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Finding and Keeping Rockstar Employees: A Balancing Act

Finding and Keeping Rockstar Employees: A Balancing Act

Hey there, fellow business enthusiasts! Today, we’re diving into the never-ending saga of team management. It’s a crucial one, and if you’ve ever wondered how to how to keep a team of Five-Star Fits, stick around!


Discovering Rockstar Employees

Employees can often be sorted into two personalities. First, we have the “nice guy” but not exactly the productivity powerhouse you need. And then there’s the rockstar employee of your team. In business lingo, we call them A-players or Five-Star Fits. They’re the ones who not only get the job done but also elevate the entire team’s spirit. Who wouldn’t want a team full of rockstars, right?


But here’s the kicker – determining who’s a  A-player and who isn’t always a walk in the park. That’s where the “keeper test” comes in. Ask yourself, “If this team member said they’re leaving, would we fight tooth and nail to keep them?” If the answer is a resounding “yes,” you’ve got yourself a Five-Star Fit.


High talent density, a concept borrowed from Netflix, suggests that you should aim for a team where the majority are these Five-Star Fits. The more you have, the easier it is to apply the 3.3 Rule, which encourages efficient work and discourages inefficiency caused by ill-fitting team members.


The goal, of course, is to upgrade your team to Five-Star Fits and keep them that way. Anything less than 100 percent Five-Star Fits means there’s room for improvement.


Family Vs. Sports Team Dynamic

Now, let’s talk about the family vs. sports team dynamic. In the past, companies often treated employees like family, accepting quirks and shortcomings because they were committed for the long term. But, as we’ve seen with stories like Daniel’s experience at NPR, this approach can lead to productivity pitfalls.


On the flip side, emulating a professional sports team might demand excellence but can create a high-pressure environment. Not everyone thrives under that kind of stress. So, what’s the middle ground?


It’s about creating a supportive environment where team members feel valued, safe, and empowered. You can care for your team without tolerating poor performance or resorting to brutal cutthroat tactics. The balance lies in fostering a sense of belonging, while also emphasizing excellence and continuous improvement.


Detecting Five-Star Fits

Identifying your Five-Star Fits is vital, but it’s not always straightforward. The “keeper test” can help. If you’d go to great lengths to keep a team member from leaving, they’re probably a Five-Star Fit. Consider factors like job performance, skill set, expertise, potential for growth, time with your company, and their relationship with the team. But don’t overthink it; sometimes, it’s as simple as asking three questions: Do they cause unnecessary drama? Do they live your company values? Are you happy with their results compared to their cost?


Once you’ve identified your Five-Star Fits, be ready to show your commitment to keeping them. Often, higher salary and flexibility are what they’ll expect.


Your Team’s Feelings

Now, it’s not just about finding your gems but also ensuring they’re happy to stay. The Team Net Caring Score is a valuable tool here. On a scale of 1-9, rate the level of caring demonstrated by each team member. High scores (7-9) indicate caring team members, while lower scores (1-3) are potential poison. Those in the middle (4-6) are neutral.


Consider this: team members who aren’t satisfied tend to leave, often seeking flexibility and a more caring culture elsewhere. But as a small business owner, you can offer job satisfaction that big corporations struggle to provide. It’s about creating an environment where your team’s purpose aligns with the company’s mission, leading to higher productivity, engagement, loyalty, and recommendations.


The key is to understand your employees better through conversations, feedback, and empathy. Small businesses like yours can outshine the giants in this regard.


Hiring Myths Debunked

Now, let’s debunk some hiring myths. First, “hire slow.” Well, you can’t afford to be sluggish. Instead, be thorough in your hiring process. Filter out candidates quickly and spend more time evaluating the finalists.


Next, “hire for attitude, not skills.” While attitude matters, small businesses often can’t afford to teach skills from scratch. Aim for a balance – hire for both attitude and skills. If someone isn’t improving despite a great attitude, it might be time to part ways.


Lastly, “hire for your weaknesses.” It works when your weaknesses are related to underperformance or new roles needed as your business grows. However, when replacing yourself in roles you excel at, hire for your strengths.


Maintaining Your Five-Star Fits

As your business evolves, so do your team members. They have dreams and goals outside of work, and you can help them achieve those. Implementing initiatives like the dream list 101, where team members list personal goals, can go a long way. Quarterly goal-setting meetings and regular one-on-ones also help keep your team engaged and motivated.


Always believe in your team’s potential and share it with them. Five-Star Fits will rise to the occasion, while those uncomfortable with growth might self-select out.


Signs of Burnout

Finally, watch out for signs of burnout like apathy, cynicism, and exhaustion. Burnout is a top reason people leave jobs. Implementing the 3.3 Rule can help protect against it, making your business more attractive to potential Five-Star Fits.


Remember, your team members aren’t disposable assets. Treat them well, and they’ll help your business thrive.


So, there you have it – the secrets to finding, keeping, and nurturing your Five-Star Fits. It’s not about choosing between family and sports team; it’s about finding the sweet spot in between. Here’s to building unstoppable teams and growing thriving businesses!

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