Five Keys to Protecting Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset: Its People

Your company’s most precious cargo is its people. Each day that you walk into your office, establishment or organization, you are responsible for cultivating the culture. You are responsible for fostering a workplace culture that is one based on commitment and trust. As you nurture and grow the culture of your workplace, it is imperative you realize that your most valuable resource – your most precious cargo, as they say in the aviation business – is your people.

As you look to understand what you can do each and every day to impact your company culture, you need to look at the ways you can best take care of your teams. The foundation of taking care of your people is creating and cultivating a culture of trust. It is only when you cultivate cultures of trust and commitment that you can truly begin to support your company’s most valuable resource: the people within it.

A simple way you can create the professional environment you want is to implement a model, the C.A.R.G.O. model, designed to create and nurture the workplace ecosystem that thrives on commitment and trust.

When the right tools, training and resources are provided, people know they have all they need to succeed. Shown here is chain saw safety training led by Donny Coffey, CTSP, and funded by an Arborist Safety Training Institute (ASTI) grant. Photo by Max Babe.

C: Creativity to address challenges

As you look to take care of your people, it is essential that opportunities are provided that allow for creativity. This creativity is useful for many things – primarily in addressing the many challenges that present themselves constantly in the workplace. When you trust and empower your people to harness their creativity to address and solve problems, it accomplishes many things across the many levels of your organization. Freedom to be creative instills a sense of intrinsic trust and helps reinforce an employee’s innate abilities and talents. Creativity to address challenges strengthens the case as to why you hired them to work in your organization in the first place.

A: Access to tools and resources

When the right tools and resources are provided, people know they have all they need to succeed. Too often there is an expectation of the people in an organization that cannot be fulfilled due to a lack of resources or support. Effective leaders must be prepared to properly equip their teams with the right people in addition to the right tools and resources to set them up for success. Access to the appropriate tools and assets is imperative to creating and building a company culture that is rooted in trust.

R: Responsibilities

It is essential that team members are empowered to own their unique responsibilities in an organization. When team members truly own their piece of the daily duties, tasks and projects, it reinforces the reality that their work really matters. When your team members are aware of their value to the entire operation and that others are counting on them, just like a combat aircrew, they will step up and perform to their best abilities. Empowerment of staff , ensuring that the training and processes clearly define and delineate their responsibilities, will lead to an empowered organization. This empowered organization will be full of team members who know what they are responsible for and are ready to tackle the tasks at hand.

G: Goals and objectives

Goals and objectives of your team(s) and organization have to be plain and clear and articulated in a way the team members can understand and appreciate. The best leaders must share the goals and objectives with the team. Your team needs to know its leaders are fully invested. In turn, it’s necessary for members of your team to share their individual goals and objectives with each other and the leadership. This ensures that everyone holds each other accountable. Beyond holding one another accountable, knowing each other’s goals and objectives allows you to know that everyone is committed, in some shape, form and fashion, for the greater good of the organization and each other.

Goals and objectives of your team(s) and organization have to be plain and clear and articulated in a way the team members can understand and appreciate. The best leaders must share the goals and objectives with the team. Your team needs to know its leaders are fully invested. Photo courtesy of Chippers, inc.

O: Opportunities for success

As a leader, you must provide the opportunities for your people to succeed. These successes exist as large and small opportunities. When provided with incremental chances to succeed and win, team members will stay engaged and continue to be committed to the organization and the team. Consider opportunities for team members to succeed in the simplest ways, ways that lead to team wins, that lead to organizational wins. Everyone loves to win. Everyone loves to be on a winning team!

The most precious resource in your organization, the most precious cargo in your aircraft, are your people. As you conduct business each and every day, are you and the leadership team equipping your people to sustain themselves and your organization through the inevitable turbulence they will encounter en route to accomplish their mission? When you provide your people with the right C.A.R.G.O., you will create, promote and cultivate a workplace culture of trust that is bound for success!

Jason O. Harris is a leadership and trust speaker, consultant and certified character coach. As a decorated combat veteran, Harris brings perspectives gained from his battlefield experience to your organization. Harris’ No Fail Trust methodology was crafted from his own harrowing, life-altering experiences, and conveys the importance of cross-generational communication and mutual trust. Harris enjoys working with organizations and leaders who are no longer willing to settle for cultures of compliance and are ready to build and cultivate cultures of commitment. (www.jasonOharris.com)

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