We were thrilled with the great response we received for last week’s Great Culture webinar. Thanks to all those who joined us on May 27th. But in case you missed it, here are some highlights from “How to Build an Amazing Culture in a Remote Setting” with keynote speakers Ryan Westwood, CEO and cofounder at Simplus, Jen Bailin, VP at Salesforce, and bestselling author and motivational speaker Chester Elton.
Simplus has three core values: Critical Thinking, Stewardship, and Underdog Spirit. What impact does establishing core values have on a company’s work culture?
Ryan Westwood: If a company has guiding values that make them who they are, how they behave, how they think, and how they make decisions, it’s transformational, especially if your employees are a part of architecting those values.
What is your main core value?
Ryan Westwood: At Simplus, our main core value is stewardship. It’s not something that goes up on a wall where it disappears, and people stop talking about it. It is literally how we live as people. I encourage our employees to live this way outside of the company, inside of the company; when we interview people, we interview through the lens of stewardship. “When was the last time you helped out a coworker?” If there’s a long pause, it doesn’t matter how talented they are; we will not hire them. When you have a culture where employees care about each other, they start to care about your customers.
Both Salesforce and Simplus use the V2MOM company-wide playbook. What is the goal?
Jen Bailin: The goal of leaders using the V2MOM playbook is to make sure people are aware of the goals and priorities set for the company, how you are going to do it, identify what obstacles there may be, then share it with the company so that everyone has a chance to weigh in and all of those great thoughts get surfaced.
The best leaders are the ones that can open the blinds to make sure that all of that human potential in the organization is seen.
V2MOM playbooks are normally completed on a quarterly or a fiscal-year basis. What would ignite the need to do them now?
Jen Bailin: It’s important for leaders to do V2MOM for the fiscal year but also for times that are different. We’ve got a crisis on our hands now, but this time could also be an opportunity. How will we connect with our customers as fast as possible in order to change their direction and their layers of success? And how will we better at the end?
With a history of running numerous half-marathons, how does this process relate to preparing for the next race?
Jen Bailin: At the end of the quarter, you review the V2MOM, and you talk about it. It’s very similar to telling a personal trainer that you want to run a half marathon, but you don’t ever put together a training plan, and you never step on a treadmill. It’s important that you think about performance based on the alignment of the company and based on the performance of the V2MOM.
What do you mean by ‘Team Early’?
Jen Bailin: The earlier you connect and get to know people, the faster you communicate, and the better your organization will run. How do you like to work? How do you like to communicate or receive feedback? Establish those things early–team up early–and we will know how to use our people better.
Every interaction we have with people, we are doing something. If we can be the light that helps moves people forward in every single chance that we can, we will all move forward faster.
What would you say to people who think gratitude in the workplace is a soft skill?
Chester Elton: Not only is leading with gratitude a hard skill, but it’s also an absolutely “must-have” anytime and especially in hard times. When we talk about having an “all-in” culture, we say it’s a culture where people believe what they do matters, they make a difference, and when they make a difference, it’s noticed and celebrated.
How does a combination of “seeing” and “expressing” improve work culture?
Chester Elton: Using gratitude as your base, lead by assuming positive intent, practice walking in people’s shoes, then always look for small wins. Celebrating small wins is so important for building momentum so you can get to the big wins. Then reinforce those core values with expressing.
General praise has no impact on people. Don’t just say “great job” to people who have done something. Instead, say, “Great job, because. . .” Tailor that praise to the individual. Know what motivates your people. Old school thought was treating everybody the same because that was fair. The new school of thought recognizes that nobody is the same, so celebrate those unique interests.
For a lot of us, the only barrier between work and home is just the door. When you step through that door, be happy that you’re home. Studies have shown that when you are happy and engaged at work, you are happy at home. Practice seeing and expressing at home.
What are your closing thoughts?
Chester Elton: When it comes to practicing seeing and expressing, do it now. Do it often, and don’t be afraid. The more you do it, the better you will get at it. It becomes a part of you who are and an important part of your culture.
Jen Bailin: In every human interaction, we are doing something, whether it’s helping them move forward, stalling them, or making them move backward. If we can be the light that helps moves people forward with every chance that we have, we will all move forward faster.
Ryan Westwood: A caring culture is how you build great companies.
To watch the full webinar, click here.