If you work in the United States, less than one in every three of your colleagues are engaged at work.
One of the biggest reasons for this high level of disengagement is the way managers are leading their teams.
The difference between a good team and a great team is determined, in large part, by who the manager is.
Despite this, companies struggling with employee engagement still aren’t placing enough value and emphasis on their managers. They tend to promote or hire managers based on technical expertise, but don’t give them the tools and support they need to lead people effectively.Continue reading
Imagine a news outlet that’s run like a Silicon Valley startup. Slack replaces the traditional editorial calendar. Teams convene and collaborate online from around the globe. Headlines come to your phone via chatbot, complete with sassy quips and gifs.
It’s called Quartz, and they’ve been innovating on how people cover and consume the news since their inception in 2012. Since then, they’ve grown rapidly but haven’t lost the scrappy startup attitude that buoyed them in their early days in a New York City loft.
They continue to push the envelope and expectations of an audience and industry steeped in — and, perhaps, shackled by — tradition.Continue reading
Did you know: the average company loses 20-50% of its employee base each year, according to research from Bain & Company. And, based on data from Columbia University, it costs 150% of a lost employee’s yearly salary to replace them.
Retaining employees is a massive priority, but more often than not, our strategies to reduce turnover miss the mark.
Why are so many qualified employees leaving companies, and what steps can HR at fast-growing companies take to solve this problem?Continue reading
Imagine running a company with over 1,000 employees who range between 18 and 62 years old, and who come from 20 different countries. Now imagine being responsible for ensuring that company has a strong and thriving culture — on top of heading up design. That’s just a glimmer of what Daniel Weinand does, one of the co-founders of Shopify.
We recently had a chance to interview Weinand and explored topics like creating a workplace that’s comfortable for both introverts and extraverts, Shopify’s executive coaching program, the challenges of scaling their culture, and how his German upbringing has influenced his work philosophies.Continue reading
Mattress e-commerce company Tuft & Needle was named Entrepreneur’s Best Company Culture in 2017 in the Large Company (100+ employees) category yesterday.
In partnership with CultureIQ, Entrepreneur scores companies on 10 main categories: collaboration; innovation; agility; communication; support; wellness; mission and value alignment; work environment; responsibility and performance focus.Continue reading
Claude Silver has been VaynerMedia’s Chief Heart Officer for just under a year. CHO is a powerful new title to describe a C-Suite role responsible for the culture and wellbeing of a company’s people — the heartbeat of the business, so to speak.
And when a human based, HR-first company has more than 700 employees, gauging and nurturing that heartbeat — making sure every single person feels connected and cared-for — is no easy job.
Curious to learn more about her role, and the role of a CHO in general, we reached out to Silver, who was as heartfelt and sincere as her title would make you hope. We spent a good hour chatting about what culture means to her, how she created her dream role, and the rewards of empowering and unlocking people. Here are some of the highlights from our conversation.Continue reading
MailChimp is one of the most playful big tech brands out there. From day one, they’ve put their quirky personality into everything they do, from their signature monkey mascot (Freddie Chimpenheimer) to their creative annual reports, to the colloquial, witty messaging — and hint of mischief — that they infuse into just about everything they create.
Not surprisingly, that exuberant disposition comes through in their internal culture as well. MailChimp’s front desk has a mural by Brooklyn artist Never that reads “Passion Never Fails.”Continue reading
“A community is like a campfire, and a crowd is like a concert” says Thomas Knoll, Executive Advisor and Business Coach.
At a campfire, people either arrive knowing each other or make friends throughout the night. Each person can share the spotlight, and everyone faces one central point: the fire.
At a concert, on the other hand, people aren’t facing each other, generally speaking. It’s too loud to talk. They likely don’t know anyone except for the friends they arrived with. They’re facing the front, absorbing information rather than contributing. They’re the audience, not the artists.Continue reading
In the recent years, many companies, from small to large, have been looking for ways to make their workplaces more transparent and open.
One reason for this is that businesses want to empower their employees to experiment, make decisions, and self-direct their efforts. Openness, in this case, facilitates trust and ensures that people have access to the information they need to be successful.
Another reason is the technology revolution, which has enabled easy sharing of information, and also changed the way we think about the issues of access and privacy.Continue reading
2016 was not humanity’s best year. By some accounts, it may actually have been one of the worst in recorded history.
Still, it was a pretty epic year for HR — in a good way. And the great things that happened in this industry should be celebrated, even if the rest of the world is counting down the seconds until 2017.Continue reading
Boring, stressful, dreadful, hollow. These are just some of the familiar adjectives so many people associate with Work (capital ‘W’).
Many see Work as something they have to do rather than something they like doing, as a high price they pay to be able to enjoy their lives outside of the confines of the office.
The reality is that we, as a society, are disenchanted with Work.Continue reading
What role do HR professionals play in shaping a company’s culture? What can they do to understand it better, improve it, and make their workplace a great place to work?
We decided to ask a dozen HR industry thought leaders, authors, and experts (from Airbnb, Shopify, Greenhouse, and others) a simple question to shed some light on this matter.Continue reading
You might remember when Nike became a controversial brand back in the 90s due to its use of sweatshops. With a single 1997 New York Times expose, its famous swoosh lost its cool icon status, and was no longer a logo people wanted to wear.
Fast forward to today, and Nike has not only recovered, but it’s become one of the most empowering brands on the planet. The company has done a lot in the way of ensuring more ethical production, and lending transparency to their process.
Today when people (including many of the same people who boycotted the brand in the 90s) think about Nike, they think about sports. They think about fitness. They think about determined everyday runners, and professional athletes. They think about sweating, winning, getting stronger, and with it, the sense that they can just do it too.Continue reading
Mindfulness has become a bit of a buzzword, but its proven effects are hard to scoff at. Increased productivity, wellness, happiness, and energy are just a few reasons businesses are integrating elements of mindfulness into their leadership and management practices.
It’s a value that’s working its way into cultures from Google to General Mills.Continue reading
In October, 2013, Airbnb’s cofounder and CEO, Brian Chesky asked venture capitalist Peter Thiel for his single most important piece of advice. His reply?
“Don’t fuck up the culture.”
Fastforward to today, and Airbnb has created one of the most well-known and respected company cultures in the world. We wanted to know what “don’t fuck up the culture” means to the company now that they’re a global, multi-billion-dollar organization.
To find out, we talked to Airbnb’s Global Head of Employee Experience, Mark Levy. Having led human resources and people operations at massive multinational corporations like Levis, Gap, and Best Buy, Levy is no stranger to engaging diverse and growing workforces.
We asked him to tell us more about his role at Airbnb, give advice on how to scale culture as you grow, and to share which companies he looks to for inspiration. Here are some of the highlights.Continue reading
MetaLab is an interface design company that specializes in taking ideas from “napkin sketches” to fully realized digital products. In addition to working with clients like Slack, Tumblr, Facebook, YouTube, and TED, they’ve also developed their own products, including Flow and Pixel Union.
The company was started nine years ago by Andrew Wilkinson, who strongly values culture and is a thought leader on entrepreneurship. One of the interesting choices he made early on was to keep the company based in his hometown of Victoria, BC, a small city on Vancouver Island, even as his clients grew to include Fortune 50 companies and Silicon Valley giants.Continue reading
Zappos, the famous online shoe retailer that was acquired by Amazon for $1.2B in 2009, has one of the most talked about company cultures in world. Fascinated by their unique approach to business, I wrote a profile on their culture a few weeks ago based on information from dozens of articles and blog posts. Yet the more I read, the more I wanted to know.
I wanted to learn more about how Holacracy actually works, what kinds of people thrive in a self-managing environment and how to find them, how Zappos’ life coaching program works, and what elements of their culture haven’t received much attention but are worth exploring.
I’m humbled and grateful that we had the opportunity to connect with Christa Foley, a “Lead Link” at Zappos Insights.Continue reading
In a world that increasingly values hustle and glorifies burnout, it’s refreshing to hear leaders speak out against philosophies that advocate working yourself to the bone.
Jason Fried is one of those leaders. He’s the co-founder and CEO of an incredibly successful tech company called Basecamp, which was started in 1999, and continues to thrive today.Continue reading
We recently wrote a profile on Buffer’s culture, and today we’re excited to share an interview with Hailley Griffis, Buffer’s PR Specialist, and Mary Jantsch, Buffer’s Community Lead, People Culture team.
In the Q&A below, the teammates discuss Buffer’s nomadic work culture, why they don’t have a traditional HR department, what the company is doing to scale its culture as they grow, and how they screen for culture-fit when hiring a 100% remote team.Continue reading
Beyond building a product that makes writing, clipping articles, and staying organized simple (and dare I say, fun), Evernote, has built a progressive work culture that includes equity, unlimited paid time off, $1,000 vacation stipends, catered lunches, an athletics program, and the intention to be a 100-year-old startup. They’re also big on life-long learning, and work hard to create an environment that fosters personal and professional development.Continue reading
Picture working at a company that celebrates culture above all else—a company with a totally flat structure, one that truly embraces individuality and, literally, pays people to quit.
It sounds like a utopian experiment, but that’s life at Zappos, the company that made something equally outlandish—buying shoes online—a totally acceptable, mainstream thing.Continue reading
Tell me if this sounds familiar. Someone at your company organizes what they see as a fun, company-wide activity, and it is absolutely not something you are interested in, but you follow through anyway because you don’t want to ruffle feathers or disrupt the culture. You might go through the motions, but you do not feel engaged.
Does that mean you’re not a cultural fit? Or does it mean you simply have different interests, preferences, or tendencies (ie., extroversion vs. introversion: maybe karaoke gives you anxiety to the point of throwing up, or the thought of an improv class makes you want to climb into a cave and never come back out).
If your company throws a big, rowdy holiday party and someone leaves early—or someone doesn’t show up at all—is that OK? Does it mean they aren’t engaged?
Are they hazards to your culture? Or is a truly healthy workplace one that lets people be who they are?Continue reading
When I think of Buffer, the first words that come to mind are happiness, remote working, and self improvement. None of these things are about the product itself (which is awesome, btw), but about the company’s culture, which is just as famous (if not more so) as their social media management tools.
Culture has been at the core of Buffer’s DNA from the early days. Back in early 2013 when the team was just seven people, Buffer’s leaders developed a culture playbook, which still informs everything they do today.Continue reading
What if your company paid you an additional $1,000 to take a vacation—yes, on top of your already paid vacation time? Sounds too good to be true, but to encourage better work-life balance, some companies—like Basecamp, Buffer, and Evernote—are offering such generous incentives.
North America is a breeding ground for burnout. In fact, a recent study showed that 90% of working Millennials would prefer to take a vacation over a pay raise. If those figures are indeed true, it might make sense to allocate funds reserved for bonuses to something like a vacation fund instead.Continue reading