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When hiring, screen for the attributes of team players
Bringing out the best in talented people and getting them to work together drives business success, said best-selling author Patrick Lencioni during his keynote address at the SHRM 2017 Annual Conference & Exposition in New Orleans.
Lencioni is the founder and president of The Table Group, a San Francisco firm dedicated to helping organizations improve teamwork and employee engagement; the author of 11 best-selling books; and a former corporate executive at Oracle, Bain & Co. and Sybase.
He described three traits that team players must exhibit:
1 for 3s
When hiring new employees or evaluating current team members, watch out for those who demonstrate only one of these characteristics, Lencioni said, as they can stop a team in its tracks. For instance:
2 for 3s
Those lacking just one of the three key attributes of a team player can be especially destructive, he said.
"Don't hire these people, and if you already have done so, then don't keep them on your team," Lencioni advised.
To help develop strong teams that exhibit the values of humility, hunger and smartness, Lencioni recommended that managers prod team members to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, and he suggested the following actions:
[SHRM members-only toolkit: Developing and Sustaining High-Performance Work Teams]
Hiring Ideal Team Players
"Stop focusing on technical skills and measurables; skills can be taught," Lencioni said. As long as a candidate's skills are in the right ballpark, "hire for attitude."
He also recommended that employers:
"HR professionals are missionaries," Lencioni said. "You have a 'ministry' to change organizations for the better," and fostering teamwork is at the center of that mission.
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