Your employees are a key part of your business' DNA and in most cases represent your company in the outside world every day. When organizations are comprised of people who share similar values and beliefs it's evident through how well they work together as a team and it can be seen every day as they live and breathe the values you promote as an organization. It's not necessary for everyone to be alike in personality, style, or look but it is imperative for their values to match each other and the cultural values shared by the entire team. Here's how to ensure that your employees maximize the power of your values by representing your organization in the best way possible.
Hire Like-Minded PeopleWho you hire and how well their personal values align with your organizational values are key in achieving a cohesive strategic direction that will lead to success. When your team thinks and behaves in a congruent way chances are that they will match the culture you want to promote. People with like-minded core values make similar decisions and choices creating a bond when they work. Hiring the right people is a simple and effective way to ensure organizational values are shared, endorsed, and a part of the strategic plan overall.
Matching the Culture You Want to Promote is Key
I read an article recently authored by the CEO and founder of the Chipotle company, Steve Ells, in which he discussed thirteen qualities or characteristics that are "must-haves" for someone to join the Chipotle team. Here they are: Conscientious, Respectful, Hospitable, High Energy, Infectiously Enthusiastic, Happy, Presentable, Smart, Polite, Motivated, Ambitious, Curious, and Honest. These personality traits were specifically identified to match the culture that Chipotle is trying to promote. By aligning values and culture Chipotle ensures that everyone is on the same page when it comes to the organization's values and that the reflection and impression given by Chipotle employees complement what the organization represents. Every organization's values are different to reflect their culture and raison d'etre or reason for being. All successful organizations are an outgrowth of the fundamental beliefs and passions of their leadership and team.
Values Cannot be Taught
In the Chipotle article, Steve Ells stated his belief that these thirteen prerequisites are "lifelong traits" and not simply behaviors you can create or change in an individual once they are hired. In other words, you can't train someone to be friendly or to smile. You can't train someone to be energetic and take charge when it's not in a job description. These values or personality traits are examples of the mannerisms and culture that Chipotle employees are known for. Whether they are cooking tacos sweeping the floor or designing a new marketing logo they all "fit" together and therefore work more efficiently and more effectively. Ensuring your employees live and breathe your values at work and beyond starts with making certain that who you hire embodies the culture you are trying to promote. This isn't to say that you should hire clones. You want folks who think differently and bring creative ideas to your enterprise. Hiring people who share those values that match your culture even though they may have quite different personalities is an easy first step to ensuring that your values align with your overall strategic direction.