Business has a reputation of being profit first and people second. As a leadership consultant, I am often asked, does creating an honoring business culture that puts people first bring an increase in profit? The short answer is yes; the way we treat people matters. In addition, increasing our bottom line enables us to both steward our business well, and grow our impact in serving others. Typically, our biggest asset and biggest expense in business is employees. In this blog, I want to take you through 4 ways to build an honoring business culture that inspires your employees to help increase your bottom line, and be able to partake in that reward.
Hire for character first. It is crucial to ensure a thorough hiring process that tests candidates’ character, competency, and chemistry to ensure a culture match. Your people are the backbone of your business. As we bring in new employees on different jobs, we’re trying to watch the culture. We make sure the people are qualified for their scope of work, but we then also make sure that they want to buy into our team environment. This isn’t always easy, but it is so important for the success of your company culture.
Create a culture of feedback and accountability. It is always my goal to drive out fear in my relationships. Fear is a very ineffective way of managing people. When driven by honor, feedback and accountability ultimately reduce fear. Honoring feedback and accountability doesn’t hide the truth or hit people over the head with it; rather it invites people into conversations in which the goal is to strengthen connection and collaboration and resolve issues that are holding a relationship or team back from success. 1 John 4:18 says that fear and love can’t coexist because fear has to do with punishment. I always try to be aware of areas where the truth can set employees free. At one point I had an employee who was being very dishonoring. His reasoning was that what he was doing got him results. I explained to him that we cannot justify leading with dishonor in order to increase our bottom line because it never works like that. In his 50 years of life, nobody had ever given him this feedback. The result was that he made amends, adjusted his behavior, and the team productivity increased as a result.
Encourage collaboration. I have heard it said that potential is the most untapped resource on earth. Collaboration can tap this resource more quickly than anything else I know. Continuously invite your team to bring their best ideas and creative thinking to the table. I involve my employees in key decisions and this brings our best results. We are on the same team, working towards achieving the same goal and so we all need to help each other. By looking down the assembly line, or down your workforce, to the people who are actually on the ground and doing the job – this is where you are going to find the best ideas. As managers and leaders, we need to be aware that we may be isolated from the truth of the work that is actually happening.
An example of this was when I was noticing productivity problems on a job site when we were hanging and painting doors. We called our team leaders and some selected workers and we had a great round table discussion about it. Our foreman suggested that we set up a spray booth, lineup hundreds of doors at a time and spray them together. This greatly increased our profit on that line item, and greatly benefitted the entire business. On top of that, this collaboration led to changes in the entire industry and we were able to reward the foreman (and the rest of the team) for this idea.
Maximize rewards. Smart and honoring business owners want to invest long-term in the people making their business successful. On the other side of that relationship, honoring employees see the financial and cultural reward of their work as tied to the success of the business. They have the attitude, “I win when we win.” This is the spirit of excellence, which is at the heart of honor. Excellence says, “I owe you my best.” Focusing on the success of the team or company leads employees to shoot higher, try harder, and engage more deeply. I give financial bonuses and perks to reward my team, not as an incentive but as a sign of thanks and appreciation. I also make sure I let people know when they have a great idea, and I make a point of celebrating people. Prioritizing fun in the everyday is another great way to create a rewarding culture as it helps people to enjoy being on a team. When people thrive in a business culture of honor, this will ultimately work to increase your bottom line.
Thanks for reading! I hope this blog was helpful to you! I love receiving questions and feedback of any kind, so please feel free to leave comments and thoughts below! If you want more resources and blogs on this topic, you can find them at bobhasson.com.