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Ideas in the Wild: How Grant Botma is Reshaping Company Culture By Shifting the Focus Away from Money

We’ve been made to believe that money is the ultimate motivator. We think that businesses who have high-end compensation packages attract the best talent and that well-compensated employees will be high performers and stay content. The stats say otherwise. Top talent and the highest producing employees desire things other than money. Grant Botma wrote his […]

We’ve been made to believe that money is the ultimate motivator. We think that businesses who have high-end compensation packages attract the best talent and that well-compensated employees will be high performers and stay content. The stats say otherwise.

Top talent and the highest producing employees desire things other than money. Grant Botma wrote his new book — The Problem Isn’t Their Paycheck: How to Attract Top Talent and Build a Thriving Company Culture — to help two groups better understand the driving forces behind company culture: business owners and people desiring great employment.

For business owners, Grant shows how to transform their hiring and management practices to build a thriving team of top performers. With a team like that, leaders can focus on delivering their unique value to the business without getting bogged down in the day-to-day tasks. For talented employees looking for more fulfilling employment, Grant offers clarity on exactly what they want from their next employer. I recently sat down with Grant to learn why he decided to write the book, his favorite idea from it, and how he’s applied that idea to his own business.

What happened that made you decide to write the book? What was the exact moment when you realized these ideas needed to get out there?

Several things happened that led me to decide to write the book. I was speaking around the country about company culture, and at one point I paused and looked at my schedule. It was packed with speaking events and tons of travel. I was going to be out of town a lot. What I realized is that I could share my content in a different way, one that would make a bigger impact on the community. So, I decided to put together an online course.

As I was putting together the online course, I was really excited about the positive impact that could be made, but I soon recognized, “Whoa, this is a lot of information. This could just be a book.” With a book, I knew I could scale the impact I was making and reach more people.

What’s your favorite specific, actionable idea in the book?

When it comes to your employees, money is not the primary motivator. Once you know that, you can follow the process in the book to create a purpose statement that your team can be unified around. This purpose is what your company will strive for, and as a leader, everything you do will point back to this purpose. With a purpose statement, motivating people is much easier and it becomes possible to create the type of company culture you want to have.

What’s a story of how you’ve applied this lesson in your own life? What has this lesson done for you?

When I first started my business, I had this long mission statement with all these core values that came after I locked myself away in a cabin. Although what I wrote had a whole bunch of $30 words that sounded good, it didn’t mean anything and was hard to understand.

As a result, our mission statement wasn’t actionable. There was no way I could keep people accountable with it. I couldn’t use it to motivate or affirm them. It wasn’t capable of giving people autonomy or freedom within their roles. I had to start from scratch with our mission statement, and what I did was create a purpose statement the same way I teach in the book.

The way I teach it is, it’s got to be something simple, but it also has to have emotionally charged words. Now, in every single way that I manage my team, I’m able to weave this unified purpose in because it’s simple, actionable, and emotionally charged. Having this has totally reshaped my business, allowed me to motivate people correctly, and helped me build a team of people that is unified together. Every day, when they come in, they know they’re doing work that matters.

As a result, I have a team of extremely high producers. Not just the best producers in our industry, but the best in the country. They’re award winners. It’s awesome to watch.

For more advice on creating a thriving company culture, check out The Problem Isn’t Their Paycheck on Amazon.

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