16 – Are you hiring mediocre employees?

This week’s podcast was inspired by a comment made during a recent client engagement.  Her statement was one of those I pondered over a bit to the point I knew we needed to talk about it with you, our Impact You community.

During a succession planning workshop, an HR director made this confession.  She said, “You know, if I’m honest, I think we hire too safely.  We hire the minimum skills needed so we can save money on salary. And you know what? We have a mediocre team.”

Let’s first applaud her honesty but then ask ourselves, “Could we say the same?” So today’s conversation is about mediocrity and the impact it creates across the organization.


Episode Notes

The Urban Dictionary defines:  Not good, not bad.  Often used to describe something that is average, but was expected to be much better.  And Webster defines it as of moderate or low quality, value, ability, or performance.  Neither are adjectives we would want our customers to use to describe our employees.

So, if by chance, you are caught in the financial or cultural norm of hiring to the minimum, let’s make the business case for a new way of thinking about this.

#1  Builds the Assumption:  We can and will develop every employee
This great intention must have the discipline to ensure 1) the employee has the aptitude and attitude for growth and 2) the organization has a process and consistency in place to ensure ongoing, relevant training and development occur for every employee in the organization.

#2  The Sum of Mediocrity is Mediocrity.
Average workers together typically produce average work. In today’s competitive marketplace, your organization can’t risk an “okay” product or service.

#3  Short-sighted vs Long-range Sustainability
A culture of mediocrity will eventually impact the long-range potential of the organization.  In contrast, a team of driven, competitive, competent individuals will find solutions to problems, and take your business to the next level.

So, what can you do?

  1. Be honest about your current team and the way you select them.
  2. Involve your HR to revise your hiring practices –   increase your experience or skill requirements, change the way you interview, etc.
  3. Make mediocrity a topic around your leadership table and your team’s as well.
  4. Don’t settle for mediocrity.  And the good news is you can do something about it.


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