Category: Community

, , , ,

Speak-Up Culture

As the Andy Stanley quote goes, “Leaders who do not listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” And, that silence is dangerous.

Stephen Shedletzky – or “Shed” to his friends – has focused his career on helping leaders listen to and nurture the voices of others — to foster an environment where people feel it is both psychologically safe and worth it to speak up. In this session, we will uncover how creating such an environment is the responsibility and the advantage of leaders at every level who want to be great at leading and who want to create a better version of humanity while they do it. The bottom line, for everyone, is that organizations with speak-up cultures are safer, more innovative, more engaged, and better-performing than their peers.

A sought-after speaker, coach, and leadership advisor, Shed has led hundreds of keynote presentations, workshops, and leadership development programs around the world. As a thought leader on psychological safety in the workplace, he works with leaders in all industries where human beings work.

In this session we will:
– Unpack the two main questions of a speak-up culture: Is it safe? Is it worth it?
– Explore why speak-up cultures are good for people and good for business
– Learn tactical and proven methods to listen to your people and cultivate a feedback rich, speak-up culture
– Unpack leaders’ responsibility and advantage in building a speak-up culture

, ,

Better Than Fine: How to get more out of the questions you ask, starting with “How are you?”

How many questions do you ask your colleagues a day? How many of those create thoughtful conversations and stronger bonds? Good leadership requires collaboration and getting input so that your whole team feels connected to what they’re doing. But that connection needs to go beyond asking the easy questions like “what do you think?” and “how are you?”. To build a strong team with deep-seated trust requires digging deeper. We need to ask better questions.

Amber Johnson, a leadership and strategy consultant and former Chief Communications Officer at the Center for Values-Driven Leadership, will facilitate this interactive virtual event. Amber will dive into the value of asking each other better questions, and how we can do so to build trust and strengthen innovation within our teams. Through exercises and discussion, Amber will help you improve your questions to build better relationships and better results.

Takeaways include:

  • Four times leaders need to stop talking and ask a better question
  • Tips for asking better questions, to improve your leadership
  • Ideas for improving your listening skills
  • How adopting this form of leadership can lead to better relationships + results
, , ,

Break the Ice: A Toolkit of Team Building & Bonding Activities

The new year is the perfect time to think about fun and fresh team-building exercises to introduce to your organization. We’ll be talking to two Small Giants leaders who are passionate about making their people feel welcome, included, and understood.

Lisa Whealon, VP of People and Culture at Deli Star, will talk in detail about how her organization aims to make every new hire feel fully immersed in their team from the onset. This is done through fun, intentional experiences such as a “signing day”, a start day “happy hour”, and completing a recognition profile, just to name a few.

Once your new hires are immersed, it’s important to continue building those team bonds over time. Heidi Baumgart, COO at Skidmore Studio, will show us how to do just that by walking us through the user manual exercise. This exercise, which combines personal reflection with team development, allows individuals to flex their creativity, while also teaching each other how to best communicate and work together.

Takeaways include:

  • Tools and experiences to leave a lasting impression from onboarding and beyond
  • Help your team feel known and understood by you and their colleagues
  • Ways to adapt these tools for both in-person and virtual teams
  • How team building exercises can help build trust, communication, and ultimately long tenures


, ,

Strive to Thrive: Employee Development Opportunities the Small Giants Way

ou’ve gotten the talent in the door – people who are skilled, have a values alignment with your company, and are a great cultural add – but how do you keep them around? Most employees want room to grow within a company, and see that as a strong reason to stay long term. But we’re not just talking about promotions and title changes; for many Small Giants companies who have a small team or a flat structure, that’s not always possible. So, what are some other ways to help your employees grow, and give them a sense of development that they can be proud of?

Join us for our next virtual event to dig into the topic of employee development. We’ll talk to Jennifer Trakhtenberg, Senior Talent Leader of ClearVision Optical, Missy Light, Training & Development Facilitator of Pegasus Logistics Group, and Doug Kueker, Co-Founder & Chief Learning Solutions Officer of Vivayic. The panel will cover:

  • Internship programs and how they can be strategic in building your talent pipeline
  • Building Individual Development Plans to encourage learning in both hard and soft skills.
  • The benefits of curating a Skills Inventory.
  • Developing employees to become trainers and mentors.
  • The concept of “lattice learning” and how growth doesn’t have to be a straight line.
, ,

Inside Out: How to Market Your Cultural Story Consistently

When it comes to marketing and branding, many companies create internal documents touting their culture to employees (ie the classic ‘mission, vision, values’ poster), and then separately produce external messaging of what they think the outside world wants to see and hear. In reality, these are two content streams that should have little to no divergence at all.

As Small Giants Community leaders, many of you may inherently understand this, but the execution side can be easier said than done. For our next virtual event, Jim Hume, founder of Phire Group, will guide us through his company’s proven process of practical ways to bring these two worlds together and create one cohesive brand that spotlights your culture authentically.

, ,

The Future of Work with Steve Cadigan

Paul Spiegelman, Steve Cadigan

It’s no secret that companies and employees across the globe have experienced a lot of change in the last couple of years. The pandemic has turned many of our notions about work on their heads, but it doesn’t all have to be viewed as insurmountable challenges. Here to help us navigate this new working world is Steve Cadigan.

Steve is a sought-after speaker and talent advisor, and he has worked with some of the world’s leading organizations across a span of industries. Through research and years of experience, Steve emphasizes the adaptability of organizations around their people, and finding quality, aligned talent to build the best teams possible.

Last year, Steve published his first book, Workquake: Embracing the Aftershocks of COVID-19 to Create a Better Model of Working. Rather than focusing on the persistent language that human skills will be increasingly replaced by automation and AI, Steve wants to change the conversation. In Workquake, he talks about how being human has never been more critical and how we have more agency in applying our talents than any other time in history. He dives deep into this topic, which has been accelerated by COVID-19, through case studies, stories, and his own experiences.

Join us as Small Giants Community Co-Founder, Paul Spiegelman moderates an interactive conversation with Steve Cadigan about his book, his projections for the future of work, and more.

, ,

January 2022 Virtual Event: The Biology of Cost and ROI

Sonia Funk is a registered Nutritional Therapist, as well as a Corporate Wellness Strategist and the owner of The Whole Avocado. She’s traveled the world as a teacher and student, and has learned a lot about wellness through her many adventures (she describes her life as “Eat Pray Love” meets “Forrest Gump”). Her work with The Whole Avocado is a culmination of over 15 years of work and research.

Taking care of your physical and mental health (and that of your employees) isn’t just good for yourself – it makes perfect business sense.

Invest in your business by investing in your employees. Attend our next virtual event with Wellness Strategist and Registered Nutritional Therapist, Sonia Funk, and learn from her the three aspects of health to incorporate into your strategy.

Sonia will present the reality of human experience, turn it into biology and timelines, and then right back into numbers, explaining the impact on your business’s bottom line. By applying an evolved perspective to problems in your company, you’ll be able to answer old questions from a new angle, and see the long-term ROI for you and your employees.

Watch this virtual event for these takeaways:

  1. Three new questions to use that will give you an advantageous shift in perspective on company issues such as mental health, culture, benefit costs and stress leave.
  2. Understanding how to take our biological health and use it for strategic metrics.
  3. A map of the timelines operating in your company, the costs associated with them, and a vision for what a compassionate (empathy in action) intervention could look like.
  4. Numbers-based permission to care.

The Life-Changing Benefits Your Employees Really Want

Beth Rivera: Beth Rivera is the Head of the People Team at UncommonGoods, an eCommerce company that offers remarkable designs by independent makers, with a positive impact on both people and our planet, since early 2018. Prior to joining UncommonGoods, Beth spent over 20 years at UBM, a global B2B events company, in various roles in HR (such as Divisional Head of HR, Learning and Organizational Development), starting her career at UBM and some of its’ subsidiaries since graduating from the University at Albany. Beth is a native New Yorker, born, raised, and still living in Queens, NY.

KO, Khalilah Olokunola: KO is VP of Human Resources for TRU Colors Brewing, a company that hires active and rival gang members. In this position, she is the force behind defining a company culture that drives both personal and professional growth. KO is a passionate advocate for workplace diversity, inclusion, and second-chance hiring. She is an accomplished author, speaker and coach.

How could your team thrive if you were all empowered to live a full and balanced life? Employee benefits can be life-changing for your team members and dramatically improve the financial, mental and overall well-being of themselves and their families.

Small Giants believe in building an organization that takes care of employees in the totality of their lives, knowing that when your team members thrive, business will too. At a time when many companies are reexamining and revising the benefits they offer, why not create great ones that better support and care for your employees?

In this one-hour panel, hear from two visionary leaders who are on the forefront of offering employee benefits that support the ability to live balanced, fulfilled lives in and out of work: Khalilah “KO” Olokunola, Chief People Officer of TRU Colors Brewing and Beth Rivera, Head of the People Team at UncommonGoods. Each leader will share specific examples of the most impactful benefits they offer, why, and the details you should know in order to bring them to your own organization. We’ll also answer your questions throughout the panel.

Watch this virtual panel to learn:

  • How top companies design family-friendly policies like generous and inclusive paid family leave to care for newborn or seriously ill family members
  • The most impactful policies for workers right now, like: pay equity, flexible working hours, mental health resources, job training, and professional development
  • The benefits each leader plans to add, remove, or adjust as a result of lessons learned the past year

Is Your Organization Prepared for the “Turnover Tsunami”?

Bob Glazer: Entrepreneur, Best-Selling Author and Speaker, Founder & CEO @ Acceleration Partners which is an international affiliate marketing company. Acceleration Partners was a Forbes SG. Bob has spoken at the summit and his colleagues have also taught in the Leadership Academy.

JeVon McCormick: He’s made millions in the stock market (even though he didn’t go to college), he was the President of a software company (even though he can’t code) and he’s currently the CEO of a publishing company (even though he can’t spell). JeVon is the President & CEO of Scribe Media – a publishing company. JeVon spoke at a previous summit.

There’s a wave of turnover coming your way – half of workers intend to look for a new job this year. Is your organization prepared to weather the turnover tsunami?

As the pandemic eases, many workers are resuming the job searches they put on pause during the pandemic, and they’re joined by droves of people who are burned out, disengaged, or simply seeking other options in the new remote landscape. We want to help you and your team prepare for the turnover that’s coming.

Watch this month’s virtual panel to learn how to:

  • Build and manage your talent pool to make hiring more efficient
  • Cultivate employee loyalty and engagement to boost retention
  • Navigate employee departures transparently in order to protect your culture
  • 30-minute, facilitated breakouts at the end of the call to share best practices and discuss challenges with fellow purpose-driven leaders

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the Workplace

In a truly equitable and inclusive workplace, people of all backgrounds and identities feel valued and respected and have an equal opportunity to be successful. Organizations that cultivate an inclusive culture often earn deeper trust and loyalty from team members and enjoy more innovation and increased revenue growth. But what strategies actually work when it comes to racial equity in the workplace?

In this one-hour roundtable, we covered your most pressing challenges and questions around race and equity at work, including:

  • Practical ways to cultivate inclusion in all areas of the workplace
  • Common pitfalls that undermine your organization’s DE&I efforts
  • Tools and strategies to build understanding in your organization

Fireside Chat with Jack Stack

In this fireside chat, Jack Stack, father of the Great Game of Business and economist, speaks to the financial state of small businesses in America a year after the COVID-19 pandemic began. Facilitated by Small Giants Community co-founder Paul Spiegelman, this conversation helps leaders know what they can expect economically over the next 12 months, how to prepare, and how to get their whole team involved in helping businesses thrive.

How to: Hire and Onboard Virtually

With companies facing the reality of ongoing virtual work, leaders are stepping up to the challenge of recruiting, hiring, and onboarding employees they’ve never met. In this roundtable, we facilitated a discussion among purpose-driven leaders about the best practical tips for hiring and onboarding employees in a virtual work world.

How to: Set a Vision and Goals

Coming off the heels of a year of uncertainty, setting goals and a vision for the future is more important than ever. In this roundtable discussion, we facilitated a conversation with Small Giants leaders who are experts in organizational, individual, and personal goal setting. We discussed:

  •  How to weave personal and organizational goes into daily conversations with employees
  • How to create a line of sight for employees between their day-to-day tasks and the company’s goals and vision
  • How to encourage and support employees’ personal goals and personal vision? – How do you set goals during uncertain times?

How to: Support Your Team’s Mental Health

Worried about the mental health of your employees? Struggling to genuinely connect with your team members while they work from home? Not sure how to have tough conversations with your team about the impact of current events?

In the midst of a global pandemic, nationwide protests for racial justice, multiple wildfires, economic uncertainty, and social isolation, there’s another crisis looming in the near future: our mental health. The events of this year are taking a toll on our mental health, and many business leaders are wondering how to support mental health in the workplace — especially with so many people working from home.

We opened up our Zoom room and brought leaders together for an informal, open roundtable discussion to share strategies for supporting employee mental health and advice for how to approach this topic with compassion, honesty, and openness.

We discussed:

  • How to start the conversation around mental health with employees
  • How to support varying experiences across your team
  • How leaders can model mental health and well-being
  • Balancing productivity with mental health needs
  • Mental health tools and resources

Click below to view notes from the roundtable:


How to: Define and Describe Your Organizational Culture

Company culture is a squishy idea and notoriously tough to formalize. Carefully defining your culture is work, often hard work. Yet doing this work makes hundreds of future decisions much easier.

In this interactive workshop, Carl Erickson, founder and chairman of Atomic Object, shared his culture framework that’s eighteen years in the making, using Atomic’s culture at each level in the framework to illustrate each element.


5 Traits of High-Performing Teams

What does science have to say about leading high-performing teams? What are the driving behaviors and how can you encourage them within your own organization? In this interactive workshop, Amber Johnson, Ph.D., and Jim Ludema, Ph.D. brought evidence-based insights for leading high performing teams and shared strategies for implementing them with your team.

We covered:

  • The 5 traits of high-performing teams
  • Building psychological safety
  • Fostering a growth mindset
  • Leveraging your team’s strengths
  • How to develop your team members

Juggling Kids, Work, and a Pandemic: A Small Giants Roundtable

Are you a parent with school-aged children at home? Or a leader with team members who have young children at home? Chances are you’re pretty stressed out right now — managing work and home life just got a whole lot harder, and with many schools switching to partial or fully remote learning, it’s a long road ahead.

We rolled out the welcome mat to our Zoom room and brought working parents and leaders together for a casual, open roundtable discussion to share strategies for managing work and family stress, supporting team members with children, and how to approach homeschooling as a working parent.

With so many (awesome!) parents in the Small Giants Community — leaders, emerging leaders, and employees alike — we want to do our part to tackle this challenge as a community. This was an idea-sharing session and open dialogue around your greatest challenges, strategies that are working for you, and how you think employers can support team members through this.

How to: Set Clear Expectations for Everyone on Your Team

In this workshop, Bill Flynn lead attendess through a exercise to get clear around job roles and employee expectations. This is a simple concept but challenging practice. Answering the question, “why does this person get paid,” and using it to build job descriptions, role expectations, and one-on-one meeting frameworks will create clarity and alignment throughout the organization.

How to: Recognize Employees for Living Your Company’s Core Values

One of the best ways to instill your company’s values into its culture is to reward employees when they act in alignment with your company’s values.

In the strongest company cultures, core values aren’t just words on the wall — they’re the steadfast principles that guide everything from strategy to hiring and customer service. Employees at every level know them, connect with them, use them in their everyday language, and base decisions around them.

In this workshop, attendees learned:

  • The most meaningful ways to recognize and train employees around your core values
  • How to use your core values to energize your meetings
  • What you can do every month to celebrate your company values

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 webinar, attendees learned from 2019 Forbes Small Giants leader Behfar Jahanshahi on how InterWorks’ culture grew and flourished as its team became a distributed workforce.

He covered:

  • 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!) attendees heard 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. We learned:

  • 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 shared their process for leveraging the workplace for starting the conversation about mental health. Attendees learned 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, attendees learned:

  • 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.

Attendees learned how to create an environment where team members:

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

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, attendees learned 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, shared 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
, ,

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.

Heidi Convery, a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach and founder of Flourish LLC, introduced attendees 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 were encouraged to take the Top 5 Clifton Strengths Assessment before the fishbowl.

, ,

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 were 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

How to Drive Business Results by Letting Your Employees Bring Their Souls to Work

Building culture in your company is a crucial component to being a Small Giant. What differentiates a Small Giant from others is their focus to embed culture into their business strategy. Culture of Good, a company that built an emotional operating system, teaches for-profit companies how to operate their business with the soul of a non-profit. How do we do this? By creating community programming that gets employees excited and passionate about their work. In this fishbowl, attendees learned from Culture of Good Co-founders Scott Moorehead and Ryan McCarty, on how to increase employee engagement and get better team results by letting your employees bring their souls to work.

Key Takeaways

  • How to start building a culture strategy to see the cultural results you hope to achieve
  • How to create community programming that drives employee engagement
  • How giving your employees permission to care is the secret to engaging them on a soul level
  • How to drive profits by investing in your people rather than seeing profit as evil
  • Introduction to 5 promises that if lived up to become pillars you can build your business on
  • Learn how to measure culture in ways that empower employees to lead your efforts in building a culture of good

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, attendees learned 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, attendees learned 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!
, ,

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.

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

From Me to We: 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. Candice Gouge, Talent and Culture Cultivator, at Pegasus Logistics discussed 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

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, shared 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.

Are You Leading in A Bubble? Challenges of Leading A Values-Driven Company

Values-driven leadership is something we all strive for as Small Giants leaders. But as Chris Hutchinson has discovered through his work with leaders and teams, it is not easy to get the right level of engagement from our teams. There really can be “too much of a good thing” when it comes to values-driven leadership. Through a short pre- questionnaire, participants will begin to evaluate how their leadership style is impacting employee engagement and positive conflict. During the interactive Leadership Fishbowl, Chris shared practical tools to help leaders generate positive conflict and employee participation.


So Your Culture is Great, but Does the Talent Pool Know That?

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.

How to do Recognition Right (and for free)

Heroes, Lovers, Rebels and Brands (!?)

Scaling Culture

Coaching to the Positive

Employees, ________ & Engagement


Right Projects and Right People

Mechanics of Value in the Workplace

Design Thinking

Small Giants Community