This is an archived blog from when I ran Conscious Public Relations Inc. from 2008-2018. Excuse the potential outdated-ness!

Lessons learned from Spring’s Meetup on Workplace Culture

I had the absolute pleasure of not only attending my first Meetup at the new Spring campus (same location as RED Academy) last night, but hearing my friend Stephanie Jhala do a workshop on workplace culture. I know it was a good talk because after a while I forgot I was listening to & learning from a friend and the teacher/facilitator in her kicked in.

There were lots of learnings, and I love that her style incorporated suggestions and feedback from the crowd. She gave a sample scenario and it was clear that there were different ways that people would handle it: Try not to hire the wrong people in the first place… consider employee personalities… have management solve the problem instead of the teams butting heads… having team conversations to try and problem solve. What’s cool is that what I think is the best solution might not work for someone else, and that’s why there will always be different workplace cultures.

I took away so much, especially from the point of view of running a virtual company, when you don’t have as many face-to-face conversations as you do at companies with offices. We maintain our communication through online chat, phone calls, and the occasional in-person meetings, but there is still a lot that I and my staff can do to uphold our company values and drive our company forward.

Some of my key takeaways included:

  • Culture contains the opinions, views, and values of each person within the organization.
  • Curiosity is especially important to companies trying to solve the world’s problems.
  • Transparency: Consider sharing your numbers with your team.
  • Maximize what your staff are good at, but also on what they want to learn or how they want to grow.
  • Be honest with not knowing how you’re going to achieve the big company mission, but offer potential milestones that can be achieved along the way (1-800-GOT-JUNK is amazing at this).
  • Be empathetic with your staff’s challenges.
  • Distinguish fact vs. opinion and see the opinion shaping the behaviour. Then determine how the behaviour is costing the company money (brilliant!). Have a conversation on how the problem can be solved while acting according to the company’s values.
  • Taking responsibility leads to collaboration.

Would you add something big to this list?

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