Thursday, December 6, 2012

Staffing - The most important aspect of any business

I have heard this over and over again, and how this rings so true at the core of what it means. Herb Kelleher, the ex CEO/President of Southwest Airlines, said "We will hire someone with less experience, less education, and less expertise, than someone who has more of those things and has a rotten attitude." An employee is the core of your business, your customer service, and  your product. They are the face of what you do, and the brains behind how you do it. But you must hire people with the right attitude, and not just for the experience they may or may not have. We all need those who are willing to reach for the stars, and smile when things don't work out their way. Those who don't know everything, and are OK to admit it. Those who allow themselves to become silly putty. Those who value perseverance. Those who know change is the only constant, and embrace it.

One of the practices we have adopted when hiring people at Lonestar Auto Repair is putting our new hires through a trail run. Not like a 90 day trial, but a 1 day trail. We allow them to come into the shop for an hour or two and work with everyone. We don't pay them during this trail period either (I am sure my lawyers are going to read this and tell me about all the liability and laws I am pushing and/or breaking). This allows us to get to know the personality of this person, and their work ethic, and of course their attitude. You can really get to know a lot about someone in 1 hour. Then if we decide to hire them then they go on the 90 probation period.

I have not always been the ideal employee when working for others because I get caught up in pride, and that pride turns my silly putty into a dried, crumbly mess. Even as an owner I sometime become the ambivalent leader just for the power trip. What I am saying is I am flawed, but at my core my attitude is positive.

Your people who are a part of your business should be your business. It should not be just a "job" to them. It is up to you to find those with the right attitude, and mold them with your business!

One last thing I would like to say:

Treat your employees like diamonds, and they will treat your customers like gold!

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