When we ask business leaders what they see as the biggest challenge impacting their workplace success, they almost always express one of two (and sometimes both) problems they are dealing with their teams:
- Team members aren’t getting along: “turf” or “personality” issues
- Team members aren’t aligned and inspired around necessary work priorities
These challenges are symptoms, not the real issue
Are you measuring success by your achievement of goals like revenue, profitability, per capita spending, and attendance?
The reality is when teams are driven by tangible goals, most members will show up and do what is necessary to achieve the desired outcomes. However, because the feeling of success is only fleeting, we commonly see frustration arise. Organizational morale is impacted, good people eventually leave and the true potential of what could be achieved is never actualized.
Simply stated: When team members are not inspired to work, they don’t. And no management initiative, financial incentive or charismatic leader can pull an organization up to its potential by simply addressing challenging symptoms.
These circumstances are 100% “fixable” …and it’s easier than you think
Your organization can achieve success beyond anyone’s wildest imagination when the key leader(s) fully embrace the true difference between success and significance.
The solution: Involve your employees in creating your mission
Over my 35 years as a venue manager, I found that involving everyone in the organization in the development of our mission and values was the key to everyone discovering the significance of their work. Now I support venue managers in successfully facilitating a mission and vision statement process where everyone has input and consensus—and I’m going to share that with you here!
Facilitating the mission statement and operating values process
This process was developed using the work of Simon Sinek and has inspired many organizations in establishing processes that help people find their “Why.”
When work teams clearly understand “Why” they are doing the work they do, they become motivated and inspired by their significance. Buy-in is carefully established, and your team will embrace a way forward to working together—one that they developed. They will own it because it is theirs!
Step 1: Let the deep work happen in a small group environment
Transformative results happen when people work in small groups. In a group of eight people or less, all participants are more likely to talk and share their thoughts and ideas. More importantly, there is a high probability they will feel heard. Know this: feeling “heard” is the secret seasoning for any successful workplace recipe.
On a project like this, most of us start with a larger group. For example, if you have twenty people, create four breakout groups of five people.
Step 2: Focus on core questions that deeply matter to them (and you)
When developing a Mission Statement, great ideas will emanate from asking:
- Think back to when you first joined our team, what inspired you most?
- What inspires you to keep coming back?
- Tell a story about when you were most proud to be working here. What was your contribution in that story?
- What did your organization allow others to then do or become?
- How were others’ lives better when you were at your best?
Step 3: Allow your team to discuss the concepts openly and respectfully
Remember: Buy-in matters! Stand aside and resist the urge to jump in. I’ve found when given time, teams come up with some amazing results.
Step 4: Create “ownership” in the mission statement
Give it a week and then get your group back together to review. Create time for more feedback, then tweak and finalize your statement. Remember to keep it “theirs!”
The best work happens when we all say “Look what we did!”
Your team can now repeat these steps to create operating values. By providing questions around what deeply matters to them in their work environment, they will agree how to work together.
Once you have collectively discovered your “Why” and established the day-to-day values that support it, you have the created the critical elements of your “significance”. The issues you previously dealt with daily become self-resolving opportunities your teams work through, often without your involvement. You have moved from short term “success” to far reaching “significance”.
We can help!
To support your organization in meaningful mission and values development, VSG Advantage Training offers Culture Matters, our deeply researched, evaluated, and successfully executed program. Once we are on board, this program is specifically customized to your organization to provide the true transformation you desire.
Our approach incorporates a series of critically important focused small group discussions, expertly facilitated large group summaries, inspirational storytelling, and a step-by-step proven methodology that gets team members to truth and trust. In the process, they clearly identify “Why” their contributions, and the work of your organization matters and they become inspired through this illumination.
Get started on the road to REAL success with VSG Advantage Training as your guide… from success to significance.
More on motivating employees through significance:
Better Together: Enriching Lives in Welcoming Spaces
See how this organization involved their employees in defining their mission and values and renewed employees’ commitment to each other and their customers.
Getting our frontline people back to work … with enthusiasm
Find more recommendations for improving employee satisfaction in our previous article.