What does your company’s mission have to do with caring for your employees? It’s critical. An employee’s fit with the vision of your organization is as essential as the technical competencies required for the role!
A company’s mission determines its motivation and broader vision for how we hope to impact the world. It is tempting to compromise on core principles when we’re feeling pressured to maintain a complete organizational chart, but it’s a temptation we must resist, especially when bringing in new hires. Being good stewards of a company God has given us means choosing well and caring for our employees too.
Alignment and unity
Alignment with our mission, vision, and core values evokes strong unity. As Jesus put it, If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand (Matthew 12:25).
He was countering an assertion made by doubters with a principle that is unarguably and universally true. No organization can survive, let alone thrive, with antagonism and division.
Employees are all going to fall somewhere along a spectrum between advocate and antagonist, in terms of company mission and vision. Our goal is to cultivate and nurture all of our team towards alignment and pulling in the same direction toward our mission and vision.
Much of our team may fall somewhere in the middle as neutral participants, but we must be aware of the threat of teammates who are antagonistic toward our culture, particularly if we lead with a business-as-ministry mindset. Sometimes, in the early stages of tug-of-war, there’s only subtle resistance. This may include inconsistent (or total lack of) participation in company activities such as teambuilding, Bible studies, prayer, or community service.
At this juncture, the divide may be dismissed as the harmless pursuit of personal freedom. However, resistance can become more destructive in time if antagonists negatively affect their peers in their rebellion. If someone is continually hindering the effectiveness of our culture and refusing to align with our mission, we must re-evaluate the relationship.
Do we diligently foster and stimulate alignment of our talent with our cultural vision?
Casting a clear vision can be a remedy for a house divided. So can establishing core principles, hiring with transparency, communicating with purpose, and engaging the leadership team. We can be proactive about alignment, vigilant about drift, and serious about course corrections through clear and consistent communication and accountability.
Do we diligently foster and stimulate alignment of our talent with our cultural vision through essentials like pre-employment documents and conversations, onboarding, employee handbooks, regular performance and development reviews, and workplace culture assessments?
Our model for talent development
Jesus didn’t wait for perfectly incubated leaders to apply for his mission. He also did not depend on wooing talented apprentices from other rabbis and zealous movements to build his “A-team.” Jesus found unsuspecting and undiscovered “talent” and invited them on a formational journey to develop the potential he saw in them. Once Jesus invited Peter and Andrew to be “fishers of men,” they immediately followed in obedience on an adventure full of unknowns toward a phenomenally worthy vision and destination.
Leaders who operate with a stewardship mindset view their relationships with their employees through the lens of the gospel. This actually provides them a tremendous advantage in a marketplace hungry for purpose, significance, love, authenticity, relevance, and integrity.
Jesus boldly asked people to follow him with an invitation to become something (Matt. 4:19) when he could have just snagged “stars” from high-class synagogues. Then, less than four years later, the marketplace was “astonished” by the bold speech of “uneducated, common men” such as Peter and John (Acts 4:13).
How does the way we develop talent impact the lives of those whose careers we help to steward? What will our legacies in the marketplace be for the people who work for us?