Valuing your employees and setting them up for success can provide tremendous benefit to your work place. Here are six ways to value your employees:
1. Groups need a set of shared values. Values are the filter we use for making decisions. What is right and what is wrong. For example, in our organization we believe that our team members deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. This means no yelling, belittling, or intimidating. We also believe we get paid for doing, not for trying. These values are not contradictory. When a team member is underperforming they deserve to be addressed without yelling, belittling, or intimidating. It doesn’t mean they get a pass on underperforming. To the contrary, we owe it to our team to expect the best from each of us and to communicate openly and honestly about our performance.True values are manifested in how we act, not in a fancy sign in the lobby. The quickest way to destroy your culture is to allow your team members to act in a manner that differs from your stated values. When we act in concert with our values we demonstrate that people matter.
2. Hire for values first – skills second. If you have a position that requires people to be nice, start by hiring nice people. Too often we get bogged down in looking at skills and strengths and miss the most important thing. Use values and attitude as a screening tool, then and only then, move to skills and experience.
When we hire for values first we demonstrate that people matter.
3. Groups need diversity. Having shared values doesn’t mean everyone thinks alike. In order to grow as an organization you need diversity of thought and approach. Men and women can share values, but have very different approaches to problems. So too different races and cultural backgrounds. Without diversity your organization can rapidly develop “group think” and cease to see beyond the group. An organization that develops group think is headed for death.
When we build a team of diverse individuals we demonstrate that people matter.
4. Provide incentives that reinforce your values. If your incentive programs incentivize just individuals you discourage collaboration and shared values. Make sure you have incentives for the group and individuals. If you say that quality is number one, but you incentivize people based on how fast and how cheap they complete their project you are acting against your stated values. Your incentives should reinforce behaviors consistent with your values.
When we utilize incentive plans that reinforce behaviors consistent with our shared values we demonstrate that people matter.
5. Relationships are at the core of life. We are made to be in relationship with other people. Even introverts need human interaction. At the end of our time on earth what will matter is the investment we made in others. How did I help someone else? How did I make a difference? This is the core of developing a group of people who achieve great things.
When we build relationships we demonstrate that people matter.
6. Don’t tolerate people who act in contradiction to your values. One of the hardest things for any entrepreneur to do is terminate a high performer, but if that high performer is acting against your values they are a cancer that will destroy your culture and your organization.When we terminate those who act in disregard of our values regardless of their level of performance we demonstrate that people matter.
The power of a group of people who share values and a belief that they matter is incredibly powerful. When we create a group that is focused on people, we develop a unique and powerful culture that is able to do great things. Margaret Mead said it best,
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
Question: Is your organization focused on people? If so, what are some of the ways you are demonstrating your focus on people. If not, what are some of the things you can implement right away to create a focus on people?