Engage the Hearts and Minds of Your Employees
"Rule #3: Engage the Hearts and Minds of Your Employees"
from 212 Service
by Mac Anderson
When something captures your heart, you are driven to succeed. Heartpower is the very core of any successful enterprise. Capture the heart, and you have captured the employee. For without a vibrant, beating heart, any enterprise is sure to die. —Jim Harris
Engage both the minds…and the hearts of your employees…and watch your company soar. It all starts with creating a compelling vision…one that focuses on your mission to serve.
Here’s how Jim Harris, author of Getting Employees to Fall in Love with Your Company, explains it:
“To capture the hearts of our employees, it is essential that we tell them what we stand for and where we are going. Our vision must be compelling, understandable, and focused.
As Bill Wiggenhorn, president of Motorola University, reminds us (and this may come as a shock to many financial managers), the so-called vision of ‘Shareholder Equity, Rah! Rah! Rah! doesn’t get people out of bed each day.’ When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke to 500,000 civil rights marchers in front of the Lincoln Memorial, he did not exclaim, ‘I have a strategic plan today.’ Dr. King, understanding the power of a compelling vision, enthusiastically proclaimed, ‘I have a dream today,’ which became the focus of the entire civil rights movement.”
Capturing your vision in a way that’s easily understood is a powerful call to action. It’s the foundation of your company—a way to share your mission to serve.
We can all take a lesson about creating an easy-to-understand vision from United Supermarkets. This award-winning, service-oriented grocery chain based in Texas, summarized its mission in just six words:
It’s simple, easy to remember and an invitation to the pursuit of excellence. Your company’s mission is a statement about what you stand for and where you are going—it is your ship’s rudder.
But, however you define your mission, it’s not just about the words you choose. Too often company mission statements are agonized over and then forgotten in a binder somewhere.
To make your values come alive, you have to live them…and give your employees the tools to make them a reality.
United Supermarkets’ CEO Dan Sanders explains it this way:
“This vision, this purpose, these values, become impregnated into the very soul of the community, of the entire culture. Everyone feels accountable to them and accountable to each other...Everyone possesses this value system and common belief about working toward a shared vision and mission to serve.
A sustainable culture is built from the inside out. It starts with leadership that places the highest level of importance on human beings and a corresponding premium on recruiting, hiring, and training—both academic and experiential training—to equip and empower them. People are acknowledged as the organization’s greatest assets, not mere expenses related to a line on a profit and loss statement.”
Creating a people-centered culture engages your staff and captures their hearts. Think about integrating the following into the fabric of your company:
CREATING OPEN, TWO-WAY COMMUNICATION
LETTING PEOPLE MAKE DECISIONS
SHARING ECONOMIC RESULTS THROUGH PROFIT SHARING OR GAINS SHARING
INVESTING IN TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
Whatever fits within your company’s budget and culture, the bottom line is this:
MAKE YOUR WORKPLACE FEEL LIKE A FAMILY.
Remembering the Golden Rule at work will go a long way toward making employees feel valued for the unique contributions they make every day.