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The Secret is in the Soil: How to Cultivate a Mission-Driven Culture

March 27, 2019 Bailey Ames

 The Secret is in the Soil: How to Cultivate a Mission-Driven Culture

The engagement crisis is real. In fact, 70 percent of people are disengaged at work. For seventeen years, this number has remained relatively unchanged. And I’m NOT ok with this. That is why I’m at SHIFT. 

We know engagement drives performance. When people are engaged at work they perform at higher levels, consistently produce results, and take ownership of their actions and behaviors. Engaged individuals go home happier, healthier, and more fulfilled. At SHIFT, we are committed to driving that change and shifting the number from 70 percent disengaged to 70 percent engaged.

One of the ways we work to shift engagement levels is by helping companies reconnect with their purpose and align on what is most important. You could argue that a compelling vision and core values are the lifeblood to any organization. They’re the plot of the story that captures people. They ultimately serve to answer these three questions:

  1. Where are we going?
  2. Why does it matter?
  3. What is my role?

I recently listened to a podcast from Daniel Tardy of Ramsey Solutions where he described how to create a remarkable culture. He made the connection to agriculture – ‘ager’ means land or field and ‘culture’ means cultivation. To cultivate the land, or in this case, to cultivate a healthy culture, it includes these five things:

  1. Prepare the soil
  2. Plant the seeds
  3. Water the seeds
  4. Provide sunlight
  5. Keep the weeds out

The foundation of a good culture is preparing the soil or making the environment right – that includes a clear vision and defined core values. Those must be in place before anything else. Non-negotiable.

We know there is a war for top talent. It’s becoming harder and harder to find and keep the right people. This is something I hear from our clients ALL of the time. Donald Miller, author of Building a Story Brand, said top talent looks for three things: a better boss, a brighter future, and a bigger vision.

A vision describes the future aim – it should be aspirational, inspirational, succinct, and authentic. It’s a simple and compelling idea that people can rally around – answering where a company is headed and why it matters.

The core values are tied to the vision, describing what’s most important and serving as the moral compass. They define how people are supposed to behave and live within the workplace – answering, “what is my role?”

The time is NOW to cast that vision, so people listen.

When people are behind the vision, they’re more likely to find connection to their purpose, experience a deeper sense of meaning, become more engaged in their work, and even start to see themselves differently. This level of engagement has a positive impact on customer experience – customers start to experience the organization differently and products increase in value.

If you want to explore how to create your company vision and core values – schedule an exploration session with our team.

Stayed tuned…I’ll be posting a follow up article soon on how to share and integrate your core values into the fabric of your organization.