Supervisory Leadership

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How can I get more star workers?

Star employees are the ones who can do every part of the job well without direct supervision and who pitch in enthusiastically.

Getting great employees starts with hiring well. Aside from the usual reference checking and basic requirements, that usually means looking for the specific things that matter at your particular company.

At Southwest Airlines they value upbeat, social folks who can work in teams, so teams of Southwest employees interview prospects. At Amazon, Jeff Bezos wants really bright people, so the hiring process includes puzzles. Hiring for someone who will do lots of phone work should involve some interviewing over the phone.

After hiring, make sure that the new employee gets up to speed on the company quickly. The first week or so is critical.

Make sure folks get the training they need to do the basic job. That may include after training follow up.

Supervise well. That means clear and reasonable expectations, regular and usable feedback, and fairness on the job.

Help people grow. As they learn, give them more freedom to control important parts of their job. After all, an ideal employee can be trusted to do the work.

Enthusiasm is a fragile thing. Most folks show up for work on their first day bursting with enthusiasm. It's management's job to make sure that enthusiasm doesn't drain away.


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