We are experiencing gigantic swings within our economy. Business owners are cautious and uncertainty appears to be their by-word. Yet given all this hesitation many businesses are optimistic and expanding their workforce; others are holding the line but still need to hire new employees due to employee retirements or employees leaving to improve their education or find work elsewhere.
The bottom line suggests that whether you are expanding or strategically maintaining your business position you still need to hire strong leaders and managers, or people who can eventually move into those positons. That being the case what skills should you look for to grow your business and meet todays challenges? Here are some clues:
The ability to work within a diverse work environment. Many businesses and organizations have four generations of employees within their workplace. Each generation brings something different which may be expressed in their attitude towards work and the way they build relationships with each other and customers. Leaders, managers and employees need skills to work within this environment.
The ability to accept other cultures. Our wider communities are no longer primarily populated with people of Caucasian background. They now reflect the cultures of the world. We have a global village in our back yard and in our places of work. In order to work effectively together – to have successful teamwork – everyone requires strong listening skills and an attitude of openness and acceptance.
The ability to think strategically. Today’s work environment is on speed. Customers want faster service; employees want quicker answers to their concerns. Businesses gear up with the latest technology only to find that they are behind. The ability to respond with a mind set that is aligned with the company’s vision and values is critical when things are coming at you with a furiousness of a hurricane.
The ability to use metrics. The old saying “you can’t improve what you don’t measure” is true today as it was yesterday. Filling in data to provide the information necessary to measure performance is often a mind numbing chore. The ability to design and collect measurements in an unobtrusive way is a skill that is increasingly required. So too is the ability to provide data in meaningful pictures and summaries that is easily understood and supports critical decision-making rather than bogging it down in meaningless detail.
The ability to influence. The importance of influencing others while maintaining healthy interpersonal relationships cannot be underestimated in todays work environment. Leaders need to look for people who have positive attitudes, highly honed listening and communicating skills and the ability to read the mood of others appropriately. Strong influencing skills are required at every position and at every level of an organization if businesses are to be successful going forward.
The ability to learn. John was just let go from a company because he wouldn’t keep up with current requirements. Notice the word is “wouldn’t” and not “couldn’t.” John thought he was safe in his position because he had been with the company for many years. Employees at all levels of an organization need to be open to change – and this means learning new ways of doing things, keeping up with technology and being a continuous learner. The ability to learn from mistakes, improve oneself and move with the times are essential requirements when filling positions in today’s workplace.
When considering your next hire, whether for a leadership position or otherwise, review your requirements and keep in mind the above six qualities. People are the life blood of your organization. so take the time to hire the right person with the right qualities for today's work realities.