HR Strategies to Go From “Good to Great”

First, Get the Right Team. 

In the world of business, there are a multitude of factors that determine whether a company achieves greatness or merely survives. Market conditions, technological innovation, competitive landscapes, and product offerings all play pivotal roles in an organization’s journey. Yet, when we delve into the stories of truly great companies, we find that there is a common thread woven into the fabric of their success: the unwavering commitment to getting and keeping the right people on their teams. It’s crucial to have interwoven HR strategies ranging from recruiting to performance management to leadership development to go from “good to great”.

Jim Collins, in his seminal work “Good to Great,” famously declared that the first mission of a great company is to get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats. This proclamation has become a cornerstone of organizational philosophy for countless leaders and executives. The wisdom behind this principle emphasizes the importance of hiring character, equipping with requisite skills, and positioning people for a purpose.  While external factors certainly matter, the ultimate catalyst to build a great company is your ability to cultivate and nurture your most precious asset: the right people.

Hiring for Character First

To be an exceptional organization, it’s crucial to recognize that skills and qualifications can be acquired, but character is far more enduring. Character traits such as integrity, responsibility, perseverance, and a sense of purpose will shine in pivotal situations involving overcoming challenges or leading innovations. 

It’s vital to build a clear, repeatable, and effective recruiting process as a foundational HR strategy for success. Look for individuals who possess the character that aligns with your company’s core values and long-term vision.  Great companies relentlessly seek individuals who not only have the necessary skills but also demonstrate an unwavering commitment to the organization’s principles and philosophy.

Hiring for character is akin to laying a strong foundation for a building. Without a solid base, no amount of skill or expertise can sustain long-term growth. This principle involves careful assessment of a candidate’s values, ethical standards, and cultural fit within the organization. Prepare your hiring team to ask the questions “Does this person embody our company’s core values?” and “Will they contribute positively to our culture?”

Equipping With Requisite Skills

Once the right individuals are on board, it’s time to focus on skill development and employee growth plans as a subsequent HR strategy. While character is the compass guiding your company’s journey, skills are the engines that propel it forward. Ongoing effort to equip people expands their capability to contribute and produce profitable outcomes.  The business landscape is dynamic. New technologies emerge, industries transform, and customer preferences shift.  The logic here is simple: equipping is an ongoing need and every time you add to a person’s capability the team’s overall capacity to produce work expands. 

Great companies don’t expect every candidate to possess every necessary skill right from the start. Instead, they emphasize the importance of ongoing training and development. This involves taking a planned and committed approach to growing your leaders and employees as the business evolves – the right content for the right audience to make a difference.  No training just for training’s sake.

Position People for a Purpose

A culture that is committed to equipping people and building on their strengths has a great advantage in terms of employee relations and retention.  Exceptional companies develop their people and recognize their progression by placing them in positions of expanded contribution.

Putting people in the right seat has a direct impact on the effectiveness and capacity of the team.  This positioning also adds tremendous confidence and a sense of contribution to those you have equipped to perform in a particular role.  If you want to encourage effort, raise morale, and increase retention then position people for a purpose.

The Ultimate Catalyst: People

You want a path from good to great – to excellence that transcends the passing nature of external factors.  Markets can fluctuate, technologies can become obsolete, competitors can rise and fall, and products can lose their appeal. But a company with a team of dedicated individuals, driven by character, equipped with the right skills, and positioned for a purpose possesses an enduring advantage.

The ultimate catalyst to a winning, legacy company is its ability to get and keep enough of the right people. Your HR strategy is the key to guide you there.

Achilles Group, Houston’s trusted HR Consulting Firm, serves as a guide who understands the critical importance of going from good to great and getting and keeping the right people on your company’s team. We work collaboratively with your leadership to develop and implement Human Resource strategies that align with your organization’s values and long-term goals. Through our expertise, we help you create a talent-centric culture that attracts, retains, and nurtures top talent, ultimately contributing to your company’s journey from good to great.

Related topics: hiring for success, talent acquisition, how to hire in a competitive market, finding great, employees, recruiting effectiveness, business growth, business success, hiring an HR Consultant, designing a hiring strategy

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