There’s something heartwarming about conferences. These are moments when companies put competition aside to come together and share advice in the name of a common mission. At our For All™ Summit, that mission was making workplaces better for everyone. In our language: better For All™.
A lot of selfless sharing happened on day two of our culture conference. Here are some of the people, ideas and recurring themes that reminded us how much we love working for this cause:
Qualities of effective leaders
Michael C. Bush, Great Place To Work® CEO, shared insights from our research on effective leaders. We’ve identified five different leadership “levels.” At the top are “For All leaders.” These special leaders think not just about their team, but about the whole company, as well as what’s happening outside of the company.
Trust is essential for psychological safety
“CEOs get too much credit,” said Aron Ain, CEO of Kronos. In his session, Aron explained it’s essential for his leaders to believe it’s “not about us individually, it’s about us collectively.”
Aron believes that trust liberates leaders. And to get this trust, he has some practices that make most managers uneasy.
When employees come to him for a decision on something, he returns their request with insistence: “I trust you to make this decision.”
Leaders at Kronos are also challenged to trust new hires as they would tenured employees. Instead of believing new employees must “earn” managers' trust, Aron asks Kronos managers to let employees “unearn” it.
Trust is also Kronos’ secret to keeping remote workers connected. Aron says he “overcommunicates” and sends regular unedited vlogs (video blogs) to his staff to keep the trust without face-to-face time.
Happy employees make happy customers
“We can’t ask our employees every day to take care of our customers if we’re not taking care of them.” – Margaret Keane, CEO of Synchrony.
Like Margaret, Christian Clerc, President, Global Operations at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, believes that happy employees lead to happy customers.
When asked how he finds these “magical people” who make customer service a hallmark of Four Seasons, he shared a recruitment nugget. HR ask a revealing question in the hiring process:
“Tell me the last time you did something special for someone. And how did that make you feel?”
If someone gets as much pleasure giving gifts as receiving them, those people are the right people for Four Seasons.
Innovation depends on diversity
Frans Johansson, CEO of The Medici Group, answered the question top on leaders' mind’s today: How can organizations innovate and change faster?
Frans shared three ways (which, by the way, all depend on diversity and inclusion in the workplace):
- Constantly reframe: reexamine things from new perspectives to unlock new potential
- Test small and learn fast
- Dynamically allocate resources
Visit The Medici Group for more.
Meet employees where they work
Executives and field workers at The Dow Chemical Company and NuStar Energy came together to discuss the unique challenges facing blue-collar organizations.
The biggest takeaway? For All leaders meet employees where they work and listen to all employees, regardless of who they are or what they do. Also:
- Listen and be authentic. Don’t take up workers' time by walking the floor and pretending to listen if you’re not going to take action
- Instill pride and purpose in your employees by ensuring workers know how their jobs impact customers or the community
Learn why hourly workers can help recession-proof your business in Hidden Pieces of the D&I Puzzle.
Surveying employees is just step one of engagement
Emily Forrester, vice president of HR at Workiva Inc., knows the importance of carefully sharing survey results to drive transparency and improve culture. By engaging all employees for feedback, Workiva’s scores across the Great Place To Work employee survey focus areas increased by a cumulative 12 percentage points in one year.
Emily's best practices include:
- If you’re not comfortable analyzing results, ask for help from culture experts
- Survey job candidates to understand their experience throughout the recruitment process
- Lean on employee resource groups for action planning
- Leverage your strengths when sharing results and don’t just focus on areas of improvement
Did you attend our 2020 For All Summit? What were some of your top takeaways or favorite moments? If you missed out this year, registration for our annual culture conference happening in 2021 is open now.