It all starts with Y

Author: Andrew

Categorised as: Resources

Employees can easily understand what a potential employer does but increasingly they are wanting to know why a company does what it does. The financial element is the obvious one but the why can often be harder to articulate.

According to leadership expert Simon Sinek “it is not enough to know what you do and how you do it. At our essence, we are most motivated by knowing why we do things”. This is becoming increasingly important when attracting potential candidates to an organisation, they are able to quickly identify what a company does but to truly connect with an organisation they want to know why.

Once an employee’s basic needs are met, they have a secure employment that provides them with financial security for their family they are then able to move onto making sure their social needs are met. An employee will want a sense of belonging, to join an organisation where they are accepted and have interaction with others. From here employees will want to understand the purpose of the employer or their Why.

This is best illustrated by John C. Maxwell when he wrote about three bricklayers. A man asked the first bricklayer what he was doing, “I’m laying bricks” he relied. The second bricklayer was asked the same question and replied “I’m putting up a wall”, the same question was asked to the third bricklayer who replies “I’m building a cathedral”.

Three different employees can undertake the same task but for different reasons. The first is most probably working for the pay check while the third can see the bigger picture and could be motivated by what he was creating rather than the task itself.
To identify why we are in business and to attract potential employees begin by answering these basic questions.

1. What does our company do?
2. Who are our customers or our customer’s customer?
3. What value do we bring to the end user?

An organisation who is able to identify their Why and align this to the needs of a prospective candidate find it easier to attract, engage, employ and retrain top employees.