She had a lot to discuss with Jack the next time she met him. She stood anxiously outside his door a few days later when he called her in.
“Hello, Scarlett. How are you today?”
“I’m ok. I’ve had some ups and downs the last few weeks.” Scarlett shared with him all that had happened with Steve, Melissa and Miles.
“Well as we said at the start relationships take time to develop and build. With the exchange with Melissa you are setting expectations and accountability while at the same time showing her support. In time you’ll see whether she can rise to the occasion. With Steve you saw someone who is truly aligned with your vision and can be a great resource in helping you build the team that you really want. That is great that you are beginning to de-thaw the relationship with your colleagues, as that is a good step towards building a network of support in your own ranks. Great job, Scarlett! You are really taking this on with gusto, and you are beginning to see the results. That is excellent. So what questions do you have for me today?”
“Well, I feel as if I’m building this vision, and it’s aligned with my personal values and professional goals. I am realizing that getting the vision right is the first step, and then having the right people involved is the second step. I sense I am beginning to build honest and trusting relationships with my team and with my co-workers, but how do I do that with new people coming onto the team? I am at a point where I need to hire new people and haven’t had much luck in the past.”
“In hiring,” Jack replied, “there are two different things you need to make sure you have. You’re looking for someone who not only has the technical skill sets, but also the requisite soft skills – character, commitment, and integrity. Again, you want to share your vision of what you would like to do in your division and then see if the potential hire is in alignment. You want to make sure that who you hire will stand up for what they believe in and follow through.
“Also,” Jack continued, “you want someone with drive; someone who is a hard worker and wants to be part of a thriving team. That type of person would be better than someone who is great at what they do, but doesn’t care too much about growing.”
“That’s not something you can tell by a resume, Jack. How do I determine their level of drive?”
“To see that, you must get examples of how they worked in the past and who they admire in past jobs as bosses, peers, and employees. Ask them detailed questions about not only their previous jobs, but any sports they’ve played and volunteer roles they’ve had. Also talk to their references to see how they really worked in the past.”
“Wow, that’s a lot to think about. Whenever I hired someone in the past, I just focused on getting him or her in the door because I was so desperate to find someone to take over some of the work. I wanted someone who was able to do the job and who seemed capable. I didn’t really think about how they fit in with the current team or their ability to relate to others. And I certainly didn’t think about character or integrity.”
“Scarlett, hiring is the most important thing you can do. It sets the tone for your entire team. Picking the wrong employees could throw off the whole balance. Did you rush when you hired Melissa?”
“Yes, a bit and I had some lingering doubts about her, but she was receptive to my input when we spoke this last time so that shows me her willingness to learn. She does seem to want to serve me and the clients to the best of her ability, but I just don’t know if she is capable of doing the detail oriented work I need her to do.”
“Well, you did a great thing by telling her what you needed to see from her and setting some check ins to see if she can step up into these new requirements. Let’s see how it goes, and then while you’re looking for new candidates for your team, you can also start looking for partial replacements for Melissa’s job if there are parts that you could shift to someone else. How does that sound?”
“That sounds like a good plan.”
“I also want to you to continue to build relationships with your co-workers. The more you can nurture those relationships, the more balanced and open you will feel at work. Is that enough for you to focus on for the next two weeks?”
“Yes! I’m going to start asking our HR department to look for new candidates for my team, talk with Melissa, and continue working with my colleagues. As always, thanks, Jack.”
Scarlett left with a smile on her face. She knew that she did the right thing with Melissa now and felt like she really was on a path to having honest, trusting relationships with her staff. She was going to build a team that she was proud of, whether or not that included Melissa, she didn’t know yet.