What do you mean, Staffing?

It’s been said that the longest journey begins with the first step.  The same may be said for organizational staffing.  The question then becomes what the first step may be:


As a business owner, briefly and quickly consider each of your employees.  How many of them would you, right now, be excited to retain?


If the answer isn’t a quick, “every one of them,” you may have started the journey of staffing.


If you need convincing regarding the value of staffing (selecting and intentionally retaining employees who fit your organizational culture, who are in roles that fit both them and your organizational culture and who treat your customers and each other well) consider:


Research by Dylan Minor of the Kellogg School demonstrated that a rare 1% superstar performer could bring an extra $5,300 value to an organization over the work of an average employee.  Replacing a toxic employee with one described as average created cost savings of $12,800.


Good staffing decisions do not stop at the hiring/selection decision.  Managers need to be aware of the impact of employees’ conduct and performance on others.  Each individual’s conduct can influence the behavior of everyone in the work group and can impact customers.


As you consider managerial options to address potential toxic or less-than-average employees, keep in mind that discharge may be an extreme – and unnecessary – solution.  An employee demonstrating toxic behavior may perform better given a new challenge or new opportunity.  Candid conversation (see the post on this site in March 2016) may lead to mutually positive results, avoiding the disruption and cost of turnover and building loyalty and trust.


  • Are you confident in your interviewing/selecting skills and those of individuals who make these decisions?
  • Are you managing the performance of all of your staff: superstars, average performers and those who may be toxic?
  • Do you and your managers have skills necessary to achieve your staffing objectives?