Getting good staff is something so many businesses tell us they struggle with.

Over the New Year holiday I came across a business that has absolutely no trouble doing that.

It was the second of January and I was staying on a houseboat on the Isle of Wight with friends. Everything was perfect, except for one important thing… we hadn’t had a decent coffee in days! The Isle of Wight is marvellous in many respects, but coffee is definitely not yet its forte.

We searched online and found a highly rated coffee shop about twenty minutes drive away. When we arrived and saw the outside of the place, we felt the excitement that only coffee freaks can feel. Ohhh, it looked so nice in a kind of Scandinavian, inviting way. Our hopes were dashed, however, when we realised the lights were off and it was closed. We went somewhere else where the coffee was decent, but not well made, and the service was best described as flatter than a flat white.

The next day we called our preferred place. When the woman answered and said, ‘Yes we’re open!’, we all spontaneously cheered. She responded with a jolly, ‘Yay, come on down, I’ll keep you a table!’

Half an hour later we walked in, perhaps with half desperate, half excited looks in our eyes. She could have been in no doubt at all that it had been us on the phone.

‘Come on, sit down, what can I get you?’ she welcomed us with a big smile. When we told her we’d stopped by the day before, she said, ‘I was here! If only you’d knocked on the window I’d have fired up the coffee machine for you!’

There were three women working in the café that day and it gave me a buzz just watching them. Everyone who came in was greeted warmly and wished a Happy New Year. Regulars got a hug. They chatted to every customer, genuinely and interestedly, in between their efficient zooming around clearing, serving and tidying.

You know that feeling when you see someone who is really natural, honest, and just being themselves?

It’s lovely to witness someone totally at home with themselves at work. And if you’re a customer it’s the most delightful experience.

So, here’s the easiest way to get good staff… simply employ people who want to be there, who love what they do and who are a great fit for the job and your environment.

It’s easy to do, when you take a strengths approach to recruitment and selection.

And my New Year’s resolution? To keep on working with wonderful clients who value having good people and actually want them to be themselves.

With thanks to Sally and the team at No64 in Ryde, Isle of Wight https://www.no64ryde.com

SBRD Sally Bibb book

Sally Bibb’s book Strengths-based Recruitment and Development: A Practical Guide to Transforming Talent Management Strategy for Business Results (for organisations) is available from Bookshop.org worldwide, or from the Kogan Page website.

Sally BibbDirector, Engaging Minds
Sally Bibb is the author of Strengths-based Recruitment and Development: A Practical Guide to Transforming Talent Management Strategy for Business Results and The Strengths Book: Discover How to Be Fulfilled in Your Work and in Life, and is a leading strengths expert.