that person to commit that is tied directly to the vision of the business and the mission that binds you.
A good role must also be written down and shared.
Second, start with your connections and not with a global blast for people.
This will not always work and yet it must be the first place you start. After you have written your job role…share THAT job role with your friends and relationships. Ask, “who do you know who would be great at the items on this role…AND would buy into our mission?”
In order for them to know the mission to buy into…it means you must first know it and share it.
That’s right, share your mission with your friends and networks.
Third, when you have team members who are buying in, ask them who they know who would fit the mission. If they don’t invite people then it may be an indication that they aren’t sold on the culture themselves.
If they do invite people then it shows you they want others to be a part of what they are a part of.
It will be easy to dismiss all of this under the sentiment, “well you just don’t understand what it is like in our market/industry/business INSERT EXCUSE HERE”.
If you intentionally build an attractive culture through repetitive structure…people will come.