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A Fit Organization

For job seekers evaluating a company, the guiding principles, as well as how these are used in business decisions, speak volumes about a prospective employer. Said another way, for you to “fit” a company’s culture, you must both understand these values and their importance to culture.

The reason for this is that skills can be taught, culture can’t. For a culture to be real, every team member must be aligned with the culture and guiding principles. Because of our commitment to Career3 and specifically to promoting from within, we needed to define a value specific to knowledge acquisition. The founding leaders of Share On Purpose asked ourselves a bold question: How would we build a “learning organization” in an uncertain, rapidly changing world? And, how would we grow our management team so they led with these values consistently? Ultimately, we wanted to know how to strengthen our culture as we expanded.

There are many things I’ve learned from the Millennial generation, but what resonated about their learning style was what I termed “just in time knowledge.” Millennials are quick to learn and incredibly resourceful knowledge seekers. They don’t learn because they are told to, or because they want to accumulate knowledge, they learn to apply the knowledge to enhance their lives or grow their careers. Novel concept, I know.

The principle we adopted regarding training and mentoring, with the help of our initial team members was “New Knowledge – Learn it as you need it.” Knowledge is (and always has been) power, which is why college degrees became a necessary management criterion in the Baby Boomer era. The problem with the accumulation of knowledge today is that our world is changing so fast that most skills are outdated less than a year after they are learned.

For our guiding principles to resonate with the way future generations learn, we had to rethink all traditional training models, and embrace the “just in time” learning modality. That meant defining the value, New Knowledge, and rethinking the Career Matrix to introduce management skills as leaders evolved their careers. It also meant investing in the Share School Online Leadership Training Portal to make the training available when emerging leaders needed it, rather than when we wanted to teach it. This resulted in a culture where leaders embrace the notion that to truly evolve our talent, we work on their leadership evolution timeline, rather than training them to fit our needs.

There are many things that contribute to building a performance culture, but one of the most important is to use a defined set of values so that business decisions are aligned with the culture; and then to embed these values into all facets of the organization, especially training. Without guiding principles, decision-making can erode culture.

Remember, skills can be taught, but culture can’t.

If this sounds like an organization you’d like to be a part of, view our available positions and apply now.

Building a Performance Culture

Building a performance culture starts with understanding that employees desire to GET something from your organization, as much as they want to give their best. It’s a 2-way street, just like any other relationship.

The mistake most leaders make is that they focus only on their half of the relationship, expecting, and in some cases, demanding performance. This never works, because mediocre performers always return to their ordinary levels of performance once the pressure is off. Conversely, if you hire high performers intentionally, you won’t need to motivate them to perform at their best, because they are intrinsically driven to do so without your guidance.

The truth is, as leaders we don’t want to manage staff performance. What we REALLY want is to hire and promote leaders who are intrinsically driven to perform. True performers excel, with or without our leadership, because of WHO THEY ARE, not because of what we expect.

So, the question in building a performance culture isn’t, “How do I drive performance?”, but instead, “How do I attract performers?” Here are 3 tips we’ve used to build a performance culture at Share On Purpose:

  • Authenticity Attracts: Promote who you are, at your company’s core, rather than who you want to be. True performers value honesty and directness, and probably have done enough of their own research anyway. In addition, they enjoy being a part of the solution, which means being part of performance improvement.

In addition, discuss openly what your guiding principles are, as well as how you’re living them. This is key, because true performers will ask those they encounter during the interview process, as to what your culture is. If your front-line talent team doesn’t know how to define your culture, it will turn performers off since they value authenticity and transparency.

As part of our effort to ensure transparency at Share On Purpose, we not only outline our Culture on our website, but have defined the Guiding Principles that make our culture work. These Guiding Principles were developed WITH our key leaders back in late 2013.

Starting in October, as CEO, I will dedicate one article per month to writing about each principle. In addition, we’ll share an honest assessment of how one of our leaders or team members is demonstrating this principle through another article. Although we’re far from perfect, we pride ourselves on striving for excellence and that includes promoting what our leaders are doing to live our brand.

Culture doesn’t happen because we put words on the website, or even on the wall. Culture, and in particular a performance culture, happens when you manage the company, its leaders and its associates to a set of guiding principles that make the culture authentic.

  • Together is More: Never forget, for a second, that true performers are recruited constantly by other organizations. If you want them to stay, build an organization worthy of their commitment. That requires building a relationship with them, investing in their development, and of course, listening to their feedback. Not only will this serve you in the good times, but it will also breed loyalty in the hard times.

Today, the job market is strong, and top performers inside most brands are looking for new roles outside their organization. Research shows that the reason they are doing this is because they don’t feel valued in their current organization, and/or they do not have a relationship with a top executive. Part of the reason why our executives dedicate 25% of their time to mentoring and developing performers is because we VALUE our current team as individuals, in addition to both their contribution, and future value.

The best advice I ever got from one of my mentors, my former CEO Burl Hogins, was to constantly “re-recruit” my best people. By meeting with them frequently, and learning about their passions and interests, I can ensure that I am supporting THEIR career ambitions, as well as my business goals. I’ve never forgotten that lesson. Thank you Burl.

  • Measure What Matters: When you hire performers, you don’t have to manage them. That’s the good news. But you do have to manage performance, just not for the reasons one may think. We measure what matters, not for our business, but for the leaders themselves. By letting leaders know where they are, in as many ways as possible, they will motivate themselves and their teams to improve results.

Now, I’m not advocating meaningless reports or needless management meetings. Just the opposite, in fact. Keep your meetings short (less than 30 minutes, if possible). Find ways to track meaningful statistics in every area of the business and share these statistics openly with your team. Let them know where they stand against the goals, and inspire them to achieve those goals. When you measure what matters, performers rise to the occasion. On their own.

Again, watch for future articles about our guiding principles and culture as we want to attract performers who fit our culture and who aspire to BE MORE.

If you’re ready to become part of a performance culture, and if these 3 tips sound like they fit who you are, check out our open positions. We’re always looking for smart, driven leaders.

Life Happens 24/7, So Work Like It Does

We’ve heard that even in salaried positions, most professionals feel like they have to punch a time clock. You have to ask for time off to go to the doctor. If you want to take a long lunch to catch up with a college friend in town, you have to ask permission.

I don’t know about you, but at Share On Purpose, we feel like this kind of oversight is old school management, not designed for next generation professionals.

At most companies, the concept of work/life balance is to work eight-plus hours a day (usually an 8-5 regiment), and the time after 5PM is your time to handle life duties and schedule fun activities. Why do most managers think that life is only meant to be lived AFTER 5 PM?

Work Success Should Be Results-based, Not Time-based

If you’re frustrated with the 8-5 foolishness, it’s probably because you know that time worked has nothing to do with results gained. So, isn’t it time to be treated like an adult? Isn’t it time to be compensated based on results, rather than time spent in a cube?

At Share On Purpose, we believe that professionals should be in charge of their own time. Other than pre-set company and client meetings, for the most part, our team members determine their own schedule. Each person gets to figure out his/her productivity cycle, whether a night owl or early bird. Need some extra time off for personal errands? No problem. Want to take a long lunch? Great! We treat our associates like adults, and expect each person to manage their time so that work gets done and team goals are met.

So, Now What?

If you’re tired of working a schedule, regardless of the need to get work done, the first step is to admit that an 8-5 schedule doesn’t meet your idea of work-life balance.

Second, if you’re ready to look for a performance-based role where you work output is the focus, not your physical presence, then you have to ask yourself: What am I willing to do to have time freedom? Working for an organization that provides the freedom to set individual schedules or work remotely is a perk, but it comes with added responsibility. Be clear on what you’re looking for from your career and what you’re willing to do to get it.

Do you prefer a job that you can work at for eight hours and then leave completely at the end of the day? Or are you looking for an environment where you have complete ownership of deliverables and your impact is felt throughout the organization, as well as your clients?

Here are a few questions to get started:

  • Are you comfortable in a macro-management environment where you manage yourself, and your team leads towards performance?
  • Are you disciplined enough to set goals and drive completion without manager oversight?
  • Are you driven enough to put in extra time when necessary for the success of your team?

The benefit of being disciplined and driven is that you’re rewarded with flexibility and are treated like a responsible adult. Great companies usually have a culture that rewards smart, motivated professionals who want to work hard and still enjoy true work/life balance.

Consider Share On Purpose

Share On Purpose cultivates new companies and leaders to run them. We are planning to launch a new brand every year, so driven professionals will have plenty of upward career mobility. We are looking for driven leaders who are seeking a meaningful career, and not just a better job. If you enjoy flexibility, freedom, winning and want to work with a team of like-minded professionals, then you should check us out. Our team understands that each person works on their own schedule and we don’t believe you should have to settle for a time-obsessed job where the focus is on time spent and not results delivered.

To learn more about working at Share On Purpose, simply click here. We are hiring for multiple positions, so apply today!

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.