Reliability: Do You Sleep Well When the Storms Come?
Wise employers want well-qualified employees who have demonstrated reliability throughout their educational and career experience
David Cox | October 22, 2019
Employers need skills and reliability
I’ve heard employers publicly brag about their employees, but privately they’ll disparage their lack of reliability. These employers appreciate the skills of their employees. However, they don’t feel comfortable relying on them to manage even a limited portion of the operations. Hiring people with skills who are well-qualified doesn’t guarantee they will be reliable.
A story about the value of reliability
Jenny applied for a job as a farmhand with Ed Jackson, a co-owner of Jackson Family Farms. When interviewed, Ed asked about her qualifications. Jenny spoke proudly of her training and experience working on her grandfather’s farm. Ed spoke with her honestly about the stresses of farm work and the 24/7 nature of the operation.
Jenny listened intently, and in response, she smiled and said, “I sleep well when the storms come.” Ed was somewhat puzzled by the remark, but since Jenny interviewed well and provided good references, he offered her the job.
A couple of weeks later, Ed awakened in the night to the sounds of a strong thunderstorm. So, he dressed quickly and began to check things out. He found the farmhouse shutters secured, the generators topped off with fuel in case of a power outage, and the implements put away in the storage building safe from the elements. Additionally, the tractors had been moved into the machine shed. Finally, he discovered the barn locked, and even the livestock seemed calm. As you can imagine, Ed felt relieved to find that everything was safe and secure.
Then, Ed remembered Jenny’s words, “I can sleep when the storms come.” Now, he understood what she meant. Since Jenny was reliable and faithful to her tasks when the weather was clear, she was always ready for the storms that would inevitably come. Moreover, Ed realized he could sleep well tonight, and every night, because he could depend on Jenny’s reliability.
The moral of the story
There is no reason to hire individuals with skills who are not reliable. However, addressing employee reliability during the hiring process often doesn’t make the employer’s list for recruiting, screening, or interviewing candidates.
You will never have confidence in an employee who lacks reliability. Quite frankly, it won’t matter how qualified he/she may be. As an employer, by refusing to settle for anything less than a reliable employee, you can have greater confidence in the employees you hire. As a result, maybe you’ll start sleeping better, even when the storms come.