Greener day starts with a Culture of Conversations
Successful leaders make sure to minimize fear within their organization. Honest conversations is the goal!
When you have a culture where people aren’t afraid to have meetings with other colleagues, or talking with their manager or be open about what makes them press green and red and speak up about how they see improvements could happen - THAT is when magic starts happening.
All-Staff meetings are excellent for discussing the results as an entire company and then taking actions based on those results.
However, when you are just starting, they may not immediately deliver the results you're after.
This is because All-Staff meetings can put pressure on employees. It's a little scary to tell the entire company why you pressed red, or even green!
When beginning to talk, start off small
- Start asking about the green: Other users quickly discover that starting with the positive is a great strategy. What do people like about your workplace? Do more of this!
- Use "we" instead of "you": Instead of asking employees, 'what makes you press red or green?', ask the question, 'what makes US press red or green?'. This makes it more casual and less formal. It's not just on one person but on the entire group.
- Start by conversing with just one employee: Test the waters! Ask a trusted coworker what he or she thinks makes people press green around here. Or make it a bit fun and ask the first person you bump in to in the corridor. When you see the same person the week after, ask about the red. This could prepare you for the kind of things that other people will say, and helps you prepare for the next step:
- A great workplace is everyone's job. Think about yourself. How is your relation with your boss? Or with your closest team workers where you sit, or who you work with? This is where the conversation needs to happen.
- Encourage line managers to speak with their employees: Do you manage people? Create a simple list of things you’ve identified that needs improving, and share it with your leader or HR if needed. Making people feel good at work is your job! You identify so you can followup. If you manage people you have to be aware. People are not machines, they are people! Our users have proved that a transparent workplace encourages openness which means employees are more willing to share how they feel. Ensure that employees know that they can reach out, one on one, to line managers. Or the manager's manager, HR, etc.
- Take action on simple votes in meetings: In your first team meeting, start by taking action on something simple. If employees have told you that they press red because the office is uncomfortable or perhaps they would prefer tea over coffee, take a vote in the all hands and make a decision. Would most employees prefer tea in the kitchen? Or change the snacks for healthy food in the vending machine? Then make the change. Not only does this let employees know that you are listening but it also sends the message that you are working to make the workplace a better and happier place. The next time, you can ask about "harder" issues. Check the results on your Celpax, and make sure to communicate back so people feel encouraged to continue pressing and giving you feedback.
- Focus Groups: Arrange to speak to small groups of employees. Groups of 4-6 employees work well. It takes some pressure off the employees and is a more comfortable environment. Again, ask the participants to think about the group, how do they think others feel? (Wisdom of the Crowd.) Our users have found that employees are more willing to share in smaller groups. You might need several sessions before they trust you enough to say what they REALLY think and feel. The best way to gain trust is to act on their feedback. Fix one small thing that makes them press green, show them the results, and explain that this was thanks for their feedback and pressing the Celpax. You can rotate and have different people participate in the Focus Groups. Mix departments, etc. What would they do to make your company better and special? What do they think? Can we make it? Are the proposals doable? Ask!
- Ask questions: What should we start, stop and continue doing? Help me understand... why is our plan X not working? What makes your day easier? What blocks us in the day to day? What stops us from executing our strategy? Why are we underperforming?
The % of participation is an indicator of how you work with the system, it's proportional to the things you do.
So the more action you take, and the more you talk about what makes people press green, the higher participation.
And remember, everything starts with your managers
Managers are people too, not superheroes.
They too would like a manager who makes them feel involved and appreciated.
They too would like a nice relationship with their superiors, to have clarity around company goals, to get frequent feedback to feel seen and made feel valuable.
If top management starts talking about how they feel at work, there's a higher possibility that the behavior will trickle down.