Many of the most profitable companies today are also recognized as “best places to work” in their respective industries. Leaders of these companies have made a conscious decision to put their employees first.
Turning your organization into a profitable, best place to work isn’t about lavishing employees with incentives, perks, and creative work schedules. It’s about providing the knowledge, tools, and direction to help employees see how their daily performance makes an impact on the company’s success. I mean, let’s face it, people don’t get out of bed each day, brew their coffee and run off to work simply to make their boss and/or company owners more money. They do it to earn a living and to feel like they’re making a difference.
And the majority of companies often fail to make the connection between mission statements, values, brand promises, strategic goals/objectives, etc., and the day-to-day work of employees. Without giving employees direction on how to do all this “stuff,” they can’t possibly embrace it, commit to doing it, and (most importantly) take action to deliver great experiences for each other and for customers.
Best companies to work for solve this dilemma by putting into practice what I call the “How Factors.” The How Factors are a simple, logical framework for ensuring that employees aren’t frustrated by an overload of “strategery” that they don’t know how to do or how to impact.
There are three How Factors that every company should do:
- Set clear behavior expectations. Develop and integrate proprietary brand-driven behaviors that clearly define what successful performance is at the company level and individual level by job function.
- Deliver strategic and consistent communication. Integrate expectations for doing these behaviors into critical leadership and human resource practices, including recruitment, hiring, onboarding, and performance assessments/evaluations. Then, continually educate and motivate employees through a strategic, performance-focused recognition program. If executed well, this program can also be used to capture and share the best practices that have the highest impact on achieving business results.
- Drive accountability for success. Measure employee understanding and action on the behaviors and experiences that bring the brand to life through performance assessments and evaluations. To fully evaluate success, managers also should measure performance against the clearly defined company strategy.
Companies that do these How Factors are rewarded for their efforts beyond financial benefits. If your company isn’t building respected and trusted relationships between management and employees, or employees aren’t taking pride in their work, get laser-focused on the How Factors. Set and communicate behavioral expectations and watch how accountability for success flourishes, putting your company on the pathway to being a more profitable, best place to work.