“The most powerful competitive advantage any organization can have is employees who care.”
Mel Kleiman’s statement is simple yet effective. In his recent article, Kleiman discusses the importance of finding and hiring employees who care. These kinds of employees give discretionary effort, which is the definition of an engaged employee.
Engaged employees care about doing their job well, they care about the company’s products and services, they care about themselves and, most importantly, they care about the customer. Employees who care about customers provide superior service and experiences, which organically translates into increased customer retention and sales.
On the other hand, bad experiences involve someone who didn’t care, and you always seem to remember these experiences. Do you remember the last time you experienced bad customer service? Do you still give your business to that company? More than likely, you don’t. Additionally, you probably told your friends and family about your bad experience, and now they are less likely to shop there too. The effect of a bad experience is costly for businesses, which is why it is crucial to hire employees that care and will ensure customer happiness.
So, how do you find and hire people who care? According to Kleiman, look for those who go out of their way to help others and who like to solve problems.
Here are Kleiman’s five interview questions that will help you find and hire these types of employees:
- Have you ever had bad service at a restaurant or store? What made the service bad and how did you deal with it?
- When I say, “making an extra effort,” what does that mean to you?
- Tell me about the best recognition you ever received at work. What was it for and how were you recognized?
- Tell me about a time you went above and beyond what was expected of you at work (or in school).
- Have you ever noticed a co-worker having difficulty learning a task or meeting a deadline? What did you do about it?
Once you have a team of people who care, maintain the momentum. Kleiman emphasizes that companies need to demonstrate they care and should reinforce employees’ caring behaviors with frequent, sincere recognition and rewards.
What other questions would you add to the list in order to find employees who care?