You’re Fired!  Not words anyone would like to hear, however words fans of the Apprentice will know well. There is much talk about being fired this week, with the sudden departure of James Comey, FBI Director, at the hands of President Donald Trump.

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In many organisations, we avoid firing individuals at all costs.  It is something held back for those involved in gross misconduct, or worse, but in those firms who strive to create a culture of self-management, being fired, or helping employees move on, is critical to their success.

You may have seen a recent Forbes article which is getting a lot of positive exposure and shares, about Netflix and their culture of Self Management.  In this article ‘Netflix Has No Rules Because They Hire Great People’, Kevin Kruse explains how Netflix asserted that its business should focus specifically on two things:

  • Invest in hiring high-performance employees.
  • Build and maintain a culture that rewards high-performers, and weeds out continuous, unimproved low performers.

This idea of Self Management is not new, last year, I saw John Simpson, Chairman of Timpson’s deliver an opening keynote at the Customer Engagement Conference.  At Timpson’s they have, like Netflix, just two rules for their employees;

  • Look the Part.
  • Put the Money in the Till.

John and his team allow their employees, who include a percentage of ex-convicts, the opportunity to ‘be their best’.  John explained how up to 80% of our time is spent looking after the people who are ‘no good’ for our business, Netflix also talks about the fact that most companies spend endless time and money writing and enforcing HR policies to deal with problems 3% of the workforce might cause.

Timpson’s and Netflix work hard to identify those individuals and help them move on to pastures new and find their happiness elsewhere. ‘As to keep their people at their best, they don’t make them work with people who aren’t’.

You would be hard pushed to link Timpson’s and Netflix, one is a long-established retail business with over 1,000 stores offering traditional skills and services, like key and shoe repairs, the other a $multi-billion online streaming and entertainment business with 81 million subscribers.

Hiring the people with the right skills and behaviours is critical, Patty McCord created the Netflix culture and wrote “If you’re careful to hire people who will put the company’s interests first, who understand and support the desire for a high-performance workplace, 97% of your employees will do the right thing.’

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Hiring the right people with the right behaviours was also key to Timpson’s recruitment process.  I was particularly struck by the simplicity of their interview assessment tool; Timpson asked any recruiter, or individual applying for a role with them, to tick just one box which would correctly highlight the personality of the individual, the images align to their own ‘Mr Men’ Or ‘Little Miss’ depiction of each candidate ‘Mr Grumpy’, Miss Late etc.

Keeping things simple, defining the right culture, and the ability to identify and exit those who are not the ‘right fit’ quickly, are key elements to a successful self- management strategy.

If you are looking to improve your hiring strategy and develop a culture of self-management, contact Douglas Jackson

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