Part of Something Bigger!Apr 27, 2023
If we’re serious about giving our best team members a solid reason to stay by providing them with purpose and we’ve invested the energy into understanding the reasons that drive their behavior, we should certainly have a solid foundation. But when we can connect all of that to how each task they engage in ties to something bigger, we have a shot at creating the kind of synergy that few people ever want to leave!
Think about your organization… I’d be willing to bet that there’s a solid, if not majestic, mission statement hanging in a nice frame in your lobby, posted on bulletin boards, and printed in your employee handbook - or at least something similar. I’d also guess there’s a solid vision statement somewhere nearby. And I can’t think of many companies that don’t reference core values, even if those are just talking points covered in periodic meetings…
In a recent conversation with a friend who leads a team of about 100 folks across Virginia, he mentioned that his organization has each of those things in place but he felt like it was tough to measure whether or not his team was achieving them. He also mentioned that he had experienced a few situations where key members of his team struggled to list all the values and recite the mission or vision. I was quick to assure him that this WAS NOT a unique situation and that didn’t mean he had failed as a leader. Quite frankly, I’ve seen this same thing happen in huge companies that have invested big bucks into producing their mission, vision, and values statements just as much as I’ve seen in organizations that don’t have any of these things written down at all.
The most common disconnect I’ve seen driving this has been where team members at any level struggle to understand how what they do, day in and day out, ties directly back to each… My friend and I discussed the need for him, as the leader of that organization, to be intentional and repetitive in defining each of their values. Then as he interacts with any given individual, he can explain how their behaviors exemplify those values and how their work feeds directly back to the organization’s mission and vision. As he does this, he can also be very specific about the measuring targets they’re working to achieve - and still tying those back to the mission, vision, and values!
As we wrapped up the brief conversation, he felt like he had a specific plan of action he could use to begin measuring whether or not his team truly was accomplishing their mission and vision. I agree with him 100%, but I also believe that doing this will provide each member of his team with something even more valuable; I believe it shows them how their individual efforts contribute to something far bigger than just themselves!
If we’ve already helped them find individual purpose and we’ve learned what drives them more than anything else, developing this sense of being part of a higher calling builds engagement and unity that can withstand some of the toughest times in even the most taxing roles! This can be significant in addressing how poor employee engagement kills profitability but before we look at that specifically, we’ll work through how we can effectively handle a profitability killer that lives in high recruiting costs! Stay tuned…