One of my mentee’s recently returned from an interview trip to Tennessee. He told me he was “grilled” for two days by fifteen people about whom he was and which direction his moral compass faced, adding he had very few questions about his technical abilities to do the job.
Bravo for the company from Tennessee. The first rule of team building is to ensure that people coming onto the team are a good cultural fit with the organization, they did this well.
Top three ways to make sure you are starting off with people who fit your culture:
- Have a written culture statement (reach out to our team if you’d like to view ActionCOACH’s 14 Points of Culture).
- Get to know candidates for key positions by asking open ended questions, such as, “Our first point of culture is Commitment, give me both a personal and professional example of you demonstrating Commitment.”
- Do background checks. If “Integrity” is one of your organizations points of culture, check on your candidate’s integrity by doing a credit check and a criminal background check.
I had the privilege to attend a workshop at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida where my dad sits in the engineering team a few years back. In the workshop I learned about Disney’s employee orientation program. Their program included a full day on Culture another day on Customer (or guest) relationships.
Excellent work, Disney. The second rule of team building is to train your people on what is expected of them and how you expect them to act.
Top three tips on training your team:
- Above and beyond your culture statement, your business needs a Vision Statement. Everyone in the organization must buy into the vision statement and it must be a point of inspirations for them. Here are a couple of good Vision Statements… Microsoft: “Create experiences that combine the magic of software with the power of Internet services across a world of devices.” Nike: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the World.” Apple: “To make a contribution to the world by making tools for the mind that advance humankind.” Disney: “We make people happy.”
- The very first day with your company is the employees’ most important day. Start her/him off on the right foot. Develop a training program to go over your Vision and Culture and have this program presented by a SENIOR Manager.
- Your organization must have, follow and enforce rules. Develop your company’s “rules of the game.” Have these rules written and reviewed with your employee in their orientation period. Disney, for instance, has ten management principles, the forth being: “All for One and One for All”, which highlights the importance of teamwork and empowerment of the employees. Teamwork is described as a method of fostering intense loyalty, enthusiasm and commitment. Because the focus at the Disney Company is to make sure that each guest has a memorable and pleasant experience, it doesn’t matter whose “job” it is to pick up a piece of trash. It becomes everyone’s responsibility.
The final rule on teamwork is live the value. There is an old Polish expression, “The fish stinks from the head down.” If you want your team to act as a team, do the same yourself.
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