To reach for gold on the Olympic platform requires consistent training to purposefully improve both physically and mentally. While this sporting feat is reserved for the elite few, achieving career success gold is a wide-open field. In the beginning, some may say, it all depends on opportunity and with that, a different perspective on how and who we are hiring.


Employee turnover, the quiet quitter, disgruntled staff, absenteeism, presenteeism are all active slogans when it comes to hiring and retaining talent in the organization. Investment into recruitment and retention is a two-way street. Employers “invest” in talent so talent will be “vested” to stay with the corporation in a successful long-term mutually beneficial relationship.

Consider then, the last employee to terminate from your organization:

·      Were they were fired, or did they quit?

·      Do you know the reasons?

·      How long were they employed?

·      Where they in a position where they could be successful?

·      What investment did the business put into retaining them, i.e., training, benefits, salary, career advancement opportunities, etc.?

·      What made you hire this employee in the first place? If you had it to do again, would have hired them?

·      What was the value they brought to the business at the time?

·      What is the value lost to the organization now that they are no longer a staff member?

Some of these questions may seem a bit harsh and mercenary; however, just like in a business to customer relationship, value has to be established between both parties in order for there to be success in the endeavour and ultimate planned outcome.

Traits | Characteristics

Building a team that can be a TEAM is critical for success. This involves believing in common goals, principals, and the same process framework so all can function at a higher level. For the next hire ask, “what value does this person bring to the organization”? Then consider, “how will I work with this person to improve their talent to the best advantage”?

Just like in sports, where every athlete is not an Olympian, in business not every candidate is executive or management level. But that doesn’t mean they are not a value to the team if they can play a precise position to the best of their ability—be integral to the organization as a whole. Sports athletes and employee athletes—whether industrial or intellectual—share many common qualities and values that can make them the “best” at their job.

Re-focus the lens.

When determining the “value” of the next  new hire, reflect upon some of the common characteristics shared by metal winning Olympians:

·       High performers are confident in their ability. This isn’t “ego” where the trap is thinking no one else can do what they do, but a belief that they are not alone and can “make it” despite obstacles. They have a desire to do their very best and a track record for giving their best.

·       This leads to being motivated, driven by the persistent understanding of the necessary consistent and on-going practice and work to excel. Top talent want to stand out from the competition, continue to be better than they were yesterday, and prove that hard work creates winning gains.

·       Determination is a disciplined look at the team, work, the project, the mission, the vision, etc. from short-term measures to long-term goals and being passionately committed to showing up and doing their part. These team members exhibit the natural ability to set and achieve goals.

·       People who believe “they can” are gifted with optimism. To be the best, a person must believe they can be the best at what they do. Self-doubt means never crossing the finish line or stepping up on the podium; therefore, the optimistic employee doesn’t let set back distract from the corporate goals.

·       Top-level teams perform and work well together because they have a strong sense of belonging. This means feeling a part of something larger than self and knowing they play a valuable role. People doing what they say they’re going to do when they have pledged to do it, and supporting in a professional manner, the other members of the unit. Being the best amongst the best in the organization.

·       This fosters and promotes the natural leader. Whether on the job or not, these employees are known for their focus, common sense, motivation, commitment, and innate ability to bring out the best in others.

·       Being coachable is an ability give and take, then apply critical feedback. Top-tier performers understand the importance of learning, pivoting with change, and applying the lessons for positive outcomes. These employees know that there is always room for improvement.

·       Resilience is an ability to cope and manage stress, using self-care and taking care of themselves so they can take care of others. They learn from setbacks, understanding that failure happens—both large and small—and that failure is inevitable. It’s resiliency that allows the best talent to keep moving forward, regardless of whatever they may face, grow from the experience, and get better at what they do.

·       Long term successful employees trust the organizational system and are process driven themselves. Without embracing a process and trusting the system there is no recovery from unforeseen circumstances and curve balls that come into play. Being able to rely upon a proven process is like staying true to the game plan … there is a goal scored at the end. Just like running every day without injury will result in someone getting healthier, strong, and faster.

·       It’s a natural instinct for a winning play that sets the high performers apart. They have the courage to speak up, offer suggestions, be creative, make decisions, and go for gold.

And, to round out the Olympic Employee is a sense of appreciation of being where they are and having the opportunity to do what they do best, because they were given the chance to perform.

We’d be pleased to engage in a meaningful conversation on this and other benefit topics. Give us a call.

Note: this was written without the aid of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

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