Why I hire only “A” players in my home staging business.
I’ve built not one, but two successful home staging companies over the past 15 years. There is one thing that I’ve learned the hard way – hiring well isn’t easy and hiring poorly is expensive! A strong company, of any kind, is built on the culture of success and that requires “A” players.
What do I mean by “A” players? For me, an “A” player is someone who plays, or in this case works, full out. They step up and do whatever needs to be done to get the job done. When something arises that is perhaps out of their typical wheelhouse, they either actively get the right person to step in, or they create a positive solution themselves. They aren’t sitting around waiting for someone else to do the next thing or taking the stand that “it’s not their job”.
As some of you know, I just returned from a 10 day cruise where I had no access to phone calls, and the internet was incredibly slow. While I was gone, I knew that I could relax and enjoy myself without worry because everyone on my team is an “A” player. I knew that if anything came up, that my team could handle themselves. They are resourceful. Each and every one of them would step up to solve any problem. While I made the promise to check in, via email, twice daily, what I found was no surprise. Any issues were quickly resolved without anything needed from me.
The dangers of hiring “B” players (or below)
“B” players are the people that come in and do their job – just their job. Nothing more. Nothing less. We’ve all heard the expression that rising tides raise all boats. This is the mentality of an “A” Player. A common expression from a “B” Player (or worse) is “No good deed goes unpunished.” They are typically the ones watching the clock. They clock in and clock out, exactly on time. “B” players are often good at what they do, and hard to let go because they do just enough to warrant keeping their job. Unfortunately, just like rising tides raising all boats, the mentality of a “B” player is catchy. “It’s not my job.” is a contagion that can undermine the best organization.
What to do if you realize you have too many “B” players?
This is when it’s tough. If you have cause, it might be time to let them go. Yes. It’s painful to go through the hiring process again. You’ll have to create a short term solution to cover the work they were doing. Don’t let the idea of “being easier to keep them, even though they aren’t measuring up” rise up into your mind. Excellence is the thing that will eventually allow you to actually have freedom in your business.
If you don’t have the ability to terminate them, then it’s time to have a team meeting, then an individual meeting with each player. Let everyone know that you need them to step up. Create the atmosphere you want, and start documenting when it’s not working. Changing the culture in any organization is tough and will require you to do a lot more work in the beginning. If you continually require excellence from all of your people, the ones who aren’t “A” players will eventually quit. The key is holding out and holding strong. Don’t let friendship or personal relationships interfere. Nothing undermines the success of an “A” team like playing favoritism or overlooking a “B” player because of an existing relationship with them.