Can They Improve Things Around Them?

We’ve got employees who come to work to do their job and if things aren’t going quite right around them, they’re inclined to keep themselves focused on their own work and their own workspace.

And then we have the employee who can’t keep his nose out of everybody’s business.

“Oh, Frank, don’t you think you should tell the boss about that?”

“Mary, are you sure you want to use a dark green on that promotional piece? Wouldn’t olive be a better choice?”

“Going home early, Alex? Trouble with the wife?”

And then there’s Alice, who does concentrate on her own work, but also has an eye out to help those around her.

Perhaps a fellow employee is struggling with something and Alice asks if she can lend a hand.

Or Fred, the supervisor, is having a bad day and Alice works extra hard and puts a little overtime in to help take some of the pressure off of Fred.

Or a customer seems confused and, even though it’s not Alice’s job to work directly with customers, she comes over and sees what she can do to help out.

If you can fill your company with hard-working, competent staff who ALSO look to improve things around them, that would be good, right?

So how would you determine this in the interview?

Well, some simple, direct questions should work:

“Bill, in your previous positions, in addition to doing your own job, what did you do to improve things around you?”

“Jill, are you determined to just do your job and stay out of everybody else’s business, or are you also inclined to see how you could help fellow employees?” If Jill is inclined to be helpful outside of her immediate sphere, ask her how she would go about this.

As with many of these hiring tips, watch closely how the person is answering your questions. How easily the person answers is almost as important as the answer itself. When a person fumbles around for an answer, they are often giving you a clue they lack familiarity or experience with what you’re discussing.

Look for employees who are focused on doing a great job but also care enough to want to improve things around them. Without being a nuisance, of course. It’s a bit of a juggling act, but the ones who can do this skillfully can be real assets for you.



 

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