by Adam Witty, Founder and CEO of Advantage | ForbesBooks and author of “Authority Marketing: How to Leverage 7 Pillars of Thought Leadership to Make Competition Irrelevant“
You likely have heard or seen the phrase before, and perhaps even said it: TGIF.
I’m not overly fond of that phrase because of the message it sends about the way many people view their work. They can’t wait until Friday arrives when the week will be over.
But what if everyone was so passionate about their job that instead of eagerly waiting for Friday to arrive, they were looking forward to Monday, a time when they can do it all again?
That’s the kind of employees you need if you want to create a business that has real impact. As an entrepreneur and CEO myself, I’m a firm believer that if you take care of your people, creating an environment where they are happy and engaged, then the profits take care of themselves.
So, how do you create such an environment, especially in these days of remote work, which makes engagement even more of a challenge? There are five keys to doing so, and they apply whether your team works remotely or not:
A great company starts with you.
If you own a business where employees seem disengaged, you might want to take a look in the mirror because everything starts with you. Let’s face it. For some of us, we don’t own businesses; the business owns us. We feel like we are prisoners and are trapped. If that’s the case for you, then it’s because you created the environment that allowed that to happen. If you’re in business just to make money, your team members know it and that affects their attitudes. That’s why it’s important to have a passion for what you do that transcends the money. You have to be so fired up by your company’s mission that the feeling is palpable, and your team becomes passionate, too.
Have a stable foundation.
To build a world-class organization, you need a stable foundation. To me, that foundation is your core purpose, your core values, and your BHAG. (BHAG stands for Big Hairy Audacious Goal, something your company can shoot for that others might consider impossible. The idea of a BHAG comes from Jim Collins’ book “Built to Last“.) When you craft a core purpose, core values and a BHAG you can create company-wide excitement that motivates your team.
Translate your purpose into a comprehensive plan.
Goals without a plan don’t become reality. You should have a plan that everyone at your company knows and you need to track the progress. Everyone should also know the plan’s status and whether any areas need special attention. Talk about the plan so much that people get tired of hearing about it.
Recruit and retain the best people.
Take your time with hiring so you can find the best candidates. The approach should be to hire slowly and fire quickly, but unfortunately, most businesses do the opposite. You also should have a system to measure how employees are doing. Are they performing well? Do they live your company’s core values? Those who do both are your A players. For those who do neither, it’s time to part ways. How about those who do one but not their other? Give a chance to those who live up to the values but struggle to perform. Maybe they are just in the wrong position. It’s a tougher call with those who perform well, but don’t embody the values. Keeping them and their bad attitude sends the message that the values don’t matter.
Invest in your people.
A mentor once told me that my job as CEO wasn’t to grow a company, but to grow people who grow the company. Encourage and provide opportunities for employees to improve themselves. At my company, Advantage|ForbesBooks, everyone is asked to complete 120 hours of professional development each year by attending workshops, reading books, listening to podcasts, or taking part in other learning activities.
So, hire the right people and let them see your passion for your business. Establish a core purpose and core values, and set a Big Hairy Audacious Goal. Make a plan and ensure everyone knows that plan. And, finally, encourage your team members to grow and improve in their abilities.
Do those things and you will be a long way towards creating a team that looks forward to Monday.
Adam Witty is the Founder and CEO of Advantage | ForbesBooks, the authority marketing specialists. Working with business entrepreneurs and professionals to elevate their brands and grow their businesses through publishing, he has built the company into one of the largest business book publishers in America. Adam is also a sought-after speaker, teacher, and consultant on marketing and business growth techniques for entrepreneurs and authors.