25.07.2024

Personal experience: how to assemble a team of beginners and grow professionals out of them

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Dmitry Turkan Florist, entrepreneur, author of a blog about creativity and floristry.

Every year there are small firms that are associated with handicraft work. These are flower shops, modeling studios, bakeries and ateliers. For owners, such enterprises, as a rule, are not only business, but also work for the soul. Therefore, people are very sensitive to the search for employees.

I am also familiar with this approach. I created a team of florists from scratch twice, in Baku and St. Petersburg. And in the end I was convinced that it is easier to grow masters for yourself than to find suitable specialists. For me, two factors were decisive:

  1. I treat my business like a craft. A craft is something that has long been learned personally from the masters. To master it, you need not talent, but perseverance, responsibility and accuracy. In other words, personal qualities.
  2. I have a recognizable style that has been formed over 25 years in the profession. It is for him that clients come, which means that my team must adhere to it. Style is not only a technique, but also a lot of nuances, details that make up the finished work. And it can be easier to teach them to a beginner than to retrain a master.

Let's figure out how to find the perfect employee who will grow into a professional before your eyes.

Start with yourself

To understand which of the applicants is suitable, first of all you need to answer the question who you are. Instagram is now talking a lot about personal branding, personality unpacking, archetypes. But it doesn't just work online, and it doesn't just work with clients.

Understanding your own goals and values ​​is the key to bringing in people who are your path.

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There is no magic here, just clear criteria for selection will appear, and the phrase “Intuition prompts” will turn into “I know why (not) I want to work with this person and what I can give him.” So, my project has always been primarily about creativity and growth. Therefore, three years ago, when I just opened a flower shop in St. Petersburg, I did not promise mountains of gold to employees. But training, experience, participation in interesting projects could guarantee. That's what they came to me for.

Create a portrait of an ideal employee

What are the most important qualities for you? For some it will be punctuality and an analytical mindset, for others it will be the ability to concentrate. So, for me, the important factors were love for nature, craving for creativity and passion for business. I went to the Instagram of applicants and, if I didn’t see any flowers, or even photos of nature, I understood that we wouldn’t work together.

Try to write down as many points as possible, you will come back to them.

Define the selection criteria for the interview

This is where the list comes in handy. Think about how you can test a person for these qualities. Usually a personal conversation or a small task is enough, but you can immediately test the candidate “in combat” and offer to do some work. The main thing is to pay attention not only to the result, but also to the manner of communication, enthusiasm and sociability. You should be comfortable with the candidate.

When I gathered the team in Baku, I didn't even have flowers on hand. But there was a pen and wire. And I suggested to all applicants to wind the wire on the handle. This simple test proved to be very effective. I saw how people respond to non-standard requests, whether they immediately begin to implement or ask 10 clarifying questions, how carefully they work and whether they easily make contact. And this helped to make a decision: I knew for sure that I could explain how to collect a bouquet, but I did not intend to teach scrupulousness or cleanliness.

Set goals

For what specific tasks are you currently looking for an employee? What will he be doing next month? And in a year? Write down the scope of tasks and deadlines that you are ready to lay down for training.

When the first employee came to me in St. Petersburg, the salon was still undergoing repairs and I needed more of a handyman than a florist. And Sabir gladly agreed to become one. An electrician by profession, he helped to make lighting, followed the progress of construction, took out the garbage. And only after the repair was completed, he began to perform the work of an assistant florist.

Set a trial period

Perhaps you will understand from the first conversation that this person will remain on your team, but if in doubt, set a clear deadline after which you will make a decision. So you save yourself and your employee from long throwing.

Start delegating

Growth is impossible with strict control. Sometimes the principle of “thrown into the water – learned to swim” gives the best result. Do not be afraid to trust your employees, and if they are trying to avoid any responsibility, you may just have forgotten to add it to the list of necessary qualities.

The first time I left the keys to the salon to the employee a week after we met. I was leaving for Moscow, and I needed a person who could oversee the repairs. Sabir agreed. When, upon arrival, I saw that he had exactly fulfilled all the requests, I realized that the person would definitely be in my team.

Support

Anxiety is a common companion for beginners when there is little knowledge and a lot of places where you can mess things up. Show that a mistake is not the end of the world, and let the employee find a way out. So the employee will believe in his own strength.

Encourage initiatives

A professional is not just a conscientious performer, but a person who is ready to propose ways of development himself. Give employees that opportunity. Find out how they see their growth in the project, what they are ready to focus on, where they want to show their strengths. When people come to me to get a job, I always ask: “What else can you be useful for? What are you interested in? How do you see your development?”

Among my florists there is an employee who became interested in videography and now develops my YouTube channel. And the photographer helps to make content for the blog. I even have a rapper working for me: I turn to him if I need to succinctly formulate some idea.

Strengthen the team

When an employee feels like a part of a team, he is more responsible for tasks and does not limit himself to the circle of his affairs, if he sees that he can be useful in something else. And for this, a person must understand and share your mission, goal and development strategy. Organize joint events, from weekly meetings to team building, monitor the atmosphere in the team and let employees express their opinion.

Motivate

Working for a percentage of sales is not for everyone, but it is not the only way to inspire employees.

  • Say thanks.Sincere gratitude energizes and helps build relationships not only in the “boss-subordinate” system, but also at the “person-to-person” level.
  • Reward for extra work. In floristry, the most difficult days are holidays. Employees are working hard. But after that, I definitely give them the opportunity to recover: I take a day off, I give certificates for a massage or a spa.
  • Arrange joint projects. Participate in exhibitions, forums and shows. When an employee sees that your activity can be versatile and exciting, it becomes easier for him to go through periods of routine work, which is in any business. My team and I travel out of town to collect natural material, organize outdoor events, and participate in international festivals and competitions. Each of these events gives a feeling of significance and fullness of the workflow.

Creating a team “for yourself” is difficult, but it's worth it. I was able to fully experience the benefits of this approach when, after opening the salon, I went on vacation for the first time with a feeling of absolute confidence that my business was in good hands.