We’ve been working on a new mission statement.
I’m pretty sure moonstones mission statement got lost in the shuffle of protecting against going over budget for the building (fail!), hiring great people to run it (success!), establishing procedures and policies and recipes and culture (ongoing!) It’s long overdue–though nonetheless, the culture is strong and rich–our greatest priority regularly evident; To employ only good and caring people.
And, COBBLESTONES’ mission statement is, well, old af. Like, when mission statements were a paragraph long. These days it’s vogue for them to be succinct. A sentence or two. Not my forte…Stay tuned…
We have had a couple submissions from managers, as we consider the essence of who we are. Stones Hospitality Group. COBBLESTONES. moonstones. I know. But…a sentence or two… A tough one.
In the manner of discovering some clarity, we held a new staff orientation for our two stores yesterday.
This was an idea hatched by our first, and thus far only, Director of Operations–The guy who was going to drive our bus to property #3. (That didn’t work out for a variety of reasons–one specifically) But his idea did and his legacy lives on. He posited that as we grow, it is important that the folks joining our team hear directly from the horses mouth (hello), who we are, why and how we got to where we are.
He thought it important that we create that ‘same page’, the inspirational message that represents our cultural soul, from the onset. So, for the past 2-3 years, every couple of months, we collect the few who have joined the team, and we talk about that culture, the caring, teamwork and community, responsibilities and those ideals that we believe lead us to being better–better as individuals, and better as a group. ”All oars in the water, rowing at the same time in the same direction.”
I always look forward to this hour (my pledge!) of sharing and caring and “feel good,” with a proper dose of expectation. Be nice. Be respectful. Be disciplined. Add to the environment.
But yesterday’s meeting caught me by surprise in a big way.
We always begin the orientation by going around the room: Name, which store you work at, what you do and why, who are you? “Hi. I’m Scott. I opened Cobblestones 24 years ago with a dream and no other skills….I have 3 beautiful daughters and a wife of 32 years…”
It has been too long since our last orientation for a number of reasons–so this one was well attended–with over 20 new hires joining since the holidays. My bad for the delay, but, it somehow must have created the formula for an inspirational result. As we went around the room, the common message from those who had been with us for 5 months or 5 days was a whole bunch of “love it here,” “love the support,” “love the patience and caring,” “love the environment and feeling of team” and “family.” It was a common theme and overwhelmingly heartfelt as much as I could tell.
Three employees shared how they had never worked anywhere that was so positive and caring. And at one point, as one grateful staff member shared that we helped “save” her, tears were shed by another. On her behalf perhaps, or on behalf of us all maybe. But I am certain that was a first.
I was extremely grateful for yesterday’s “session” and moved, and thanked those in attendance.
Too often I get mired in the business challenges, the rising costs and growing competition, issues of profit and loss and legislation and local politics and trying to predict the future–and I get too far removed from what I love most about our organization–and industry as a whole–the beautiful, soulful, and caring people that we are committed to surrounding ourselves with!
It was a great idea 24 years ago and a great idea now. That hour was therapy for me, and I will be working on that mission statement today with a quote from one of many I heard yesterday;
“I love how much we care about the people here.”
Like so many things, it sounds so simple. The Golden Rule. Good Karma. What comes around goes around. But to achieve that type of feel good, and cooperation, and spirit of working for each other and a common goal in the workplace is far from simple. And I remain grateful for the managers and their incredible team members who bring that ideal through the door each day. We ARE better, thanks to all of them.