Posted July 11, 2018 by johnspence
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When working to make positive changes or keep the “right” kind of people within your organization, it’s important that you have a strong set of company values and direction.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this concept lately and took a few minutes to talk about it in my latest video. Check it out or read through the written format below.
I think most business leaders understand that culture is a critical element in the success of their organization.
A culture of engagement with employees who have an ownership mentality, who are satisfied, loyal, proactive – those are the sort of cultures we try to build because, as I like to say, culture equals cash. It’s one of the biggest areas in most businesses that you can improve the bottom line.
And as I look at culture, there’s a ton of stuff around: There’s the Gallup poll, the Great Places to Work Study, the Firms of Endearment Study – all of which show, unfortunately, a very high level of disengagement and even actively disengaged employees who are basically trying to sabotage their company.
But, to me, there are a few fundamental things you have to have in place before making positive changes or putting “icing on the cake.”
3 Things Every Relationship Needs
Several years ago, I was talking to a friend of mine that’s a psychologist and he said, “John, there are 3 things that everybody looks for in all the most important relationships in their lives: Safety, belongingness, and appreciation.”
Folks need to know they’re physically safe.
People need to know things like they’re not going to get their arm caught in a machine and that it’s safe to walk in the parking lot at the end of the evening.
They also need to feel psychologically safe. They need to know people aren’t going to yell at them, scream at them, intimidate them, and, at some level, that their job is safe and that the company’s not going to go under tomorrow. They’re not going to go out of business. They’re not having a massive layoff.
So, they need to have an underlining idea of safety.
People want to feel like they’re wanted on the team, that they belong as part of the tribe, and that they’re an integral part of the company.
People need and want appreciation for the work they do. They want appreciation for bringing a positive attitude to work every day and appreciation for their ideas and the things and diverse ideas they bring to the table.
So, safety, belongingness, appreciation: These are the elements that must be present in any given relationship.
Vision, Value, and Voice
I was listening to a podcast this week, and they were interviewing a gentleman named Mike Stallard. He had 3 other things that he focused on.
I think these match up very, very, well, and I liked what he said.
His 3 elements were vision, value, and voice.
People think, “If I’m going to be engaged in the company, I need to know what the vision is. What’s the direction?”
The way I always phrase this is that people need a vivid, compelling and well-communicated vision and strategy for growth.
If you’re not doing those things, if you can’t communicate where your company and your team are going, why certain things are, what and what you plan to achieve, you’re missing something.
You must have a clear, vivid, well-communicated vision and strategy for growth.
I’m taking my friend’s model and changing it slightly, by splitting it into 2 things, value and values .
The first one, value, means that people need to know that the company values them, that they’re important, that their work is valued and they’re respected, that they’re treated with dignity and that they play an important role within the company. Their work is valued.
Values, also align with the values of the company. These folks believe in the things the company says are important, and when they go to work every day, they’re proud of where they work, and what the company stands for, and hold their team members and other colleagues accountable for living the values of the organization.
This is one of the big things we talk about in hiring now: You really have to hire for a values fit as well as some skills, experience, aptitude, and a positive attitude.
The last one is voice. People need to know they will have a voice within the company. If there’s an issue, or problem, or a challenge, they have faith that people will listen to them,
But equally as important or more important is, they have a voice and a stake in the outcome. They know their voice will be heard about the vision, the mission, the value of their work, projects, teamwork, customer focus, and that they can speak up and say what’s on their mind.
Bringing It Together
So, I believe, if you want to build a really strong culture at the foundation, you have to have safety, belongingness, appreciation, vision, value, and voice.
My question to you is, How well does your organization do those 6 things?
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