FOCUSING ON OUR PEOPLE IN OUR WORK!
We all know that People is Weifield’s #1 core value – as people are the central force behind everything we do, from training, to recruiting/retention, to winning and executing work.
Although we all may know this, we all may be guilty of not remembering this, from time to time, in our daily activities. We work in a fast-paced industry with many deadlines and demands. Stress can sometimes creep up and affect us, making us not show up our best at times. I’m sure we can all think of times where we were sucked up into a deadline, moving fast….and we acted short, abrupt, or even unintentionally condescending to someone in a meeting or a conversation.
Stress ripples out from the person affected to everyone around them…and the simple fact is, it’s not fair to others. When this happens, we miss recognizing the human piece of the conversation. How do we make sure our stress doesn’t impact the people we work with and care about? If we care about our people and our culture, we have to be able to speak up and have thoughtful conversations when people are out of line and are not showing up at their best. How do we create that safe environment where everyone feels comfortable addressing these types of situations with each other, asking them if they are okay (first) and then raising the point that you recognize they may have been sucked into execution mode and needed pull back on the intensity?
There is a common workplace term called ‘psychological safety’ — organizational behavioral scientist Amy Edmondson of Harvard first introduced the construct of “team psychological safety” and defined it as “a shared belief held by members of a team that the team is safe for interpersonal risk taking.” Taking a risk around your team members may sound simple. But asking a basic question like “what’s the goal of this project?” may make you paranoid that you sound like you’re out of the loop. It might feel easier to continue without getting clarification in order to avoid being perceived as ignorant. However, nobody wins in that situation – your silence is actually affecting the productivity of yourself and perhaps others in your department. The company loses when you don’t ask the question.
So, at the end of the day, if it’s all about our people, how do we slow down and pay attention to the people piece of what we’re trying to do?
It’s also commonly known that if people think you don’t care, they’re not going to be loyal (if they feel you do care, they will be). This all starts with leadership and how you personally lead…no matter what your title is, everyone of us leads from their seat and in doing so, we have the obligation to remember the human factor when dealing with others.
Something that may help toward building our familiarity with each other is our Virtual Hallway conversations which we are starting up again in March – this program randomly pairs Weifield team members (in the field or office) with one other employee – and asks them to have video calls (or phone calls) with each other, sometime during the month. We also have quarterly ‘Connection’ events in our various regions where leaders and others in the company visit with regional team members to answer questions, discuss latest happenings, and generally get to know each other. I encourage you to attend the next Connection event in Texas, on February 2nd, and watch for more of these in your regions, each quarter. Also be sure to attend the quarterly All Hands meetings in-person at your offices, as well.
The more we know each other, the stronger we are. The more we allow for different, diverse perspectives, the stronger our company is. We don’t have to spend our work days primarily ‘chatting’ but from our Same Page meetings to our interactions in our daily work, we do have to make an effort to know each individual we work with – and legitimately care about them.
How do we lead well, think about people, bring up opposing views (respectfully) and challenge others to bring awareness around solutions and working together – as opposed to apart?
Our company initiatives around Betterment Teams, Connection Events, the Weifield Council, Virtual Hallway, are designed around bringing us together. But we need to start on the micro level – with our individual choices – so we can collectively move the needle even further. Can we start the ripple effect, today? Right now?…with the next person you talk to?….
I urge you to consider trying….until next time!