During my more than thirty years in the business industry, I have learned a thing or two about what it takes to run not only a business, but a successful one. What follows is the first article in a series of twelve that will position any business for success.

To be successful, you must make sure you hire dependable and capable employees who are committed to the mission and vision of the company. Under the leadership of our Vice President of Human Resources, my company has developed a hiring process that considers three important success factors: critical thinking, being a team player, and self-integrity.

Quality Business Good to be great Tom Raffio

You must hire employees who know what the right job is for them. For example, if an employee knows that selling is something they do better than anyone else, they should communicate that to their manager. If this sales executive continues to prove his worth, it is typical that a promotion will follow. However, this might not be the best move for this employee. Perhaps they don’t have the appropriate supervisory skills or management skills, and a promotion might not be the best move for the employee, their employee colleagues, or the company. As Jim Collins says in his book, Good to Great, having the right people in the right seats on the bus is one of the keys to an organization’s success. Promoting this employee might move them to the wrong seat on your company’s bus.

When you hire capable and competent employees who are aware of their strengths and weaknesses and are also committed the company’s mission and vision, there is little need to micro-manage them. When employees feel comfortable in their skills and training, they are more apt to share their own ideas about how to make improvements on processes to increase the company’s performance.

To promote the free and open exchange of ideas between employees and our senior management team, my company established a formal program. We feel that no idea is too big or too small. When employees submit their ideas, we review them, and if we have the resources and believe their idea is logical and will benefit the company, we implement it. While we are not able to implement every idea and some would not bring a great enough benefit to the company, in the spirit of open communication, we make sure the employee knows why we decided not to implement their idea.

In summary, organizations have a responsibility to hire the right employee for the right position. Potential candidates need to have self-integrity and critical thinking skills, know their own strengths and weaknesses, and have a passion for the job and the company. It’s important to realize that every position within a company is equally important to its success. Without our expert mail room staff, our participating dentists wouldn’t receive their payments on time and our customers would not receive important communications about their dental plan. Further, without our sales and marketing team, we wouldn’t have customers. And, of course, without our customers, we wouldn’t be here. Everything is full-circle, and if your company begins with the customer in mind, and the right employees in the right seats on your corporate bus, you will be successful.