How choosing people based on behaviours creates an enjoyable place to work

Staff turnover was very high in Tony’s organisation. New recruits rarely worked out for some strange reason. They were well qualified and had relevant experience, but were not team players and often had an entitlement mentality. The usual solution was to move them on. But each departure disrupted morale and gave the business a reputation as a place to avoid. Tony could also not sustain the cost in time and energy of such high turnover on several levels. The light bulb moment for him was to shift the focus to select people based on behaviours that demonstrated his company’s values as well as their knowledge and skills.

It seems obvious, but when he revised the selection process to ensure they recruited staff whose behaviours would champion the values of the organisation, they achieved much better results. The team had more cohesion, employee engagement was higher, and they had better staff retention. Not to mention, it was a more enjoyable place to work!

Tony became more rigorous about validating candidates’ claims that they possessed values such as integrity, teamwork, respect for each other, innovation, accountability, etc. by investing in thorough behavioural interviews and referee checks.

He didn’t know it, but he was emulating Netflix’s focus on what they call ‘valued behaviours’ outlined in their detailed culture document. They say, ‘We believe a company’s actual values are shown by whom they hire, reward or let go.’

Here are the specific behaviours they care about most. The detailed definitions for each behaviour are available in the Netflix culture document.

✅ Judgment
✅ Selflessness
✅ Courage
✅ Communication
✅ Inclusion
✅ Integrity
✅ Passion
✅ Innovation
✅ Curiosity

This quote from their culture document summarises Netflix’s stance, ‘On our dream team, there are no brilliant jerks as they are detrimental to great teamwork. We insist on decent human interactions, no matter how brilliant someone may be. When highly capable people work together well, they inspire each other to be more creative, more productive and ultimately more successful as a team than they could be individually.’

🙋 What is your experience of selecting staff based on behaviours as well as their knowledge and skills? 🙋

Best regards, Brian

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