Here is a quick test. On the count of 3, say out loud what your company’s deep-rooted purpose is.
Oh, one caveate, you cannot generalize and say to make money.
Now, think about what you just said….or maybe didn’t say. Were you confident, clear, and assertive in how you said it? Did you say it with confiction and no hesitation? And here is the $64,000 question: What do you do everyday at work to actualize and hold true to this vision?
How do you know you are living this vision at work? Let’s try another quick test. Name three things that you did today or will do today that will contribute sincere meaning to this purpose. It could be as simple as how you will help a fellow co-worker, or approach a customer, how you hold your next meeting, or how you will recruit.
What we all don’t need is another vision statement or mission statement to put on all our marketing materials. We don’t really have an “employer brand” if we have to read a manual and instructions to understand and actualize it everyday. Every action you take on a day-to-day basis should contribute in some way or fashion to your company’s existence. If it isn’t a natural understanding for you everyday, and you find yourself asking “purpose” questions, chances are you aren’t connected to a deeper-rooted meaning of your company.
No matter what role you play in the game, everyone is trying to get the ball in the end zone. When carefully nurtured and planned across the organization’s employee base, it can lead companies who are invisible into companies who command markets. It creates strong opportunities for differentiation by involving each employee into tangible accountability to the big picture. Ownership is a powerful concept.
So if this seems so easy, why isn’t everyone doing it? Well, first you need to define not only what IS the “end zone”, but what is the deep-rooted meaning of this end zone. For instance, Horst Shultze, the former president of Ritz-Carlton, created world-class resorts and hotels. He was not in the Hospitality industry, nor was he in the hotel business. He lived and breathed the “creating excellence” business, and he built business models and experiences not services around it.
The key is the next step, how to engage and connect the employee base to it’s meaning. This has to start from the top. The leaders of the organization need to have a serious business defining reincarnation. Like setting the stage for a theatrical event. Then define how each role, what type of competencies and training will be needed to carry out this plan and how it will be measured.
So, when your employee base comes to work everyday with a clear understanding of their roles and what they are all collectively tied into, you have the makings of not just an employer brand, but a culture that magnetizes great talent to stay and work for you.