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How many times have you walked into a company and seen beautiful furniture, attractive photographs, team-motivating slogans, the company mission statement, and even the company values posted on the walls…yet you were greeted matter-of-factly by the receptionist and asked to be seated. Where was the warm welcome?
The employee break room has state-of-art appliances, but where is the laughter during lunch?
The employee handbook states that employees can take 3-weeks for vacation, yet why are the longer vacation requests being denied?
What about the collaboration on projects? Our team members really working together, or are they working in silos? Often each person is trying to prove their worth to the point of possible duplication of efforts – which could have been avoided had members felt drawn to communicate better to ensure each person is contributing in the most effective way for their strengths:
Think of culture as an iceberg. The external culture only represents 10%. This 10% are behaviors, traditions, customs, employee benefit packages; company picnics and potlucks; flexible-schedules; Onboarding Systems; [Physical] Safety Programs; Celebrating Birthdays; Retirement packages; Performance Reviews, etc.
Having a potluck doesn’t change the culture, nor is it a reflection of a good high- performance culture. Sure, they can be fun but only if the culture is a warm, fun-loving culture to begin with. Have you ever been at a company that has potlucks and half the employees don’t want to attend?
Your business culture is determined from the top down:
- Everything rises and falls on leadership.
- Leadership positively or negatively affects every aspect of your business.
- Leadership is influence, really, nothing more nothing less.
The correct use of your employees & colleagues [human capital] strengths is at the core of sustainable financial success.
Human capital is a loose term that refers to the knowledge, experience, and skills of an employee. The theory of human capital is relatively new in finance and economics. It states that companies have an incentive to seek productive human capital and to add to the human capital of their existing employees. Mar 27, 2015, https://www.investopedia.com
Human Capital is portable: Human capital is always owned by the employee (It’s their strengths), never the employers!
Unlike structural capital equipment, a human employee can leave an organization and take their strengths and all their knowledge of your business with them!
Taking steps to support your most useful employees to prevent them from leaving for other organizations is critical.
You see, culture is really captured in whether employees feel supported in a growth environment where they are encouraged to stretch and develop into their best selves.
As spiritual beings, living in a physical form, it is our nature to want to expand. It’s a universal law that energy must expand. When people feel micromanaged, held-down and prevented from being creative and sharing their ideas, energy is bound. What happens when you see a body of water that is stagnant and not moving? It gets foul. Our human spirit is the same: we were designed to want to be, to have, and to do more.
People want to be part of something bigger than themselves. That’s why working with a company or a non-profit or a government entity is appealing to so many. Think about this: there is no government, per se: it’s made up of people just like you and just like me.
The hidden components of a company or organization’s culture are focused on core values; beliefs, attitudes, perceptions, assumptions, priorities. Many of these things are at an unconscious level, and difficult to change.
Posters and slogans on the walls are great; however, it’s important to note that those posters, slogans and pictures on the wall, or placed in the employee handbook, are not enough in and of itself. Culture is about what’s practiced day-to-day. People do what people see.
- Getting employees to share a common language; share common values – both in definition and in what those values look like day-to-day when fleshed out.
- Getting employees to buy into a bigger vision that has clarity for all employees, all volunteers, at every level.
- Clarity around priorities.
- Psychological safety in the workplace: where people feel valued, feel appreciated and able to share their ideas and not be shut down or laughed at.
High-Performance Teams take time to understand the strengths of each team member and allow team members to focus on their strengths; delegating and offering to give the areas where they are not strong to someone else to focus on who is strong in those areas.
Learning about oneself is the first step to a high-performance team. You see, the team is only as strong as its weakest link. So, each team member is responsible to know themselves; to know what they bring to the table; to know what is their best work environment; to know their greatest strength and their greatest fear, and to understand the best way for people to communicate with them. You see, only when we understand our Self, will we be in a good position to understand others. We must be able to accept our Self in all our glory and weakness; and be okay with our weaknesses. We must be kind to ourselves so that we can be kind to others.
We cannot give others what we don’t have ourselves.
Are you ready to learn about yourself? Are you willing to invest in your own growth? Or are you waiting around for your employer to send you to a class? If your employer isn’t willing to bet on you and invest in your growth, are you willing to bet on you? You are responsible for your own growth. As you become a stronger individual, you will become a stronger team member; and you will increase your level of influence. You can learn to be a leader. Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less! Come grow, bring your teammates. Be better together!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
She is developing people-centric, value-based, compassionate servant leadership that CARES. These are the tools she teaches: Communication, Attitude, Relationships, Equipping others, and Sales.
By helping leaders who struggle with a toxic environment - unengaged employees, high absenteeism, and turnover, constantly putting out fires, and internal conflicts – transform it into a warm and welcoming environment where high trust, morale, and productivity. As a result, people look forward to coming to work.
When Candace Mae isn't developing curriculum, coaching, and training, she's practicing speaking or spending time outdoors in nature with animals, family, and 3-beautiful grandchildren in a rural setting where she lives in North County San Diego, California.
I am most excited about my Upcoming Book: “Heaven Within: Restoring Wholeness for Better Leadership.”