4 Things Your Team Manifesto Must Spotlight
Done well, and this mother of all one-pagers can provide direction and inspiration.
When you want to keep your team on the same page, it helps to have that page immediately available for frequent review. Whether it’s Google’s “10 things we know to be true” or the now-famous Holstee Manifesto, putting your philosophy in front of your team ensures that everyone knows which way to go at a fork in the road.
Armed with a manifesto that voices your values, you can ensure team culture is aligned. How? As Patrick Riley, CEO of global accelerator community GAN, explains in his own custom credo: “Having a roadmap in writing allows us to clearly understand the expectations we have for one another.” When your team acknowledges and ratifies the manifesto, all team members know what's expected of them, and they know what they can rely on their teammates for.
As you develop a manifesto, involve your team to ensure it reflects your entire company instead of relating only to those at the very top. You’ll see more buy-in as a result. And no matter your industry, make sure your manifesto includes what your company values in these four areas:
You should never stop learning, especially considering the breakneck pace of change in today’s business world. That’s why the Association for Talent Development recommends a minimum of 40 hours of employee training each year. This is a worthwhile investment for your employees and for your company’s bottom line. A Goldman Sachs survey of participants in its 10,000 Small Businesses program found that increases in employee training corresponded to increases in revenue within 18 months for 74.2 percent of program members.
Depending on the industry, training options might include in-person seminars, professional development conferences, online courses and/or internal mentorship programs. For instance, Marriott International provides employee training, either in person or virtually, in a number of different areas, including leadership skills and work-life balance.
2. Rest and relaxation
Burnout is a real thing, and you should always be on the lookout for the symptoms. While you’re playing defense against burnout, don’t forget to play offense. A manifesto that outlines the importance of rest and relaxation might be your best bet. By placing the value of rest top of mind with your people, you’ll see opportunities to proactively combat burnout.
Unilever, for example, provides a quiet room so employees have a place to de-stress, meditate and relax during the workday. In addition, tech companies such as Google provide sleep pods where employees can take a rejuvenating nap. A study of first-year medical residents published in Academic Medicine found that those who napped increased their cognitive function and experienced significantly fewer attention failures than those who didn’t; it’s no stretch to think the same would hold true for your team members.
A good manifesto will make it known that your employees and their time are valued. Constant interruptions can add up quickly throughout the day, which is why communication channels such as Slack have added a “Do Not Disturb” feature. Have your team agree on certain hours during the workday when interruptions are kept to an absolute minimum. Utilize tools at your disposal, such as that "Do Not Disturb" feature, to help your team maintain focus.
That said, it’s also important to meet regularly with employees. Far from being time wasters, regular meetings with managers triple employee engagement, according to Gallup. Adobe and GE, for example, both saw a significant impact when they exchanged their performance reviews for frequent -- usually biweekly -- one-on-one meetings between employees and their direct supports. Adobe reported a 30 percent drop in voluntary turnover, and GE saw a fivefold productivity boost in just one year.
Business is a team sport, so it’s no surprise that a deeper connection with your teammates improves outcomes. Gallup research has shown a direct link between employee effort and having a best friend at work. “When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute,” explains Simon Sinek, a marketing consultant and speaker.
Employees see their co-workers more than family and friends, so it’s only natural that having strong relationships in the workplace would result in employee happiness. Take steps that help foster bonds between employees, whether it’s implementing pair programming for developers or taking a team on a company-sponsored outing.
Your manifesto is more than a document. It’s a statement about what your organization holds dear and the culture you’re trying to create. Make sure to highlight your values in the four areas above; you'll enjoy watching your employees buy in with renewed enthusiasm.
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor