A robot only takes orders. It receives commands and completes the tasks as specified. It can't really think for itself; it can only do what it's been programmed to do. Does that sound a bit too close to what some of your employees do? Do you distribute tasks and receive reports back when each is completed? Is that really all you want in a team member?

On the other hand, a high-performing employee:

  • Consistently produces excellent results
  • Gets the right stuff done on time
  • Offers solutions
  • Understands the "why" of the organization and cares deeply about the vision
  • Knows how his role fits into the bigger picture
  • Takes initiative and prevents problems before they occur
  • Relates well with the rest of the staff, with the congregation and outside vendors

So, which would you prefer? Most leaders would prefer high-performing team members. They don’t want mindless robots; they want people who look beyond the day-to-day to-do lists and consider the larger picture.

This is vital in organizations with a strong, well-defined vision. Your company exists to provide a quality product or service to the marketplace. Every aspect of the organization must support the mission and help your company win. Who can best advance that goal — robotic order-takers or passionate, high-performing people?

The challenge here is in finding these high-performing employees. Too many leaders hire people simply because they've known them for a long time or because they get impatient and don’t wait for the right candidate. These are probably great people, but they may not be the best fit for your company.

Now, keep in mind that not everyone has to be a leadership "superstar." There are great roles for the "steady Eddies" of the world, and in that capacity, they would qualify as a high-performer.

Here are several tips for helping you identify and hire high-performing employees:

  • Ask for referrals. A referral from someone you trust is much more likely to produce a great candidate than a help-wanted ad.
  • Develop/update the job description. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you won’t find it. Define the win for that job and communicate it to potential candidates.
  • Take your time in the hiring process. Don’t wait until you’re desperate for a "warm body" to start looking for a new employee. Start the search a bit early and fill in with volunteers if possible while you look for the best fit.
  • Use personality profile test. A DiSC or other personality profile test can help you get to know a candidate and what drives him/her.
  • Ask quality questions to filter candidates:
    • Give me an example of a problem you've encountered at a prior job and how you solved the issue.
    • What would change in this area if you got the job?
    • How have you handled disagreements with colleagues?
    • How can you best contribute to the vision and mission of our company?

There's a lot at stake when you hire someone for your church staff. They need to be excited about your company, qualified for the position and a good cultural fit with your team.

Please don't rush this process or take just anyone on-board. Take your time, seek wise counsel and hire high-performers who will help your team succeed. Your company's mission and responsibility to your customers are too important to not invest your time and energy into the hiring process.