My friend, Julie Nimmons, brings thirty plus years of experience to the table in developing and leading highly effective teams in both the corporate and non-profit arenas. During her tenure as President/CEO of Schutt Sports, she was the first woman elected to the Board of Directors for the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA). She was also the first woman elected to serve as Chairman of the Board for SGMA. In 2014, she became the first woman to serve as Chairman of the National Board of Trustees for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Now, as CEO of EXO Living, her focus is helping business leaders achieve more—more in their business and personal lives.
In response to one of my recent articles, she wrote, “Another aspect of avoiding the 40% failure rate of a new hire is to make sure everyone involved with this new team member, AND the team member his/herself, is to be sure expectations for success have agreement … including a timeline. I’ve seen so many times that the new hire gets frustrated or his/her boss/manager gets frustrated because they did not take the time to fully discuss and determine the initial expectations. So avoidable!”
How is it avoidable? The answer is simple, yet it is anything but simplistic. Information and Communication. Let me explain.
- Information: state expectations clearly and upfront. Julie said it well: “(Everyone) is to be sure expectations for success have agreement … including a timeline.” I have never seen information like this over-communicated, but I have seen many times where it has been under-communicated … presumed, assumed, but never stated clearly. Often, the interview and hiring process is rushed because the needs are urgent. But your objective is not to plug leaking holes in a dam. It’s to hire highly-qualified people and do as much as possible to insure success.
- Communication: close the loop on the communication process. In communication theory, closing the loop refers to ensuring that expectations have been heard and received clearly. There should never be any “I thought you meant’s” or “I didn’t hear that part’s.” One highly qualified individual that I know was never clearly told what was expected of her when she was hired, and she consistently under-performed in the eyes of her manager, eventually leading to a dismissal. When expectations and goals are not discussed, the new hire is shooting at an invisible target, and failure is inevitable.
Get it right. Upfront. Julie is right: mistakes here are so avoidable!
In the next post, I’m going to have Julie share three actions that can help avert a bad hire.