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Step 5 of 8 – Recruit for Values

There are two ways to teach your employees about how to act in everyday situations.

The first is to have details policies and procedures that guides every minute of their day.  Have each and every action meted out by a supervisor, and performed to exacting detail, as spelled out by overly-precise procedures.  When each small task is complete, the employee then returns to the supervisor, turns in the completed job report, and is then handed their next task to perform.

I don’t know about you, but this sounds like a job built for an idiot, or someone that in totally untrustworthy.  Micromanaged at every level, given no range or latitude to improvise or deviate from the ‘company script’.  It sounds a lot like the IT help desks that we all have called when seeking tech support from a computer company (or maybe even our own company?)

The second way to teach and manage employees is to hire employees that have a value set that matches that of the manager and the organization.   When you take the little extra time and effort to find a match in the core values that your people have, then much of the micro-management can eliminated.  It works this way:  Management creates an outline, a framework of things that must be accomplished.  PM completion, customers served, equipment repaired, emergencies responded to, complaints addressed.  Apart from normal guidelines employees are then left to rely upon their innate values and intelligence to solve problems and accomplish the goals of the department and the organization.  They are instructed to always operate within the framework established, and have only to consult with management when that framework is about to be violated.

I have managed many departments in this manner.  It is efficient because it uses the least possible amount of management’s time and resources to oversee routine activities, freeing scare management time to focus on truly unique and difficult situations.  It is empowering to the employees because they have a large span of control in which to operate and make decisions according to their best judgement.  Worker morale flourishes.

But none of it can work without having employees that have a value system that are consistent with that of management and the organization.  Values are important.