I had the opportunity yesterday to read a couple of things that I found quite validating and I will freely admit to being shallow enough to enjoy seeing things that agree with my perspective.
The first was an article about the Ritz Carlton’s secret recipe. It is pretty simple; your employees are the foundation of your brand.
· Herbert’s rule number 1- employees that are not engaged with your brand and purpose will not engage your customers.
The second article talked about Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook and the fact that the principal organizational value is trust. It goes on to say that you must trust in order to be trusted.
I have told everyone I know and a bunch of strangers that I think that Stephen MR Covey’s The Speed of Trust is one of the all- time best business and leadership books I have ever read.
His three levels of trust are both simple and profound.
· Herbert’s rule number 2- I don’t give a rat’s ass where you graduated from, what your title is, or your position on the organizational chart, identity based trust is personal and earned it doesn’t come with your degree, your title or your position.
I don’t think it is a coincidence that in Patrick Lencioni’ s book, The Advantage, his first step in building a healthy organization is creating a healthy organization is a cohesive management team and the foundation of a cohesive management team is trust. Interesting steps two through four are all about clarity which sounds remarkably like brand and purpose to me.
I suspect Simon Sinek would call it your Why.
Are we seeing a pattern here or is it just me?
Here is another interesting pattern.
A 2014 study reported that some 41 percent of respondents said the most important factor in their decision to apply to an organization was a company’s values. Nearly half of all candidates said their first relationship with a company was as a candidate — which means that’s the juncture when employers have to get it right. More recent studies have remained consistent with this premise, especially Millennials and the Generation following them.
If you are asking yourself why that is relevant to you the reason is that the Millennials now make up the largest sector of the workforce and your future candidate and leadership pool.
· Herbert’s rule number 3- It is much easier to hire and promote people who share your values than to fix them after the fact. They probably don’t think they are broken.
This concept of people who share your values is called Congruency© and as described by Dr. Ron Willingham it has five elements-
· My view of the activity
· My belief in my ability
· My willingness to do the work
· My belief in the product/service/organization
· The relationship to my values
A couple of things I have found very interesting about congruency-
1. Very few organizations build it into their hiring and selection process.
2. Almost every performance issue I have ever encountered had one or more levels of congruency as a root cause.
So here is what we have learned from some of the most successful organizations in the world.
· Treating your people like stakeholders not human capital is critical to employee engagement and sustained organizational performance.
· You can’t have employee engagement without trust and congruency, which I have also referred to as organizational alignment.
· It starts with your leadership team, if they don’t display these attributes you are hosed.
What trust and congruency look like in every organization may be different, but those foundational elements are present in every high performing organization.
· The emerging generations have told us that these concepts are critical to them
· They will soon make up the majority of the workforce
· Study after study has demonstrated that organizations that embed these values outperform their competitors on every KPI and in every sector of the economy
Why would we give up this kind of competitive advantage?