This Post From Guest Blogger Buzz Rooney
I have always worked in small HR departments where I am one of 2-3 staff members, wearing multiple hats and juggling competing priorities all day, every day. I am generally orderly and mindful in my work and in my record-keeping. That is an essential skill in this profession where historical data can be called upon at any time for analytics or legal scrutiny. When my staff asks me how I keep it all together and remember to start, track and finish all these tasks, I jokingly say “I don’t remember anything. I just do what the Outlook reminders tell me to do.”
Still, there are times when I sit at my desk and look at the piles, issues and emails that all need to be addressed and I have no idea where to start or how to get it all done! When that happens, I take a deep breath, pull out a piece of paper and make a list.
Habakkuk 2:2-3 (NKJV) – “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time”
- Written plans set priorities and give focus. Once you have dumped your brain and written down everything, you can organize the list according to what is most urgent and important. You may be able to get help or delegate tasks. You may find that there are items that can be postponed or removed altogether. You may find tasks that can be merged together. However, when thoughts are just rolling around in your mind and piles of work are all around, you have no idea of any of these things! Deadlines get missed and important items get forgotten. This is not what God would have for us. God wants us to be productive and meet needs through our work (Titus 3:14). Being deliberate and logical in our work can help us achieve this.
- Written plans make it easier to measure effectiveness. When you maintain a list of to-do items or another type of action plan, it is easy to see not only what needs doing but also what has been done. There is a great feeling that comes from conquering tasks on your list (Proverbs 13:9). It gives us a sense of accomplishment that can help keep us motivated to continue working hard in pursuit of our goals (Galatians 6:9).
There are two clear pitfalls to avoid in when preparing the lists and plans for our work.
- Complicated, confusing objectives. The Scripture calls for us to make things “plain” so our plan is easy to follow. Keep things clear and concise.
- Lengthy, lofty outline. The Scripture calls for us to create plans for “an appointed time.” This is why long lists without clear time limits are ineffective. Keep things specific and finite.
Whether it is a strategic plan for the organization, a meeting agenda or to-do reminders for the day – the ability to create and follow a written plan is critical to consistent performance and long-term achievement. God wants us to be effective in our work. He also wants us to be organized and methodical. And when we look to Him for strength and guidance through prayer and meditation, we can rest assured that He will direct and keep us on a path to success (Proverbs 3:1-8).
Buzz Rooney is a practicing HR Professional with over a decade of experience in the production, manufacturing and retail industries. She has Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies with a focus on Organizational Communication and Leadership as well as a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management. Buzz is also a blogger and part-time HR consultant. Read more of her writings, connect and contact her at www.thebuzzonhr.com
Many people think about them, but very few actually have them. Personal Visions and Goals. Personal Visions are important to have. If you have one and focus on it often, you will ultimately steer your life toward obtaining it.
Think of your vision as your compass, your GPS, or — my personal favorite — a lighthouse at the beach, to lead you through the storms and past the rocky ocean waves you’ll encounter as you make your way toward your final destination.
In developing your vision, ask yourself:
What do I want?
It may sound like a simple enough question, but it’s one of the toughest to answer.
So, ask yourself again.
What do I really, really, truly want for myself?
If I could have the kind of life that would make my heart sing, what would it look like?
At this point, your heart may be beating a bit faster. Can you really have that kind of life?
Yes, I believe you can. I’ve done it and I’ve helped a lot of clients lead passionate and fulfilling lives. It starts by defining what that life could look like.
Now, let’s talk goals. You must establish personal goals in order to get to where you want to go, as outlined in your Vision. As an example, here are some parts of my vision and related goals this year:
- Start a business that will grow itself, ultimately turning it into a non-profit;
- Manage time more effectively to end my work day by 5PM in order to spend more time with my wife and daughter;
- Finish and publish my book;
- Expand my prayer life by surrounding myself with prayer experts;
- Spend quality time with my wife by planning two weekends away with each other;
- Attend at least one in-person seminar or conference to further hone my skills or personal growth;
- Share how to build “Kingdom Minded” organizations by speaking at ten to twelve events or radio stations this year;
- Do a five-night backpacking trip;
- Grow my social media presence by 20 percent;
Give yourself permission to dream about your ideal life, even if you spend just five to ten minutes a day, and consider the following:
- What really is my relationship with God? Have I put my full trust in Him?
- If I could have more of something in my life, what would it be?
- What should I eliminate from my life for good?
- Which relationships do I need to nurture, or which ones should I release?
- What is my relationship to money?
- My secret passion or dream is…
- What am I most afraid of?
- What habits should I quit?
- What can I do to bring more joy into my daily life?
- What am I grateful for?
These questions are just a starting point, so take into account all major aspects of your life – friends and family (immediate and extended), church friends, charity work and, of course, fun and recreation. Also, examine thoughts centering on your daily career, activities, spending habits, your personal wellness and fitness, spirituality, and, of course, your spouse.
Got Vision? We would love to know if you have walked through this process before. What was the outcome? Be a difference maker today and inspire a reader by leaving us comments. Have a great week.
Our Latest Podcast
Week 3– What is an Organizational Mission?
Tune in and enjoy listening to Mark A. Griffin, Chief Consultant, inspire you as he dialogues with host Dee Kovach on, What is an Organizational Mission? Let Mark inspire you to be bold in your faith as you learn to navigate the complexities of faith in the workplace. Be encouraged as you learn how to develop a high performing organization through your HR practices.
“Praise HIS Name” in partnership with “In HIS Name HR LLC” announce the launch of a twelve week radio series highlighting faith in the Christian owned business workplace. Tune in and enjoy listening to Mark A. Griffin, Chief Consultant, inspire you as he dialogues with host Dee Kovach, exploring twelve inspiring weeks of Christian Business topics.
Listen or download on iTunes here: Click
Listen on line right here:
What to Do Next
So there you have it. The past few blog postings have given you plenty of ideas on how to integrate your MVV into the culture of your organization through your HR practices. There is a lot to digest, especially if you are not an HR practitioner. Don’t be overwhelmed by the possibilities before you. Simply work out a plan with your Team.
The first step is to create your Mission Vision and Values. Always include your employees in the process. Hire a good facilitator if necessary, but get this done for the sake of your organization.
The second step is to document what HR practices you currently have in place and what practices you still need. This may be a good time to bring in an HR expert to, at minimum, consult with you to help you understand what practices would serve your organization best.
My firm specializes in conducting a thorough examination through a rigorous HR assessment. Contact us today if you are interested in powering your organization to the next levels of performance through the development of HR practices that drive yourMissionand support your Vision in a way that personifies your wonderful Christian values.
Wrapping It All Up
Family-owned companies, as well as non-profits, have a distinct advantage over their secular counterparts. This advantage is the flexibility to state where they are coming from and how and why they are founded, without being accused of proselytizing in the workplace. Simply stating that your organization is “founded on Christian principles” is enough to let the public know where you are coming from and clear the air that you are not requiring your employees to commit to a certain faith’s principles.
We all have choices to make as leaders. We can choose to leave behind a legacy that our families, employees and communities can remember, or we can take an easier route, put our heads down, and reflect the politically correct agenda to which we have all been assimilated. The decision is yours and yours alone. Of course, the Holy Spirit has a lot to do with it, and I am confident that, when you consult with Him, you will choose the right path — the right path to avoid worrying about sharing your faith through your MVV with your employees, community, customers and vendors.
Having met with hundreds of people regarding the process of building Kingdom-Minded organizations, one thing is for certain: many recipients of this are frightened by the thought of sharing the message of Jesus with their employees. They are even frightened at the thought of insinuating that they are believers. I try to comfort them; I try to console them; I pray with them and I pray for them. But, at the end of the day, they need to make the decision for their organizations. They need to decide that the message of Jesus Christ is and will always be first and foremost, ahead of their companies and their own uncertainties.
When I started my HR consulting firm in April of 2011, I, too, had a decision to make. I could take the easy route and mask my purpose under a secular type of business model, content to secretly connect with Christian leaders to help them develop their companies to be Kingdom-Minded, or I could step out in faith and “out” myself as a Christ follower to my world of secular business associates. Having friends and contacts in senior level positions at some of the most politically correct organizations in the world made me understandably somewhat nervous as to how they would perceive the path I had chosen to take. Some of these executives are at such companies as Pepsi, Merck, Kodak, Armstrong, PayChex — the list goes on. Although most of what I do does not fit within these organizations, most of these specific executives have helped by connecting me to Christian-minded business people who could help prosper my business.
Ultimately, I decided to “out” myself, and, since then, I have received incredible, gratifying, heartfelt compliments spanning across my secular business network. What made me decide to go outward and name my firm “In HIS Name HR, Christian Business Consulting” was my reflection upon the passage of Matthew 25:14–30 NIV Edition
His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”
So, let me ask: if this was your last day and you were to meet God tomorrow, would you feel as if you had shared the message of Jesus with all whom you knew? Are you truly a good and faithful servant? I know that, when that day comes, I want to be able to look in God’s eyes and ask, “Father, was I pleasing? Was I a good and faithful servant?” I want to hear that, yes, I was.
What are you going to hear when you ask?
Integrate — Performance Reviews for Success
Probably one of the least liked HR processes of all organizations is the dreaded performance review. However, it does not have to be that way. Performance reviews should be beneficial not only to the organization but to the employee.
Key components to a successful process include:
- Built-in commitment to your MVV
- Shared goals and objectives throughout the organization
- Employee ownership of career and job performance
- Simplistic but meaningful processes
- Solid guidelines and commitment from senior leadership.
Commitment to your MVV
If you want your Team to fulfill your Company’s Mission reach your Vision and operate within your Values, you must build these into the Performance Review process. When you do, it shows the organization that leadership believes in the MVV so much that they have included it in the measurement of employment performance. Ensure your goals and objectives are aligned with your Missionand Vision; if they are not, you must question why they are in place. Most organizations that we support appreciate us walking them through a simple Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis to help develop goals for the organization. In the area of Values, always build your values and other important values into the behavior section of the Performance review form; we will discuss behaviors in more detail later in this chapter.
Shared goals and objectives
In high performing organizations, including those that I have worked for, have all had Performance Review processes that were aligned to shared goals and objectives through the organization. Typically the scenario worked like this: The CEO would develop four to six goals and objectives that would then be approved or renegotiated by the board of directors. Those goals would then cascade through the organization all the way down to, for example, the third-shift sanitation employee at the plant in Arkansas. The employees would then align what they needed to accomplish within their scope of authority against the goals of the person(s) above them.
The review process primarily focuses on annual goals, and very little on the mundane aspects of day to day work that is reflective of what the job description dictates. The daily work should be accomplished, and, if not, the employee should be managed through disciplinary procedures.
I have had the experience of employees approaching me earlier in my career at the end of the performance review cycle. Oftentimes, their approach was because they never had met with their managers even one time during the course of the performance cycle.
Make no mistake: they are at fault as much as their inept management.
Employees must take ownership of their careers, their development and their performance. Those who do not simply will not survive in this economy. Part of ensuring that they take ownership, and helping them to understand it, is ensuring that the process is clearly defined, i.e., that the employee is obliged to prepare performance form materials, and be proactive in scheduling a performance review meeting with their manager if the manager is not. If the manager still fails to meet with them, the employee has an obligation to go to HR or, absent HR, the manager’s superior. Doing nothing should never be an option.
Simplistic but meaningful processes
Twelve-page forms and manuals that exceed sixty pages will just not work. Ensure your process includes easily understood documentation, and a review form that does not exceed a good resume length, that is, two pages. Keep the form limited to four to six operational goals and three to five behavior-based goals.
Never have a process that is void of behavioral objectives.
I have had the misfortune to work with several teams that insisted upon only production-related goals. They killed each other in the process to achieve them, and, when challenged, they would always say that they were not being measured on niceness, but solely on how many widgets they made! Balance your performance scorecard, and you will have better results.
Solid guidelines and commitment from senior leadership
When we describe “solid” guidelines, we mean guidelines that are not created in a vacuum, by one person high on a mountaintop. Guidelines should be developed by a cross-functional group of employees from a variety of areas within the company. This brings a rich blend of thoughts and experiences to the table.
Regrettably, most of the HR people that I have worked with during my career are just not capable of coming up with such solid guidelines without assistance.
It is a sad statement to make regarding my profession, but I gave up defending much of the deficiencies I discovered years ago.
Senior Leadership must buy into the process and support it. If they don’t, it is doomed to certain failure.
Years ago, I worked for a company in which, no matter how hard the CEO worked on convincing the president of a particular division to manage the performance review process, this president would balk. The division president’s lack of commitment transcended the organization. The process became a joke, and no one nurtured it. I look back at the company now and wonder if things could have turned out differently. They have closed half of their plants, and shed several thousand employees. It might be a stretch to link this to lack of leadership in embracing a performance review process, but I do believe that, if Innovation was a top goal for the years heading into the downturn, that company could conceivably have created new products to sustain employment for those who were laid off. Sad, but this is often the case. Managers: stay committed!
What has been your experience with performance review systems? Do you like them? Hate them? We would like to know. Please leave us a few comments to broaden our knowledge. Thank you.
In HIS Name HR is currently accepting dates for January through March 2012 to present, “How to Build Kingdom Minded Companies.” This presentation is designed for Christian-owned businesses with 50 or more employees.
With over 20 years of Human Resources experience ranging from Fortune 100 (Kodak, Quaker Oats, and Merck Pharmaceuticals) to small- and mid-sized companies, Mark Griffin has seen it all. Please come and enjoy Mark’s presentation on how you might best build Kingdom Minded Companies in today’s politically correct business world. Let Mark inspire you to be bold and brave in your faith by ensuring Christ is present in your workplace.
If you have a conference, roundtable group, seminar series or a Church business group that would be interested to have Mark address them in person, please contact us at your earliest convenience to book your event. Additionally, if you know of a pastor or Christian leader who might be interested in hearing this message or supporting a presentation, please forward this message to them.
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.
Enjoy listening to this recent interview with Glenn Mertz on WHKW-AM Cleveland Ohio
Mark will discuss how Christian business owners can prosper their businesses using sound HR Practices while being outward in their faith.
A Little bit about Glenn:
Glenn Mertz hosts Living the Word, a program with a purpose. Glenn talks with people both nationally and locally who are Living the Word. Be encouraged and challenged as you discover how others are living out their Christian faith.
Glenn Mertz guides you through an incredible line-up of Bible teachers each weekday morning on WHKW. Glenn started in radio at Baldwin Wallace College and has worked at stations including WMJI, WWWE and WEOL. He’s now at Salem Communications at AM 1220 ‘The Word’ (WHKW), and hosts the daily Christian talk show ‘Living the Word’ (weekdays 10:30am). Glenn lives in Elyria with his wife, Jackie and his children Rachel and Evan.
A Little bit about Mark:
Mark has a Bachelors degree in Human Resources from Saint Leo College and an MBA from Bloomsburg University. Mark Lives in Manheim Township Pennsylvania with his wife, Gail, and daughter, Emily. Mark attends LCBCChurch and also leads a Career Ministry in which he helped start 6 years ago. Mark is really passionate about the workplace, and especially Christian business owners’ opportunity to reach their employees. He believes employees and companies should work closely together to prosper the company for mutual purposes.
Mark is Chief Consultant, In HIS Name HR LLC, a Christian Business Consulting firm that he created to help Christian business owners prosper their business and engage their employees. Join Mark on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Interview begins at about 32:00 into the broadcast.
Also available to download on iTunes here. Click
In the past several years I have had the honor of meeting with Christian professionals across a variety of states. These professionals are potential clients, business partners, Christian professionals in the radio and television industry, Pastors of small congregations and Pastors of mega Churches as well. Although we are living in historical times in the areas of the housing crisis, stock market collapse, record deficit spending, global conflict, environmental disasters of record proportion and the moral decay of our society, (wow- I know a long list!) I feel a sense of calm from the Christian community.
What is really inspiring is when you take a step back from it, and really look at it with focus, the sense of calmness is causing non-Christians to take notice, because they are being attracted to what they see as the strengthening of our belief.
As I continue to meet with these optimistic business people, one trend tends to stick out. They all remain focused on remaining true to their faith but also feel a stronger obligation because of the current turmoil to express their appreciation of their relationship with God as their stronghold against earthly desires and struggles. We have had trials in our world before. We have experienced wars, the great depression, 9-11, etc. But we have never experienced the overwhelming amount of global change and conflict as we are today. It is so strong many have chosen to not watch the news any longer, many are just tuning out!
The most important thing I find Christian Business owners wanting to do is to be able to reach their people with the faith message without offending them.
I agree this is what many of us are called to do, we just don’t know how and are often scared and intimidated to do so. That is why I am here. I am here to help you through the process, to coach you to encourage you and to develop your Human Resource processes to help you be the company you want to be, not just for you but for God.
So yes dear readers, we are blessed to know the good news. We know God will protect us and carry us through anything that lies ahead. My challenge to you is to do so with encouragement to others around you. Too continue to shine the light for all to see, make people want to be like you for what you have in your heart. Bring more people to the party, many are looking for something because of these times, and you know what to give them.