Don’t Just Hire: Make them a Team Member

Written by: David McClaskey

shutterstock_176275058 (1)

Several things I have read recently noted people have a strong need to be a member of a group or team.

Meeting this basic human need of wanting to be a valued member of a team can supercharge your hiring and on-boarding process. This led me to think: Is joining a company or organization like joining a team? It is. Because what is a team but a group of people working for the same goals? A company is the exact same thing. Whether you work at a hospital or a manufacturing plant or a fast food restaurant, by joining that company you are working to meet the same ends as your coworkers and the company’s. You are an essential part of the team.

I have created a comparison chart equating joining a team with the equivalent functions of being hired and onboarded by a company. The idea is that companies should think of their employees as more than just workers; think of them as people who are joining your team. If you carry out company people processes, particularly the hiring and onboarding processes, in a way that enroll the employees in the mission and vision of your company, you can create a team that is both committed and focused. By understanding your employees as people who want to join a nurturing team, any company, including yours, can move forward with not just employees, but with a team that cares about its future. Pal’s Sudden Service is an example of a company that executes its people processes as if they were enrolling employees as team members. In Pal’s Business Excellence Institute’s Achieving World Class Results class, we give the details of exactly how Pal’s makes this happen, in a way you can use it in your company.

Team Dynamic Company Comparison
How do I join the team? Hiring: Are you suitable to be a member of this company? Even more so, do you want to be a member of this company and do those hiring want you to be a member of this company?
What are the rules and norms of being a team member in good standing? What behaviors are acceptable and unacceptable? Orientation: What are the conditions of employment? What are the do’s and don’ts?
What happens if I violate team norms or break the rules? Accountability: How the company uses progressive discipline to apply the appropriate consequences to violated conditions of employment? How the company uses praise, money, and other positive recognitions to reward and reinforce compliance or exceeding expectations? Under what conditions will excessive violations of conditions of employment result in termination?
What can make me an effective member of the team? Enablement: What skills and knowledge do employees have to have to become an effective and valued member of the company? Methods of providing those skills and knowledge include: training, coaching, mentorship and other methods of enablement.
What authority do I have as a team member and what are the limits of my authority? This might include:

  • When can I exercise this authority and to what extent?
  • When am I authorized to make the decision, participate in the decision, or have no role in the decision?
Empowerment: What decisions are you authorized to make? Do you know under what conditions you authorized to make these decisions and who you have to consult with or ask before the decisions are made?
What is the role that I play on the team? Job assignment and authority: What are my job responsibilities and duties?
What must I do to carry out my role on the team? Execution: carry out your job responsibilities and duties
How do I advance as a team member? Career Progression: What are my paths for advancement within the company? What are the requirements for me to advance along the available paths?
How good of a team member am I? Performance evaluations and employee development plans: How well am I carrying out my job responsibilities and duties? What do I need to do to get better ratings?
How do I help my fellow team members get better? Enabling Others: What are the opportunities for employee to do training, coaching, and mentoring as appropriate or assigned?
What is my role in leading the team? Management: What role do I play in managing or directing other employees or company functions?

Summary: A key factor for excellence: Don’t just hire people; make each person a team member who is dedicated to accomplishing your company’s mission and vision.