“People are our most important resource”.. blah, blah, blah. How many business leaders have you heard spout this eye rolling phrase only to behave in exactly the opposite way.
Here’s the reality. People really are your most important resource, and you could be missing out on not only maximizing your company’s performance but really enjoying the ride with the people you spend most of your waking hours with.
A client and I were talking recently about how to create a better sense of team. When I asked him why he cared about that, his reply made sense. “I want to make sure we hit our targets this year, but I really want people to buy into the bigger picture of where we’re going.”
His business was exploding and it was absolutely critical that he build an intentional culture instead of an accidental one. I gave him three things I think owners and their senior leaders need to be able to explicitly communicate to their people.
1. This is where the company is going –
Clearly articulate your vision for the company – short, medium and long term.
This is where we’re going … These our intentions … This is what we’re up to … This is the game we’re playing … This is the difference we’re out to make.
People can’t deliver for you if they’re not clear about where you’re going and people love clear games. They also love being part of something bigger than themselves.
2. Here’s your part in that –
Specifically, this is their piece of the whole. This is how they contribute to the realization of that vision. The idea here is a role with clear edges and accountabilities so they can see how their performance directly impacts the larger game. This is just as true for the person who sweeps the warehouse as it is for your VP of Sales.
3. This is what’s in it for you –
In this growing economy you need to have a strong value proposition for why someone should come work with you and stay with you. Can you communicate beyond the basics of a comp package “this is what’s cool/fun/rewarding about being part of our team.” Look to see what’s maybe not so obvious but you could make more explicit.
This conversation shouldn’t be reserved only for new hires and the annual performance review. It needs to be baked into every interaction, from one to one conversations to larger company wide meetings.
This is where we’re going.
This is your part in it.
Here’s what’s in it for you by being here.
And the great news is every time you engage this conversation you inspire not only the person you’re communicating with, you inspire yourself as you get more clarity around what you’re up to and how you intend to get there.