Our Primary Job

Our primary job, according Mark Canlis of Canlis restaurant in Seattle is: to help people fulfill their purpose through their work. In doing so they are empowered to be successful in their work. I was a part of a private tour of the Canlis restaurant where they create an experience for their guests. Every team member from the hostess to those working behind the scene understands that they are a part of creating that experience. When bringing on a new employee, during the interview process, Mark checks to make sure that each person hired is a good fit for the company. He wants to know how the company’s purpose aligns with their own goals and purpose.

He asks this question:

“How does working at Canlis restaurant help you fulfill the greater purpose of your life?”
Great question right? As they have tended to and cared for their people year after year, the restaurant has succeeded generation after generation.

Our job is to focus on our people and the positive results will follow.

Why is This Important?

The pharaoh mindset of “make more with less” in the American workplace is hurting our teams and I’m tired of watching it happen to good companies and to good people. It is imperative that change starts with the leaders, every single one of us! No leader or executive has a good excuse for not taking good care of their people while expecting those same people to help make their companies efficient and profitable.

From the Canlis Career Page:


“The only way we can continue to develop the Canlis experience in a way that fits with our mission and values is to invest in our people. We hire learners and we are learners ourselves. Canlis is a place where employees are nurtured and grown. Only then can they truly serve. Additionally, there is a particular humility inherent in learning. We want you to have this…or at least to desperately want to have this. It is a requirement for employment.” (Read more here.)

How to Do it Better?

Follow the example set by Mark Canlis, ask important questions. Here are a few examples:

  1. How does working here support your life goals or your life purpose?
  2. What is your success marker in this position, task, department and how can I help you get there?
  3. What is your biggest hindrance to a successful project?
  4. What is your best resource in a successful project?
  5. Do you have what you need?
  6. Do you understand the goal or desired outcome?
  7. Is there anything you want me to know that I have not asked you about?



In Great Company: How to Spark Peak Performance by Creating an Emotionally Connected Workplace, Louis Carter

Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for your People like Family, Bob Chapman

Lead with LUV: A Different Way to Create Real Success, Ken Blanchard Colleen Barrett

Your Business 2.0

There is always room for you to improve how you support your people. Just because you’ve always done it one way, does not mean you can’t grow, change or get better results.

In previous years, it was easy to get away with turning a blind eye to what’s not working in the employee experience or to just expect your team to hang in there and take whatever comes their way. Nowadays, people want more and will leave a company that poorly cares for them to go elsewhere even if it means less pay.

With all the information available about work, they read about companies like Google, Barry-Wehmiller and Canlis where the employee experience is purposely crafted to produce strategic and phenomenal outcomes for the company and the team and they want to have the same or a similar experience.

The good news is you can create an environment that is conducive to your team thriving and bringing their best to work while supporting the success of the company and cutting down the expense of re-training due to lack of retention and employee turn-over.

You have the power to change the way your people experience work. To do this, the employee experience needs to be elevated beyond a buzzword or line item in your company mission statement to the place of purposeful appreciation, honest reflection and consistent action.

And like the story I opened with, you can turn around a struggling or under-performing department simply by taking care of your people as they take care of your company.

How will you change the game to get better results for your people and your company?

Thanks for reading! Want more content? Read more on our blog here! Have questions about where to start with C3 Advantage? We’d love to talk with you!