Category Archives: company culture

Going back to the office

Every Vistage group is having the same discussion: how/ who/ when to go back to the office?  Those who never stopped going in –  the essential in-person company leaders roll – their eyes. They have been masked up and in the office/field the whole time, but what about the rest of us???? >

Recruiting – not hiring

When the pandemic began last year, and many parts of the economy hit a hard stop, I warned that how we treat our team members will long be remembered. They may not leave us in the moment, but the opportunity would come with the recovery. In case you hadn’t noticed, that moment has arrived.

Contacted on LinkedIn, or by recruiters they have never met, our best team members are being hunted and offered really sweet packages. And, when they get hired away because they can’t turn down a 20% increase in their pay (after all they have kids who will go to college if school finally goes back to in-person), you will have to pay their replacement more than your current 10 year employees with more experience. Argh!

What to do? First of all, say thank you. Seriously. Personally thank your team. Individually if possible but if you are communicating by video, look right into the camera and say thank you to your team for getting you through this crazy year. Acknowledge the parents (especially the Mom’s) who heroically kept our families and our companies going. Acknowledge the loss of family members and health that many suffered.

Double down on your great culture. Hopefully, all of the work you did in the last year to focus on your core strengths, to communicate well with your team whether in person or at the work place, to listen deeply to them and to customers, will make you an extremely desirable place to work. So, if a few team members are recruited away, you will be able to replace them with great talent.

Start recruiting now by creating or reinforcing a company presence on LinkedIn that shows who you are. Make sure your website is attractive to potential recruits. Remember, if they are now remote employees, they can work for some other company in another time zone. If you ever were in the driver’s seat on hiring, that has disappeared. If I haven’t scared you enough, read this article from Joe Galvin, Chief Research Officer at Vistage. And, if you company executive, and are not in Vistage, ask yourself, why not?

 

 

Share your why

Given a choice, people do business with people and companies they like. If only Amazon has 2 day service, you might not win customers with a one week delivery schedule and no other compelling value. All things being equal, we tend to buy from people or brands we like or trust. >

KPI’s around cultural diversity

KPI’s or KEY Performance Indicators are typically used around revenue, profit, and activities that lead to them. They may be used around sales activities that lead to closing a deal – like number of cold calls, number of appointments set, number of proposals initiated, etc.

How about using KPI’s to measure culture diversity? >

Seek first to understand and other great habits from Stephen Covey

In 1989 Stephen Covey wrote The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. It is still a source of wisdom to me and one of the few books I revisit to align to my true north. My 2 favorite habits are  “Seek first to understand, and then to be understood.” and “Begin with the end in mind”. They both play a part in today’s discussion. >

Mentor, don’t instruct

How often does someone try to delegate up to you? Hey boss, how do I get on the shared drive? Hey boss, what should I say to this difficult customer? Hey boss, should we get a different supplier? >

Receiving feedback

Is it easy for you to receive feedback? For most of my life, you could give me positive feedback all day long. I would tend to dismiss it, but I’d be emotionally happy. If i received negative feedback, my stomach clenched as my jaw froze into a slight tight smile, which may have looked like terror. >

Giving feedback

Do you give fair and accurate informal feedback to your direct reports? Teams that do outperform by 40%. Would getting better at giving feedback and receiving it help your company perform better?

Dr. Eve Meceda spoke to my Vistage groups about mindset and gave us a set of clues for how to give fair, accurate informal feedback. My favorite was “to say it how they can hear it”.

That reminds me of a joke I heard many years ago. A guy was telling me that he and his wife had a lot of hallway sex. As a middle aged married woman, I was unfamiliar with the concept and asked him to explain. He said, they would pass each other in the hallway and say Screw you! , “No, screw you!” Okay….Like any good joke, the outcome was totally different from what you might have imagined from the introduction.

This is the same thing that can happen when we give feedback, if we don’t give it with good intentions and in a way that the other person can hear it, the result will not be good.

So, if someone is an extravert, praise them in public. They probably want more enthusiastic acknowledgement, a plaque, etc. If you are an introvert, your style may not match theirs and they may leave because they don’t think they are appreciated. Speak up in a way that may be uncomfortable to you. If you have words of improvement, just call them into your office and tell them calmly what the issue is. Ask them how they see the situation. They can usually speak off the cuff.

If you are an extrovert, and they are an introvert, praise them in private. A simple note may be exactly what they want. Give them time to prepare if you have words of improvement. Perhaps, they can consider what you said and come back in 2 days to discuss how they want to address the situation.

Say it how they can hear it. In both cases, they  will see you as respectful, and you might begin to create a culture of higher performance. Who doesn’t want that? Pick one person this week that you have been meaning to either praise or suggest improvement and try this technique. Next week, we will discuss receiving feedback.

 

 

Be Impeccable

I have been working with the team of a fast growing So Cal company for a long time. Fast growing companies have so many moles they have to whack, but creating a culture that people can align around is one of the most important things. >