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Aligning Employee Behavior – Here’s an idea!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016 - Joe Kiedinger

I previously wrote about my experience at Disney Institute. Disney has proven that culture is built by consistent behaviors of employees, or in their case, cast members. Here is an idea to begin the process of making the behaviors you desire clear to your employees. You can start it now – Create a constitution for your company.

A company constitution is similar to our U.S. Constitution, but not as long or complicated. The leadership team needs to begin by identifying four or five core values that will be the foundations of decision making. Popular core values I have come across are integrity, safety, execution and courtesy to name a few. Here are the steps to creating your company constitution:

  • Step 1: Hold a meeting with key employees. If you have a small group, say less than 20, invite them all. Have an easel with a large paper pad handy because the top leaders will be taking the notes and simply asking questions.
  • Step 2: Talking stick. Use a symbolic talking stick (could be a marker, pen or teddy bear… for fun). Only the person holding the proverbial talking stick can speak. This ensures that only one person is speaking at a time and all participate in the discussion.
  • Step 3: Start with the first core value. For the sake of this example, let’s use ‘courtesy’ as the core value. The leader asks the team, “what are some behaviors we can engage in that will help our core value of ‘courtesy’ come alive?” Hand the talking stick off and each person gives an idea and passes the stick. The ideas are documented on a large easel pad. Individuals are allowed to pass if they can’t think of something. Go around the circle at least three times. Do this with each core value.
  • Step 4: Organize. The leadership team gathers the data and weeds out duplicate responses. They then create two or three behaviors for each core value and list them in a constitution.
  • Step 5: Develop a “Good Going” program. Leaders create a program that acknowledges people living these behaviors and giving them credit.
  • Step 6: Debut the constitution. Organize a small party or gathering so that the leaders can read through the constitution for all employees to understand. They announce the “Good Going” program and could even decide to include these behaviors in reviews or huddle-ups. In other words, they announce how people will be rewarded for living these values and that they are a condition of employment.
This is what Disney does, and also what we do here at Prophit. We can help facilitate this for you if you like. We do constitutions for companies across the country. It’s a simple, but powerful experience that helps align desired behaviors that bring financial results!  Read more about our own constitution here.

Joe Kiedinger

ACTION PLAN: Identify your core values and get started. No better time than NOW!

 

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