Hiring for energy fit – why you should consider it

We’ve spoken in the past about our Heavy, Medium, Light philosophy (H, M, L). If you missed it, a very brief explanation is that you bucket your tasks into the energy spend required to complete them – is it heavy and drains you of energy, or is it light and feels like it gives energy back? Completing this exercise creates a clear map of how an individual likes, and was built, to work and where we can get the best out of them.

Many of our clients find this very useful and we tend to take it one step further when they are looking to hire new team members. Completing this exercise with your full team should provide you with a clear map of everyone’s strengths and high energy activities – everyone should be working at their natural pace and focusing on the activities that make best use of their energy. So when it comes to hiring a new team member, the role description should be quite easy to create.

The benefits of finding the perfect energy fit

Once you’ve completed the H, M, L activity across your broader team, you’ll find there are a bunch of activities that can’t be absorbed by the existing team. These are activities that pose an energy drain for your team.

If an employee is an energy fit, it isn’t hard to keep that person on the right track. They understand what they’re working towards and the goals of the business. They embrace their environment, and will get along better with the broader team. Think of it like a chorus where everyone is in perfect harmony. It’s easier to empower these employees when they feel like they’re a part of your mission and contributing to their best ability.

What happens when you hire someone who isn’t a good energy fit?

Not much unfortunately. From our coaching experience, we generally find (on average) people are only 60% as productive as they could be. We want to change the beliefs around rewarding outcomes instead of rewarding face-time. If you reward face-time, guess what you’re going to get…face time! If you reward outcomes and performance, guess what you’ll get…results.

Employees with the right energy management are more willing to learn and grow. Those who don’t may not be patient enough to wait it out and learn to navigate your office. Or worse still, will stay and continue to be an average performer costing you way more in your energy, time and profitability.

The benefits

Hiring for energy fit comes with very distinct benefits, benefits you may not get when you hire based on other priorities. In the long run, it’s more efficient and cost effective. What we really want is a team of people with the ability to motivate themselves. It’s no longer about ‘How do we motivate our teams?’; what we are really looking at is helping to achieve that sustained performance across the team.

How do you do this in a way that’s not going to burn people out, but actually going to leave them feeling invigorated by raising the bar on themselves? What we don’t want are team members stressed out by having the bar raised on them. Your task as a leader is to help your team to raise the bar themselves, empowering themselves in the process, and making a greater contribution to the whole. And we can help you to do this.


If you’d like to find out more, join the conversation in our next open workshop.