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Walking This Road Together Part Two - An Open Letter to Employees

An Open Letter to Employees

Dear Teammate,

First of all, allow us to say welcome to the team! We know when you make the investment of time, energy, and resources to find out whether or not we’re supposed to work together, you are, first and foremost, investing in our relationship. We very much appreciate that and just know we’ll both work hard to get a good return on that investment.

Serving Others First

There are a few things that will help us to thrive together in our company. We know our primary responsibility is to focus on serving others first i.e. to assure the success of our clients, our company, and our team members first. We’d ask you to adopt this same core value and make it your own. When every single person in our company focuses on serving others first we all win!

What does this mean? We’re committed to helping you achieve your goals, we’d ask you to help us achieve ours. How can you best do that? Do these three things as you begin your journey with us.

#1: Learn fast. Stay present and work quickly to develop the skill aspects of your role.

#2: Focus on helping everyone around you succeed first. Oftentimes, new teammates are concerned about the impression they are making and want to be seen as valued. We understand this. The best impression you can create for yourself is to be seen as someone who learns fast and is committed to helping others succeed first!

#3: Get in touch with what makes us tick as a company. Pick up on our driving force. Learn the company’s history and find out how we all got here. We’re writing a great story. Now that you’re onboard you are helping us write the next chapter in that story. Let’s make it even better!

Next, we may not talk about it often enough so ask about our goals and future plans. We do want to accomplish great things with everyone on the team and sometimes get caught up in the busy-ness of the day. You asking about what we want to become and committing yourself to accomplish that vision makes every price we pay worthwhile. There is purpose in all things and us coming together as a team is not by chance or coincidence. I know everything we do together if done in the spirit of serving others first, counts and these can represent the building blocks for what it’ll mean to be a great company.

Make Communication an Imperative

Now that we’re committed to helping each other achieve our goals, I would ask that you choose to believe in us and the reason why we exist. So often when a new employee joins a company both sides start by looking for evidence to support that we’ve both made a good decision. As far as we’re concerned this has already been decided. How do we know? You’re here! We’ve both done our due diligence! We asked you to join us and you did! Let’s now look for and find the evidence that proves we’ve made a great decision!

One of the ways we can talk about this is by keeping the lines of communication open. Things can start to break down when unspoken expectations start to go unmet. When we approach work from the perspective of hoping things work out rather than making sure they work out, we end up on two different tracks i.e. how you want things to go and how we do things here at the company. I’ll share some good advice I received a long time ago: “Learn to do it our way and learn to do it our way well. Then you will earn the right to do it your way.” We want your input! We need your input! But your input will be far more valuable once you can understand and empathize from our perspective. So take the perspective that this will all work out. That the challenges we face are the investments we need to make to deepen our relationship and become a better team.

By the way, since we care deeply about you and your future, let’s make sure we talk about that on a regular basis. We want to know how you’re doing, what you're struggling with, and if you begin to question if you’ve made the right decision. That’s all good stuff to talk about. Too often we don’t take the time to have these conversations and someone suffers in silence. Then one day they make the decision to leave and we wonder what we could have done differently to affect a different outcome. If you find that a mistake has been made, let’s talk about it. Maybe we can adjust your role to inspire you or find another spot in the company where you’ll thrive. In the end, if you have to leave, let us help. We know a lot of other good business people that might benefit from having you on their team. One thing we ask if it comes to this is: please don’t ghost us and please don’t trash us on social media. We’re professionals. Let’s handle it as such.

We very much care for each and every one of our employees. As a result, we have high expectations for you. I hope this comes as good news. We want you to benefit from all the things that make work worthwhile:

Identity - You have a purpose or mission!

Voice - You have a way to express your gifts and talents in serving others!

Belonging - You have people in the organization that care about you!

Mastery - You have the opportunity to advance and show progress!

Tapping Your Potential

We believe in you, and our first responsibility as leaders is to believe in others before they believe in themselves. We promise that if we ever get to the place where this isn’t working for our company, we’ll tell you. In the meantime, we are committed to telling you the “truth in love”. To believe in you and, at the same time, to tell you the truth about your attitude, your skills, your work product, your growth. This can and will be uncomfortable. Why? Because until someone is stretched or pushed out of their comfort zone, they will not tap their potential. You may be pushed out of your comfort zone a bit. But until we are forced to deal with the “conundrum”, the point where two equally valid but opposite points of view need to be reconciled, we will not entertain a new way of thinking, a more productive perspective that allows us to, let’s say, do twice as much with half as much.

We want to help you pay your price to be successful. What is that price? No one knows until it’s paid. Ultimately, it’s reflective of the role you play, the opportunity you have, and the potential you tap. How does telling someone the “Truth in Love” make that happen? Because it’s the greatest emotional investment you can make in another human being. Let’s say you tell someone the truth without love, without believing in them. Then it’s just mean and judgemental. This is what kills most businesses. When “judgment” or the fear of judgment exists, people seek to protect themselves rather than focus on helping others succeed first. Outwardly, it may appear that we’re all doing the right things, but inwardly we know the truth. It’s for all the wrong reasons. It just doesn’t work.

What about the opposite? When you only show love without the truth, it’s just a feeling and too subjective. What’s the proof? Where’s the evidence that you believe in someone? If you really care for them, wouldn’t you have high expectations for them? Neither way alone works. It will not have the desired effect. Telling someone the “truth in love” is exactly the right path. You believe in them (Love) and you give specific feedback about how they’re doing (Truth). Under these conditions, you help others know they’re valued and accepted, and what steps to take in order to grow and progress.

We want you to do hard, challenging work, where helping others succeed does not come without “paying a price”. But in doing so, we know we’re fulfilling our purpose, sharing our gifts and talents, working as a team, and becoming what we’re capable of becoming. We all come home at the end of the day tired with a smile on our faces, knowing we did important work. Now that’ll give us all a good night’s sleep!

The Difference

In the past, we hired a number of people for their skills and experience. In many cases that helped. It also only allowed us to be good. To be great, we had to find those individuals that are supposed to join us on this journey. Those that are meant to help us fulfill our mission, achieve our vision, live by our values, and in the end, help us become our very best.

We’re glad to have found where you belong and are glad you decided that we were the right team for you. We look forward to what we will accomplish together!

With great anticipation and much respect,

Your work “home”

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