It’s almost hidden in plain sight. We look at the details, the impacts and the specifics of systems and tools and resources to manage risk, keep employees safe and achieve company objectives, and so quickly lose sight of the relationship connection with success on all fronts. Companies that have a resonating purpose and clearly articulated values that tie to that purpose are flexible, creative, responsive to changing circumstances and, to top it off, outperform their counterparts consistently over time. Study after study has shown the value of employee engagement to safety, customer satisfaction and profitability yet, as leaders, C-Suite or otherwise, we get caught up in the moment, the presenting challenge or problem, and address the surface issues without reframing the conversation around our purpose and values.
I’m not suggesting that purpose and values will solve all your problems, but I am suggesting that purpose and values can and should be a part of the solution to all of your problems. When employees are completely engaged, they will bring their best thinking to your solutions, internalize those solutions for future applications, and help avoid similar problems, risks or challenges in the future.
Never, ever, ever, miss an opportunity to connect with your team on a level that resonates with them emotionally. When your purpose and values are clearly articulated, when you hire to match your culture and vision, when you consistently bring each circumstance back into focus in the context of all of these things, productivity increases, risk decreases and your greatest investment, your people, will generate their highest possible return.
So I’m curious: When was the last time you mentioned your purpose and values to an associate in strategizing a solution to an everyday problem?