Connections 2021: Consilio on What Matters More than Your Company's Purpose?

Date Posted: Nov 18, 2021


If you're crystal clear on your own purpose and it aligns with the company purpose, you operate better as an employee. You understand how your work has meaning, and how you contribute to the company purpose by becoming who you want to be. 

Our mission is to make sure that you are building great employees and great teammates, but also helping our team grow as people. That's what a leader should be doing instead of just looking at people as a number. 

Lori and Susan discuss concrete steps to guarantee employee buy-in and aligning individual purposes to create long-term impact.


This is our third or fourth year of getting to be a part of this opportunity. And I'm like the rest of Tressa's team. I too wish it was in person. And next year I have faith. It will be, yes. All right. So we are going to talk a little bit about culture, purpose, and all kinds of things today. So with everything going on, Gordon, you kind of alluded to this, that, you know, we have labor shortages, supply chain issues. People are burned out every week. We're in companies all day long. And what do we hear all the time? Exhausted, burned out. Like the number one thing is anxiety, burnout, and depression. And, and we don't say that lightly. It matters to us because culture matters to us. And one of the things we really admire about solve is the intentionality with which they create culture, because you have a culture, whether you want to or not.

And if you're not mindful about creating one, it will be created for you. And oftentimes those are the cultures that no one wants to be a part of. So if you take anything away from us today is you have agency, you have control and you have autonomy. You can change your culture, but you have to choose to. And the great thing is you can choose that today, offer this call. You can take one step toward a culture that you want, and you don't have to wait for permission. You as an individual, have a huge impact in their business and the culture that you are, a company that you work for has one of our pet peeves is when people expect the leader or the owner to do it, it's up to every single person. One person cannot hold it. So you have to participate it and you are a part of it.

You aren't positive or you're gossiping. You're not looking for the solution. Then that's the kind of culture you personally are created. So don't wait for someone else. Be a part of the great culture you want. If you don't go Susan and I very well. We love faces. We love chats. We love questions. We love participation. So you are welcome to interrupt us at anytime we love when people say, I don't agree with you, please, please don't let us just talk. No, no. So we want to see lots that, oh, Cameron mission matters. We have someone that one a lot. All right. So yes, please put things in the chat and ask questions, interrupt, whatever we want to make this time. Really great for you. We're going to get so a little off-script here as far as normal culture or organizational topics. I'm sure you're all very surprised if you know us.

Yeah. we have a big push lately for purpose driven companies, right? So you can call it purpose purpose. You can call it mission. You can call it just cause you can call it any of these big, huge, larger than you initiatives. They're not working. And we say this because it matters to us. We're in industries of all sizes all over the United States. And I will tell you creating a purpose. Isn't the be all end all. And so what we found in the companies that we're in, there's one thing that matters more than purpose. And that is the approach to which you get there. Imagine for a minute, Connie mentioned a lot of great examples and she talked about fun and all of that is so important, but even if you have the most inspiring mission or just cause if you weren't clear and consistent with how you're going to attain that mission of purpose, it's irrelevant because if I have a very inspiring mission that my employees show up and they don't, they're not trusted.

They don't have psychological safety. They show up hiding who they are and deflecting and not taking ownership. Then the mission doesn't matter. And so what matters more than purpose is how you get there. We asked Matt to put in with a handout with our contact information, but also just a few key points. And one of them really is that that's, it would just the reason Susan and I decided this together because we were like, something's not working with purpose. And I absolutely do believe we'd want something bigger than ourselves. That is why we're here. It is. It is why we want to work somewhere. A lot of times it's bigger than ourselves, but there is a disconnect there. And so we don't have all the pieces to the puzzle. And so if you download the yeah, now that Matt put in there for us, some of the facts that are there are leaders and this is like, most people say veers, can't articulate what the purpose is.

People just aren't connected to it and, and it goes to you set it and then people are like, yeah, whatever, that's them. Then it's not a good purpose. If you, if people can't be connected to it. So just doing it doesn't mean it's going to work and that companies put it up there. Cause they're just trying to check the box, but then they don't live it. And so again, that's your culture. You're not living what you're saying. And if culture is a consistent set of observable behaviors, that's all culture is. If I can come sit in your lobby and consistently observe a matter of working, that's your culture. And if purpose doesn't align with that, oftentimes employees tell us we have a great company culture to our customers, to our clients, to our consumers, but it doesn't feel that way inside. And so our whole goal today is to align what companies feel inside versus what we're providing to the outside world.

Yes. Revenue matters. Yes. Profit is a key driver of business, but you know, what's more important how your companies feel on the inside and the beautiful by-product of that is a healthy bottom line. You take care of your people and you don't have to worry about the revenue. I promise you this in spades over and over and over again, your employees feel valued. You have a higher bottom hard stop. So apart it could be your values. It could be guiding principles. It could be any one of these. I'm calling them buzzwords today. But what really matters you can call them anything you want, which works like whatever works for your culture, but what are you valuing rewarding and celebrating? Because I can't tell you how often we go into a company, especially before the pandemic, we have a really flexible environment, as long as they clock in and out for lunch, or they stay till five, but that's not flexible.

Or that you believe in empowerment. We have a very, you know, we empower our employees to do your own thing and people say, no, we're micromanaged. They don't trust us. We have to get approval down five chains of command to make a decision, but they have a value of empowerment. And so we really want to be aligned with what the employees are feeling versus what you say you value. And if you're clear on rewarding value and celebrating certain things, you can get to your purpose with a collective unified collaborative goal, where people are inspired and motivated every day. And we do this for a living, but we also want to go to work and feel inspired and motivated. And we do this, we train teams on it, but it's equally as important to us. And we start getting off kilter. We say with what's happening with our approach, what are we not valuing and celebrating that we talk about that we, that this is something we do and we have to work at it.

This isn't something that happens organically. So why don't you just to take a second and maybe more than a second and in the handout, and if you didn't download it, I'll just do a little cheat sheet for you here. What is your company's purpose? And really write it down, write it down. And then what is your approach and whether that's guiding principles or values. But I want to know, and then is that aligned? Can you, and if you're an employee or an employer, I want you to do this both matter. And so approach is just how work gets done at your company. You can tell me that in one sentence, how does work get done at your company? I'd love for people to tell us, like, if you think it's aligned or not, this is an honest, gut-check, we're asking for brutal honesty right here. Is your purpose and approach align at your company for us? Like you're saying, yes,

I'm actually just nodding along. You guys are like hitting my learner button as well too. I'm like, oh my God, I gotta go. I gotta go do all this stuff.

All right. The next thing I want you to do is I want you to think about in your company, what is value rewarded and celebrate it. And if you can come up with three things that are valued, three things that are rewarded and three things that are celebrated, and then you want to look and go, is that laddering up? Is that align with our purpose? Meaning when you say, what do you value? What we mean is are people rewarded for hitting their sales goals? That's a reward, or are people rewarded for compassion, for kindness, for integrity, for honesty. So those things that you consistently value, reward and celebrate. And there's a very big distinction between reward and celebrate. I can be rewarded recognition, wise, compensation wise, gift wise, but we don't celebrate it. So those are different. Do you really celebrate someone when they go out of their way for a customer? Do you really celebrate someone showing up authentically for who they are? So three things for each. And if you want, I talk in the beginning, we love participation. So what things does your company value reward and celebrate elegant. I want to get shout them out to us. And if it's nothing, I feel like maybe we need to get you a new job preach.

Cause it seriously, we have to reward and value themselves. It's times your employees will say that you celebrate and reward different things than you think you do. And this is the beautiful thing about having old school eyeball to eyeball contact and connection. What do you feel we reward and celebrate here as an employee is an often eyeopening question. And the answer is sometimes are very hurtful and hurtful is how we change and grow and maneuver to a mission that is more impactful and motivating. I loved this yesterday, Susan and I were doing a strategic planning sessions where this great company in Eagle and just, they are fantastic. And we were talking about how they, they are like, yeah, we want to, we are innovative and we do more innovation. And one of the guys said, I know we say that, but I find that I squash it because I want to get things done and I want to stay on budget and I want to you know, move on and make money.

And so he's like, I'm really struggling with that. And I love that honesty. But when you say we do something and then, but he recognized that that was a disconnect. And so we got to have this great conversation about it. How innovative do you want to be? And what does that look like? And then how can we let our employees know like how comfortable you are with that? Like, are we going to be here? Are we going to be here? And just recognizing that, that wasn't aligned for him when we were talking about that. And I thought that was great. So those are the things you want to look for. So often we want a harmonious workplace and that's not what we're saying by culture. You don't want that. And you shouldn't want to know cause you have some of that battle because if you can't say, well, you know, we're not really rewarding innovation and this is what I'm doing and I'm not sure that's cool either, but those are the conversations you want.

That's, what's going to get us to a better place. So harmonious is not the best. We don't want disrespectful, rude, but we do want some conflict and what some, you know, spark there, cause that's how we're going to become a better and our brains want alignment, right? They want coherence. So head, heart and hands need to be aligned. A lot of times when we come up with a beautifully well-written purpose statement, it's very thought out, head and hands are aligned the heart off, or the humans oftentimes don't execute the purpose statement because it's very, it has marketing collateral behind it. It has a lot of focus groups that had buy-in and thought about it. But when you really don't think through how to execute the approach to getting there, and that's where the alignment part falls or falls apart, and when employees don't feel consistent thanks to working in silos, right? And then you have departments not talking to each other, and then you have that cross learning isn't happening because everyone's taking care of their own needs. So alignment is internally, externally, and within the employee, all of that is really critical and you feel it when it's not there. All right.

So any examples anybody wants to throw in? Well and how has I feel like we said our keyword like five times. So I'm very sad. Nobody's Connie has been paying a ton. So Casey is the one that got it. Oh, someone didn't get it, maybe. So that's good. Okay. So let's talk about, oh, good. There it is. Casey. Oh my gosh. We got to work with Casey and her team. We they are so fabulous. I appreciate whoever called us out for saying a line instead of a line, you have to go, we don't follow rules and align is the same as alignment to us. So it has the word in it. So anytime we sent a version of a line, you should pop into the chat. It's pretty much. Yeah.

So Casey, I'm so glad that you're here. So let's talk about what if these things are not aligned, what would you tell someone? I would tell someone to do the three things that we said, list, what do you value, reward and celebrate at your company? And if your company's not doing that, are you, what do you value and reward and celebrate for you as a person? When you deal with your community, your friends, your family, your work, people, what do you value being rewarding of celebrating? Because you can create that alignment. Again, we don't believe in waiting for your leaders or the owner to create alignment for you. You have to say what matters to me and how can I align that to my company's approach and purpose. That is a completely it's a battle that you can take on for yourself. And I will tell you, you will start enjoying your job better.

You will be more engaged and empowered to execute at your job rather than dreading it. So being really mindful of what motivates you. And that's sometimes it's a hard thing to answer for people because we don't think about our own values and what we value on selling. So Tabitha our purpose of wrenches aligned, I'm having a potential issue where despite fostering positive culture, you're going to play with self and puzzles. It does not seem to deliver the output we need informs of feedback, work, product, and company goals. So I haven't that this would, this is my advice after managing a ton of people it is direct feedback, direct communication. So if this person reports to you, you have to be very clear on what the expectations are. And the behaviors that go with them and we say clarity is kindness. So the more clear, distinct, and succinct you can get feedback, the better it is.

That means you value that person. And you want other people to see them in the same light that you do, their highest potential, their greatest contribution, but it takes honesty. The two other tips I would give you is in feedback, you can get the deck in two minutes or less. This is our cheat sheet version. We call it SBI straight, straightforward. What is the behavior? And what's the impact because what I've realized is so often people don't mean to be a jerk or not do their deadlines. Some, I don't know. I think that mostly people don't know the impact. They don't know, but this there's a gallows poaching. And she was having to come in on Sunday. And she has two young girls, every single Sunday because people weren't getting their things in by Friday at two. And she was so frustrated. She even started yelling at them and I'm like, okay, let's try a different approach.

Once she said, I have to come in on Sundays and take time away from my family the next week she had 85%. So that impact like lack kind of the impact of when she's not getting her things done and what that does to the team. And then if that behavior continues, then it may be, isn't a good, and also like so from posed anxiety kind of has a lot of tension around it. And so being able to say, what is one thing I can do to help this relationship? What can, what's one thing I can do to alleviate some of your insecurity or anxiety. And, and that's, it's just a very much, like I care about you as a person. And I see there's a need, what's one thing I can do to help out. It makes that person feel seen and valued and heard.

And that's all we need as an up. Wait Marla, thank you. I think that's great. How valuable you would say sort of baseline? I do think, I do think surveys are a valuable run. As long as your employees know that they are Nana or anonymous, I worked at a company here. I will not say the name and everyone knew that they could see, even though they say they work, then they'd come back. And like, so nobody gave the right feedback. And so I would say on the, you know, devil's advocate side of the survey, you can get us, you can ask whatever you want to. So it really depends on what metric are you measuring. And if you're doing a survey to prove your metrics or to prove your outcome or efficacy, that's not, people can feel that. So I think choose what you're measuring and what do you really want outcome for the survey to be like ideal outcome would be acts and really be mindful of that. Connie. Tabitha said, you know, they've done a lot of that. You've got some great experience too. Like if there's something you want to pop in for a tablet that like, feel free.

Yeah. I actually would love just to tap on this survey thing. I'm going to share my screen real quick. Just show you really fast. This was a survey. Can you see it?

This was a survey that I I'm a big believer. Well, let me just talk about it. I loved doing surveys, but I think asking the right questions because so often, so we had a culture of open communication. So we kind of actually discouraged anonymous surveys because we really want you to be open in your communication. But we did do an anonymous one once a year and it had questions that guided our culture. So it was things like, does the leader make decisions or do they tend to procrastinate and be indecisive? Are the leaders motivators? Are they managers vectors, but surveys about things like pay and benefits. They're great. I use the same survey every year to get a benchmark to kind of tell the culture. And we had goals of getting it up, but we used it more just as a benchmark surveys. I think your message around them needs to be, we need to hear it. I'm not a big believer of suggestion boxes where people can hide behind and not communicate. So now it's not perfect though, because you're always going to have some, so you want the information, but you measure it through retention and how people are showing up. You know, how people feel generally, if you're paying attention.

I would also say Connie, that I love that you do want to have people speak up right, and use their name, but you can't just go from if your culture doesn't support that and do it the next day and expect people. So what I talked about, how she worked, how she worked on and on about for a year to get that kind of culture, probably five years, like culture is not something that's a checkbox. It is something you work on every single day. So if you want to get that feedback, that is real. And in real time and the person that's giving it to you and using the name, you've got to work up to that. It doesn't happen overnight. So that's what you want, which is better. There's some things that you have to do with that.

I would also say, just to jump in on your survey too, I also think as a leader that you need to have the reputation. This is my opinion, but you need to have the reputation that I welcome. And I, I want your feedback, the good, the bad, the ugly, those are decision points I need to look at and make. But you, you have to be willing to say, I asked for the feedback, you gave me your feedback and thank you.

There's also two different. I would say we do a lot of feedback, dream, two different things. There is a certain amount of job expectation. And then there is feedback. And so people are really getting those confused. And so we always say, you can take or leave the feedback, but if it's pretty, your job then expect that you don't have that job. Like if you're not meeting job expectations and then there's feedback, helping them grow, not everything's a conversation, right? Some things are just clear expectations. And if you don't agree, you can leave or change your behavior. And the other thing, when surveys is you better be prepared to do something with it. Like tell her Ray, this is what we learned. This is what we're doing. Because otherwise people are like, this is the seventh survey we've taken this year on whatever, and nothing gets done.

So it's like, what are you going to do with the metrics that you're receiving? If they're horrible, how what's your action plan for improving? And if they're great, what's your action plan for celebrating. And that really needs to be like, my time is valuable. I'm giving you my honest feedback. Tell me what you're going to do with it. We often fail to do that. This is again, it goes back to culture. What kind of culture do you want? And so do you want to be authentic and transparent and it, and then how do you get there? Because that doesn't happen overnight. Cause that takes a heck of a lot of trust. So knowing exactly. And also if you're a leader that wants transparency and honesty, that means you're also going to have to get it. And if you're not comfortable with that, you're going to have to do your own work too.

So really like it goes back to like, what are we rewarding and celebrating. And now we're going to sound like we're a soap box, but I'm going to just say one more thing on trust. We always think that police have to do something to earn our trust. Well, when you do this, or when you hit this benchmark, then we will give you more responsibility. Instead of saying, I'm going to extend trust you. And that's a reciprocal thing. So we have to step out first in courage to trust someone. And then we usually get it back. And if we don't that still just more data collection, we as leaders have to take the first step to extend trust. It's not something you earn. We have that completely wrong in the workplace today. So next year we'll talk about that. Yeah, sure. All right. I love the questions. We are going to do Q and a with all of us. And so we will. Yeah, I'm looking forward to that. So anyway, thank you very much. And yes. Work on your culture through aligning alignment. All of the items we talked about today and if you're on this call at, around our connections day, it just means you care.

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