When it comes to workplace culture, job satisfaction, and the overall employee experience, we cannot emphasize enough; the importance of understanding the employee perspective. If you are looking to build a thriving culture, develop meaningful career paths for your people, and attract top talent into future roles, you need to see through the candidates’ eyes.
In this blog, we’ll explore the story of Britt Nicole Rivers, who left her job to start her own business but eventually returned to the workforce with a new perspective and a set of expectations for her next role.
With a background of over 12 years in sales & customer service and passion for culture, Britt is one of our leading Senior Consultants. Britt is a highly respected member of our EOS team and is known for making an impact on the lives of others by providing an exceptional client and candidate experience, increasing efficiency delivering quality and creating meaningful connections.
She is an expert in hiring data engineering, robotic process automation, and executive-level roles and her work with companies that adhere to an Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) has seen her find great success for the clients she serves. Britt is also very passionate about new hire training & development, IDS (Identify, Discuss, Solve), as well as community outreach.
Britt’s introduction to Titus shares many similarities to the candidates who used the COVID crisis to assess what is, what was, and what to do next.
I was one of those people who quit their job and started my own small business. I’ll admit that it was stressful and time-consuming, but what made it all worth it was the ability to let my creative freedom drive my actions. I moved as a human, using only my intuition to guide me. Although unpredictably exciting, there are drawbacks to being an entrepreneurial novice. I knew at some point I would need to re-enter the workforce, but this time around, I had boxes that needed to be checked.
Britt shares that the pandemic caused a major shift in our priorities, making us question what is truly important in life. For her, starting her own small business was a stressful but fulfilling experience that allowed her to exercise her creative freedom and intuition. However, as a novice entrepreneur, she soon realized that she needed more stability, support, and resources to achieve her goals. As a result, Britt began searching for a job that checked all her boxes, including flexibility, generosity, compensation, connection with the community, and job stretch.
For the first time in my life, I was picky about a job. Even though the market had crashed, businesses were closing left and right, and the world we once knew no longer existed, that mindset allowed me to find exactly what I had been searching for. The role not only gave me that entrepreneurial vibe I craved, but it also made me excited about all of the things I could touch and influence. But the question still lingered in the back of my mind. “How in the hell are they going to maintain this amazing culture once they start to experience new heights?” Because we all know how it goes. You start out feeling like a vital organ, and the next thing you know, you’re an appendix.
The Importance of the Employee Perspective in Creating a Positive Workplace
While job seekers have different preferences and priorities, Britt’s story highlights the importance of considering factors beyond salary and job title. At Titus, we recognize that A-Players are motivated by making an impact, but it goes much deeper than that. Many, if not arguably all employees, are looking for roles that align with their values, offer work-life balance, and provide opportunities for growth and development. Therefore, HR professionals need to understand and address these needs to attract and retain top talent.
Britt also shares her concerns about maintaining a positive workplace culture as companies grow and automate certain processes. She believes that anything that involves managing and developing relationships with people, such as handwritten notes to customers, needs to be thoughtfully considered. As HR professionals, you can take note of this and ensure that technology does not replace human interaction in areas where it is crucial.
Here’s an example. I used to send handwritten letters to all my customers to thank them for supporting my small business. Within my first year, I received roughly 3 handwritten letters from various levels of the company. I’m sure you can imagine how engaged this made me. This year, instead of a handwritten note, it was a typed template. I could not believe how much this small change had impacted how I felt. We had some aggressive growth goals, and we were hitting them, so it wasn’t a surprise that certain things were automated; but not this. Anything that connects us as humans or involves managing and developing relationships with people, probably, in my opinion, shouldn’t be automated.
During the challenge faced by the ups and downs of our economy; the inhale and exhale; the expansion and contraction of growth and scalability, the first thing to be affected is culture. Instability is amplified when insecurity rises in a company’s culture. When the direction of the company is determined by a series of codes and numbers rather than the desires of their ideal consumers or their own people, who just so happen to be in the trenches every single day, you lose touch.
Britt’s suggestion that the impact automation makes when it takes the people out of the process, trading personality for efficiency, can have a knock-on effect on the culture of an organization. We may use automation regularly to set meetings and reminders, but in this case they are prompts to take action. There is a fine line between intention and action. The line may be when we expect automation to act for us as opposed to us taking action ourselves (we have a separate blog in the works on this very subject). In any relationship, personal or professional, the connection is found in the small, everyday gestures. This could look like this:
- Being shouted out by a manager or colleague in a weekly meeting (or in real-time if your group uses Teams)
- Finding a way to keep up with handwritten notes (where possible).
- Regular team connection events
- Consistent weekly one-on-one meetings where courageous candor and helpful feedback are given.
There is a big difference between telling someone they are experiencing something and them actually experiencing something. Knowing how our people experience our organizations, and providing an environment where honest, two-way, feedback conversations can take place is essential for company growth, performance, and attraction. Is it challenging? Yes. Does it take time? Yes. Does it always mean that the employee gets exactly what they want… no, but it does facilitate the ability to develop trust and understanding, which is critical for a thriving culture.
In conclusion, HR professionals must recognize the importance of the employee perspective when it comes to creating a positive workplace culture. Employees are looking for more than just a paycheck and job title; they want roles that align with their values and provide opportunities for growth and development. As companies grow and automate certain processes, HR professionals must ensure that technology does not replace human interaction in areas where it is crucial.
Refreshing perspectives and practical expertise from the Titus team.
Our dedication to radical generosity keeps us focused on what matters most, and it allows us to make a trusted and lasting impact on the world around us. It’s the foundation of our culture and our partnerships.