How to: Make Connection Easy While Remote

When teams have trust and psychological safety, they take the kind of social risks that transform organizations.

Especially in times of crisis, it’s important to know how to forge meaningful connections with your team members and offer the trust and support they need. Forbes calls Chad Littlefield, co-founder and Chief Experience Officer of We and Me, Inc., a “global expert on asking questions that build trust and connection in teams.” In this free, virtual workshop, leaders and entrepreneurs will connect, share current experiences and work together to learn how to adapt.

By the end of the workshop, attendees walked away with two concrete, actionable tools for amplifying connection, belonging, and trust in your own organization during these challenging times.

We covered:
• Research and practical experience around building workplace relationships
• How to break down communication barriers, in-person and virtually
• Tools and strategies for sparking genuine connection and deeper conversation

How to: Care for Virtual Employees

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, teams across the country suddenly find themselves in virtual work situations. This can pose a challenge to culture-focused companies that want to care for their employees. The good news: the principles of a positive culture translate to sustainable virtual environments, too — and they offer exciting new ways to engage team members and do great work. In this workshop, we heard from Small Giants leader and CEO of Big Cartel, Anna Brozek, about how their entirely virtual team stays connected, productive, and culturally aligned.

We covered:
• Building a positive culture with virtual teams
• The best tools to use to communicate with virtual and local employees
• Fun ways to surprise and engage employees from afar

How to: Create a Successful Onboarding Program

Learn how to create an employee onboarding program that sets new team members up for success and ensures you retain top talent. From the first handshake to the six-month mark, onboarding is an involved, dynamic process that demands time, attention, and resources.

In this workshop led by Connor Lynch of Rescue Agency, attendees learned how to create an employee onboarding program that sets new team members up for success and ensures you retain top talent.

We covered:

  • Planning out a new hire’s most important first experiences on the job
  • Measuring a new hire’s progress in their first six months
  • Implementing feedback mechanisms for the new hire and your team

How to Hire Culturally-Aligned A-Players

Small Giants leaders know that hiring the wrong person is costly, time-consuming, and can do serious cultural damage. But even with the best intentions, without a strong hiring process, wrong hires can still sneak in.

In this Fishbowl (a.k.a. webinar!) we’ll learn from Vivian Lee, SVP of People Innovation at Arkadium about their process for hiring top candidates quickly and ensuring they’re culturally aligned.

Arkadium’s interview process is thoughtful and strategic: all hiring managers follow an interview guide that is anchored in the position’s scorecard and defines what success in the role looks like. In this Fishbowl, you’ll learn about:

  • The questions to ask to ensure cultural fit
  • Arkadium’s philosophy that finding top candidates is the manager’s priority, not HR’s
  • How to create your own interview guide for each role
  • How to use an interview guide to combat interview bias
  • How to remain disciplined in your recruiting and interview processes

The Process of Culture

Having a great company culture doesn’t just happen — a great culture is built on processes and discipline in all areas of your organization.
In this Fishbowl (a.k.a. webinar!) we learned from Shawn Burcham, CEO of PFSbrands, about how his team has systematized their culture by integrating their core values into how they recruit, hire, fire, train, and review employees.
You’ll hear about how PFSbrands screens for culture fit, reinforces values, and creates a culture of feedback.
This Fishbowl will cover how to:
  • Be systematic in your hiring process
  • Hire for core values: your organization’s and the candidate’s
  • Use surveying, 360 reviews, and Net Promoter Score to create a culture of feedback

Building Culture in Virtual Teams

Positive workplaces don’t happen by accident. Purpose-driven leaders know that behind the best company cultures, you’ll find leaders who put in consistent, intentional hard work to build this aspect of their organization.

But, what happens to the culture if you and your employees don’t see each other every day? What happens to the camaraderie and trust that make positive, successful companies? How do you build and maintain your culture with a virtual or distributed team?

In this month’s Fishbowl (a.k.a. webinar!), we’ll learn from 2019 Forbes Small Giants leader Behfar Jahanshahi on how InterWorks’ culture grew and flourished as its team became a distributed workforce.

You’ll learn:

  • How to build or maintain your company’s close-knit, positive culture among a virtual or distributed team
  • How InterWorks’ culture grew with them as they went from one physical office location to having employees in co-working spaces and home offices around the world
  • The software tools you can use to conduct meaningful, virtual meetings
  • How to proactively stay connected to employees you don’t see every day
  • How to cultivate trust and camaraderie among employees no matter where they are

How to Create a Results-Focused Culture

Learn how this agency became a ROWE – a Results Only Work Environment – and how this approach creates a culture of autonomy, flexibility, and results.

In a ROWE, meetings are optional and employees work when and where they’re most productive. Results and quality become the key drivers of success — resulting in higher employee engagement, more quality work, and better overall efficiency within your business. In this Fishbowl (a.k.a. webinar!) you’ll hear from Ashton Adair, Director of People and Engagement at Mojo Media Labs about how Mojo became a ROWE and the impact this system has had on the business, its operations, and employees’ lives. You’ll learn:

  • What it means to be a ROWE (Results Only Work Environment)
  • Why ROWE can be a good fit for purpose-driven businesses
  • How to prime your business for becoming a ROWE
  • Challenges to avoid and lessons learned in becoming a ROWE
  • How to use a results-focused environment to attract top talent
  • How to measure results and quality
  • What results-focused practices you can adopt even if you don’t become a full ROWE

Start the Conversation about Mental Health in the Workplace

One in five US adults experiences a mental illness in a given year — and even more experience the struggles through a friend or family member. Despite its prevalence in our lives, the stigma associated with mental illness often prevents open discussion about it. Ultimately, this stigma delays diagnosis and treatment — and the conversation can be even harder to have in the workplace.

Opening the dialogue and creating a safe and accepting environment to talk about mental health is just another way purpose-driven leaders can care for employees in the totality of their lives, as well as, support them to do their best work.

In this Fishbowl, Meg Switala and Karen Nelson of TiER1 Performance will share their process for leveraging the workplace for starting the conversation about mental health. We’ll learn about their experience following this journey at TiER1 and the positive impact it has had on their employees’ lives and their company culture.

From this Fishbowl, you’ll take away:

  • What you need to launch a successful Start the Conversation program
  • The specific communication schedule, themes, and messaging they used to encourage open communication around mental health
  • Simple-to-implement practices that will create a trusting space for employees
  • The direct results this program had on their organization and its individual employees

Building a Thriving Millennial Workforce

What’s the secret to attracting and retaining millennial employees? It’s simpler than you might think — today’s workforce values an employer that cares for them in the totality of their lives. It sounds simple, but what does that approach look like in practice? In this Fishbowl, Chris Stakich, CEO of Rustic Pathways, will share the six-prong framework his company uses to attract, develop, and retain a workforce of more than 200 millennials across the globe. Based on Tony Robbins’ Six Core Human Needs, Rustic Pathways has cracked the code for engaging millennials. You’ll learn how to create an environment where team members:

  • Feel secure
  • Experience variety
  • Build self-worth
  • Create deep connections
  • Grow personally and professionally
  • Give back

You’ll take away specific practices to implement in your business and create a culture where all generations of employees can thrive.

How to Use Feedback to Bring Your Company Values to Life

Everyone is talking about feedback and one-on-ones, but how do you make sure you’re truly adding value and not just checking a box? More to the point, how do you use feedback to help the team embody your company values in their day-to-day interactions. It turns out that it’s one-part mindset shift and one part tactical. In this fishbowl, you’ll learn from Jonathan Raymond, author of Good Authority and CEO at Refound, on how to give feedback in a way that feels natural, acknowledges power imbalances, and brings your company values to life.

Key Takeaways:

  • How to structure feedback using questions and observations
  • The mindset shift to become a great people manager
  • What to do when you feel like you’ve given feedback but nothing changes
  • How to take ownership of your contribution to a stuck situation
  • Why boundaries are the most critical — and most avoided — ingredient in effective feedback
  • How to use The Accountability Dial to give timely, thought provoking feedback

How to Bring Transparency and Accountability to Career Trajectory and Raises

Deciding when an employee should receive a promotion or a raise can be difficult, especially when deciding how much. In this fishbowl, Karen Clark Cole, CEO & Founder of Blink UX, and Brigitt Rains, Director of Operations, will share how they developed an internal system to make career trajectory, promotions, and asking for raises transparent and easy in their organization.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn how to develop a career trajectory path for employees
  • Learn how to develop a system for asking for raises
  • Learn about he GrowTool system, which Blink UX built to monitor both systems
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A Strengths-Based Culture: Boosting Your People and Your Profits

One key attribute that differentiates a Small Giant from other businesses is the devotion given to employee development. We know that when people feel valued in their workplace, they work harder. How much harder? 6 times, to be exact. Can you imagine walking in on Monday morning to the buzz of folks working hard and loving it because their Strengths are at work? Motivated employees results in motivated profits…and there’s nothing wrong with motivated profits. Join Heidi Convery, a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach and founder of Flourish LLC, as she introduces you to the productivity and profitability effects of building a Strengths based organization.

Key Takeaways

  • An introduction to Gallup’s CliftonStrengths Assessment and Movement
  • Understanding Your Strengths and How to Leverage Them as a Leader
  • Ways to Incorporate Strengths into Your Everyday Culture
  • Introducing the Process of Claiming Our Strengths
  • Aiding Employees in Utilizing Their Strengths in Their Roles

Leaders are encouraged to take the Top 5 Clifton Strengths Assessment before the fishbowl. However, it is not required. 

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How to Both Measure & Increase Your Company Culture’s ROI

Small Giants understand that culture dramatically drives and impacts profit. As the width of your team’s smiles expands, so does your bottom-line. In this energized fishbowl, Kris Boesch, CEO and Founder of Choose People, weaves valuable content, enlightening stories and tangible no-cost ways to help you improve the impact of your culture on your bottom-line. Participants will be able to take her doable best practices and lessons learned and implement them within their organizations to see immediate results.

Key Takeaways Include:

  • The Bottom-Line Business Case for Happy Employees
  • How to Measure Your Company Culture’s ROI
  • The Role of Compensation, Incentives and Bonuses
  • The 3 Pillars to Creating and Keeping Happy Employees
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Behind The Scenes: Mastering the Pre-work to Hire an Exceptional Candidate

Amy Whipple and Carrie Schochet of Purple Squirrel Advisors specialize in customized recruiting in the accounting, finance, human resources and operations functions for companies across industries and ranging from 8 million to 700 million in revenue. In this interactive Fishbowl, you will learn about the aspects of recruiting and hiring that Amy and Carrie have identified as crucial to bringing exceptional candidates on board, including how to write comprehensive job descriptions, identifying and avoiding common discrepancies when writing job descriptions, and mastering behavioral interviewing.

In this Fishbowl, you will learn the following key takeaways:

  • Learn about the Acumax assessment and how its results reveal candidates decision-making abilities
  • Learn about the most common disconnects when writing job descriptions and how you can avoid these pitfalls on your own leadership team
  • How and why companies should write comprehensive job descriptions which include company culture, history, tactical responsibilities, as well as a six-month trajectory plan (when possible)
  • How to use behavioral interview questions effectively in your job interviews – and walk away with a worksheet on behavioral questions as well!
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The Feedback Loop: How to Give and Receive

How do you tell a top-performing employee something that they don’t want to hear? How do you take in feedback from your employees, without coming across as defensive? Giving and receiving feedback well are two of the most-valued – yet difficult to master – skills for any leader. Claire Lew, , has spent her working life studying 15,000+ leaders and employees in 25 countries to develop a methodology for The Feedback Loop: How to Give & Receive Feedback Well. After over three years of research across hundreds of companies, Claire will share a playbook for how the most effective leaders give and receive feedback. If you’re a manager or CEO who’s always wanted to get better at giving and receiving feedback, this fishbowl is for you.

Key takeaways:

  • A deep understanding of why we dismiss tough feedback
  • How to handle feedback you disagree with
  • Five techniques for receiving tough feedback well
  • Research on how receptive employees are to tough feedback
  • How to tell an employee that they are wrong or that they messed up
  • A proven four-step framework for giving tough feedback to employees
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From Me to We: Creating a Culture of Leaders

Join us for a fishbowl discussion led by Candice Gouge, Talent and Culture Cultivator at Pegasus Logistics, on creating a culture of leaders.

In 2014, Pegasus Logistics faced a crisis – employees were leaving, the culture was decimating, and sales were at a stall. So, when a group of dedicated longtime employees formed a “coup” and took to the leadership team about what needed to change: investing in employee development was one of the first on the agenda. Now, 3 years later, Pegasus’ sales and culture are thriving, including higher employee engagement levels, productivity, and overall retention. Join Candice Gouge, Talent and Culture Cultivator, at Pegasus Logistics for a fishbowl discussion on the employee development tools she designed and implemented to create a culture of leaders including Individual Development Plans and multi-level leadership tracks for all employees.

Key Takeaways

  • Learn what an Individual Development Plan (IDP) is and how it can be used to engage employees and help them achieve their goals
  • Learn how to create IDPs for employees and how to incorporate them into management one-one-ones and check-ins
  • Learn about the multi-level leadership tracks Pegasus has implemented, so that all employees have a clear destination to the leadership roles they are interested in
  • Receive samples of both Individual Development Plans and Leadership Track Materials to take back to your organization
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How Much to Spend on Company Culture to Truly Impact The Bottom Line

In this fishbowl, Mills Snell and Matt Morley from Pendleton Street Advisors, will share what to measure when tracking investment in company culture and what trends to look for over time.

Key Takeaways:

  • Review the basics of a financial statement and identify which line items to pay attention to when tracking company culture
  • Learn what to do with this data and how to interpret it over the longterm.
  • Share your own experiences and questions in regard to measuring investment in culture with a subject matter expert.
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So Your Culture is Great, but Does the Talent Pool Know That?

In this interactive fishbowl, Shawn Busse, Kinesis Founding Partner and CEO, will help you assess how effectively you’re marketing your culture to potential employees and provide you with resources to better attract the right talent for your organization.

We all know that hiring for culture is key. But in order to attract the right talent, your brand has to accurately communicate your company culture. In this day and age of transparency and access to information, everything is interrelated: for example, if you’ve got a great customer-centric website, but no talk of employees, you’re dramatically limiting your candidate pool. Similarly, if you’ve got a great culture, but a weak external brand (bad website, limited social media, poor community engagement) you’ll miss out on great talent looking for something special. In this interactive workshop, Shawn showed attendees how to identify shortfalls in their brand communications, bringing them closer to delivering a consistent message that accurately conveys your company culture.

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