We have all heard the phrase, “people don’t quit their jobs, they quit their bosses,” and it is a very true statement. However, it is also true that employees quit their teammates. The people we work with have an enormous impact on how we feel when we are at work, how we go about getting our jobs done and our ability to be productive.
Tom DeCotiis, one of Corvirtus’ co-founders, is famous for saying, “You can’t send eagles to turkey school.” In other words, talented people want to work with other talented people who are good at their jobs and fit in with the culture and values of the company. If you hire a strong employee and put him or her in a poor environment with less-than-stellar team members, you will quickly lose your strong performer.
A recent Corvirtus study on employee engagement in the restaurant industry examined survey data from 18,000 hourly employees to understand the top reasons why employees are engaged and where there were opportunities for improvement. The strongest drivers came down to quality of teammates. If the employee felt that they had coworkers who lived the company vision and created a fun work environment, they were more likely to refer the organization for being a good place to work or creating a great customer experience. Conversely, if the employee felt that their fellow team members did not look for solutions to problems and were not happy to be of service to others, they were less likely to refer the organization under the same criteria.
This data has implications not only for hiring the right employees, but it also speaks to how we manage performance and remove individuals who detract from the success of the team. Individuals who fail to live the company culture can have a detrimental impact on the experiences of other employees. As a manager, this can be a difficult challenge, especially when the individual is strong technically, but does not fit in terms of the company values. However, one toxic employee has the ability to impact the engagement of the entire team, leading to employee turnover and a declining customer experience.
At the end of the day, when hiring a new employee or evaluating performance, you should be asking not only, “can this person do the job,” but, “how will this person do the job?” In other words, can they perform and fit? Only by considering both of those factors will you truly identify a quality hire.