When we go through the hiring process in our office there are certain traits, characteristics, and behaviors I am looking for in people. I could care less about where they went to college, their GPA, or the kind of experience they have had in the past. When I hire, I am hiring a personality that works hard and is open to change and can adapt.
Once we have found the right person, I immediately send them two questionnaires that become the game-changer in our relationship and how I interact with them.
First, we send them the 5 Love Languages test that tells me how to reward them and take care of them. The five love languages are: 1) Physical touch 2) Words of affirmation 3) Receiving gifts 4) Acts of service 5) Quality time.
If I know that words of affirmation are one of my employees’ languages, then I need to be sure I am constantly reaffirming to them my positive feelings about how they are doing and how great they make the practice.
If their love language is receiving gifts, then every so often I need to surprise them with something special. For example, in previous months I noticed outstanding work from my employee, and I knew she loved massages. I bought her a one-hour massage as a thank-you for her hard work, and her willingness to work harder grew. Some of the other gifts I have purchased for my employees include pedicures and manicures, car detailing, restaurant gift cards, and other things they find valuable.
If their love language is physical touch, then tapping them on the shoulder and giving them a word of affirmation or a hug for their awesomeness can go a long way. If the love language is acts of service, then I will share with them how well they are doing serving others, or I will have them take over the community service side of the practice. For example, my current employee who values service started a day in the month called $5 Saturday, where our practice donates $5 from each adjustment to a charity.
Finally, if their love language is quality time, then I take them out to lunch or dinner on a random day. If they are in a relationship, then giving them an extra paid day off to hang out with their significant other is important.
Have your employees fill out the test and be sure to pay attention to their responses, as having a healthy and supportive team makes work feel much more stress-free.
The second questionnaire I have them fill out is to discover their Enneagram. Everyone has a number, and no number is good nor bad, but it helps to figure out if you are being a healthy version of yourself or if you are acting in a unhealthy way. There are a total of nine numbers, each correlating with a character.
For example, my number is a 3, which is known as the Achiever. I am healthy when I am acting as a 6, known as the Loyalist, and am unhealthy when I act like the Peacemaker, number 9. On the website EnneagramInstitue.com you can see all the numbers, and when you move to the left this is the healthy version, and when you move to the right, this is the unhealthy version. As a 3 my biggest fear is to feel worthless and my biggest desire is to feel valuable and worthwhile. I am in a state of unhealthy when I become jealous of others, when I’m unhappy for other people’s success, and when I’m wanting to impress others with superiority. If I had an employer who knew my number, then they would know exactly how to communicate with me as they would want to make me feel worthwhile and never let me get to a state of feeling worthless.
By knowing this number for my employees, it helps me balance them out with working with their co-workers, as well as my communication with them. My goal is to always make sure I talk to them and guide them towards moving to a healthier version of themselves.
This test is more complex but can have the most impact if you understand all 9 numbers and how they work with the others. A great book is “Wisdom of the Enneagram”by Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson; it’ll help you to gain more insight into this next level.
Here is the online test for your employees to take: