Culture – It’s What’s for Business!

Do you ever feel there’s something missing in your day-to-day work? Maybe you feel like you don’t exactly fit in, or perhaps there is something “off” about the company you currently work for. Maybe you are just simply looking for something bigger, better and more significant.

You are not alone! According to an article in Harvard Business Review, 7 out of 10 people are not actively engaged at work. This not only impacts each employee’s happiness, but costs an estimated $450 billion in lost productivity each year. That’s billion, with a “b.”

Lack of engagement is bad news for companies, but also equates to a challenge for career-oriented professionals who desire a challenge and want to be a part of a larger purpose. If the company cannot tackle the issue of engagement, talented professionals will go elsewhere. This begs the question – what should you consider if you are wanting to make a positive change in your career trajectory?

Find a Culture Fit

When you feel like there is something missing from your career, it impacts every aspect of life. Perhaps you like your current role, but the company itself is not in alignment with your overall goals. Successful leaders will advise you: choose the company, and choose the leadership, rather than the job itself. Look for a company that has a culture that is in alignment with who you are.

The culture of an organization showcases its beliefs, values, and behaviors. By investing time in learning about a company’s culture, you can find a workplace that aligns with your personal goals. It should be relatively easy to learn about a company’s culture, because organizations are very aware of the advantage a positive culture brings. If you cannot find out about the culture, that is your first sign you don’t want to pursue that company any further.

A recent Forbes article outlines how organization’s that focus on culture are becoming icons for both job seekers and those looking to fulfill a larger purpose. Reasons listed include:

  • Younger companies that focus on culture see a huge payoff (think HubSpot with its culture manifesto).
  • NetFlix’s culture manifesto “freedom with responsibility” is one of the most popular documents on the internet, 11 million+ viewers.
  • Value statements have popped up everywhere. Examples include Zappos’ cultural values focus on innovation, Google’s 10 “truths” (focus on the user is one), and LinkedIn being in the “human service” business and calls itself a “tribe.”

Obviously, culture is a focus for many organizations. Those who understand the value will be actively creating and cultivating a culture. Those who don’t may not realize that culture happens whether you focus on it or not, and are the ones who end up with a culture you may not desire.

Make the Best Choice for You 

Finding a culture that aligns with your value set is key to your success and happiness. The following tips will help you get started on discovering the best business opportunity for you:

  1. Write down your values and goals. Make sure to be specific and think long-term.
  2. Review the company website for their culture information. At Share On Purpose, we are very clear on our culture and focus – “to inspire potential in others while launching game-changing ideas. We believe in creating BOTH meaningful vocation and financial success.”
  3. Consider reviewing survey websites. Many current and former employees will provide their feedback on a company through sites likes Glassdoor. One caveat – review these with a critical eye. It’s very easy for people to voice “sour grapes” on these sites, so review them for valid content that provides good feedback.

Finally, don’t wait until you are completely unhappy or out of a job to start seeking your next opportunity. It takes time to find the best organization for you, so start earlier and invest time in really understanding the type of opportunity you desire. For those who crave an entrepreneurial environment filled with opportunities for high performing individuals, please check out the open positions at Share On Purpose. Starting now gives you the best chance to find the ideal place for you.

The Power of Appreciation

It’s no secret that showing appreciation accelerates growth. In fact, in the US we have a March holiday specifically for employee appreciation (who knew?). Philosophically, we don’t agree with this annual holiday, because quite simply, we believe employee appreciation is not a one day event.

Because employees play a critical role in all types of businesses, it is our belief that appreciation should be an on-going effort, if for no other reason than it impacts the bottom line. Decades of Gallup research has consistently proven that the more satisfied employees are, the more likely it will correlate with customer satisfaction and shareholder returns. This is particularly true in service companies, where employees ARE the product – they produce the revenue through their individual and collective work.

At Share On Purpose, our cultural foundation includes what we call “acts of appreciation.” Acts of appreciation include: gratitude texts (messages), appreciation emails, private “thank you” conversations, financial rewards (Share Bucks™) and totems such as The Giving Keys which memorialize key cultural accomplishments. Our entire executive team role models frequent appreciation for staff members in order to ensure that we are consistently focused on the importance of every team member.

In addition to “acts of appreciation,” we eliminated the annual review system and instead opted for frequent mentoring, on-the-spot-coaching, and leadership development programs. This is extremely effective in our culture because of an ingenious system called The Career Matrix™ (created by Talent On Purpose) which gives employees a clear, predominantly self-directed, development path. The Career Matrix encourages each associate to seek feedback as part of their development path, rather than as an annual process. In essence, they seek the continuous feedback to advance through the matrix, and then focus their training efforts around the leadership skills needed to advance to the next level.

This process enables our executive team to spend their energy developing leaders rather than filling out annual review documents. Developmental coaching, as well as frequent feedback, is a key form of appreciation especially when it’s guided toward the career aspirations of employees, rather than an annual requirement.

These various forms of appreciation have attracted high performers in every segment of our portfolio, which in turn has accelerated our financial performance and growth. Additionally, it has created a culture that endures difficulty, embraces progress, and focuses on individual, team and brand development in a positive manner.

So, if your current company doesn’t appreciate you frequently, for example, they do not invest in your development, maybe it’s time to appreciate yourself and make a change. Start now by learning more about our open positions. Make every day appreciation day!

The Peace Pact

I’ve now participated in over 12 elections, voting for some democrats, as well as several Republicans.

Each election was more contentious than the one before, as politicians fought over the 2-5% of the population that isn’t firmly entrenched and divided.

This saddens me. There has to be a better way.  Maybe it’s not the politicians who need to change, but us, the electorate. Politicians simply mirror the people, and we are a deeply divided nation.

So, I’ve set a goal to create peace in my own little corner of the world through three pacts:

1) Judgement Free:

I commit to stop criticizing others, period. I did better with this in 2016, but still have a long way to go.

Yes, I will retain my strong opinions, beliefs and ideas. But the difference between an opinion and a judgement is dangerous.

Opinions are personal, they are about me or what I believe. Judgements are about others, or what others believe. Lets keep opinions, but drop ALL judgement.

Speak of the great things about your party, candidate or sports team, without making the other side/team wrong for theirs.

2) Positive Perspectives:

I commit to seeing only the good in others, even if I don’t agree with them. Rather than criticism, I will point out compassionate and more kind ways of sharing opinions, on both sides of the aisle.

And no matter what happens, I commit to look for the good in it.

I will replace negative views with a simple practice: assume positive intent. Assume the other person, political party, entity, or group meant well, even if I don’t agree with their actions or beliefs.

3) Appreciation Rules:

I commit to making appreciation a daily practice. I’ve scheduled an “appreciation break” on my calendar each day so the very act of appreciation becomes a habit. I will find things to appreciate, daily.

Please join me in this Peace Pact! If there is a better way, it must start with each of us.