How many companies would allow a warehouse team member to take the busiest month of the year off to go on a music tour? Not many, but in November 2014 we did just that.
Our stories reveal our values. The things we do for our team members are not done for recognition. They are not inscribed in some big book of Benevolent Company Stories.
We have helped many of our employees reach their personal goals, and we have helped them in their times of need.
Some examples not frequently shared:
- Advancing money to employees to pay unexpected expenses, eliminate debt or even buy a car.
- Authorizing many long holidays and leaves for valid personal reasons.
- Adjusted the working hours for employees with health issues.
- Hiring at-risk employees.
- Flexing work hours for continuing education opportunities.
Leaders are human, and do fail some of the time. It’s part of the growth process. However, it is importantly to consistently come through on the important things.
This is who we are.
Highlighting these living, breathing stories and unspoken actions communicates our commitment to our company values. We believe in our people and seek to help whenever we can.
It is human nature to believe the grass is always greener somewhere else “ a better job, a better neighborhood, a better life. We like to think our grass is pretty green here too. Offering a good life balance and proactive work environment, we truly believe we are doing our part to earn the trust of the team.
Engagement is about focusing on the good. Some employees easily find the negative and become disengaged from their work, from their environment and from their team. This is a personal decision.
The commitment of a management team is to create an environment where all team members are engaged, to at least an eighty percent level. This is done in two ways:
- Behaving and leading in a manner that encourages engagement.
- Replacing disengaged team members, despite all efforts to foster engagement, showing the commitment to provide an engaging environment for the entire team.
Most of our stories are good. But it is only by knowing the whole story, which includes both the good and the bad, that you can understand the company’s values and who we are.
The full story
Encourage team members to reach out to colleagues to get the full story first hand â€“ not just the good but also the bad. Challenge them to ask themselves whether the good is mostly â€œbig thingsâ€ and whether the bad is mostly â€œsmall things.â€ Or vice versa.
Invite team members to share their discoveries, because that’s where engagement starts; through connection.
A company is only as good (or as bad) as the people within, and it has always been my goal to have great people around me, and to remind them of that greatness through our words and through our actions.