People move businesses forward, but are you giving them the right direction?
In my career, I’ve focused a great deal on the people side of how businesses operate — how creating a great culture through developing inspiring missions, crystal clear visions, and uncompromising values can catapult a middling business to a 10X-level organization.
I’m still laser focused on how teams push businesses forward, and how a business’s ability to set clear expectations for its people is a critical foundational element to any successful business.
Just think about a business’s core values for a moment. Doesn’t matter what kind of business it is. Its values create an organizational code for everyone in and outside of the business to understand what the business stands for.
They create a system of accountability that everyone who is a part of that team must adhere to in order to meet the expectations of the brand — it’s what leadership intends, it’s what the clients deserve, and it’s what the team needs in order to operate at its highest level.
Does your business have core values? Here’s why you should!
Now, think about a business that has zero organizational values that they abide by. Some of you might be shrugging your shoulders and thinking, “So what?” but the reality is that companies with no established values are forging a path of chaos when it comes to the most fundamental aspects of the business.
Values help define the sales process, the customer service experience, how we support employee goals, how we hire new talent, and yes, how we fire people who aren’t performing.
And you, the leader of your business, are the person who this starts with.
Here are three critical questions that leaders need to ask themselves in order to help establish core values.
You have to ask yourself:
- What kind of organization do I want this to be?
- What kind of team do I need in order to create this business?
- What kind of leader do I need to be in order to create the environment where they can accomplish it?
Answering these questions honestly and clearly will help you create the environment that your team needs in order to be more effective at their roles, but you have to make sure that your core values aren’t just a few nice sounding words you write on a whiteboard one day.
No, you really have to embody these values — all of you, especially you, so that your team instinctively knows how to personify them, and so that your clients feel their benefit.
So, what does this have to do with firing underperforming employees? Let’s get into it.
How core values shape the company culture and approach to work
At Cardone Ventures, we have a very specific set of core values. Here they are:
- We are inspirational
- We are disciplined
- We are accountable
- We are transparent
- We are aligned
- We are results-oriented
We very intentionally include these core values in everything we do, including our job postings, because we want to set the stage from the moment someone considers becoming a part of the CV world that this is who we are, this is what we represent, and this is what we expect you to align with. Do you see where I’m going with this yet?
We’re telling our people that each and every time we come into the office, that every time we interact with a client, every instance where we’re representing the brand, that this is what the Cardone Ventures experience is designed to be.
Anything less, and it’s not Cardone Ventures. Period.
Do you struggle with how to fire people? You’re not alone.
I believe the reason that so many businesses struggle to find the right talent, keep their best talent, and experience the explosive growth that they dream about is because the dream never gets turned into tangible ideas that can be acted upon.
With our core values, we know that no matter what the task is in front of us, regardless of position, experience, or anything else, that this is how we’re supposed to approach it.
So, now we have, in addition to the specific role and team-related KPIs that you have defined for your people, you also have another metric at your disposal that you can use to measure a person’s performance.
You should incorporate your core values into your weekly one-on-ones, as well as your annual reviews so that there’s no mystery whatsoever related to your understanding of a person’s performance, and their understanding of your expectations.
Do not forget: Documentation is key
As is the case with any people-related activity, documentation is your friend. You should always be documenting your one-on-one and review conversations, and ensuring that your approach to these discussions is consistent from person to person, and, it goes without saying, compliant with your state’s labor laws.
This way, when you have team members who are meeting or exceeding expectations — hitting their KPIs, sharing their knowledge with their peers, taking on new challenges, and exemplifying the values of the organization through those acts — they can be appropriately rewarded.
On the flip side, when it comes to your attention that expectations are not being met, that you’re documenting these performance issues, creating a performance improvement plan (one that includes a timeline of when improvements need to be made), and being clear about the consequences of what happens if they fail to meet those standards.
It’s in this way that you can see a business’s core values transform to what some perceive as fluffy and inconsequential into practical, company-enhancing resources.
But there are even more reasons why having strong, clear core values are central to maintaining your top performers while helping you transition out the ones who aren’t capable of meeting expectations.
Abiding by your core values shows your team your level of integrity
It’s really easy to portray yourself as a hardass businessperson — someone who doesn’t take any nonsense in negotiations or in the way you approach tough conversations with your team.
However, there are a lot of us who avoid facing those situations because we hate conflict. We don’t want to make people (or ourselves) uncomfortable. We want to be liked.
Early in my career, I really struggled with these things. I consider myself a nice person. I want people to see me as a nice person, too.
The reality is, by avoiding having tough conversations with employees who are underperforming, you’re not being a nice person. You’re being a bad manager. You’re being a bad leader. You’re not giving someone “the benefit of the doubt.”
No, what you’re really doing is making the entire team suffer because they have to pick up the slack of the underperformer, and what’s more, they’re seeing you, day after day, talk about the business’s core value of “accountability” while not holding yourself or the underperformer accountable at all.
So, instead of being brave, having tough conversations with underperformers, and transitioning them out of the organization when they haven’t met expectations, you’ve, in effect, poisoned the entire team’s perception of your leadership and the business’s commitment to its own values.
But that’s the worst case scenario! The best case scenario — the 10X Cardone Ventures scenario — is that you hold yourself accountable, you hold the individual accountable, and by doing so, you’re doing the right thing on your team’s behalf while increasing their belief in your leadership, as well as what business stands for because you’re following through.
I know it seems incredible that by just taking the time to identify and act upon your business’s values, that you can positively impact every aspect of your organization, but it’s true. You really can. You just need to be intentional and actionable and accountable in this process. I’d love to show you how.
Want to learn more about core values for businesses? Join us!
Since our inception, Cardone Ventures has been helping businesses from every sector understand their potential while giving them the insights they need in order to 10X their results.
If you’re a business leader who wants to finally break through to the next level of success, then I want you to join us at our next live Cardone Ventures event. Aren’t you ready to 10X your life? Then register now before it’s too late!