Step 2 – Tap into Your Resources
After taking time to better understand the challenges and potential solutions for his workplace Stix felt it was time to bring his leadership team together. In conjunction with his leadership team he held a workshop to find solutions to the problem.
Depending on the size of your organization this may involve a few people or many and it may also involve bringing in an outside consultant who can offer an objective view of the problem and ideas for potential solutions.
As a leader you do not need to have all the answers but you do have to ask the question you need to get the answers. Be prepared to consult with others and use your research to formulate next steps.
Step 3 – Build an Internal Business Brand
Emerging from the leadership meetings at Fibernetics were motivational ideas with practical steps. The changes did not focus on policies and procedures, new technology, pay raises, cutting the bottom 10% of performers and so on but they did involve many tangible changes.
The key changes focussed on the way the company related to the employees and the employees related to their work, one another and the company.
Among the ideas implemented at Fibernetics was the development of a new motto – the ‘Im In’ employer brand. This employer brand was accompanied by a statement of core values that included “innovation; accountability; just do it and find a solution; trust; teamwork and happiness”.
Taking the time to derive an internal brand may seem like a waste of time and money when money and time are finite commodities. Yet research shows us that when people work towards a common goal and feel involved in achieving the goal they simply perform better.
If a shared focus can be communicated around a clear brand and this can act as a motivating and clarifying step the time and resources spent will be worth it.
Step 4 - Strong Implementation
Many organizations talk about making changes and may make incremental changes. Real change does take time and often many steps, lasting and fundamental changes are not made quietly or passively.
Fibernetics rolled out their changes at a celebratory Gala involving all employees to kick off the shared experience of building a company where employees and their happiness mattered.
The company then made changes to the way they operated, from cosmetic changed to colours they painted on the walls to the weekly celebrations designed to encourage fun and happiness in the workplace.
The change included a change in attitude and focus on people as a valuable collaborator who mattered. Fibernetics also connected with another company, Plasticity Labs (formerly ‘The Smile Epidemic’) to implement a workplace intercompany social network to encourage happiness and engagement (and help keep track of both).
Since implementing their changes Fibernetics has grow by 50% over the past couple of years. While many factors may have contributed to this growth Stix believes that the emphasis on a shared vision and employee happiness are contributing factors to his companies success.
Is Fibernetics a perfect company with 100% happy employees? Certainly not but they are working on building a brand that values workplace happiness and a first step is a good start in a journey.
Create a shared vision with your employees that demonstrates to them that they are valued contributors who have a responsibility to buy into your vision, a vision that includes both hard work and efforts to create happiness in the workplace.
You do not need to reinvent the wheel when applying this strategy to your workplace. You can read more about Fibernetics partnership with Shawn Achor in the article on the company website John Stix Announces Strategic Partnership in Canada with Shawn Achor. You can also learn more about John Stix at JohnStix.ca and find out more about Plasticity labs employee engagement software.
About the author
Tara Orchard is a coach, trainer, consultant and writer who applies her insights into people and Masters training in psychology to facilitate performance improvements, relationships and communication for people and businesses. She has worked with organizations to deliver clarity on culture and brand, develop their people and manage relationships with social network communities. Over the past 18 years she has consulted with 1000's of people who want to make effective transitions in their lives. Tara has a knack for hearing what people are thinking and helping them see what they need to see. She is the founder of her own career and social network coaching business, works with several other organizations as a coach and consultant and is about to complete her first book on the "psychology of effective social networking". Tara invites you to connect with her on LinkedIn .LinkedIn