Employee Inventory — Is Everyone in the Right Seats?

December 10, 2021
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Jim Collins, a well-known author and speaker, discusses the idea of “getting the right people on the right bus” in his book Good to Great. The people are your employees and the bus is your organization. Oftentimes people are hired for a position, and before you know it they’ve been in that position for an extended period of time. When was the last time you took an employee inventory to ensure you have the right people on the right bus, in the right seats? 

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The Right People 

When hiring or completing employee inventory, it is crucial to consider your employees core values, skills, and responsibilities. Do the employee’s core values align with the mission and vision of your organization? If the answer is yes, they are on the right bus, but are they in the right seat? This is where their skills come into play. You could make a list of each employee and the skills they bring to the table, then cross-reference these with their responsibilities. If these do not align, it may be time for them to move seats. Capitalizing on the skills your employees already possess could be the key to your organization’s success. 

The Right Bus

Your business is the bus. There may not be much you can change about the bus, but in a labor market shortage, you may want to consider the options for change to attract the right people. To complete an employee inventory, your mission and vision need to be clear. Creating the right bus may be more about clarifying your business and getting those clarifications in the hands of the right people. 

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The Right Seats

Completing an employee inventory comes after structuring your organization for success. According to Bank Beat, structuring your organization through an accountability chart is when “[l]eadership looks at the function of the seat first to identify what the company needs in terms of structure and function to achieve long-term success.” You will need to start from a blank slate and try not to think about people first. Consider what your company needs, and then find people to fit those needs. This is the art of getting the right people in the right seats. 

If it has been a while since you’ve restructured your organization or considered your employees strengths, it is time to complete an employee inventory. Your employees will appreciate being utilized for their skills, and they may even feel invigorated at the chance to try out new responsibilities.


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