In late April I attended the Great Place to Work conference in Dallas, Texas (also known as my hometown). It was two days of stellar keynotes, insightful breakout sessions, + tons of snacks.
Culture is more than a free t-shirt! Perks don’t keep employees—the people and work do. (Tweet it!)
Twitter CEO, Dick Costolo, said, “Make sure everyone understands what you understand”. I handle internal + candidate communications and I needed this reminder.
Kevin Cleary, CEO of Clif Bar, was my fave keynote. The overarching theme of Kevin’s keynote was that you need to scrap the idea of work / life balance and help employees integrate life at work. He had lots of good stuff in his speech about how to help employees do that, but my biggest takeaway was also one of the big trends of the conference …
GIVE EMPLOYEES PURPOSE!
Kevin said, work without purpose is drudgery, and added that a paycheck cannot make up for that sacrifice. Right now you’re probably thinking of that one job that felt a bit soul crushing. So how do we make sure our companies don’t perpetuate drudgery? For Kevin, it’s a simple formula: think about the kind of place you want to work at + what you are doing to make the world a better place. Then, articulate that to your employees. Twitter CEO, Dick Costolo, focused on transparency in his keynote as the way to give purpose. He emphasized the idea that your team needs to know why you need to achieve a goal and what you need to do to achieve it. Then give them the respect, ownership, authority, and accountability over their work to get there.
Additionally, Children’s Healthcare of Greater Atlanta CEO, Donna Hyland + Cheesecake Factory President, David Gordon – touched on giving your team purpose through sharing customer stories especially with the folks in non-customer facing roles. For companies struggling to show employees they make a difference every day, provide ways for them to impact their community or empower them to create their own community at work. My favorite example, was the pie baking club at Clif that sells pies and donates the money to charity. Who wants to start baking pies with me?
recently conducted an internal culture survey and our employees said they love the people, our culture, and their work. I love that we’re on the right path, but there’s always room for growth. Our next step is to work some of the goodness from the conference around purposeful work and bring that into our employees’ day to day. We’ll be sharing customer, team, and individual success stories at each week. Last Friday, one of our employee’s wrapped up a project and we ceremoniously popped confetti in his honor to celebrate the accomplishment.
Here’s to a lot more confetti in ’s future!
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