Engaging employees starts with hiring the right ones in the first place. The wrong person cannot be engaged regardless of how amazing your work environment is. How do you get the right person in every chair? You accomplish this by being incredibly selective in the hiring process. You must hire people who are both a good fit for the job and a good fit for the culture you are creating.
In Simon Sinek’s Tedx Talk, he says, “The goal is not to hire people who need a job. The goal is to hire people who believe what you believe. If you hire people just because they can do the job, they’ll work for your money, but if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll give you blood, sweat and tears.” When you have employees in your company whose beliefs are not aligned with your company’s beliefs, they will be disengaged.
However, what if you already have employees in chairs who do not believe what the company believes, or if you have people managers in chairs who are not strong leaders and cannot inspire others? The truth? You train them and if they do not improve, you terminate them.
Why? There is nothing more demoralizing to an employee than a management team who allows a person to stay in their role who is not pulling their weight, who has a toxic attitude or who cannot effectively lead others. Regardless of the person’s issue, this behavior is like a cancer. The only way to stop the cancer from spreading is to remove it.
While everyone is doing his/her best and is of good intent, sometimes a person’s best is not good enough. And that’s OK. Terminating an employee is never easy, but it’s usually the best thing for everyone involved. The employee wasn’t a good fit for you, but that does not mean they are a poor fit for every company. Strong, courageous leaders release employees who are not doing what they are being paid to do. You are strong and courageous, right?