I had lunch with a friend the other day, a local business owner. She was frustrated with her employees, who never seemed to know what she really wanted. They required constant direction and even micro-managing.
I asked, “What is the first thing you look for when hiring?”
She was a bit surprised by the question, but responded, “Job experience and skills.”
I responded, “The problem is your hiring priorities are backward. The most important thing is to match candidates with your company values.”
When everyone operates according to the same values, there is natural alignment in performance and work style. It also makes communication simpler, making it possible to delegate responsibilities, instead of just assigning tasks. There is less need for management and procedures, and greater flexibility in achieving outcomes.
Your company values should be the most critical thing you match to a candidate. In fact, a lack of adherence to a company value should be cause for termination.
Sound a little harsh? Consider which is easier to improve in an employee, values or skills? The answer is obvious.
And yes, this works for all employees. In fact, the more critical the role, the more critical it is for their values to be aligned with the company for smooth and constructive progress.
Need more evidence? Did you ever have a long-time employee who was no longer on the same page? How much did it cost to work around them? How big a distraction were they to the progress of the organization?