The critical measure of success in any business is the ability to get results, and therefore great employees are those who get the job done quickly and well, consistently and at high levels of quality. Great employees are defined by five key success factors:

Great people are good team players.
Great people are concerned with what is right rather than who is right.
Great people are intensely results oriented.
Great people accept high levels of responsibility for the outcomes required of them.
Great people consider the company a great place to work.

Leaders need to hire slowly and carefully, thereby increasing the likelihood of making good choices. Poor hiring decisions cost between three and five times the person’s annual salary.

To test drive candidates before making a decision, apply the following laws of three:

* Always interview at least three people for a position.
* Interview the leading candidate in three different places.
* Have the candidate interviewed by at least three different people.

It is important to find people that are in alignment with the organization’s purpose. Great teams are composed of diverse, impassioned people who may have only a few things in common. Ideally, they are smart and savvy, hardworking, ambitious, and nice in a constructive way that adds value for both coworkers and customers.

Conversely, an effective manager must have the courage to fire negative or disruptive people for the greater good of the team. Many managers do not provide frequent or frank enough performance reviews to make it possible to fire people when they should, without legal problems. Most managers and employees avoid honest reviews because they find them politically and emotionally painful.

That is why it is important to create clear expectations and metrics to measure what it means to do a great job. Without frequent feedback, a manager can unwittingly under-appreciate the best performers and promote the worst ones.

In studying the methods of motivating employees and building great teams, researchers have found that the single most important factor is having clear expectations. When a manager confidently expects people to succeed, to perform, to excel, to commit to getting the job done quickly and well, they almost invariable rise to those expectations.

The most profound issue driving employee engagement is their relationship with their boss. Between 65 percent and 85% percent of the costs of operation, less cost of goods sold, will be personnel costs.

The manager’s job is to get the highest possible return on the company’s investment in human resources. This is achieved by unlocking the potential of each individual, hiring carefully, assigning clear tasks, managing people positively, motivating them continually, and practicing consideration, caring, and courtesy on a regular basis.