It should be hard to get hired on your team. Why? First, it’s hard to get rid of your hiring mistakes. Second, when you finally do hire an employee, you want that person to feel special, feel chosen. No one feels special when they discover that their new teammates share the collective IQ of a small carrot. No, of course you should hire the best each time you have an opening in order to elevate the caliber of your entire team.
But just as important yet often overlooked is what you do once you hire those great employees. Don’t keep them as mere employees for long. Instead, convert them into owners.
The public pool stood at the corner of 75th Street and Woodridge Drive in my hometown of Woodridge, IL. There were two ways to get into the pool. One, you could bring cash. If you went that route, you’d wait in line to pay—a line that increased 10-fold with each 5 degree elevation in temperature above the 70 degree mark. Or, you could purchase a Summer pass that you’d sew on your swimsuit. If you had the patch, you didn’t wait in line. You’d simply flash it toward the window when you entered the locker room.
I had the pass. And thanks to an older brother and his hand-me-down trunks, at one time I sported 4 Summer passes on one skinny pair of shorts. In the history of the world, no kid was ever as cool as I was that Summer. That pass afforded me privileges like increased self-esteem, and often I had cute, teenage lifeguards checking me out after they got a good look at my shorts. Yes, I know that I was a real head-turner. But more than that, I had credentials. This pool was part of my turf, the place where everyone knew my name (“Hey, kid”), and this is where I hung out with my peeps. I belonged here in this special place, because this place was mine.
I. Was. A. Member.
Want to make your employees members and owners? Once they’ve jumped threw hoops to get the job, make the job their job; make the company their company. Make them members of an elite group. Make them insiders. Let them know that since they own this place, they’ve earned the right and the responsibility to keep this the coolest pool—ur, workplace–in town!
What privileges do offer those who join your team? What additional privileges do you afford those who have remained loyal to you through thick-n-thin?