Last week, we focused on defining your culture to impact and change the world. Today, we’re going to delve a little deeper into the idea of culture, how it’s formed and how it we nurture its development at Nick’s Pizza & Pub.
Trust and Individuality are Key Ingredients to Nick’s Culture
For any purpose-driven company, there’s something you need to remember, and that is to encourage your team members to be themselves. And you’ll see, if you trust your people to behave spontaneously on the job, they’ll reward you by drawing the company’s purpose and culture from the one place that really matters – their hearts.
The culture you want comes to life most completely when team members elicit your company’s purpose on their own terms and in their own ways, as a form of self-expression. That’s not going to happen in a command-and-control environment in which the company dictates everything employees do and trains them to behave like everyone else. On the contrary, the best way to ensure that your team members join in your high-performance culture is to let them be themselves.
We trust our team members to resolve conflicts on their own, teaching them how to create an environment in which everyone can talk without feeling belittled or resentful. When we train new employees, we show them how to perform a task correctly and explain how they might make the process their own. In our hiring process, we also screen to ensure that our values align with those of our new hires – something that lets us feel comfortable trusting diverse team members to be themselves.
Employee Behavior: Spontaneous, Unpredictable, Unscripted
It might seem that we’re sowing chaos in our workplaces, but we’ve found that spontaneous, unpredictable, unscripted behavior – far from disrupting our operations – actually enables our team to outperform expectations and arrive at solutions we never dreamed of. That’s because we’re allowing an individual’s genius to emerge in its own way. If we don’t open the door to unscripted behavior (even behavior I personally wouldn’t adopt), everybody’s performance merely conforms to the level of our best manager, rather than being the best it can be for each employee individually.
Are the good sports teams those with a lone superstar or those where everybody else is made better by the superstar? Unscripted behavior creates a high-performance culture by leveraging the entire team’s talents in support of the overall purpose. In letting go of some control – the “trust” part of Trust and Track – you unleash your workforce’s natural passion and allow great things to happen.
Our expectation of excellence is clearly defined in our training in what we call the “Art & Science.” The science steps are the specifics of each job, and the art side allows the individual to be unique. We don’t script the greeting a waitress or host has with our guest when they come in or are at the table; what we do is encourage team members to act as individuals and let their own personality shine through.
Our guideline is as simple as the “grandma test.” If your grandma wouldn’t say it, if your grandma wouldn’t wear it, if your grandma wouldn’t serve it, then it’s not appropriate at Nick’s.