My faith is very important to me and an integral part of my life. As with all personal preferences and private details, this aspect of my life is usually hidden from plain site in business relations and activities. Unless I've built rapport with a client that extends beyond standard business pleasantries, most would have no idea how I vote and how I worship.
I must admit: my mind wandered during yesterday's gospel at mass. I couldn't stop thinking about the second reading, and how much it applies to my business philosophies.
First, the reading:
1 Cor 12:12-30
Brothers and sisters:
As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.
Now the body is not a single part, but many. If a foot should say, “Because I am not a hand I do not belong to the body,” it does not for this reason belong any less to the body. Or if an ear should say, “Because I am not an eye I do not belong to the body,” it does not for this reason belong any less to the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God placed the parts, each one of them, in the body as he intended. If they were all one part, where would the body be? But as it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I do not need you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I do not need you.”
Indeed, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are all the more necessary, and those parts of the body that we consider less honorable we surround with greater honor, and our less presentable parts are treated with greater propriety, whereas our more presentable parts do not need this. But God has so constructed the body as to give greater honor to a part that is without it, so that there may be no division in the body,
but that the parts may have the same concern for one another. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it;
if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy.
Now you are Christ’s body, and individually parts of it. Some people God has designated in the church
to be, first, apostles; second, prophets; third, teachers; then, mighty deeds; then gifts of healing, assistance, administration, and varieties of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work mighty deeds? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?
The very opening is perfect for any business! "Regardless of your position, we have one mission."
Like the parts of the body referenced above, each department in an organization is unique. There are specific people completing defined duties, separate and equal from other departments. Receivers in your warehouse must check-in merchandise, while operations associates focus on putting the right products in the right places at the right time with the right signs at the right prices, while cashiers quickly and accurately record transactions, customer service agents tend to clients' needs, sales associates push merchandise, visual merchandisers guide displays and signage, supervisors and managers guide the business and direct the action executives plan for the future, ensure marketability, profitability, and efficiency. Without one department, the business picture is incomplete.
As a manager or director, it's important to make sure your team stays motivated and acts in harmony. Your receivers don't need to know the detailed actions required for your cashiers. But they must understand how their positions compliment each other. I like hosting small departmental meetings, focusing on tasks, priorities, updates, and expectations pertinent to each individual group. This makes for maximum efficiency and targeted development. Additionally, regular meetings with the entire team emphasize mission-centric action, positive attitudes, and allow for group celebration of success and identification of opportunities for growth and development.
Don't just wait for a scheduled meeting to communicate with your team! Provide regular feedback by coaching in the moment. If you see behavior that's above and beyond your expectations, praise your employees straightaway. If you observe tactics that could use additional training or tweaking, discretely and quickly identify the actions in question, facilitate a review, document the conversation for training and development tracking, and move forward without delay.
An informed team, clearly aware of their job description, your expectations, working toward the mission of your organization is the end goal. When you take good care of your employees, they in turn take good care of your customers.
Talk the talk and walk the walk. With an added dash of style + class.