Let’s be honest: We all want to be “great.” Whether it’s being a great worker, a great boss, a great parent or a great community leader, this mentality is ingrained in us from the beginning.
That’s why it is no surprise that company leaders put a great deal of resources behind building a strong support system around them. There is nothing more powerful than a strong team, and there is little that cannot be accomplished when the right people are all moving together toward a common goal. Whether it is a sports team, a surgical team or a business team, they all rely on each other for the win. Because, truth be told, no one likes to lose.
Creating a winning team is all about developing the culture and the vision.
The vision can be clear, concise and actionable, but if your team isn’t fully engaged, the vision will be lost. Let the key players on your team take part in shaping the company’s mission, vision and values so that it uniquely reflects the culture you will build together. I took my team on a two-day retreat to lead a healthy discussion that resulted in a solid foundation for the company’s future. Today, I don’t think anyone in the company could recite our mission, vision and values word for word, but I do believe anyone could explain the essence of what we stand for, and at the end of the day, that is what’s most important.
It’s one thing to understand a company’s values, but it’s another thing to actually live it. Are your team’s behaviors reflective of your ultimate vision?
Reminders and positive reinforcement will help your employees keep their eye on the ball. For example, we have posters of our guiding values that hang on the walls of our office and on stainless steel water bottles that I gave to each associate. We highlight living examples of our values in each edition of our quarterly newsletter, and each department creates goals with the company mission in mind.
At Moe’s Southwest Grill, we work hard to ensure that we maintain a great talent level throughout all disciplines of our company. From our initial hiring practices to our ongoing associate development, we believe that all of our employees deserve to be the best they can be, both personally and professionally, and we have put programs in place to ensure everyone has the opportunity to be great.
When we recruit new talent, we look for intelligence, integrity, energy and edge, to name a few, and our interview process is a reflection of that. Candidates meet with four or five members of the team and are asked questions that get at the distinct personal attributes we look for. Because we’re all on the same page, it becomes crystal clear who the best candidate is for the job each and every time.
Most important, once you have identified and put this strong team in place, you must allow the team members to spread their individual wings, yet come together to fulfill your vision of greatness.
Continue to develop your team, discuss the future and think in terms of the next five years.
Using your vision, mission and values as a filter for all you do is the secret to creating and sustaining a winning team.
Paul Damico is president of Atlanta-based Moe’s Southwest Grill, a fast-casual restaurant franchise with more than 400 locations nationwide. He has been a leader in the foodservice industry for more than 20 years with companies, such as SSP America, FoodBrand LLC and Host Marriott. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.