Do we put too much energy into things that have no value to the organization or our customers?
Many companies have their iconic image or tagline. Marketers will build whole campaigns on these types of images. Consider this, are we spending too much time on who we think our customers think we are and not enough building on who we actually are? Yes, I deliberately complicated this sentence. Do you think the customers at Chotchkie's (featured in the video above) had a substandard restaurant experience because Jennifer's character had a substandard number of flare pieces? Aren't the pieces of flare representative of a larger company value, a fun atmosphere? Shouldn't the manager have been more focused on the customer experience rather than the flare?
I once worked for an employer that had a row of sayings on the wall in the executive wing that were meant portray their company values. They had statements like "disagree and commit" or "team one is number one". These statements were what the organization wanted to value and what they wanted their staff to embody. The problem was that the management never got these values out of the executive wing to the staff. Most staff couldn't even tell you what these statements meant and certainly didn't know how to embody them. How do you think this impacted customers?
Customers know what you value by what they experience. If the Chotchkie customers have a fun experience, they will dub Chotchkie's as a fun restaurant, regardless of how many pieces of flare any one person wears. If the "team one is number one" company ensures that across the organization the goal of every department is to support the overall company goals, won't the company's goals be supported? I think so.
For employees to successfully represent your organization, you can't have them focusing on the pieces (flare) of what you think represents the organization. For the success of your employees and your organization, your employees need to know why you are and what you value. In Simon Sinek's book, Start With Why, he provides a clear case for focusing on why your organization exists. Sinek, provides evidence for focusing on why the organization exists and for making organizational decisions that are aligned with why the organization exists.
In the context of the new hire, how important is it for them to know the "why" of your organization on the first day? How important is it for them to hear about the why of the organization from all of the staff members they encounter from their very first day? Think about the message your new hire gets when they learn about the tasks related to their job before they learn about the organization and why the organizations exists. Think about whether you hired them to perform tasks or whether you want them to work for the why of your organization. How your new hire starts sets the course for how they function within your organization. Make sure the messages they receive reflect what you really value. Otherwise, you have a disgruntled person decorated with useless flare.