This statement is both a challenge and an invitation to take on a role in which you’ll actually be able to make a real difference.
When people read such challenges it is easy to think that it’s true for someone else but not for them.
It is easy to think that such a statement does not apply to warehouse employees, because traditionally, warehouse positions are not seen as being influential.
Five of the executives in my company, including myself, all started in the warehouse. If we had truly believed that this challenge did not apply to us, we would not be in the key roles that we currently hold.
You can make a difference, if you share the company’s values.
Have a mission.
My company’s mission is to improve the quality of people’s food and create more opportunities for people to eat better and healthier.
This is not easy to do while still remaining profitable.
So when looking for people who might be a fit, we are looking for people who know how to contribute.
Contributing is not just doing a job.
Contributing is about being fully engaged and working as a team to accomplish a mission. It is about sharing this mission and the values that support it. This is essential to every position, including the warehouse, sales and executives.
It is not necessary that employees share our passion for food, however they do need to share our values. Everyone seems to develop this passion for food eventually, after exposure to our culture and environment.
This type of engagement — help accomplish a mission— has benefits in both directions. Since we fully engage and grow with those who share our values, we stand by each other during periods of personal challenge.
A company’s life is much like a person’s life,
…having both good and bad times, with changes along the way.
Our company has moved from a very controlling and productive culture to a more engaged but less productive culture.
The pendulum has swung a little too far in one direction. Although the engagement is great, and we certainly need to maintain the positive changes that have increased happiness, we need to gain back the productivity that has waned, and then do even better.
To achieve this we need to go back to the four values that started the company:
- and contribution,
and start actively living them again.
When this imbalance occurs, ask for help from each and every employee to return to the company’s core values while maintaining and supporting the new culture of engagement.
So yes. Each employee can make a difference. The actions and attitudes we share will allow continued growth and sharing of our passion for food with more and more people.
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