Trying to get your people excited for their future with your organization? Don’t rely on some tired mission-statement thinking. Instead, make a pitch to the heart of what people are truly passionate about: their own lives.
Imagine this scenario: You’re an executive at a middle-of-the-road company that wants to get better. Time for a ra-ra all-hands meeting. So one manager stands up in front of the staff with some PowerPoint slides and explains how you're going to grow as a company by providing valuable real-world solutions to consumer concerns across multiple platforms.
Manager #2 stands up with even more slides and explains how you're going to grow as a company by combining the values of excellence, cooperation and innovation with market-driven goals to create a culture of productivity and thought.
Then you stand up with absolutely nothing and say, “You know what, people? We’re going to grow as a company by making sure you all get enshrined in the Employee Hall of Fame, so that when you walk into a room, people think, ‘Oh wow, that’s a genuine rock star right there.’
“We want you to come to work every day wanting to knock one out of the park—not because it’s good for our profits, but because it feels awesome to knock one out of the park. There’s nothing better than taking the reins and reaching a level of skill and excellence that drops people’s jaws and has them utter your name with awed respect.
"This company is like a lot of others, but your life is authentic. That's what counts in the end. Now go and make some personal history!”
Think of the reaction to such a statement. You might not ever convey it this boldly, but never underestimate how much people secretly dream of a little glory, on any scale. Make sure they understand that your building is where they can achieve it.