Building the Pizza – a.k.a. A goal-reaching culture

Building the Pizza – a.k.a. A goal-reaching culture
“The whole is only as good as the sum of it’s parts.”

– We’ve all heard this phrase before. I’m not going to lie, I have no idea who quoted it first. It’s one of those concepts that is widely known and agreed upon and makes it’s way into many things we are used to. For example, let me paraphrase the mighty Papa John: “Better ingredients, Better pizza”. Same concept, slightly more delicious.

Over the past few months we have interviewed over a dozen people as possible candidates to join our goBRANDgo! team. One of the questions we always ask is “what do you need”. I have been wholly surprised by answers. Please note, these replies aren’t just from the creative types (like myself) that love to get engrossed in projects and need a certain environment to truly thrive… these replies are from strategists, account managers, web developers, sales reps, and designers alike. They ALL answered the same 3 things first: 1) a job where I can a grow    2) a place where I can make an impact   3) a great group/culture of coworkers.  The similarities are dumbfounding. And yes money comes up, but believe it or not, it usually comes in somewhere around 8th on the list.* They are more concerned with becoming a “better ingredient” and being enriched by other “better ingredients” so that they can personally make a difference in the quality of the pizza.

So this is amazing! Young/young-minded vibrant vibrant people ready to “go!” and conquer the world. It’s time to roll, right? But that’s not enough. Excuse the puns, but they’ve got to be baked. (not in a Dave Chappelle way!). We live in an individualistic culture where self-achievement is key to our feelings of happiness and accomplishment. To keep employees charged up and “go!ing” (all energizer bunny-like), they need an environment where they’re goals are listened to, embraced, and pushed to act upon. Where they are supported to accomplish their own achievements.

The 1 hour a month recharge:

At goBRANDgo!, we’ve started monthly accountability meetings. We’ve split up into small groups & go out for lunch once a month. Here we discuss long term, 1 year, 3 month and 1 month goals, both personal and within the business. We end with our own personal task list of to do’s before our next meeting. In last week’s meeting, I watched Jessica’s face light up as she described that she had signed up for a printmaking class at The Firecracker Press. One of Jessica’s long term goals is to make and sell greeting cards. She also has a goal to hone her illustrator and photoshop skills, which resulted in signing up for a photoshop class and the idea of “go! U”, an internal creative cross training program – both of which will greatly enhance goBRANDgo!’s capabilities. I am completely inspired by everyone in our group’s excitement at bettering themselves. We now share a group bond and goBRANDgo! becomes a place where we work together but also a place where we find support and inspiration to individually grow. It’s more than a job, it’s an innovative environment.

Circling back, that pizza is becoming much more mouthwatering and you now have more devoted ingredients. (Ok, so technically a pepperoni wouldn’t go walking out of Papa John’s kitchen, but you get the point). By taking the time to listen to what employees want and by giving them the support to get there, you can create a place where people are happier, supportive, loyal to the company, and  trained to be more productive. It’s like a relationship: You get out what you put in.

Whether you are reading this now as a business owner, an employee, or an individual who craves improvement, I challenge you to find your own to-do list support group. Give it a try. I’d love to hear how it goes! Feel free to post below or email me directly.

*Some of this may be do to the type of entrepreneurial-minded people we are targeting, but I still find the results a pretty amazing discovery. On top of that, of all people, I should of expected this. I’m always preaching about selling on the emotional benefits – How did I overlook how important this is in the hiring process?

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