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Thought Leadership

Culture is affected both positively and negatively by several factors, and one of them is your ability to hire A players.

What is an A Player?
An A player is your superstar – your top performing employee who lives and breathes your core values, and who you would enthusiastically rehire. They meet and often exceed their job responsibilities and provide cultural leadership to your organization. Their example motivates and inspires other team members around them.

Your A players drive your profitability and growth, and typically deliver two to three times the productivity of other players for similar compensation. 

Why is Culture Such a Big Deal?

Culture is the lifeblood of your business, and you have one the minute your business is launched (even if you think you don’t!).

Studies have shown that team member satisfaction is less about salary and more about the mission your company is built on. Team members are also happy and more satisfied when they work alongside of quality people who share their passion and drive.

So when you don’t hire A players, the fallout on culture is devastating:

  • Your business’s productivity and efficiency suffer
  • Your current A players feel dissatisfied and discouraged

Two Challenges

There are two challenges when it comes to hiring A players:

Challenge #1: Hiring them in a competitive market

True A players are hard to find. If you determine your candidate is a good culture and core values fit, you will need to make your offer to your A player. Competition for A players is stiff. Chances are, if they are your ideal A player, they are someone else’s too.

Challenge #2: When your new A player doesn’t grow with your business 

Sometimes a candidate is an A player when you hire them, but they don’t grow as the company grows. They slowly become less efficient and productive, and are no longer an A player in your organization.

If that employee is incapable of adapting to the growth of their seat, you will have some decisions to make. It might be that they can be an A player in your company if they held a different seat.

As a business owner, you will need to constantly be identifying misalignments of seats, and getting your team back in the right seats in an ever-changing environment.

How to Take care of Your A Players

The best way to take care of your A players is to make sure they are always in the right seat in your organization. You must be vigilant about this. It must be your focus. An employee will be happiest, most satisfied, and most productive when they are in a position that allows them to showcase their strengths.

COVID forced a lot of organizations and their employees to change seats rapidly, and some people and seats did not align after the dust settled. Employees who didn’t want to return to work or who wanted to work from home hijacked the culture if their company required team members to be in-person. It’s hard to recover the culture after a blow like that. It takes time.

Loyalty to a company is no longer a priority for some – not all, but some – employees. Their self-interests are more important to them than the business, so they are willing to make changes they weren’t willing to make before. And your culture is the collateral damage of those changes.

How has your culture been impacted by less-than A players? Share with us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn!