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Building Hope

By Tim Saumier, President of TYGES International

We were fortunate to have Francis Bii visit our office in Williamsburg, VA – Francis is the gentleman who is the primary point of contact in Kenya (Elderot) that is building an orphanage that will house 200 orphans with AIDS. We have joined in with this vision to help build this orphanage.  We are doing our part at TYGES by making placements (Connecting Great People with Great Companies).  For each placement, TYGES will donate $100.00 toward this cause. The plan is to break ground on the orphanage later this year.Kenya - Frances Bii

More than building 200 rooms…we’re building hope for 200 kids that have no where to go.

TYGES has partnered with Williamsburg Christian Church (Fred Liggin is the pastor) and the church itself has stepped up and said it will collectively raise $110,000 this year to build the orphanage – so we are in essence donating money to the church who has created a separate bucket to collect the monies. From there, it is then given to the Christian Relief Fund who oversees all uses of the $ globally. One of their partnering charities is ECAN which is headed up by Francis Bii. Kenya - OrphanageIf you click on the ECAN link, it will give you multiple warnings because it is from Kenya; but rest assured, it is fine. When looking at their site, you can see they do a number of things; yet, their primary objective currently is to raise money to build the orphanage.

As you can see from the elevation and blueprint, this is not a luxury condo.  Yet, a simple, safe, and secure shelter to foster development for a future, to be nurtured, and to provide the basic needs to survive (a.k.a HOPE). Kenya - Orphanage2Francis shared that once they receive the money, they will break ground within a week.  This home will take about six months to complete…all by hand and all out of bricks.  Once completed, it will then become the permanent home for 200 children who have literally no place to go. Not a bad return on investment.

I encourage you to take a look and if you ever want to communicate directly with Francis his email is franciskbii@yahoo.com. If there are any questions, you can ask me as well.

Thanks for the support.  I welcome your feedback as we continue to make an impact in our local community and throughout the world.  You can find me on LinkedIn and at Twitter you can find me at @timsaumierTI.  Also, you can learn more about TYGES at www.TYGES.com, on Twitter @TYGESInt, or here on our blog. Our mission is simple:

We’re here to make good things happen to other people.

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A Company’s Culture

by Kraig Ware, VP of Operations, TYGES International

I am sure you have heard the corporate buzz, it’s all about Company Culture. If you Google the phrase, you will come up with a plethora of information. I found over 293 Million self-help articles and other items to help you create, fix, and/or change your company’s culture. Wikipedia’s definition states:

Organizational Culture is the behavior of humans within an organization and the meaning that people attach to those behaviors.

Some of us might say, “Who cares about that kind of stuff?” I mean, come to work, do your job, and then go home…right?  If this is you, good luck in today’s business climate. Clocking In2Young or old, we all like to be a part of a team (family) to achieve a common goal within our businesses. This gives us a common purpose, as well as, the incredible feeling of accomplishment as a team. We spend well over a 1/3 of our life at work…you should like what you do, how you do it, where you do it at, and most importantly, why you are doing it.

So, what is the best company culture model to follow?

We all want the quick fix; yet, I am afraid that this issue is not that simple. Just look around you, our world is full of great folks with different backgrounds, values, motivations, and goals. There is no one-size fits all.

Regardless of your choice, every business has an existing culture. So ask yourself questions like:

  1. Do I currently like my company’s culture?
  2. Does everyone buy into our culture?
  3. What can be done to change or enhance our culture?
  4. Does our culture reflect “why” we are doing what we do?

Let’s look at it this way. This past winter we had a snow storm that hit us in the overnight hours. The following morning, I looked out the window upon the landscape and as if for the first time, everything looked different. The snow had covered the ground, outlined the tree branches, and icicles5icicles had formed on the overhangs. Overnight, my environment had changed. Continuing with this thought, what if I wanted the snow and icicles to go away? What would need to take place?

If the environment stays the same, so will the culture.

Unlike the snow and icicles, a company’s culture doesn’t form overnight, it takes much longer. The same is true for changing or enhancing a company’s culture. For the snow and icicles to go away, the environment must change (i.e. sun and temperatures above freezing). Not only does the environment have to change, these environmental changes must be prevalent for a long period of time. In this example, to melt the snow and ice.

To change or enhance your company’s culture the environment must change AND this change must be prevalent for a long period of time.

Perhaps you are where you want to be…you and your “entire” team are in perfect harmony, while crushing every goal on the horizon.

looking out3If so, keep a look out for the snow storms before you wake up and everything has changed. Perhaps, you are not where you want to be. Knowing this in itself, is a step in the right direction.

One tip I will give you comes from our Value Statements, “Do what is right, not what is easy.” Keep this outlook on your horizon, with it, great things will be accomplished.

I welcome your feedback and your stories of how your culture is impacting your team. I would enjoy connecting with you on LinkedIn and at Twitter you can find me at @SKraigWare, as we continue to pursue excellence in our business and in our lives.

You can learn more about  TYGES at www.TYGES.com, on Twitter @TYGESInt, or here on our blog.  Our mission is simple:

We’re here to make good things happen to other people.

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Trending Toward A Positive Workplace Culture

By: Jonathan Bogush- Director of Connectivity

As a recruiter, I’ve learned two important things since our economy has been clawing itself out of recession:

1. Many employees within Fortune 500 manufacturing organizations toil to the point of exhaustion at jobs with little appreciation or meaning but plenty of distractions.

2. Less than half of the employed individuals I speak with are satisfied with their jobs.

While this may sound very gloomy; I believe that in 2015 a much sunnier story is taking shape. sunnyToday, there are a variety of forces that are pushing the workplace in a better direction. These factors include the rise of life/work balance-minded, meaning-seeking millennials, increased transparency into organizations, and mounting evidence that high-trust cultures lead to better business results. Thanks to these and other positive trends, there is no doubt that we’re at the beginning of new era where positive workplace culture is trending. I believe that in the near future, all people can expect to work for an organization where they trust their leaders, enjoy their colleagues and take pride in what they do.

This trend in positive workplace culture is in keeping with the rise of business sustainability, the emergence of the “purpose economy,” and the attention to reciprocity’s role in success. What’s more, signs of this new era’s dawning can be found in many sectors of the economy. Even the culturehardheaded manufacturing sector is finding a heart, in part because blending head and heart pays dividends, both in a healthy business and happy employees.

To be sure, there are countervailing forces to this positive workplace culture trend. For every well-tuned leadership team creating a culture of transparency and accountability, there are shortsighted stakeholders who oust leaders that are pushing too hard to invest in their people. On top of that, the occasional economic slowdown can make it hard for an organization to retain the long-term vision that is needed to build a positive workplace culture.

So how does an organization defend its workplace culture against setbacks caused by shortsighted Crushstakeholders or the occasional ebb and flow of economic conditions? I believe the key is to embrace the culture attributes of trust, pride, and camaraderie. Trust is developed over time as employees experience leadership through a manager who promotes two-way communication, demonstrates competency, maintains a clear vision, matches actions to words, and treats employees with respect and fairness. Pride relates directly to the employee and their belief that the work they do is meaningful and making a difference in their organization as well as creating a positive effect in their community. And camaraderie is something that employees need in order to feel a real connection with their co-workers. Many times camaraderie can be accomplished when employees can be themselves, experience a sense of fun, engage with friendly co-workers, and experience a sense of community or family.

One thing is clear: companies that embrace a positive workplace culture will be better positioned in their particular marketplace; they will see more meaningful engagements with their employees and customers and thereby see better business outcomes. In addition, they will see a variety of internal benefits ranging from recruiting advantages to more effective innovation at the strategic level.

With all this said, it is clear that there are plenty of organizations that do not provide great workplaces, but I am confident that powerful forces will continue to propel the positive workplace culture trend I am seeing today. Good luck in 2015! Feel free to reach out to me directly to discuss in greater detail.

You can learn more about  TYGES at www.TYGES.com, on Twitter @TYGESInt, or here on our blog.  Our mission is simple:

We’re here to make good things happen to other people.

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Time for a “Real” Litmus Test

by Kraig Ware, VP of Operations, TYGES International

Your company has them…mission statements, value systems, core beliefs, etc. These important principles are critical to a company’s identity as they define the culture and overall goal as a business.

I am sure that when you came through your initial training with your current company that these items were recited, you signed off on them, and perhaps during the initial tour of your facility, you might have even been shown the “velvet rope protected” and “framed” copy outside the CEO’s office. Here are two questions for you:

  1. Other than that, is there proof of your mission, values, and core beliefs during your daily business activities?
  2. More important than your perception, “What about your customers?

I can still remember during my Middle School Chemistry Class using Litmus Strips to identify different solutions. It was a pretty simple process, simply dip the Litmus strip into the “unknown” solution and then remove. At that point, the Litmus strip would change colors. From there, you would compare the color to a chart providing you with a pretty accurate idea of the acidity or alkalinity of the solution.

Your Mission Statement, Values, and Core Beliefs are no different from the Litmus Strip. Neither tell you much, until a “real” Litmus Test is performed.

So how do you perform a “Real” Litmus Test on your Mission Statement, Values, or Core Beliefs? Simple, you need social proof that they exist. Proof is not that they are written on a wall, posted on a website, recited in training, or told during a coaching session…they must be observed by you, your team, and your customers. At TYGES we have this defining language as well…one such value statement is:

Respect and value the team above yourself.

Sounds pretty simple, right? It’s the “golden rule” in a business setting. However, what if one of your top sales persons or one of your top producers wasn’t a team player? I mean, you could just look the other way and enjoy the short-term bottom line results OR you could come alongside, meet them where they are, and try to align them with your company’s culture. What if that is not successful? What then?

When I first came on board at TYGES, our team was faced with this exact scenario. A little background, I personally knew the owner of TYGES for about 15 years prior to working with him. I knew where he stood personally, I had recited the value statements and signed off on them; yet, it was time for a “real” Litmus Test.  I had just gotten back from a visit of one of our satellite offices. During the trip, I along with some other team members had observed some things that did not align with our values as a company. When we got back, I can still remember saying during a follow-up meeting:

We can look the other way and enjoy the “short-term” success to our bottom line OR we can stand on our Value System and do what is right for our team

What happened next was vital. Not so much for the individual of concern; yet, for the entire team and the social proof that was needed to be clear that our Mission Statement, Values, and Core Beliefs were not just words on a page; yet, the life blood of our organization. We chose not to look the other way and corrected the situation the very next week. Unfortunately, it meant we had to let a “top performer” go and to be honest, that was a very tough decision to execute. Yet, our team is all the better for it today and has become even stronger. So, what about you and your company?

I welcome your feedback and your stories of successfully performing a “real” Litmus Test where it counts the most…social proof.  Take a second and answer the question below, “Would your company pass a “real” Litmus Test?”  Also, I would enjoy connecting with you on LinkedIn and at Twitter you can find me at @SKraigWare, as we continue to pursue excellence in our business and in our lives. Learn more about TYGES at www.TYGES.com, on Twitter @TYGESInt, or here on our blog.  Our mission is simple:

We’re here to make good things happen to other people.