High Performance: The perfect employee

August 10, 2016 -  By

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I was recently reminded of the value in hiring the perfect employee. Let me explain.

When I was a contractor, we did a great job with staffing. We created a fun and productive work environment. We excelled at recruiting, on-boarding and training. Our employee retention rate was low. For the most part, we were highly successful with finding and keeping qualified people on the team.

Despite our best efforts, we did have some employee problems from time to time. We did have employee turnover. Sometimes we had to stop everything to address an employee crisis or to replace a key person who had moved on. As good as we were, the reality was that we could never achieve perfection with staffing and retention. It’s impossible to do so.

In addition, I have to admit that the people we did retain were not always 100 percent productive. We ran a pretty tight ship but there was always a higher level of productivity we were striving for and not able to achieve. And, of course, we had to deal with the daily drama that comes along with seemingly every person. There were days when perfection not only seemed to be out of our grasp, but a million miles away. Do you ever feel this way?

The reality is that we need people, even with all of their human imperfections, and we need them to be productive in their roles. We also need the “perfect employee” on the team to enhance the productivity of the imperfect humans. Every company, every team and every person deserves to work with the perfect employee.

The perfect employee is simply the best nonhuman resource available for each situation. It’s the best tool, machine, truck, program, process, system, method or whatever is needed to improve productivity in any given situation.

The perfect employee is not just any resource; it is the best resource available. If there is a better solution available, then the current solution is not the best. If a tool is not the best tool on the market, it’s not the perfect employee. The perfect employee is always the best option. From a return-on-investment perspective, the best of anything is never the cheapest option. Often, it’s the most expensive option but brings the highest return on investment.

With the perfect employee on board, productivity skyrockets. Without it, productivity suffers. On top of that, the perfect employee is never late to work, never absent, never on vacation, never complaining, never leaving the company. That’s why it’s the perfect employee!

Now go forth.

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About the Author:

Harwood is a Managing Partner with GrowTheBench and Pro-Motion Consulting. Reach him at He is a Landscape Industry Certified Manager, NALP Trailblazer, NALP Consultant, and Certified Snow Professional. Harwood holds a BA in Marketing and Executive MBA with Honors from Michigan State University.

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