*Thanks to Mike Moffit for this guest post. Mike is the owner of DMP Painting located in Wakefield, RI. He has been with Summit for over 9 years.
A company’s most important assets are its people. This has been a mantra that we’ve all chanted year after year. Over the last year, here at Dennis Moffitt Painting, we’ve put more effort into what our culture is and what type of person we really WANT to work with. Understanding the type of person we want to work with has helped us develop what our core values are. At first, I really struggled with the concept, likely because the answer was not readily available and I wasn’t sure how to make it real. But, the driving motivator that fueled me to fix the problem, was, “I really want to like the people I work with!”
Think about it- there are 168 hours in a week. If you sleep an average of 6-8 hours a night, times 7 nights, we sleep an average of 42-56 hours a week. And if we work between 50-60 hours a week, the math works out to be 33% sleep, 33% work, 33% family. I would imagine that the percentages wouldn’t swing more than 10% any which way based on the individual person/company. So if we spend a third of our time or more at work each week, shouldn’t we make it a priority to like the individuals we work with? I think so.
Below are some talking points and strategies that I have been working on to make sure that DMP has a solid team in place, based upon a shared belief of core values and culture. We are a team that works hard and plays hard together.
- List Your 5 Core Values. This could either be things that you do well and that you want to maintain or things you recognize you need to improve upon. Values represent the big picture- What qualities are important to you that you want to align with your company?
- Have your crew leaders or key staff select their 5 core values. Print out an individual values worksheet with 50+ examples and challenge them to circle the 5 that they believe to be most important to them. Explain the importance of the exercise and how the company is going to use their feedback and input for the benefit of the whole.
- Blend the results. Where are there some similarities in their feedback? Did some of their values choices align with your personal selections? It’s important to have a good blend and input from your team, but do make sure that you’re imposing your will. I think it will give you the highest probability of success.
- Peel back the onion. Don’t just list 5 words that describe what the most important character traits are and expect a new employee to fully grasp it. Give a few bullet points to explain to the team what these values mean and examples of how your company exemplifies these traits. Explain to new and past employees that those who represent and engage these values will likely succeed in their future with the company.
- Share with the whole team. Explain the process that you went through to get your 5 company core values. Emphasize that this was a team exercise and ask the question out loud to the group- What type of people do we want to spend 1/3 of our time each week with? That question in itself will hit home with each individual and bring the activity and its purpose full circle.
Best of luck!