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092 – Culture & Connection – Opportunities to Succeed

In this episode, Adam J. Salgat and CFCC CEO Misty Janks sit down to discuss company culture and what businesses should keep in mind heading into 2023. They share some new statistics about who employees think is in charge of company culture, how culture has improved after the pandemic, and provide concrete examples of how to enhance connection.

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Introduction 0:07
Welcome to the listen first podcast brought to you by the Chapman foundation for caring communities. Our vision and mission is to strengthen relationships and build stronger communities through listening, leadership, care and service to create a truly human connection. Learn and partner with us as we imagine a society in which people care about each other. And listen first.

Speaker 2 0:38
Hello, and welcome to the listen first podcast, very first podcast of 2023. And with me today is our CEO, the Chapman foundation for caring communities. Misty Jenks, welcome to the podcast.

Speaker 3 0:51
Thank you so much, Adam. I’m always excited to spend some time with you.

Speaker 2 0:55
So today’s topic, we’re gonna set we’re gonna set this up under the guise of New Year new resolution. But for your business, instead of a personal resolution, I don’t know if you’ve made a personal resolution. I’ve been thinking about less sugar, or dry January, all of these potential options. What about you anything come to mind yet?

Speaker 3 1:13
Not yet, I usually use the last two weeks of the year to start formulating that. So that’ll be next week on the agenda.

Speaker 2 1:20
That’s a good, that’s a good point. And after all, the holiday eating, you know, that’s why I’m already thinking less sugar is a good is a very simple and easy way to start a start off the new year. But if you’re thinking about it for your business, or if you’re thinking about it, for an organization that you work for, what are ways that you can improve your organization overall. One of the topics that we discussed on this podcast and early spring was called The Great reshuffle and silent quitting. Why don’t you touch base on that a little bit again, for us?

Speaker 3 1:52
Yes. So the great reshuffle was a phenomenon that was happening during our COVID. And our pandemic. And what we were seeing are a lot of individuals leaving the roles that that they were in to find an environment that really aligned up with their values, and focused on how they were being treated. So that employee experience it, we hear about it in the people and culture world. And so it’s really important for us as organizations to think about what is that employee experience inside of our business.

Speaker 2 2:23
So that’s what we’re talking about today is company culture. That’s what we’re here to try to help you think about and to potentially improve and 2023 first to potentially improve company culture. Let’s talk a little bit about what company culture is, or at least in the context of what how we’re perceiving it, because it could be different depending on maybe your role in your business or just your experiences through life.

Speaker 3 2:45
Yeah, so combat and culture really does come down to that employee experience. All too often, though, we think about what are the perks? What are the benefits that we can give our team members and culture goes so much beyond that, it really truly is about that experience? How are they experiencing they being your team members, the values of your organization? How are they experiencing the strategy that you’re trying to implement? And so how can we make it really about those on our team, and focusing on what we like to call a truly human leadership here at the Chapman foundation for caring communities?

Speaker 2 3:21
So company culture in general, like if I throw out the example of, you know, an organization that maybe has a very strong 401k plan? That’s an example of a perk, and it’s part of company culture, it may not connect with every single employee that steps through your door, right, at least not on that day to day.

Speaker 3 3:39
Absolutely. And that’s why yes, Bennett Fitz plays such an important role. And it helps you attract team members. But it can’t just be the only thing. Individuals are truly motivated by intrinsic factors. And those are all based upon our values as an individual. So a plan that offers six different things is not going to connect with every single team member, because their values are different. But all of us are motivated by something. And the way we experience the organization is a motivator for everyone.

Speaker 2 4:15
So in my mid 20s, I was highly motivated by food, I’ll say I’ll just say it was like, If work had pizza for free, that was a big deal. Right? Like, so in some company cultures, you could consider something like free lunches on a consistent basis, maybe something that wouldn’t matter to many people. But maybe it needs to be more than that. Maybe at those lunches. They could be doing team building exercises or they could be discussing their values. Instead of and I know you’ve mentioned this before about having the values posted or having inspirational quotes posted Can you mention talk about that slightly?

Speaker 3 4:53
Yes. So culture is coming down to how do we lead live the values of the organization so if we take your example of Having lunch brought in, what value are you aligning it to? So maybe one of your values as an organization is fun. Like, how do we come together and truly enjoy work. And so maybe another value is connectedness. So your team members have that centric a sense of connectedness. And so really saying, we’re going to do these things because it aligns to our value of fun and connection. And that is the way that really then starts to highlight your culture, but also ensures that you’re living those values that you’ve promised those team members, as they were recruited into your organization.

Speaker 2 5:39
Since the pandemic, I know we’ve seen some stats, do you mind bringing those up about you know, how company culture has improved?

Speaker 3 5:46
Yes, so there was a some great research that was put out by the Society of Human Resource Management and their 2022 global culture research report, 64% of those individuals that were looking for different employment, were actually doing that because of the culture that they found themselves in. And I think this just highlights what we saw with the great reshuffle, now we have the data to back that up in what was really being that motivation for all of those individuals out there looking for something different. It is that experience that culture, we no longer want to work just for a paycheck, we want the work that we’re doing to align to our values, what motivates us, and our personal why’s in the world. And so that’s why highlighting what your organization does, how it does it. And what is that team member experience is so critical when you’re trying to recruit and retain the top talent,

Speaker 2 6:43
obviously, since the pandemic started, and you know, lots of jobs have changed in the way meaning some jobs that were fully on site have gone to hybrid, and even some, I think are, you know, even gone and stayed fully remote. I think those have been, in many ways, a benefit for people who needed more flexibility. And, unfortunately, it took a large global crisis to kind of force some companies into realizing that, hey, we can have happier, more productive employees, if we don’t require them to stay till five o’clock or, you know, punch in and punch out every single day at the exact time that we’re asking them to. And I think there’s some stats that you found that, you know, back that up,

Speaker 3 7:28
absolutely. What we were seeing globally is that 37% of onsite employees say that their company culture has improved since a pandemic. But when we look at the remote and the hybrid environment, 45% of remote workers said that it has increased and 44% of hybrid workers say the same thing. And that is all because of flexibility. Right? We’re no longer requiring that in person in C, eight to five, we are allowing that flexibility that life just demands of us now.

Speaker 2 8:00
Yes, absolutely. I will say personally from the last few months of being, you know, having three little ones, and basically they’ve been passing sickness around, and the ability to be able to jump out and take them to doctor’s appointments and know that I’ll make up some of my work at, you know, seven to 9pm, instead of worrying about having to leave work or miss work from three to 5pm. So that flexibility within our organization has meant a lot to me in the last few months. And I’m very, very grateful for that. That’s not that’s a personal story in this in all of this. But I know it’s been important to us,

Speaker 3 8:35
I think we’re really seeing it for parents across the board. One of the results with a pandemic was it was really hard to find child care. And to do you think child care a safe, we’re in a global pandemic, and sometimes we don’t have choices as as parents. But the flexibility to be able to I can’t find it right now. And just having a solution there for us, instead of just struggling through it and have to make really hard choices of I can’t find childcare means I can’t go to work, and maybe I can’t keep that job.

Speaker 2 9:07
Right? Yep, that will eventually or could eventually become quite a quite a hurdle to have to cover with your with your boss and and try to figure out, Is this the right fit? And can we get it figured out? So as we think about culture inside of the organization, whose job is it? You know, that was an interview when you mentioned that in our pre conversation about whose job is it the first area and a larger company anyway, that came to mind truthfully, was HR department. The HR department was the first area kind of not that they are solely responsible, but in the idea that they would be the area that would be looking at the culture and you know, thinking about different ways to improve it or different ways to build it. That was the first story that kind of came to mind. I know you have some stats that, you know, tell us otherwise. And you know, maybe some personal opinion along that line too.

Speaker 3 9:57
Absolutely. I think that’s an amazing question in When we ask individuals about that so often 83% of us would say it’s the leaders responsibility. And yes, leaders have a very important critical role. But really, when it comes to culture, every single person on the team is responsible for it. Because our culture is shaped by our experiences, and our behaviors shaped the experience that we and our team members have. So it’s really important to think about how am I living the values of the organization? How am I improving it, and you have to think about it with every single interaction that you’re having with an individual. And then on the flip side of it, leaders, it’s really important to recognize and celebrate when team members are living those values, when they’re having the behaviors that we want to recognize and celebrate. So one of the key concepts in our community lessons course is about recognition. Because we know the more we recognize a behavior that we want to see, the more we’re going to see it inside of an organization. And it breeds positivity. That’s what you want to be doing. And as a leader, making sure everybody’s having that amazing experience and knowing that they’re valued and seen for their efforts. You touched

Speaker 2 11:11
on this a little bit on that second half about a leaders responsibility inside of this, I do agree with kind of your first part of that statement, and is that everyone, everyone is part of the culture, right? Right down to no matter what your role is, and how many hours you might work in that role, that you’re part of the company culture. So what you bring to the table is going to help form it. But I did, like I started to say, I liked what you said about leaders being sure that it’s still coming from the top down. So when they’re seeing things that re, they’re reinforcing positive behavior, or just reinforcing positive choices, whenever I hear positive, reinforcing positive behavior, I do think of children. So maybe that’s the wrong kind of context to put it in. But really just the idea of reinforcing positive choices, positive work, and positive growth, maybe for certain employees who they’ve seen change and get get better at their at their role. So coming from the top down, I think people say that in a lot of spaces. So I think leaders obviously need to keep that in mind. Would you want to touch on that anymore, a leaders responsibility in building culture for their organization?

Speaker 3 12:20
Absolutely everything we talked on the positive side, but it’s important that we talked about the negative side too. So as leaders, if we’re tolerating negative behaviors, or things where individuals are not living into our values, and we’re not addressing it, our team members are going to see it, and they’re going to think that it’s allowed. So now, every interaction, you are either adding to the positive side of this or the negative side of this, you can’t just sweep the negative behaviors under the rug, it’s really important that we do it, lean into those not fun conversations, and ensure that everyone is on the right course for the organization’s benefit, and everybody inside of it.

Speaker 2 13:01
So we’ve identified a little bit of you know, what we believe culture is the difference between perks, and you know, how people are treated, the importance of how people are treated. We’ve talked about the improvement that some organizations have seen in the last couple of years, which is outstanding. And we’ve talked about, you know, kind of who’s, whose role is it to continue to improve company culture. So we’ve covered all of those elements. And we’ve touched on what leaders can do, in my mind, we’ve kind of touched on in a way some of the soft attributes that a leader can have to do it. But what about some hard tangible deliverables that leaders can help implement inside their organization?

Speaker 3 13:40
Yes, what I would recommend is really looking at the employee experience. So when I say that we’re thinking of the lifecycle from recruitment to retirement, what are every phase that a team member will go through? And then as you look at those categories really dive deep, like, what are you focusing in on these areas that add to your culture? So through recruitment, let’s take that, right, because that’s the first interaction that someone would have with your organization, how can we tell them about our culture? How can we tell them about our values? How can we have them experience our values through our onboarding process? That’s one thing that our organization really focused on last year. What are all those touch points from the moment we post that job posting? Until we have that firm commitment that they’re on with our organization? What are all of the steps? What are all of the interactions? And how can we ensure we’re living the values and every single one of those steps?

Speaker 2 14:38
When it comes to that recruitment point? As you we have made great strides in the last year. It’s now an opportunity for us in the marketing department to help tell those stories. And so that’s something I’m actually working on. For the beginning of the first you know, first quarter is capturing some of the stories from our employees and the impact that the organization and that the our community lessons course has had on them, whether that be through committed relationship lens, the work lens, or potentially through parenting. So I just wanted to kind of mention that that, you know, that’s even the next level after you’ve set the groundwork and are, have created a process and feel like you’re pretty confident and you’re building in that space, tell the story for the next step. So when you put that job posting out, you have a video now on your website, talking about customer or talking about employee experience, there’s opportunity for somebody to learn a lot about your culture before they even maybe fill out the full job application. We sit down for an interview.

Speaker 3 15:38
Absolutely, we have a culture document, and it really talks about what are our values that and then also what is what do we mean? And what do we do when we say culture? And then also we have in there our employee stories or a team member stories? And how do they experience us in those initial steps. And that’s really, really critical to capture and share and spread

Speaker 2 16:03
for money from moving on past the first initial touch points of potential job posting, and maybe first interviews and then you know, onboarding, what about continued company culture in even for employees who maybe have been with organization for a while, but you’re looking to make that change?

Speaker 3 16:20
Yes, it’s a great point. So from that recruitment, comes the onboarding. And then once they’re onboard it, that is such a critical step. Because how often when team members are new, it’s like, what do I do in my first couple of weeks? Am I just sitting here staring at my computer monitor? No. How are they interacting with different team members? How are they learning about the history of the organization, make sure you’re really intentional with all of those steps, and setting up and facilitating those meetings. So the team members and they’re sitting there on their own, just reading through that employee handbook that is also intriguing sometimes. But then once you’re on and you’re out of your first 90 days, and you’re in that one to five year mark, like what does it look like? And so for our organization, what we want to do we have a culture of learning. So we really focus in on what are the development opportunities? And how do we look at individual development plans that line up with our values, but also our goals as an organization and the goals as a team member, because I truly believe the only way to grow the organization is to grow the skills of our team members. So it’s really important that we’re always learning together, investing in ourselves and just getting better.

Speaker 2 17:30
That statement about growing our team members kind of reminds me of the cliche phrase of grass is greener where you water it, you know, the idea of take care of the people that you have in front of you, as opposed to looking on the other side of the fence all the time, right?

Speaker 3 17:42
Yes, I think that’s a great analogy. And also when individuals are asked, like, what happens if we make this huge investment? And then they leave us? Well, what’s the flipside of that? What’s the, what if we don’t invest it in them, and they stay with us? So it, I think, again, we’re just putting positivity and growth out into the world. And I’m sure it’s gonna come back to us, maybe with our next team member,

Speaker 2 18:06
it is a really good way to put it. And then when you think about the opportunity to help someone grow and change, and maybe they do a develop into another role at another organization? Well, I mean, they’re only going to talk highly of the work that they were able to do with your organization. So I mean, that’s something to keep in mind, too, because there is nothing like word of mouth advertising. In many ways,

Speaker 3 18:31
yes. And also just thinking about, like, how are we making the world better. So we’ve all seen the statistics, when somebody’s not happy at work, it affects their home lives, their relationships, how they relate to their significant other their kids, their mental health. And so we are just again, putting good out into the world. And all of those ways, because we see if you treat your team members, well, it will have that ripple effect. They’ll go home, and they’ll have better relationships, their mental health will be better. And again, it’s all about just making this world a better place.

Speaker 2 19:04
Right, exactly. Like you just mentioned, create a caring community. And that is one of our goals in 2023.

Speaker 3 19:11
Yes, that is the vision for our organization. How do we create caring communities, caring workplaces, it is just also important and what we need.

Speaker 2 19:21
Is there anything else you’d like to add to employees who have been with the organization for a longer period of time when it comes to the company culture? Yeah.

Speaker 3 19:29
So again, looking at that team member experience, it’s important not to forget those that have been with us for a really long time. And what are the opportunities that you’re providing them? How can they be a part of the initial team member experience when we’re recruiting when we’re onboarding because they are the ones that have been living the values for so long? They know what is happening inside of the organization. So recognizing and celebrating that they have been doing it for such a long On time, and that they bring such a value to help mentor our newer team members, I think is really important. And then once we finally get to a retirement phase recognition and celebration, I can’t say more can’t say enough about that it’s so important that we just celebrate all of the time, talent and treasure that they have brought to our organization. And so they see, they feel like they’ve been seen, valued and heard.

Speaker 2 20:27
That’s a great reminder. And I love the idea of giving someone who’s been there so long, and when you step in, giving them the opportunity to express their thoughts, because I think that does really show that you care about them. Yes. So Misty, as always like to ask our guests for a key takeaway. So what is today’s key takeaway?

Speaker 3 20:47
I think the key takeaway from our discussion today is that company culture matters. And that it’s everybody’s responsibility. And everybody plays a key role in that. So no matter where you are, really making sure that you are bringing value, and you are helping ensure that every team members experience is what we want it to be as an organization, because nobody wants to be dreading that 40 hours a week that they’re spending at work. I know, I love waking up on Mondays and like I get to go to work, I get to do this job. And I hear that from our team members every day. But it’s not because of what I do. It’s because of what every single person on our team does. So no matter where you are in the organization, how can you bring value to company culture, because it’s what makes work fun.

Speaker 2 21:39
Before I let you go, I want to give some people a little bit of a tease as to what’s coming in 2023, for the Jetman, foundation, sphere, straight from our CEO,

Speaker 3 21:48
we have some amazing things that are will be being rolled out in 2023. So we have some new foundational courses that I’m super excited, we have a rollout plan. So there’ll be coming to specific areas first, second, and then third. So our first course our, of course, is our foundational course of our community lessons. And then our second foundational course that we’ll be rolling out for any alumni as our community serves in this course, is all about how do we take it from a nice centric culture to a we centric culture. And of course, we all we love self awareness. So there’s a critical component in there about self awareness and understanding the role emotions play in our lives, understanding our perception of the world, and then how can we be of service? So we talk about accountability and expectation setting? And how do we serve those around us? And it’s just a wonderful course as we talk about culture, because it is taking it to a we centric culture.

Unknown Speaker 22:55
Do you want to touch on our community leads at all?

Speaker 3 22:57
Yes, so our community leads will be our third foundational programming. And this is all about how do we implement the skills of our community listens, and our community serves inside of organizations. And so we look at key factors in that, again, we’re going to work on our self awareness as leaders because you are how you lead. And it’s really important to understand what’s driving your behaviors. So we dive deep into our values, and really understand how does how does that impact our leadership? From there, we talk about how do we inspire others, and it’s all about storytelling. So what is organizational storytelling? How do you do it? Well, we again, talk about feedback. So how do we provide great feedback on there’s a recognition piece in there? And then also, how do we model truly human leadership as leaders?

Speaker 2 23:51
This is all super exciting, Misty, and I know there’s a bit of a rollout plan, tell me tell me the areas that we’re hitting first.

Speaker 3 23:58
We are very excited for that rollout plan. First, we’ll be starting in Michigan, and then we’ll be going to Colorado, followed by South Carolina. So we’re really excited for what 2023 is going to bring for us and our alumni.

Speaker 2 24:12
Misty, thank you so much for discussing everything today. When it comes to company culture. I hope everybody has the opportunity to give this podcast a listen, create a little bit of a reset, get that new year’s resolution maybe in mind, for your for your organization. And even for yourself, like we said this individual basis of of improving company cultures.

Speaker 3 24:31
Thank you so much, Adam, for having me on today. We’ve really enjoyed our conversation.