As tedious as the hiring process is, it is also one of the most important stages that a business undergoes before going all out on the operations department. Business owners may be skeptical in entrusting operations, especially if they know how things should go. But in business, all one can do is all one can do; the rest can be done by the employees.
Upon onboarding, the keeping up (or breaking up) with employees part can be very challenging. For this episode, the Matts shared what makes or breaks an employee in a company, how to hire them, how to separate the good ones from the bad ones, and what to do when you end up with the bad ones.
Watson noted that having to work and handle employees can be akin to adult daycare. There’s a lot of different characters and attitudes an employer has to deal with. In the end, it’s all about the employer’s ability to identify which ones are actually adding more value to the business and which ones are the boogers.
Regardless, employees are very vital in a business. DeCoursey admitted that he wouldn’t have found the success that he has now without them.
Things to look for in a good employee
Just looking for a single specific trait does not make a good employee. It’s a perfect mix of abilities and attitudes. Watson pointed out that he likes people who like to be trained.
He said that people who are eager to train can help in training new people. Another one is people who like to travel. He associated this trait with one’s organizational and planning skills.
Here are other qualities that good employees have:
- Openness – These employees are transparent and take criticism in their work. They are professional and also very vocal about things or issues that arise in every situation.
- “I Can Do” Attitude – These are the kind of employees who are not intimidated by a challenge. They are also willing to do things that are different or anything new.
- Positive outlook – Optimistic people can be very helpful in uplifting the dynamics that go into working. DeCoursey points out that these kinds of people “make doing things that suck not suck.”
- Aggressiveness – Employees who take on things with focus and determination are very valuable. They make sure to approach every task with passion and accuracy.
- Flexibility – Being able to easily adapt and understand change is a very definitive trait an employee can possess. They have the ability to make sense of the changes whatever the situation is.
- Punctuality – People who have a sense of time are generally very attractive for recruiters. These are the type of people who are always timely and know how to workaround complex schedules and deadlines.
Aside from these, DeCoursey also says that he looks for people who are outgoing, patient, assertive, friendly, caring, and generally have a sense of hygiene.
What are the red flags on an employee (a.k.a. What traits make them suck)?
- Negative attitude – Watson correlates it as “one apple can make the rest of the basket bad.” A negative attitude is simply something that cannot foster in the workplace as it can be influential to the rest of the people.
- Excuses, excuses, and more excuses – People who make excuses show lack of accountability and it weakens the trust of the employer towards their work.
- Chitchatters – People who gossip are very counterproductive. This makes them up as unethical and no employer wants to deal with that.
- “I’m-here-for-the-money” attitude – This raises a red flag—one that says this employee is only here for the money (which is not necessarily a bad thing). It is just that it shows that an employee does not care as much about what they do, but on what they get.
Ultimately, dealing with people entails that you have to make deposits before making withdrawals. Meaning, you never really know what employees can do until they show up and work. What you can do is adjust your level of patience specific to each employee as rooted in the concept that it’s just like an adult daycare.
When they do good, employees should be appreciated. Be loyal to the people who do great with their job. Make their working experience worthwhile and you will surely retain them. When they do bad, let them go.
The Matts add that letting them go is an opportunity for them to ‘free up their future.’ They get fired because the job is simply not for them.
Listen to Startup Hustle podcast – Episode 34 (Employees Love ’em or Leave ’em) for more on this interesting discussion.