A major lesson I’ve learned in 10 years is the importance of our values as a group when trying to build solidarity and loyalty. No one wants to have people come and go too often, we all ideally want low turnover in staff so getting the team to gel is so important.
Too often values are simply a list of words on a wall. Words which a business uses to describe their culture however people may not connect to these words, nor understand what they truly mean. If staff don’t understand the values, they cant behave in-line with the values. Living the business values is what solidifies the culture so its important these values are understood by everyone.
You can watch my video on this topic here
Some people believe a business requires maturity before setting or articulating the values however I believe it’s important to set these as early as possible, certainly within the first few years. The CEO of a major shoe retailer in the US was asked after selling his business to Amazon for 1.4Billion $US, what would you change, if anything? He stated the one thing he’d change if he had his time again would be to set the company values earlier than year 5. He strongly believes the company boomed from $100mil turnover to $1.4billion because of setting the company values and solidifying the culture.
Typically, when leaders, CEOs, board members are asked to describe their role model employee, they use behaviours & characteristics to describe the person. They rarely use skills or abilities to describe their ideal employee. Therefore, we need to help people understand what behaviours, traits and actions we expect from them to fit our company, our team or our culture. Rather than simply listing a group of words, we mostly need more than this. Using sentences or phrases to describe a behaviour or value is easier interpreted, easier to connect with.
Another common mistake employers make is not actually living these values, not demonstrating the behaviours on a daily basis to solidify the company culture. If leaders live these values daily, the culture solidifies as the rest of the team follows these behaviours.
Once we have solidified the culture and are living the values we can use these to identify the right traits in future staff. When recruiting, if we can focus on traits, behaviours, values as well as skills we will recruit the long term fit for us.
In summary, my 4th lesson in 10 years of business is; use phrases to articulate your values, connect them to behaviours, live those values and recruit to suit the values. Fingers crossed, this should certainly help you recruit and retain the right people, the right talent for your business.