How to Attract Top Talent at Your Company

7 Ways an InSPIRED Culture Keeps the Best People

Lack of direction, definition, and subsequent re-work exhausts the team, leads to missed deadlines, and lowers productivity. 

About $1 million is wasted every twenty seconds due to poorly executed business strategies. You might as well light your revenue on fire, because poor execution will send whatever you earn up in smoke. 

When you hamper productivity, blow through finances, and destroy relationships—even unintentionally, you create the unholy trinity of culture gone wild. 

In the end, when you fail to execute, you’re not only hurting the bottom line, but also betraying the trust of your people. Who puts faith in someone who can’t be trusted to complete the plan? When trust leaves, commitment isn’t far behind. 

If you promise an inspirational culture but don’t deliver execution, inspiration turns to exasperation, especially for the top talent you need to stay engaged on your team. Remember, talent always has a choice. 

The best people want to get things done, not stagger in and out like zombies. 

On the other hand, a team that drips Inspired Culture can plan to catch—and keep—top talent that keeps them on the rise. 

You Can’t Afford to Miss This

If you’ve had the privilege of working in an InSPIRED culture, you’ve already experienced some of its benefits. But you may not have realized how deeply this kind of culture can impact the entire organization. 

In my years of working with companies and helping them build InSPIRED cultures, here are some of the benefits I’ve discovered. 

InSPIRED culture…

  • Attracts the top talent. Talent always has a choice. Especially in today’s highly mobile work environment, the best people can go anywhere to work for anyone. So why would they choose you? A healthy culture produces all the intangible quality-of-life benefits that top talent demands. Even if they may be able to make more money elsewhere, they’re more likely to join a team where they like the leader, are treated fairly, and feel connected to a sense of purpose.
  • Maximizes top talent. A healthy culture is a pro-growth culture that seeks to empower everyone on the team to deliver his or her best in the areas of their greatest strengths. If you think it’s too much trouble to maximize your current talent, try not doing it. You’ll soon be left with only the employees who lack both the skills needed at present and the ambition to grow in the future. Not good. 
  • Retains top talent. According to the Qualtrics Global Employee Pulse 2017 study, “employees with a high confidence level in their company’s senior leadership are five times as likely to remain with their employer for more than two years compared to employees with no confidence.” It’s that simple. If your people believe in you as a leader, they’ll stay. If not, they’re five times as likely to leave.
  • Increases productivity. When your employees are engaged, you’ll get more done with fewer people because you won’t be carrying the weight of disengaged employees. At the end of the day, a healthy culture grows the bottom line (and possibly, your own performance bonus).
  • Frees you to focus on the future. It’s amazing how proactive you can be about tomorrow when you’re not having to put out fires today.

Is Your Team INspired or Exasperated?

What are the marks of inspired culture? 

1. INtentional. An InSPIRED culture begins to form when you get intentional. Some companies and leaders try to succeed without ever understanding why. But how can you replicate what you don’t understand?. Excellence is never an accident.

2. Service. More than ever, service matters. An InSPIRED culture serves both external and internal customers. How people experience your team or organization over time becomes their expectation. Their expectation of you becomes your brand. 

Is your brand one that serves others well, or is it a self-serving brand? Do you even know? 

3. Passion. What fires you up? What passions fuel your best performance? Inspiration may influence you, but passion moves you and motivates the people you lead. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what your product or service is—if you’re in leadership, you’re in the people business. And people run on passion.

4. Integration. Everything is connected in your organization. But how well do all the parts and pieces work together? The gears and sprockets that make up the inner workings will determine whether you produce inspired results or the clock expires on your results. 

If you’ve ever found yourself thinking, “It really shouldn’t be this hard,” then you know the pain of disintegration. 

5. Real. As much as business leaders focus on hard data like production numbers and the bottom line, real people touch everything and determine long-term success. Everyone is wired for greatness, but not everyone is wired for greatness in the same areas. 

Consequently, the best leaders develop a team of people who lead where they’re strong and team where they’re weak. To do that, you must first get to know the people you lead in a real way. 

6. Execution. Why do you need to inspire? Results. And to get results, your team has to execute. If you don’t actually get things done with an accountability cadence, all your work becomes merely a relational exercise. 

The reason you need to be intentional, service-focused, passionate, integrated, and real is so you can execute with excellence to achieve optimal results.

7. Develop. Once you achieve excellence, the question becomes: can you sustain it tomorrow, next week, and next year? The best leaders know they can’t stand still—they must continue to develop. So how do you and your team do that? By choosing to get better every day. Leaders must choose to develop continually. 

Top Talent Always Has a Choice

If you promise an inspirational culture but don’t deliver execution, inspiration turns to exasperation, especially for the top talent you need to stay engaged on your team. 

Remember, talent always has a choice. The best people want to get things done, not stagger in and out like zombies. 

BUT—Imagine for a moment that in your particular sphere of influence you create a thriving culture where people are happy to come to work.

They love their jobs and are proud of the work they do. They push each other to greatness and, as a result, they execute with excellence. People are real with each other, because they are living with authenticity. 

They follow their passions, because you’ve put them in the right seat on the bus. 

They serve one another because they know a rising tide lifts all boats. And they aren’t stagnant, because you’ve created a plan to help them develop and grow. 

Do you think a team like that would get noticed in your organization? You bet.

How to Unleash the Power of a Fully Integrated Team

The One Thing Leaders Must Do to Get Results

You probably know the pain.

Investing countless hours in redundant meetings only to find out the right hand didn’t know what the left was doing the entire time.

Getting the runaround between departments trying to track down simple information.

Struggling to get leaders on the same page when communication snafus blow up what should have been a quick project.

The unintended results? Wasted time, project delays, budget overruns, and competing expectations. The list could go on and on.

How many times have you thought, It really shouldn’t be this hard to get things done?

When you do, know that you have identified a point of disintegration.

You’re not crazy. It truly isn’t supposed to be this way.

Don’t bury those thoughts. Heed the signal that your team isn’t properly aligned somewhere.

A leader with a disintegrated team is like the emperor with no clothes. Everyone knows about the problem except the leader. If team members believe stress, struggle, and production pain are just “how it’s supposed to be,” they’ll continue to suffer and unintentionally underperform—until disaster strikes.

Thankfully, you can avoid million-dollar mistakes before you lose any more time, sleep, or your most precious resource—people.

3 Levels to Release Remarkable Results

While disintegration is not sustainable, integration changes everything. I’m not talking about perfection, but rather the alignment, understanding, and adaptability of the group for the mission as it unfolds in real time in the real world.

So, what kinds of things need to be integrated? Here are a few examples:

  • Culture and values into hiring, on-boarding, and daily activities
  • Management modeling with daily habits
  • Strategy and strategic approach with marketplace wants, needs, and reality
  • Product and service offerings with customer wants or needs
  • Strategy with organizational capabilities and capacity
  • Strategy and operations with systems and processes at scale
  • People and processes
  • Change appetite with change metabolism

Complete integration requires attention at three levels:

  1. You. The first person you need to integrate is yourself. If you are scattered regarding a vision for your team or dysfunctional when it comes to your own ability to get things done, you can’t expect everyone else to have clarity.

[call out] Leaders set the tone and pace for the team.

So, ask yourself: How am I integrating with coworkers, team members, customers, mentors, other influencers? Where do I need to step up my game?

2. Your team (internal customers). Once you’ve addressed your own integration challenges, consider the integration of your own team with others in the organization. Integrated teams are drawn together holistically on a shared mission. Ask:

  • Do I know the critical people I need to integrate with?
  • Do I intentionally reach out to peers?
  • Do I know what their personality style is and how best to integrate with that style and communicate in their language?
  • Can I trust them to have the know-how and flexibility to either get the job done or to communicate their problems?
  • Do they trust me?

3.  Your external customers. How integrated are you with your external customers? Customer integration means you know your target audience well. You are on the same page with them and understand their problems, pain points, needs and wants. Ask:

  • How accurately am I working to solve real customer problems with my product or service before they even know there is a problem?
  • How easy am I to do business with?
  • How seamless would customers say our interactions are?
  • Do customers come back to us?
  • Do they tell others about us?

When you intentionally integrate fully with yourself, your team, and your customers, everything starts to run more efficiently. Zombies disappear and work gets done.

Integration Begins with YOU

You don’t have to be a military leader or the coach of an underdog sports team. When any team is integrated and functioning properly, the results are truly inspiring.  However, you are responsible for equipping your team to run at an integrated, day-to-day level.

At its core, communication begins with you. Are you talking with your team or at your team? Is communication one way or actual? Integration runs on dialogue.

The most important thing to realize is that integrated teamwork begins and ends with leadership.

Model integration for your team. Make it a priority. And you’ll enjoy plenty of first-place—even come-from-behind—finishes of your own.