[Management] Get the Basics Right When Employees Don’t Give a Damn (Part 1)

One of my mentees asked what it takes to get the right team together. He works in a highly competitive environment, where employees tend to look after their turf only and have little interest in others or in the business as a whole.

There is high staff turnover and his team changes with every project. Understandably, he finds this disruptive and I wouldn’t be surprised to find he isn’t the only one feeling stressed and demoralized.

For one thing, relationships are key to a happy workplace. If employees can’t trust each other or work together, if they operate on a “dog eat dog” mentality (so old school!), good luck with keeping your business sustainable.

People are complex. Hiring is complex. If you get the basics right, you’ve got a great chance of bringing together – and keeping – the best performing team for your business, or of achieving those big dreams you have.

This, in a nutshell, is my advice to any business owner or manager…


#1. Hire based on values

Only employ and work with people who share your beliefs. That doesn’t mean your team needs to be carbon copies of you, but rather to buy into the bigger picture.

You and your team need to share the same vision, both on how the working day plays out and on the future of the business.

Values aren’t just lip service. They guide how your business operates. Shared values also lead to genuine solidarity in tough moments or times of crisis.

Of course, YOU first need to know what YOUR values are.

Values might include:

• Working hard now to get your business where you want it so you all enjoy the benefits later
• Serving clients in the best way possible
• WOWing clients because you give more than what you promise
• Sharing responsibilities across projects (vs. a top-down hierarchy)

If you’re wondering, yes, these are some of my values.

If you share similar values, you don’t want someone on your team who is motivated solely by making money as quickly and easily as possible. That person won’t understand or accept the strategies and actions the company takes, and will always resist change. And when one person is a naysayer, it’s demoralizing for the rest of the team, especially if the person is good at influencing people.

What are your core business values? Does your team share them? How can you make sure any new hires are on the same page?