July 28, 2015
by Mike Kotsis
When we first met, one of my clients was struggling with significant turnover. They had been operating with the mentality of hiring fast and firing fast. Whenever they had an opening, they hired as fast as they could to fill the void. After all, they had customer orders to fulfill and they needed people in place to do it. The problem was that not everyone was the right person for their company—they really didn’t share the company core values or fit into the culture.
Use Core Values to Build Your Company
Early on, I took them through a discovery process to discover their core values. We identified five core values that captured the uniqueness of what it felt like to be part of the team.
With the core values in front of us, we used the People Analyzer to determine whether everyone else in the organization shared the same set of core values as the leadership team. I’ll never forget the first time we did this, we came up with a list of nine names—employees who didn’t seem to share the company’s core values.
By using this tool, in less than an hour we were able to gain clarity and determine the next steps for each person on the list. Three were in the wrong seat, and three appreciated the clarity of having defined core values on paper—they rose up, but it was clear that another three employees needed to be let go. The People Analyzer helped them to build and maintain a strong culture throughout the company.
My client also began using their core values when interviewing job applicants. This helped them quickly filter out candidates that weren’t culturally aligned with them, and it helped them to affirm when candidates were the right fit.
Reaping the Rewards of Core Values
Fast forward just a year later. The team has a thriving culture and a growing company. They’ve been awarded Detroit’s fastest growing privately held business, and they’ve been awarded in Crain’s Detroit as one of the Top Cool places to work. Now they operate with the mindset of hire slow, fire fast. They make sure that people are a cultural fit—and they recognize the importance of exiting them quickly if they aren’t. As a result, the company has minimal turnover and much less firing to do now that the core values are aligned during the hiring process.