Workplace culture | Corporate culture in the workplace | Inclusion in the workplace

Leaders, Inclusiveness Improves Corporate Culture

“Our belief is that if you get the culture right, most of the other stuff, like great customer service or building a great long-term brand, or empowering passionate employees and customers will happen on its own.”
– Tony Hsieh CEO, Zappos

Recent news headlines have given us much to think about when it comes to what’s accepted within an organization’s culture. It begs the question: What would it be like if all workplace cultures were built on mutual respect and openness? And how do we make that happen?

Let’s start by understanding the importance of culture in business and then consider how leaders can be the catalysts for positive change in their specific organizations.

Culture: The “Immune System” Of The Workplace

There are myriads of ways that workplace culture impacts an organization’s short- and long-term success. In a recent article on Time.com, Arianna Huffington referred to corporate culture as a company’s “immune system.”

When a workplace culture is healthy, it values and celebrates each person’s contributions, so current employees want to stay and potential employees are eager to come on board. Conversely, an unhealthy culture will damage a company’s reputation and make employees more prone to the “illnesses” of human nature.

The more fit and strong the culture at your organization, the more easily employees can recognize the onset of these issues and take steps to remedy them.

What Makes A Healthy Workplace Culture?

Rather than focus on negatives, here are a few of the positive aspects that define a fit and thriving corporate culture. If they don’t necessarily describe your company right now, consider how you might incorporate them going forward, starting with your teams.

  • Diversity – Do you find yourself (or those within your organization) saying, “That’s the way we’ve always done it”? No more! This is essential if you want to foster well-being and improve performance. Diversity enables new thoughts, ideas, and possibilities to emerge so that you’re continually thinking, looking, and moving forward.
  • Transparency – In a culture of openness, you can spot issues and correct them before they create a crisis. Transparency makes it safe for people to admit their mistakes, learn from them, and use those lessons to benefit the organization. Be honest – could your organization benefit from greater levels of transparency?
  • A Larger Purpose – Millennials, in particular, thrive in a culture where principles are as important as profits. But doesn’t everyone want to feel they’re part of something beneficial -not only for customers but for the world as a whole? Where does your organization stand on this?

Your Role As A Leader: Build Inclusiveness

If a healthy corporate culture could be summed up in one word, it’s “inclusiveness.” An Inc.com article states that inclusive workplace cultures are healthier, more productive, and make team members feel more valued.

However, leaders can’t always gauge their efforts at inclusiveness, according to a ten-year study by leadership consultants Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman. So here are some key benchmarks to help you be a more inclusive leader and create a healthier corporate culture:

  1. Try to ignore your ego. – It’s human nature to think of ourselves first, but our role as leaders is to keep the focus on success for our team and for our organization as a whole. When you make this shift toward intellectual humility, you almost automatically create inclusiveness.
  2. Remember the value of listening. – As a leader, there’s a time to talk. But often, the way to reach the best ideas and solutions is to listen, and you create inclusiveness when you do. This doesn’t mean you have to use every suggestion, but you should always be willing to at least hear them.
  3. Encourage collaboration on your teams. – When your team members contribute to a project or solve an issue, they gain a great sense of motivation and accomplishment. Bill Gates said, “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” And empowerment often starts with collaboration.

Every person deserves to work in a culture where they are valued, supported, empowered, and encouraged to be all they can be. As leaders, we play a major role in creating this safe and nurturing environment not only for the benefit of our employees but for the success of our companies in the long term. Are you ready for the challenge?

Looking for ways to be a bold leader who is a catalyst for creating a healthier, more inclusive culture within your organization? Sign up here to access my free Weekly Bold Move.

Equality in the Workplace ,The Pay Gap Still Exists

Leaders, How Committed Are You to Equality in the Workplace?

When it comes to leadership topics, one of the perennial “hot buttons” remains equality in the workplace. A while back I wrote about the challenges women face in acquiring leadership positions, and I was again inspired to revisit this subject after reading some newly published data by Glassdoor, LeanIn.Org and McKinsey focusing on the topic of pay inequality.

I’ll cover briefly the “facts” – then encourage you to ask deep questions to find out how you may be contributing to inequality in the workplace.

How Gender Pay Equality Looks Today

Glassdoor is one of the few surveys that focuses solely on the issue of the gender pay gap, with data based on 505,000 salaries shared with them by full-time U.S. workers. It’s worth reading the entire survey, but here are a few important takeaways on the pay gap:

  • Based on raw data, base pay for men in the U.S. is about 24% higher than for women. However, adjusting the data based on factors like age, education, experience, job title, employer, and location brings the gap down to about 5.4%. Even still, an obvious gap exists.
  • The occupation with the highest gender pay gap? Computer programmer. C-Suite occupations also ranked highly, and other occupations with a high gender pay gap include chef, dentist, psychologist and pharmacist.
  • Although male-female pay differences have significantly lessened since the 1960’s, the closure has begun to stagnate. For an excellent visual representation of the gender pay gap, check out Org’s data on equal pay here.

Though the survey above had a focus on U.S. workers, a Harvard University piece on equal pay aptly states, “Such inequality is hardly unique to the United States.”

What Causes the Gender Pay Gap?Equality in the Workplace ,The Pay Gap Still Exists

While the causes of the gender pay gap have long been debated, most would agree that there is no single culprit. Just some of the potential reasons include:

  • Conflicting views on diversity: A McKinsey report found that 90% of companies surveyed believed making gender diversity a priority leads to improved business outcomes – but just 37% of employees agreed.
  • Gaps in commitment: Saying gender equality matters – and then being willing to address it – are very different. The largest gap was seen in young women (most committed) and young men (least committed).
  • Same questions, different results: Women may be asking for promotions and raises like their male counterparts, but the study found that men often achieve more without even asking and face less backlash when doing so.

Instead of debating what causes inequality in the workplace, we’d prefer to focus on what can be done about it.

Equality in the Workplace: Ask the Right Questions

A deeper exploration of pay inequality seems necessary. Many of us really believe that we’re being “fair” – and hardly notice how  surprisingly easy it is to find oneself subtly buying into a system without realizing it and then not having the courage to do something about it or to bring about change at a deeper level.

Google is teeming with resources related to “gender inequality” or “how to fix gender inequality in the workplace.” Change starts from within. If we want to correct gender inequality, we need to ask some tough questions:

  1. What are my biases? Biases – particularly unconscious ones – can be sneaky, sabotaging you and causing unintended consequences to others when you least expect it. If as you read this you’re saying “I don’t have any biases,” I encourage you to take a more honest look within. Start with mindful awareness; pay attention to your subtle reactions throughout the day. You may be surprised – in more ways than one.
  2. How far am I willing to go to address inequality? Truth be told, few of us would say that the issue of inequality doesn’t matter – but simply making a statement isn’t the same as taking concrete action. For instance, how proactive is your organization when it comes to hiring women? Are you limiting your talent pool? Have you taken a look at your interview process lately? Look for hidden factors that might be leading to inequality.
  3. Do I really value a work/life balance? Many of us have heard that phrase so often that we’ve become indifferent to it. Yet, Mary Brinton of Harvard University asserts that as young adults attempt to balance work and life responsibilities, women often face additional burdens associated with caregiving. This leads to a disadvantage in the workplace, where many organizations have become accustomed to nearly 24/7 availability.

As we all work together to understand and ultimately address gender inequality in the workplace and beyond, let us remember the words of the great Socrates, “He who aspires to govern the city must learn to govern himself.

Looking for ways to be a bold leader that others turn to for mentoring and positive change within your organization? Sign up here to access my free Weekly Bold Move.

 

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About Colleen

Colleen Slaughter - International Leadership CoachColleen Slaughter, Your Big, BOLDER Life Mentor, is a speaker, coach, author and founder of Authentic Leadership International. She is passionate about providing ambitious International leaders with the courage, confidence and clarity they need to stop selling themselves short, to claim what they really want in business and in life and to go for it!

Clients say Colleen has helped them find their voice, listen to it, and act on it, and that, by doing so, they have gained a sense of freedom, joy and fulfillment beyond measure.

Colleen’s perspectives have been featured in ABC, NBC, CBS, Enterprising Women and the Woman’s Advantage® Shared Wisdom Calendar for 2012, 2015 and 2016.

If she could be granted a superpower, it would be to vanish people’s feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness and to replace them with the deep understanding of how much they, and what they envision for themselves are important.
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Why it makes sense to trust your gut | Authentic leaders trust their gut instincts | Follow your instincts

Leaders, Do You Trust Your Gut?

In our information-based world, many leaders have learned to make decisions based on whatever solid data can be gathered regarding a particular situation. But neuroscience has proven that there’s another important factor you should employ in leadership decision-making: trusting your gut.

Authentic Leaders Address Emotional Needs

Working effectively with people isn’t about how fast or how well your brain can process information, says the Forbes article The Neuroscience At The Heart Of Learning And Leading. As humans, we want and need to connect with each other on a deeper level—which takes empathy and imagination rather than just data.

More and more studies show that people perform better when their emotional needs are met. Leaders with good emotional intelligence and strong insights about their team members are better equipped to handle this.

Authentic leaders know themselves. They don’t depend solely on the “hard facts” – instead, they rely on their inner instincts and aren’t afraid to trust themselves, even if that means going against the grain when a situation dictates.

Why It Makes Sense to Follow Your Instincts

Human behavioral science believes that your gut collects and holds all your experiences and learning since you were born. When you trust your gut, you draw on this wealth of valuable information that can help you make better decisions, often more quickly and without having to process myriads of information.

Research has shown that when you combine this gut instinct with a thorough review of data, it can improve your decision-making in big, bold ways.

The leadership transformation coaches at Authentic Leadership International (www.boldermoves.com), can show you leadership approaches that use the right mix of facts, bold insight, and emotional intelligence to create a successful and empowered team.

Leaders, Try These Tips to Trust Your Gut

From FastCompany.com, here are some easy strategies you can use to trust your gut when making leadership decisions:

  • Take time to reflect. Avoid the temptation to make a snap decision and instead tell team members you need time to “sleep on it.”
  • If you tend to overanalyze, set a time limit for your decision and go to your gut at the end of that time period to see what your instincts tell you. Also be mindful of how you’re feeling, as that’s another way to access your gut intelligence.
  • Make a list of all your gut decisions and their outcomes. You’ll start to equate how you felt on a “gut level” with the results of your choice. Over time, you’ll be able to recognize when your instincts are giving you the thumbs up (or thumbs down) on a situation.

Bonus BOLD Tip: If it’s been a challenge for you to get in touch with your inner instincts, try meditation. Regularly participating in this powerful practice offers benefits that can not only help you deepen your capacity as a leader, but also give you fresh perspectives in your personal and professional lives.

Adding gut instincts to your decision-making tool box as a leader can help you and your team achieve impressive and on-going success.

Looking for new and bolder ways to manage your teams, including how to add an instinctive approach to your decision making process and leadership skillset? Sign up here to access my free Weekly Bold Move.

 

 

 

About Colleen

Colleen Slaughter - International Leadership CoachColleen Slaughter, Your Big, BOLDER Life Mentor, is a speaker, coach, author and founder of Authentic Leadership International. She is passionate about providing ambitious International leaders with the courage, confidence and clarity they need to stop selling themselves short, to claim what they really want in business and in life and to go for it!

Clients say Colleen has helped them find their voice, listen to it, and act on it, and that, by doing so, they have gained a sense of freedom, joy and fulfillment beyond measure.

Colleen’s perspectives have been featured in ABC, NBC, CBS, Enterprising Women and the Woman’s Advantage® Shared Wisdom Calendar for 2012, 2015 and 2016.

If she could be granted a superpower, it would be to vanish people’s feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness and to replace them with the deep understanding of how much they, and what they envision for themselves are important.
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Are You Fully Committed To Motivating Your Employees?

In today’s business climate, it takes a lot more than money to motivate employees. In fact, when asked what motivates them to go the extra mile, money wasn’t even at the top of the list for many employees.

In a recent TED Talk, behavioral economist Dan Ariely shared three non-monetary factors that positively influence workplace performance:

1) The meaningfulness of what we do.

2) The acknowledgement by others about what we do.

3) The difficulty of what we do—the harder it is, the prouder we are of it.

 

From a TED Talk website article, here are a few non-monetary motivational tips you might want to try in your organization.

Non-Monetary Team Motivators

Offer The Promise Of Helping Others – Presented properly, this can be extremely motivating to employees.

University of Michigan psychologist Adam Grant ran a study placing two types of signs at a hospital’s hand-washing station. One read “Hand hygiene prevents you from catching diseases” and the other “Hand hygiene prevents patients from catching diseases.” At the stations with the signs mentioning patients, doctors and nurses used 45 percent more soap or sanitizer.

It only takes some creative thinking for leaders to show how the team’s work is benefitting someone, from other team members to the public at large.

Present Positive Body LanguageBody language speaks as loudly as verbal feedback when it comes to influencing motivation.

Harvard University students gave speeches and interviews where experimenters either nodded and smiled or shook their heads and crossed their arms. When later tested, the group with the positive reinforcement answered numerical questions more accurately than the other group.

According to the study, this is because the students who saw positive body language believed they could handle the situation while the other group felt more discouraged—even if either group didn’t consciously know it. Leaders should pay close attention to be sure they’re sending the appropriate messages through their body language.

Allow Emotion-Producing Pictures – Hiroshima University students performed a dexterity task before and after seeing pictures of adult or baby animals. Both situations created better performance, but there was an additional ten percent improvement after students saw images of cute puppies and kittens.

Researchers call this the “cuteness-triggered positive emotion” and believe it helps us improve our motivation and performance on tasks that need close attention.

We at Authentic Leadership International (www.boldermoves.com) can help you master a variety of ways to effectively motivate your team to greater achievements.

Practical Tips to Stay Motivated

The Forbes.com article “How To Stay Super Motivated” offers some additional suggestions for motivation that can be practiced personally by leaders and team members.

  • Truly commit yourself to personal excellence regardless of what others around you are doing.
  • Spend two minutes every day reminding yourself of the “why” of what you are committed to.
  • Believe that you are unstoppable – and tell yourself this again and again.
  • Congratulate yourself on your successes every night, even the small things. This sense of achievement will improve your drive and motivation, says the article.

Bolder Moves BONUS Tip: You already know accountability is a key leadership quality, so don’t forget to hold yourself accountable when it comes to staying motivated. Being accountable can help you deepen your understanding of yourself and your team, achieve bigger goals more effectively, and stay focused even when challenges inevitably pop up.

No matter how you generate it, motivation is a key factor in obtaining high-quality, success-building results.

Looking for new and bolder ways to manage your teams, including motivational tips and tactics to generate more success? Sign up here to access my free Weekly Bold Move.

 

About Colleen

Colleen Slaughter - International Leadership CoachColleen Slaughter, Your Big, BOLDER Life Mentor, is a speaker, coach, author and founder of Authentic Leadership International. She is passionate about providing ambitious International leaders with the courage, confidence and clarity they need to stop selling themselves short, to claim what they really want in business and in life and to go for it!

Clients say Colleen has helped them find their voice, listen to it, and act on it, and that, by doing so, they have gained a sense of freedom, joy and fulfillment beyond measure.

Colleen’s perspectives have been featured in ABC, NBC, CBS, Enterprising Women and the Woman’s Advantage® Shared Wisdom Calendar for 2012, 2015 and 2016.

If she could be granted a superpower, it would be to vanish people’s feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness and to replace them with the deep understanding of how much they, and what they envision for themselves are important.
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Stand Out In Your Job Interview With These Questions

In a recent post titled, How A “Reverse Interview” Can Get You A Job, I shared how asking targeted questions in a job interview can impress you potential employer, giving you an edge over other candidates and increasing your chances of a job offer.

The right questions to ask will vary depending on the particular job and industry you’re going for and will require some specific research on your part. There are, however, some general questions that should always be on your list.

Here are some good examples to get you started, broken down by categories.

Job Specifics – Here’s where you can learn more about both the “hard” and “soft” skills required to be successful and provide more information on your qualifications.

  • What are the challenges of this position?
  • What have past employees done to succeed in this role?
  • Can you describe a typical day for the person in this position?
  • Who held this position previously? OR Why is this position open?

Performance/Advancement/Success – You want to understand how (and if) the company encourages, supports, and rewards their employees.

  • Can you describe the performance review process?
  • What are your expectations for the person in this role in the first 3/6/12 months?
  • Are there opportunities for continuing education and/or professional training?
  • What are the most important qualities needed for an employee to succeed and advance in the company?
  • Will I receive any training for this specific role?

Company Stability – If you can, it’s important to know that the company isn’t going to be laying you off or shutting down shortly after hiring you.

  • What are the company’s short-term and long-term goals for success? How would my team support them?
  • Which goals are you most excited about achieving?
  • Where do you think the company will be in the next five years?

Company Culture – These questions help you get a feel for how you’ll “fit in” with other employees if you’re hired.

  • What have you enjoyed most about working here?
  • How do you handle interpersonal issues on the team?
  • How would you describe the working environment—collaborative, independent?
  • Can you tell me how the company has changed since you came on board?

Closing Questions – Wrap things up or get details on anything you still want to know.

  • Which of my skills and experiences would make me a qualified candidate?
  • Does anything in my qualifications or background concern you around my fit for the job?
  • What are the next steps?

A final note: Don’t ask about benefits or salary during your interview. Once you get an offer you can negotiate your salary if needed and will learn about the benefits package. If either of those is a deal-breaker, you don’t have to accept the job offer.

Feel free to share any questions you’ve asked during an interview that helped get you hired.

Looking for a fresh dose of motivation to inspire and challenge you every week? Sign up here to access my Weekly Bold Move. Best of all, it’s completely free!

 

 

 

Image courtesy of pakorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About Colleen

CSlaughter-03-200x300Colleen Slaughter, Your Big, BOLDER Life Mentor, is a speaker, coach, author and founder of Authentic Leadership International. She is passionate about providing ambitious women leaders with the courage, confidence and clarity they need to stop selling themselves short, to claim what they really want in business and in life and to go for it!

Clients say Colleen has helped them find their voice, listen to it, and act on it, and that, by doing so, they have gained a sense of freedom, joy and fulfillment beyond measure.

Colleen’s perspectives have been featured in ABC, NBC, CBS, Enterprising Women and the Woman’s Advantage® Shared Wisdom Calendar for 2012, 2015 and 2016.

If she could be granted a superpower, it would be to vanish people’s feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness and to replace them with the deep understanding of how much they, and what they envision for themselves are important.
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