Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of managing organizations is the act of recruitment. It is not necessarily difficult only on the candidates; it’s also difficult on organizations as well. Even though we are living in tumultuous business times, with real unemployment exceeding 10 percent in almost every city in our nation, recruitment is still a challenge for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to:
- Lack of skilled candidates
- Wounded and hurt applicants lacking trust of any organization
- Having too many candidates to choose from makes it difficult to know where to begin
- Salary expectation alignment; many candidates are accustomed to more
These are all hurdles to climb over but organizations that have a well thought out process and strategy will prevail in hiring the best candidates to accelerate the performance of the organization. The entire process of building a “Kingdom Minded” company revolves around including your Mission Vision and Values into every HR practice as practicable. The recruitment process is not excluded.
In developing your strategy, you should weave into the process several concepts that will help recruit the best candidates to help you manage within your Mission, reach your Vision, and operate within your Values. Your process should include:
- Networking your vacancies to trusted sources
- Using employee referral systems to increase your candidate pool
- Use consistent hiring methodology when recruiting candidates
- Always include your MVV in the recruitment process
Networking. Most companies, because of turnover within their HR department, or a lack of HR professionals within the company, do not have a formalized network to which they can announce vacancies. This is a concerning drawback to the process. Organizations should consistently mine for talent and the community should be aware of the organization and have a general idea of what they do and what their hiring patterns are. Organizations should spend time marketing themselves as a great place to work; this is also and effective form of marketing to potential customers. People want to buy products and services from organizations that treat their employees well. Start networking with churches, Christian colleges, LinkedIn groups, alumni associations, nonprofit executives, mission organizations, seminaries — the list could go on forever! The problem is that many organizations do not create such a network list. Network today; it will pay dividends in years to come.
Employee Referral Systems Nine out of ten companies I meet with do not have either a formal or informal employee referral systems for candidates. If they do have one, it is stale and not yielding any results. This is unfortunate, because people want to work with people who match the company culture, and know how and want to get the job done. Reinvent this program or develop it if you don’t have one. The easiest way to do so is to bring together a cross section of employees for half an hour and ask them straight out: would you refer your friends to work here? If not, why not? And what do we need to do to make this an environment that you would want to refer them to? Delve into what the referral reward should be in the program. Some miserly HR folks suggest one to two hundred-dollar bonuses. Considering a Monster board ad is three hundred dollars, not to mention the hassle of screening 10 to 20 candidates to get to one good candidate, don’t you think this is a bit stingy? Reward your people!
Consistent Hiring Methodology Lack of a consistent hiring methodology will get you burned. Getting an EEOC or Human Relations commission charge becomes not an “if” proposition but a “when.” But, stepping outside of the legal concerns, why not take the high road right off, and ensure your practice is beyond reproach? When recruiting, always have a job description, always have interview evaluation sheets, and always have decent but not copious notes of the candidate selection meeting when all interviewers give input. I have experienced some embarrassing situations at all levels of the organization where a document to support hiring or not hiring candidates didn’t even exist. If you don’t have this in place, make sure you keep your checkbook handy. You will need it.
And, finally, include your MVV in your process. You see, when candidates see this, they are intrigued, especially when the presenter presents it in a way that is exciting.
Candidates love to see people with passion and energy around their Mission.
Organizations have lost their mojo. Show candidates your passion! Most people want to work for a company that has direction. They are tired of the lack of leadership in government, in corporate America, and their local schools. The last thing they want to do is join a company that is weak and non-directional. Show them your passion through your MVV!
Explain to each candidate your Values, where they came from and why you have them. Let them know that you are a company founded on Christian principles. Most often the reaction I get from candidates when they hear this is, “Wow! Finally a place that might treat me with dignity and respect.”
Don’t worry about offending anyone. You are not pushing your values onto them; you are simply demonstrating what they are. I have had candidates say that they are not Christians, but that working for a company like ours would help them understand Christianity better. Exposing people to Christ — that is what we all desire.. That is the work God really wants us to focus on.
What have been your experiences in recruitment? Are there any best practices you would like to share? Be a difference maker today. Please contribute to the community and help others learn from your experiences. Thank you.
Employees complain when you don’t have a handbook, but, when you have one, they don’t want it! An employee handbook is very easy to create, but probably the most overlooked aspect of employment documentation. One thing is for sure: if a company has multiple shifts or multiple locations or just multiple employees, an employee handbook can certainly help keep all employees on the same page. Handbooks are always a delicate subject.
But when done right, and with employee input, this tool can make a difference.
- Make it reflect your Mission Vision and Values (MVV)
- Make it relevant
- Keep it simple
- Keep it legal and legit
Reflect your MVV. Your handbook should be an absolute reflection of your MVV, which essentially amplifies your culture. Someone who is unfamiliar with your organization should be able to pick up your handbook and see your heart within its reflection simply by the tone and the guiding principles you lay out for your employees. The front of the handbook should contain your MVV, followed by the President’s message as to why the MVV is important to the company and how it was created.
Make it relevant. Having reviewed hundreds of handbooks over the years, one thing is certain and that is that most are horrible. They are irrelevant, often don’t convey the culture of the organization and are more about preaching or dictating than guiding.
Keep it simple. A handbook should not contain every scrap of information about the company. Worse yet, it should not contain every possible scenario in which an employee violation could occur. Keep it simple and you will have a greater impact than if you over-complicate or over-stimulate the reader. Many employees I’ve spoken with over the years tell me that, if a handbook is interesting, they will read it to learn more about the company, but, if it just rambles on over policy and procedures, most will put it down after two pages. The ideal handbook will inspire the reader to learn — learn more about the company.
Keep it legal and legit. Always ensure you include the appropriate legal clauses. There are far too many to list here but a few that come to mind speak toADA, FMLA, Employment at Will, EEOC etc. You want to make sure you cover your bases.
In closing it is important to note that having a handbook is oftentimes the only opportunity for employers to memorialize what is expected of employees. But always include what employees can expect of you! A handbook should never be a one way street of core policies of the organization; if it is, you will chill the warmth right out of the organization, a chill you will live to regret.
We Value Your Comments. Thank you for taking the time to read our post in this series on how to build “Kingdom Minded” Companies. Please share your thoughts and experiences on employee handbooks. How did the ones that you have used fit your organization? Did they match your culture? Did they drive the behaviors the company and employees desire? Thank you for contributing to our community, and thank you for sharing your thoughts.
Integrate-After the Mission Vision and Values …
Most leaders, after they finalize the recreation of their Mission Vision and Values (MVV) for their organizations, do what comes naturally — they share it with everyone. If that sounds like you, then it goes out on your website, and it gets printed poster-sized and hung on the walls of your conference rooms and lobby. You mention it consistently for about three months … and then it dies.
It dies because it is not an intrinsic part of the way you do business.
It is not ingrained into the soul of your company.
How do you make your Mission Vision and Values a part of the way in which you do business? You integrate it into the practices that are always connected to the people that make it happen — you integrate it into the people who are applying your HR practices. HR practices are practices that touch all employees.
What are some examples of HR practices?
- Employee Relations
- Recruitment Management
- Workforce Planning
- On Boarding Management
- Training Management
- Performance Management
- Compensation & Benefits
- Attendance and Leave Management
- Compensation and Benefits Management
- Employee Development Skill Management
- Health & Safety
- Employee Activities
- Employment Policy Management
You could probably laundry-list 40-plus practices, but, for the sake of explanation, we are going to provide guidance on six key practices that you can integrate with your MVV quite easily. These six are your:
- Recruitment Process
- Performance Review Process
- Job Descriptions
- Communication Process
- Training and Development
Over the next few weeks, I will walk us through the integration of the MVV into each one of these practices. What has your experience been when integrating these concepts into your company’s practices? Share with us below. We would appreciate hearing your thoughts and stories.
All successful companies have a Mission. Without a Mission, well, no one will know what it is they are doing and why. Another problem organizations have when absent a Mission is that their customers and vendors often end up confused, having mixed expectations.
I have worked for many companies in my time. Probably more than most, and I consider this to be a good thing. The reason I consider this a good thing is that the experiences that God has given me in these numerous and diverse organizations has made me a far more competent counselor to businesses across the marketplace than if I had occupied one narrow niche for most of my
One common denominator I have identified is that the businesses that are successful all have an established Mission for their organization, a Mission that is co-developed by all of their employees and is ingrained into the culture of the organization. In fact, in high-performing organizations, candidates are exposed to the company’s Mission before they’re even hired. Vendors know theMission and Customers are aware, as well.
When Vendors know the Mission and Customers understand it, that’s enormously positive, but the most powerful and impactful group are your Employees. In my wealth of experience, I have discovered an absolute truth by simply listening to employees for more than 20 years. Fully 99 percent of all employees who come to work every day, want nothing more than to do a good job; in fact, most want to exceed your expectations. It really is the American way. Work hard, play hard and love your life. The problem, though, that many organizations suffer from is a lack of leadership to help steer the organization.
Specifically, they lack leadership in creating a Mission that employees own and strive to achieve.
What is a Mission?
Your Mission is simply what you do best — every day — and why. Your Mission should reflect your customers’ needs. Having a Mission is the foundation of turning the dreams and potential of an organization into reality. So, in a nutshell, your Mission
simply affirms why your organization exists!
So what does a Mission consist of? Well, it really is not rocket science. It is simply what your organization collectively — yes, I said collectively — not top down management, or board of directors to management — developed. It works like this:
- The senior management team develops a framework of what they believe the Mission is and should be.
- Line management then takes the draft document to the line supervision.
- Finally, employees and a good HR rep facilitate a roundtable session using the draft Mission as a guide.
You have a couple of reiterations, meetings back and forth, and then it’s time for “Congratulations!” because you now have a consensus on your Mission. Now, of course, when it is being facilitated, the facilitator must be skilled in getting everyone on board with the final product.
Key is letting your employees know that each one of them has an opportunity to challenge it, provide their personal input and suggest changes, but that, ultimately, when the majority of the employees and management agree to the final document, then it is up to all employees to respect it and support it.
Benefits of Creating or Revisiting Your Mission.
The benefit of creating a Mission or revisiting a current one is that it opens up the communication process inside of your organization. An effective Mission is based on input and commitment from as many people within your organization as possible. A Mission statement should not be an autocratic version of Moses and the Tablets. All of your employees must feel and understand your organization’s Mission. Only then can they make the necessary personal commitment to its spirit.
Tips for great Missions:
- Keep it short.
- Describe WHY customers will buy from you.
- Define your product or service clearly.
- Identify WHO is your ideal customer.
- Specify WHAT you offer your customer — benefits, services, advantages, etc.
- Delineate what makes your product or service different from that of your competition.
Google: “We organize the world‘s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Starbucks: “We inspire and nurture the human spirit — one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.”
Share with us your experiences with your Company’s Mission. How was it created? Who was involved, how would you have changed the process? Is the Mission applicable to you and your coworkers? Share with us and help the community to learn and grow.
High-performing organizations have a clearly defined Vision. This Vision helps guide all its employees and supervision to their desired destination and explains why. Companies who have a Vision have a workplace of direction, purpose and achievement. These companies have a Vision of where they want to be, and do the appropriate things to get there. All along the way, they have employees who are enthusiastically a part of it, eagerly supporting the Vision.
What Is an Organizational Vision?
A Vision that is optimal is one that has been created, or at least contributed to, by all employees of the organization. Like the Mission, the more buy-in the organization has, the greater the effectiveness of the Vision. The Vision should be inspiring! It is where you want to be! The Vision is what you seeing occurring as you deliver on your Mission. It is where you want your organization to be in five years. We define it as five years but you may prefer to extend that, or, if you are a start-up, you may want to start with a three-year Vision. We prefer five years, because that is a reasonable amount of time for most companies to get to the next step. The Vision must be realistically achievable. If you own a pizza shop, it would not be wise to say your Vision is to grow to a $2 billion-dollar market value. But, an achievable Vision might look like: “We will grow to be a regional choice by consumers by expanding to 10 locations.”
Reflect on the following questions as considerations for building your Vision:
1. How are the market and customer base changing in the next three to seven years?
2. How will that create opportunities for the organization?
3. How can we meet the gap between now and our Vision?
4. How will we surpass our competitors and seek greater market share?
5. What are we doing collectively to capitalize on the changes in business conditions and needs of the business?
Amazon “Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
Nike “To be the number one athletic company in the world.”
What is the difference between Mission and Vision?
The most asked question to us surrounding Mission, Vision and Core Values is: what is the difference between a Mission and a Vision? Your Mission is what you do best every day. Your Vision is what the future looks like when you deliver on your Mission so exceedingly well.
There is, unquestionably, a key to high-performing organizations. That key is Vision — a Vision that ignites the employees of these organizations to achieve great things!
When I worked with the Gatorade Division of Quaker Oats, we smoked the competition. Why? We had Vision. And every employee who worked there bought into that Vision. Powerade and All Sport didn’t have a chance. In fact, where is All Sport today? If Gatorade did not take them out completely, they certainly limited their capabilities!
The problem is not with workers in the U.S. What we have today is a problem with leadership — leadership that lacks the ability to create buy-in for excellence in Vision achievement.
If you are a leader, you must develop a Vision, and develop it with employee input. If you are an employee, make sure you buy into your organization’s Vision. If it needs tweaking, ask to do so with respect. Your leadership will appreciate your interest!
Let’s all work together with our organizations to create Vision, to create a hope and future for everyone.
We Value your Comments. Please share your thoughts on having an Organizational Vision. How do they fit into your workplace? Do you have a Vision where you work right now? Have you worked at a high-performing organization that did?
All organizations have Core Values. Few organizations memorialize them; almost none manage them.
Organizations tend to be meshed together by a unique blend of personal and corporate values. These values are important to its employees, leaders and stakeholders.
What exactly is a Core Value? A Core Value from our human resources perspective is one that reflects the heart of your organization. It is what makes your organization tick; it defines your organization. It is how your vendors view your behavior toward them; it is your culture when dealing with customers.
It is what employees tell their neighbors and friends when they ask what it is like to work at your organization.
One of the most important aspects of Core Values is where they come from. Core Values need to be shared across the organization, but they also need to have a reference point. Your Core Values should include a statement highlighting that reference point.
We are a family-owned and operated organization. As such, we respect each other and collectively support the following Values in the way in which we do business and treat each other both internally and externally to the organization.
Efficiency: We pride ourselves on speed — and, yes, we are accurate!
Individual Responsibility: We believe in holding ourselves accountable. We deliver on our own promises and we always endeavor to use good judgment.
Quality: We do not compromise on quality. Quality is job one.
Ownership: We own our decisions, we own our mistakes, we own our achievements.
If you have not yet defined what your Core Values are, it may be time for you to solidify an agreement on which Core Values are important to your organization. This should be done with care, because, by now, leaders and employees have created their own values, and they are not always aligned with the owners or senior managers.
In the development of Core Values for a seasoned organization, the process should be shared, not just top down. Brainstorming should include several layers of employees and are often best done in focus group format, where groups of employees nominate a representative to meet with the facilitator, and the ensuing Core Values should be agreed upon and understood.
Naturally, there are some Core Values that are nonnegotiable, such as Trust or Integrity but the core value, the true heart of the organization, is what is valued collectively by employees, and is not necessarily always what the top leaders think or want.
How many Core Values do you need?
Some companies have as many as ten Core Values. We believe that ten Core Values is too many. Instead, we recommend three to five Core Values. Fewer Core Values not only ensures that these are your true core principles but, also makes it easier for your employees to remember them easily. It is also easier to manage within your HR processes.
Below is a laundry list of the Core Values we have compiled that we find most valuable, to enable you to best select what is truly most important to your organization.
Accountability — We are responsible for our actions, which, in turn, influence our customers, vendors and coworkers. We hold ourselves and each other to a high standard of accountability.
Balance — We create a work environment that promotes healthy lifestyles and celebrates family-work balance for employees.
Biblical Principles — We are a company founded on Biblical principles, therefore, all we do we entrust in God.
Civic Responsibility — We honor our coworkers and our communities by our motivation, knowledge and ability to actively participate in our communities as volunteers and leaders.
Compassion — We show kindness for others by helping those who are in need.
Courage — We face difficult situations with confidence and determination, standing up for our convictions, even when some of the decisions we make are right, but not popular.
Commitment — We are committed to ourselves, our vendors, and our customers; it is through commitment that we will all achieve.
Community — We are committed to the communities in which we do business and our employees live, work and love.
Consistency — We pride ourselves on our reputation for consistency.
Diversity — We respect diversity of race, gender, thought, interests, and ideas.
Efficiency — We pride ourselves on speed — and, yes, we are accurate!
Empowerment — We create an atmosphere that allows others to achieve through their unique contributions.
Fairness — We pride ourselves on having a work environment that emulates fairness. We treat people equally and make decisions without influence from favoritism or prejudice.
Fun — Work does not need to be painful or joyless.
Honesty — We believe in consistently seeking and speaking the truth in the workplace. We believe in a workplace devoid of lying, cheating, stealing, or any other forms of deception.
Individual Responsibility — We believe in holding ourselves accountable. We deliver on our own promises, and we always use good judgment.
Industriousness — We realize the intrinsic and extrinsic rewards of putting forth efforts to achieve our goals; we celebrate our team’s unique abilities to contribute to prospering our organization.
Innovation — We create before others do!
Integrity — Without integrity, we are nothing!
Justice — We consider the perspectives of others and demonstrate the courage to be consistently fair while treating all with equal dignity and respect.
Leadership — We lead with conviction and understanding.
Ownership — We own our decisions; we own our mistakes; we own our achievements.
Passion — We love what we do, and our heart goes into our work.
Quality — We do not compromise on quality. Quality is job one.
Respect — We maintain a work style of trust in all our interactions.
Respect — We value our vendors, our customers and ourselves; we treat others as we would want ourselves to be treated.
Risk Taking — We take calculated risks, learn from our mistakes, and grow in our successes.
Safety — We are accountable for our personal safety and helping our coworkers maintain a safe environment.
Service Excellence — We provide best in class service to our internal and external customers every day.
The best Core Value is one that you and your teams identify and create together. Please post below what your experiences have been with Core Values and share a list of those values that you think are integral to every organization.
Oftentimes as I meet with people to talk about bettering their HR practices, I use the term “Kingdom Minded” company.” More often than not, they are intrigued by the terminology I use in reference to helping them build their companies. Many Christian business people, pastors and Christian business consultants may have their own opinions or definitions of what a “Kingdom Minded” company is.
I have developed what I believe to be a fairly clear, actionable and measurable way to articulate what a “Kingdom Minded” company is, thus exciting business owners to invest their time, dollars and energy into making their company prosperous and reflective of Christ. So, let me begin by outlining what comprises the framework when building a “Kingdom Minded” company.
Over the next few weeks, I will walk us through a more in-depth look at each piece of the framework. I will ask you to look internally at what you believeyour “Kingdom Minded Purpose” is for your company. In building a “Kingdom Minded” company, the model I have developed contains the following ingredients, listed in order of importance.
These same principles that apply to marketplace businesses do apply to non profit organizations as well.
A “Kingdom Minded” company:
- Puts Christ First
- Has a Clear Mission
- Has a Clear Vision
- Has Core Values
Has agreed upon Goals and Objectives, especially in:
- Customer Service
And finally, Strives for Prosperity jointly for the good of its owners, employees and company’s community.
If you want to enjoy prosperity, you must look inward and address these critical aspects of running your organization.
Having spent over 20 years in HR I can tell you companies that have a well developed and bought-in Mission, Vision and Values will far exceed those who do not. Take a look inside your own organization. Do you have a Mission? A Vision? Core Values? How are you with setting or receiving expectations through organization goals and objectives? Do you collectively work together as a Team for success and prosperity?
Today’s churches sit empty. More than any other time in history, your employees spend increased amounts of time commuting to and from work, working in their workplaces, and working evenings and weekends, disengaged from their families and communities. These increased hours have resulted in employees spending more waking hours at work than they spend at home with their families, with friends or volunteering in their communities. Because of this, we all have an opportunity and a mission: a mission to reach those who need saving. This is the world’s untapped harvest, a field of opportunity. And, as God proclaims, we need more workers into his fields.
Matthew 9: 35-38 (NIV) The Workers Are Few 35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
In the United States, according to a December 2008 Galluppoll, 42 percent of U.S.residents — that’s about 128 million Americans — claim that they attend religious services at least once every week. This number is probably misleading, because many people may embellish their attendance a bit out of a sense of guilt or obligation. However, assuming it is accurate, that still leaves a whopping 58 percent of U.S. residents who do not attend any form of religious service each week. This is a concern, because it indicates that, statistically speaking, your employees are probably not spiritually grounded.
This is where Christian business owners and executives
must step in to help God fill the void.
As a human resources professional with 20 years of experience in both public and private companies, I can tell you from firsthand experience that the lack of faith in our workplace affects every aspect of the workplace. Employees’ lack of time to focus on their own spiritual needs will undoubtedly affect productivity, quality and safety. Harder to measure but just as important, it affects their and their coworkers’ morale. Employees lacking in faith will bring far more problems to the workplace than those who are seeking God or are Christ followers.
You can try to run your business without God.
Or you can include Him in your plans.
I urge you to include Him.
God is the ultimate business partner!
Therefore, those of us who are hesitant to embrace Christianity in the workplace must really look at it, not only from a spiritual perspective, but also from a business perspective. Far from being self-serving, this conveys the responsible attitude of a business owner, attempting to prosper their business for the financial security and future of their employees and employees’ families.
Makes Financial Sense
Leading a company with Christ-centered values just makes good business sense. I believe that Christ-centered organizations can experience:
- Lower absenteeism
- Higher quality products
- Fewer employee morale issues
- Safer work environments
- Better perceptions by customers and vendors
What I have found to work
You must have a Vision, Mission, and Core Values. Many business professionals stop there. I urge all of you to go further. Integrate your core values
into your Human Resources practices. This will:
- Memorialize your standards
- Provide guiding principles in all you do
- Make your values easily understood by employees
- Drive a values-based culture with your customers
Don’t just hang your Vision, Mission, and Core Values on the wall! Integrate, Integrate and then Integrate some more. Get your values into your culture and make it an intrinsic part of the way you work.
I believe that employees who work for an outwardly faith-based Christian organization are committed at a different level than those in non-faith-based organizations. Employees are more likely to go the extra mile, to trust their leadership, to deliver on their promises and be led by those who demonstrate Christ-like servant leadership, because they can!
Feel free to reach out to me and ask for my assistance in helping you develop and prosper a “Kingdom Minded” company. Contact Us
Have you worked for a company that has been outward in their faith? What were some of the obstacles the leadership faced? What were some of
the benefits that the company enjoyed because of their desire to lead with principles? What’s your opinion? we would like to know.
Post your comments below-