Osmosis isn't working for your team?

Having trouble figuring out this creating culture piece? Check out Mike Harris, Owner of Work Cited, and they ways he has rallied his team to think in three key core values.

Content summarized from the podcast:

-Mike started Work Cited right out of college, bringing together his friends to work for him, which started in his parents basement.

-They have learned they have gone through different stages over the course of hiring people

-"Culture and the people that have worked for us have allowed us to bridge gaps that other companies fall into. When you have the right people and you have the right culture, you can push to 125 percent and step over a gap. While you might not have all the systems and processes, you can get over it, and you can figure it out and make it better and faster, more efficient, as you move forward. We had trust.

-"It was right around 10 people, when we started to realize that, okay, we have to start doing something a little bit different. We can't just grow organically. We're going to bring in some new customers through small acquisition and see where that takes us, et cetera, et cetera. So I'd say it was right around 10, when all of a sudden you don't have the trust. All of a sudden now, you've left a company you've work at for however many years. Now you're going to work for Worksighted, and a bunch of young punks, you know? What do they know about what they're doing? We just didn't have the trust, and so that changed the dynamic, definitely, for the first time."

-"I think it's a humbling experience, when you realize that you've lived in this little microcosm. That's all you know, and so you think everything is great. You bring in people from outside, and all of a sudden you realize ... Like when somebody else shows up on the island, it's like, "Maybe I don't know everything." There was just a huge learning experience that happened at that time."

-If you're going to extend trust to these people to be on your team, then you need to take their input. You need to potentially adapt and change and realize you don't know it all. I definitely thought I knew it all. I'm not going to say I haven't fallen into that trap multiple times, and maybe that's just an entrepreneur trait. "I got this."


-In manufacturing environments, I get asked all the time, "What can manufacturers do? I'm in manufacturing, and I'm fighting for quarters per hour to get employees and things like that." I say, "Build a brand. I don't care what you do. Build a brand, a really strong brand for your company that has a really clear message." I always use the phrase "let them wear the T-shirts." Young workers want to work for a brand that aligns, that says something to the world about who they are.

-[Work Cited Values]: I'm most comfortable dressed as a super hero. I'm a unique piece to the puzzle. I'm focused on today, but I dream about tomorrow. And I scoop my dog's poop. These values, their values, but they're behaviors. They're things that can get me out of bed in the morning. They're the things that all of our employees exhibit, that help us understand whether or not you're a fit. But we just said it in everyday language. If you look at our values, they're followed up by statements that help with here's what we mean by this. Not just be ethical. Okay, that doesn't really filter anyone out of the dataset. But when you say things like you have to be someone who scoops your dog's poop, it's all about self-responsibility, but also responsibility for other piles of junk that you might find that might not be yours, right?

-We expect our managers to spend time with all their direct reports. They need to have one-on-ones, and they need to do it at a cadence that makes sense. Most weekly touchpoints, but at least biweekly. They have to have a cadence. They have to be communicating regularly.

-The younger workforce, they want to be coached. They want that one on one, personal interaction. They want the personal investment, the investment of time, to help them understand what's the vision

-The executive team, we have our scorecards we look at. It's just red, yellow, green. If it's green, we don't talk about it. If it's red or yellow, then we need to look at that. So that's where we start to see, do we have managers who aren't doing one-on-ones, or aren't spending time with employees? That stuff is super, super critical.


-If you only talk to somebody once a year and they get off the rails, that's kind of stupid. We for a long time did the same thing. They get off the rails. They don't know it, and you need to bring them back. If you're touching base all the time, not only do you know the things they're working on, the things they're struggling with, and where they need help, and what their objectives are, and you know how to support them, but you're able to address things right away and talk about them right away. It equals a lot less problems.

Teams also need to get away and have time to think together and reflect together. Be able to spend just an hour to be curious about each other. -Denise Van Eck, Owner of Thought Design

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