Encouraging Disruptive Voices

Several years ago, I was doing a three-month check-in with a new employee. I had been working closely with him, and he had already shown great initiative and ability to help us in a variety of new and unexpected ways. As a result, the feedback on his performance was glowing. Thus, he was a little surprised when I told him … Read More

How to Develop a Culture of Mentorship

[Excerpt from The Culture Question] One often-overlooked strategy for creating a culture where people like to work is to consciously and consistently develop employees through mentorship. Investing in staff in this way creates opportunities for meaningful relationships, shows employees that they are valued, and allows them to develop their abilities, which will ultimately help the organization. A mentoring culture may … Read More

2 Keys to Building an Organization That Lasts

This past summer, my family and I travelled to Europe where we spent time touring three different countries. In addition to trying new foods, the thing I like most about touring Europe is seeing all the old buildings and bridges. To see structures with stone foundations that are hundreds, sometimes thousands of years old is truly remarkable. They were built … Read More

Why We Need Disruptive Voices

One of the things I expect from employees is for them to have a voice – and use it! When they see something that seems wrong or confusing, I want them to be confident enough to say something about it. The willingness of employees to be disruptive is crucial to our success as an organization. Without it, there would be … Read More

Focus on Culture, Not Perks

I occasionally read the results of various awards for “The Best Places to Work” or “Top Employers” with cynical interest. These awards are typically given out by various business and national media publications, and while the intent to highlight great workplaces has merit, it is what is measured that I take exception to. In one recent “Best of” article I … Read More

The Key to 50 Years of Employee Loyalty

Several weeks ago, I attended a retirement party for my father-in-law, Gerry. I have attended a few of these in the past, but what made this one unique is that Gerry was retiring after working in the same workplace for 50 years. I’ve never known anyone else who has worked in the same place for that long, and I’m pretty … Read More

Identifying What People Like To Do

Excerpt From The Culture Question: If they are to find their work meaningful, a good portion of a person’s job should be congruent with the ways in which they think and act. Employees in client services positions should find gratification in helping people. Employees in data management should likewise find pleasure in the accuracy and orderliness required for their jobs. … Read More

Why Do You Like Working Here?

As part of our interview process, we always allow time for potential hires to ask the interviewing committee some questions. I was pleasantly surprised when one recent candidate asked, “why do you like working here?” This was not the first time someone asked this question, but it still caught me off guard because of how infrequently it comes up in … Read More

Why Workplace Values Are Important

Excerpt from The Culture Question: For a vehicle to do its job, it needs both an engine for power and a steering system so it can be guided. An organization is no different: its purpose is the engine that propels it forward, and its values are the steering system by which it is guided. Purpose defines why you do what … Read More

The Connection Between Trust and Caring Leadership

“If only my staff trusted me more.” I regularly hear this statement from managers who lament the lack of trust in their relationships with staff. They know that without trust, they won’t be able to get the results they hope for. Although most managers I meet do realize that trust is important, they struggle with how to develop it. After … Read More