This one ingredient will fuel connection as a leader & in your workplace!

How do you build trust in your organization? How do you measure it?  How do you know when it exists when you’ve just joined a company?

All really important questions and difficult to answer in just one blog post.  But it’s important enough to have ongoing conversations and continue to create awareness on a topic that has only become ever more important in the workplace. 

When I envision organizations where every workplace culture is one where professionals are able to show up as themselves – the unfiltered, unmasked, authentic version behind the suit, the corporate title and the office they sit in, I see opportunities and possibilities.

I also think about trust.  The importance behind an organization that is built on what makes a GREAT company – their people, begins with leaders who not only steer the ship but sets the tone and helps create a culture built on trust.

Leaders who support a culture that not only ‘sees’ their employees as human beings but embodies what this means in the way they lead, behave, speak, show up and ultimately demonstrate integrity and that they are trustworthy. 

My very first experience of what trust looked like in the workplace was my first job out of university. I was working for a software company and my 2nd year at the company, I went through a devastating breakup. My boss at the time happens to call me catching me having “a moment,” and knew I wasn’t doing well.

She not only cared enough to ask me what I needed at that moment but was kind enough to give me the rest of the day to myself. I was already embarrassed that I was heartbroken and couldn’t keep it together at work, and her showing me compassion, meant the world.

One of my favorite storytellers, researchers, Dr. Brené Brown known for her studies on courage, shame, vulnerability and empathy breaks down the anatomy of Trust that speaks to what it looks like in the simplest of terms.  She’s also the author of five #1 New York Times bestsellers: The Gifts of ImperfectionDaring GreatlyRising StrongBraving the Wilderness, and Dare to Lead.

In Brené’s talk on Super Soul Sessions, she discusses how trust is often built in the smallest of moments and over time.  Trust is also something you feel.  You may be able to describe a persons, behavior or actions that lead you to believe and make the decision that you can trust them, but it’s ultimately a feeling you get from someone. 

As a leader, establishing trust is imperative at the onset if you’re just joining an organization and particularly when you have new employees start with your company.  For a new employee, there’s no way to know if you’re trustworthy as a leader, let alone if their new colleagues are also trustworthy, as it’s built with time.  

We all have a role to play in establishing and creating trust amongst our work relationships as in all relationships, it’s a two-way street. To create a workplace culture that fosters a safe environment where employees can show up as human beings, trust needs to be established immediately and begins with leadership. 

Trust is such a huge topic and one that will continue to be discussed, especially as our workplaces continue to evolve, but I’d love to hear your perspective!

How do you establish trust in your organization?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and be the example you wish to see. Start with one small act and inspire those around you.

Lot’s of love,

Lisa

Team building is great, but an engaged workforce is better!

What do you think of when you think of team building?

The term has been around forever and the very nature of it, to me can be in the form of activities or team exercises that have a social element to it and help to cultivate collaboration and foster a team spirit amongst teams.

While the idea is well intended, as a company, when you’re taking care of your workforce, you don’t often have to resort to a team building activity to ‘bring people together’.  Furthermore, when you invest in them regularly, the time or $$ spent on a team building activity can simply be an outing to spend time with your people.  Why?  Because you care and you want to invest in continuously cultivating your relationship with them.

The benefits of team building I think most will agree are great and ALL companies want to see this:

  • Increased productivity
  • Improved communication
  • Improved and stronger teamwork/collaboration
  • Improved problem-solving skills
  • Increased employee engagement

Many of these benefits can be seen when you’re taking consistent measures every single day in simply investing in your workforce.  Behavior that demonstrates you care for your people and are creating a culture where social outings occur as a way to spend time with your people.  Instead of coordinating a team building activity that you do once every 6 months to help bring your ‘people together’.

In a past life time, I worked for a company where we had a social outing monthly.  We were small enough where we could afford to do that, and it did wonders for getting to know my peers and colleagues on a different level.  Not to mention, the political barriers and professional guards were down, and people were at ease being themselves.

Why does it take a social outing to create that dynamic amongst employees?

This monthly social outing came from the leader at the time who felt it was important to bring everyone together regularly and that’s where it should start.  Yes, we used those gatherings to also celebrate the wins and learn from the misses we had as a company as well.  Set the example as a leader and if you have teams below you, empower your other managers to follow suit amongst their teams as they see fit.

Corporate cultures that embrace their employees as human beings vs. the role they play at work can still generate the benefits listed above.  Team building is a great idea, however, the benefits you can reap from a team building activity can easily be fostered when you create a strong culture of engaged employees.


I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! What are your thoughts?

What are you doing now in your organization that brings your people together?

With so much appreciation,

Lisa xo

How important is culture fit for your organization?

Culture Fit – these buzz words float across all organizations and you often hear, “our company culture is so important to us”, to “we have to hire for culture fit above everything else”, to “I’m not even sure what our culture is.”

But what does culture fit really mean, and as a company should you really hire for culture fit?

An organization’s culture is made up of the core values, beliefs and behavior by a group of people.  It often makes a statement on WHO the people are behind the company regardless if you are a product and/or service-based business.

So why do companies put such an emphasis on culture and what does this mean for your ability to attract talent? Also, what does this mean for your existing employees?

The truth is the culture of a company sets the tone of what I call the HEART of the company. Your people are the ones behind it – from your leadership team to the very people doing the day to day operations and execution of whatever your business is (product or service based). They are the ones that collectively, shape it.  They embody and reflect the values and beliefs of your company (or they should).  With that said, whatever ‘culture’ you create – make sure it’s one people want to be a part of.

Being in recruiting, I often get asked the question by candidates on the regular around, “can you tell me more about what the culture is like”? Ultimately, people want to align themselves with a company that shares similar values and work ethic as their own.

But what happens when people don’t want to work for your company BECAUSE of your culture? You have the best brand/product/service, etc. and yet still can’t seem to attract the right talent.  As an employer, do you just assume they’re not the right culture fit, or do you assess and evaluate if there’s something about your culture that needs to be re-evaluated?

There are a few things I like to consider when I think about culture.  Maybe this might help you think about your own company culture.   Especially if you’re in the middle of shifting what that looks like and embarking on a cultural change, which can often be taxing and a challenge in and of itself.   Change is important, it’s inevitable and can be well worth it with the right intentions.

PEOPLE – probably one of the most important aspects to consider.  WHO are the people that will thrive the best in your organization?  What makes up the characters, backgrounds, work ethics, etc.  Do they align with your company values?

Service – do what you do with the intention that it can serve and help someone other than yourself. Do you have a strong philanthropic arm to your business? Do you support volunteer work? Do you give back to your local community?  This should be part of every business out there. A mindset, a belief and a way of doing business with the intention of giving back in some way. Yes, you need to run a business and make money, but it shouldn’t overrule your people or be more important than being of service to others.

Vision – Define your company’s mission and have a clear, strategic direction and vision.  Where is the company going?  What do you want the future to look like?

Values – what are these? Are they clearly defined? Remember, whatever values you list as important to your company, you have a responsibility to reflect them and embody them every day. This starts with your executive leadership team.

Place/Location – where does the HEART of your organization live? Is it in the hustle and bustle of the city? Are you accessible? Or are you set up virtually? Something to think about.

These are just a few aspects of what I think makes up a company culture and sets the tone of a strong one to say the least.

When you’re thinking about evaluating your own as an employer, make sure it’s clearly defined and it’s one where people stay because of it.

I’d love to hear from you!

What kind of culture’s have you been a part of in your career?  What about that company culture resonated with you the most?

If you could change one thing about your current company culture, what would that be and why?

Thanks as always for your time!

With so much appreciation,

Lisa ♥