Management: The Devil is in the Details

Every business owner has a big dream for their business and wants to make it happen. When it comes to hiring the right people, getting them in the right seats, and providing a culture of growth and inclusion, we often don’t know where to start or what to do. It shouldn’t be so hard to grow a company with these core values and core focus. 

Early on in my banking career when I was loaning money on real estate, I was taught that real estate lending is all about location, location, location. Of course, the character, cash flow, and credit history were considered as part of the loan process too.   

There is, and has been, a war for talent. How do you hire the best people and then develop and retain them? I believe management, management, management is a critical piece to this puzzle. 

There are too many stories to count, but the businesses that have succeeded in building accountability into the organization is key. Often people see a problem, but don’t own or solve the problem. Many own and solve the problem, but don’t apply the solution. Where there’s little to no accountability, execution suffers and employee engagement is low.   

There are several organizations I’ve worked with that inherited corporate cultures that were very “old school”, top-down management, rather than a collaborative culture of inclusion and consensus building. A new CEO came in and viewed leadership as serving their co-worker, included them in decision making processes, and fostered growth and inclusion.

A culture of employee engagement is foundational to success. That culture is centered around the core values of the organization and a hiring process that supports that. I even have a client that formed a “culture club” run by employees in the organization that rotate. Treating clients and co-workers like family is one of their core values. Another company I work with has an annual family picnic where games and rides are provided for the kids. Even grandparents bring their children and grandchildren to the picnic. 

While the CEO is the “keeper” of the corporate culture, he/she can’t do it alone. It takes like-minded managers that carry out accountability and contribute to the culture of employee engagement and fulfillment day after day.   

I read an article in Harvard Business Review that talked about how Microsoft has raised the bar. They no longer focus on employee engagement, they focus on employee fulfillment. Similar to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Chief People Officer Kathleen Hogan focuses on the 5 P’s of employment (pay, perks, people, pride and purpose). Thriving for them is not about achieving work/life balance. It’s about meeting the physical and emotional needs of the employee in these 5 areas. 

There’s a war for talent out there. If you want to attract and retain the best people in your industry it will take a CEO to build a culture based on the company’s core values and a management team to attract, hire, and retain people that will thrive in their organization. 

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