I heard Sadie’s Mom say, “This is the REAL Santa!” Sadie looked at her Mom, glanced back at Santa, and then shrugged her shoulders. Nothing was said, but her body language clearly indicated to me – I will decide ‘that’ for myself. I drew nearer and asked if they would be seeing Santa – shopping – or both. Sadie eyes met mine – she smiled (maybe it was my elf hat) – and politely said, “We’ll be doing both. This will be my sisters first time, but I have shopped here 3 years in a row.” Her Mom smiled and nodded in agreement. They then proceeded to the waiting line for Santa.
About 20 minutes later we ran into each other again. I don’t know who was beaming more – Sadie or her mom. Sadie now talked faster than an auctioneer. She said, “That is ABSOLUTELY the real Santa – Mom was right! His beard is real. His suit smells like a wood fire. His sleigh has wheels on it too, just in case there is no snow at some kids’ houses. He loves little marshmallows in his hot chocolate and sugar cookies are his favorite. He knows all of the reindeers’ names. His belly jiggles when he laughs. (She then took a big breath) I can’t wait to see what he leaves under our tree Christmas morning.” Her smile was priceless - she absolutely BELIEVED!
Beliefs are important, in life and in work, because they influence how people think – feel – and ultimately act. How employees act then impacts an organizations brand, customer service, innovation, internal culture, and ultimate performance. So as we enter 2014, here’s a fundamental question to consider – what do your employees believe about the year ahead?
Here are 10 things employees in high performance organizations will go into next year strongly believing:
- Ethics and values apply ALL the time for EVERYONE
- Strategy is achievable because each individual knows how their work impacts it
- Leadership genuinely care about its’ employees through actions not just words.
- Customers have a choice and must have needs met or they leave. That hurts everyone.
- Competition is external and very real. It is respected but never feared.
- Change is hard but an absolute necessity to survive and thrive in today’s economy
- Teamwork must extend well beyond an immediate work group. It flourishes when there is mutual trust.
- Inclusion means breaking down perceptions of exclusive rights, privileges, and thinking
- Balance to meet the organization’s three major constituencies needs (shareholders, customers, and employees) is essential. ALL are important and none like to be taken for granted.
- The company advertised externally is indeed the one they work for internally
Sadie’s beliefs about Christmas morning totally changed when her Mom introduced her to the REAL Santa. What or who do you need to ‘introduce’ your employees to that will allow them to believe and achieve high performance in 2014?