When deciding who to hire, the focus is usually on the person's achievements, their reaction to questions, their goals and visions, where they have worked and the experience they have accumulated and what qualifications they have behind their name.
What we sometimes fail to take into consideration is how their personalities will affect your team, your atmosphere in the workplace, and whether their personality traits will negatively affect someone who is producing well.
There is a saying: "He, who eats with fools, becomes a fool". Well think of a scenario where a new employee starts working for you and he becomes popular among his colleagues. He however has an attitude of achieving the least amount of work to meet deadlines, or to make you happy. (This of course cannot be established in an interview, and will most likely not appear until after the probation period you set). This attitude will start spreading to the rest of your employees.
Sound far fetched? It happened a few years ago in a company I used work for. How did we solve this problem? Well, the obvious solution might have been to get rid of the rotten apple. However, the problem you face with that is creating an atmosphere of fear among your team, and people who are insecure in a work environment will more than likely leave.
The way the problem was solved is we started doing team building exercises together. This fostered relationships and a strong identity as a team, and highlighted the need to focus on the success as a company. Once the team started pulling together, that divisive influence started to get attacked, not by management, but from the colleagues who had previously been influenced!
The point is, a strong and secure team in your workplace is of far more value than an employee who has a certain needed skill or experience.
In the following articles of this series we will look at how to build a team, what factors are associated with teamwork, how teams REALLY work and what you can do to encourage that atmosphere of teamwork.