A few years ago, I read a book called The Dream Manager by Matthew Kelly, and it blew me away.
The general premise that I took away from this four hour read is that if you care more about your employees’ personal goals than the company work they are doing, they’ll go through brick walls for you to build your company.
Sounds odd, but focusing on employees’ dreams will change them forever, and they’ll associate that positive feeling with your company.
How to Use Dreams
One easy, fun and impactful system you can put in place is called the “101 Dream Goals.” Give each employee thirty minutes and have them write as many things they can think of that:
- They’d like to buy
- They’d like to do
- They want to learn
- They want to try for the first time
- Personal goals they want to achieve
- Sights they want to see
- Places they want to go
Then start spending time every day or every week helping them to make their dreams happen, one by one. Many of them won’t involve any time, or money either. Employees will begin to feel a huge connection with you as you help them to achieve their personal goals with nothing expected in return. When employees see the company really caring about them as people with dreams, some pretty awesome cultural stuff starts to happen.
Three of my employees had student debt and they felt like they were being crushed by it. They had no family support showing them how to get out of it and it never would have come up had they not written “get out of debt” on their list of goals. I asked the three of them if they were OK with me getting them all together to help them out. All expressed interest in meeting up, so we set up a dinner club. For a few months we met to review budgets that included debt repayment, investing and spending plans I’d put each of them on. Within six months, all were either out of debt, or substantially on their way. In addition, two had started companies, all were investing, and two were actually using my stockbroker as an adviser.
Another one of my employees had on his list that he wanted to watch our national hockey league team, the Vancouver Canucks, have a pre-game practice and then sit behind the bench to watch the actual game. For him, it seemed like an unattainable goal. I made one call to Mike Johnson, the Assistant Coach from the Vancouver Canucks, who not only made it all happen, but a few of the players took Geoff out for drinks after the game.
And yeah, he’d go through brick walls for me now, too.
When you really care for your employees like the family you say that you are, that means care for them personally.