Starting the conversation for program 238…

How do you help a new employee understand the culture of your organization?

Host: Jessica Dewell
Panelists: Barbara Jaynes, Russell Dennis

What You Will Hear:

The power of an on-boarding process includes the small details.

Three things you can do to improve connection with your employees right now.

Be innovative and have accountability.

Life missions and work mission when aligned create synergy.

You prioritize what you value.

Three stories about identifying culture.

Elements of quality work woven into everyday conversations and employee check ins.

How you know what your culture is.

Highlight actions that embody your organization’s value statements and mission.

Strike the balance: qualitative and quantitative.

You define the terms of success. Make sure they are clear.

Emotional metrics tell the story of the work being done and indicate successes in your work outcomes.

Consider what to start doing, stop doing, and keep doing for growth.

Care and trust are necessary to build relationships.

Two tools to check in with yourself

It is BOLD to build relationships that grow your culture.

Notable and Quotable:

Quotes_238_Barbara Jaynes

Jess Dewell 1:01
Culture and business growth are directly intertwined. We tend to let one be more left brained on one side business growth, more right brain on the other side, about culture and people. And so we’ve got the logical and the feeling. Well, both of those things matter and in fact, influence each other when it comes to growth.

Barbara Jaynes 4:39
Japan when a new employee starts, they open up their computer, and there’s a video from the CEO welcoming them their first day. And how that little video made such a huge difference in turnover.

Russell Dennis 4:51
It all begins with leadership, and you have to lead with influence.

Russell Dennis 7:24
You really want to start up front by making sure that the people you hire have some synergy with what you’re doing. You want to make sure that they’re comfortable, that they are a fit for the culture that you have.

Russell Dennis 7:41
The best organizations have cultures that learn and adapt. The’re collaborative. They’re inclusive. They’re innovative. And there’s a sense of accountability.

Russell Dennis 7:54
The best situation is to have people in the organization who have goals, values, vision, and a life mission that really mirrors and matches with what the organization has. So that everything is done synergistically and in alignment, and you understand what it is that people want out of that experience. If you can do that and have those conversations up front, you’re bringing the right people on board. And then it’s always working with one another to grow.

Russell Dennis 8:55
If you can bring people in, get that buy-in, you can create accountability systems. And then you set the standard, and you let people go and work to their strengths, and create those things that are going to bring you that success. So it’s all about collaboration. It’s all about alignment. So it’s critical to bring the right people in initially.

Jess Dewell 10:52
Our actions reflect our priorities.

Russell Dennis 12:27
The key is to get from behind the desk and talk to people.

Russell Dennis 13:39
Creating a culture where people can say what they mean without being attacked, or without feeling that they’re being dismissed, is really critical.

Barbara Jaynes 19:35
The check ins aren’t so much, “Oh, well, I saw that you did 80 calls last week, but only 60 calls this week.” It’s that we want quality. And let’s talk about that quality. And let’s talk about prioritizing and bonding. And what makes you so successful here. And to let them know that you’re there for them.

Quotes_238_Russell Dennis

Russell Dennis 20:18
A leader’s job is to give people things that they need to succeed.

Russell Dennis 20:25
We bring these people in because they got knowledge, skills and abilities, and desire to help to succeed, and they want the organization to succeed. So it’s making sure that they have all of the tools that they need.

Russell Dennis 20:40
Part of the leaders role is to be very transparent.

Russell Dennis 20:47
There’s nothing worse than a leader that walks around like she or he knows everything. And it’s really just coming in over their head.

Jess Dewell 23:43
People talk about work relationships, especially in the founder and executive levels, being as time consuming, I would say, and requiring as much effort as a marriage. For people who don’t want that, they don’t really stand to stay at were really long and build these deep relationships, like what we’re talking about.

Russell Dennis 25:04
An organization is only as strong as the weakest relationship in it. Everything is built on these relationships.

Russell Dennis 25:14
If you’re uncomfortable, you have to do whatever you can to increase that comfort level. If you’ve got an individual who appears to reject a lot of what’s going on, or is confused, those check-ins are very important. It’s critical to find out before these things get any traction, what the problem is. If there is a problem. And the do what you can to increase that person’s comfort level, or find out where that disconnect is.

Barbara Jaynes 25:42
You have to be authentic and true to your culture. And your culture comes from your missions and value statements. And make sure that you’re using your key three words all the time. That really alleviates some of the stress and the unknown. It takes your new employees out of survival mode, when they know, “Wow, they’re really going to do what they said they did with what they’re going to do.” And it helps them to get into growth quicker.

Russell Dennis 27:13
Authenticity, you can’t be anything other than yourself. If you’re not genuine, it just sticks out like a sore thumb.

Jess Dewell 27:29
Sometimes integrity is stopping something before it becomes toxic. Sometimes integrity is recognizing, “Hey, we’re spinning. And we’ve gotta figure out how to stop spinning. We’re not just moving, we’re actually moving forward.” Those I think are the hardest part.

Russell Dennis 28:56
The multiple bottom lines that nonprofits have really make it difficult, because on one hand, you’ve got these qualitative things to look a. What’s the quality of someone’s life as the result of having access to your services and products? How have they been positively impacted? Some of that stuff doesn’t always fit on the pivot chart. But you have to strike that balance. And that’s where the value of vision and mission alignment is so critical, because you know what it is that you’re trying to accomplish.

Russell Dennis 29:40
Through your programs, your services, when you’re putting these things together, you have to have a conversation of what success looks like. You have to have that conversation. What does it look like to my volunteers? What does it look like to my donors? What does it look like to my staff. And address all of those moments audiences. What does it look like when to you have those conversations and make a decision to take those things and use them to get better at what you’re doing?

Russell Dennis 30:22
If you don’t define what success looks like, somebody else is going to do that for you. So you have to do that internally to the extent that you can, and then create the best way that you can. Easy to access understand . Use tools so that these measures can be taken as close to where the services are delivered as possible. Because if it flows right into the work of the folks that are doing it, it’s easy. All of its collected, And you don’t have this much trouble.

Jess Dewell 31:24
Those around us are going to reflect back to us what we’re putting out there.

Barbara Jaynes 32:12
I think that the metrics are really important. But I think that you need a balance of metrics, you need a balance of quantity sold, stock prices, all that stuff, to balance with your social and valuables. You need to have those emotional metrics as much as you do those economic metrics.

Barbara Jaynes 33:52
Those emotional metrics are telling the stories of your co-workers saying, “Hey, you know, I want to use my volunteer hours at this shelter that we help support. And here are some of the stories that I got from that shelter and the people that I met, and how that has changed and impacted me. And I hope that your volunteer experience here as just as impactful and personal to you as mine has been to me.”

Russell Dennis 35:00
When you’re dealing with folks, whatever organization you’re in, the best thing you can do for yourself is make deposits in that emotional bank account to everybody around you. What keeps people awake at night? And put yourself in their shoes. That’s the key to delivering superior service, no matter what it is that you’re doing.

Russell Dennis 35:26
People that work for us or volunteer for us are our customers. They’re no different than anyone else. There is a value that we provid. There is something that we provide. Thre’s things to keep them up at night that we can be the asset for. They will have passion around things that drive them.

Russell Dennis 35:44
If you want people to shine and to be at their best, they should be working on things that play to their strengths, and that they’re passionate about to the greatest extent possible. And that’s going to make your organization shine. We’re always holding those conversations about what can we do to make things better? Are there things we should stop doing? Are there things we should keep doing? Are there things we’re not doing that we should start doing? It’s always about that continuous growth cycle, and moving forward the best way you can. And keeping that conversation going with the people you serve. You can never get perfect, probably, but you can certainly get better all the time. And people will reward you with loyalty. You may not have the best widget, but if they know you really care about who they are, they’ll buy your widgets at twice the price.

Jess Dewell 37:57
Culture does not fit in a box. And that’s one of the the reasons we talked about it, and it’s easy to dismiss. I don’t know where to put that box. It’s not even a box. So how do I stick it on the bookshelf with all my books if it doesn’t look like a book? What are we pushing away? Because it looks different, or is shaped different or feels different than what we’re used to? And could there be a benefit there?

Jess Dewell 41:05
The quickest way to erode trust is to not give credit where credit is due.

Quotes_238_Jess Dewell

Russell Dennis 42:19
Release any idea that you’re going to do everything perfectl. Release any notion of perfection. Let people know that this is an environment where we all collectively together can succeed. It’s not about failure. It’s about what we can learn as a group to get better at what we’re doing.

Russell Dennis 42:46
Celebrating those wins — everything, even the smallest things — just a way to be kind to ourselves.

Russell Dennis 42:58
When things crop up from time to time, I’ve got this thing I call “The 10 Minute Test.” How important is this going to be 10 minutes from now? If you’re agitated or doubtful, don’t hesitate to step back, take a few breaths, and get recentered and come back to whatever’s going on with you.

Russell Dennis 43:29
If other people said things to us that we said to ourselves, we’d probably be locked up for homicide.

Russell Dennis 43:36
It’s not a question of criticize some people all the time. Always point out what people are doing right when you have a these coaching moments. There’s good and bad. There’s measures of what can you learn from it. And encouraging people to take care of themselves.

Russell Dennis 44:17
They’re so young lady by the name of Beth Kanter, who wrote a book called “A Healthy, Happy Nonprofit.” And she points out that a lot of nonprofit leaders experienced burnout. They don’t take care of themselves. They worked too many hours. They’re really not very kind to themselves. So there are a lot of tips in that book that talks about how you can take care of yourself. Take care of your people. Create an environment where people honor themselves, so they choose themselves. This is all very important if you’re going to be effective.

Russell Dennis. 46:42
When I fall short, that’s okay. Admit that I fallen short, and talk about what I can do to correct it, not wallow in the fact that I fell short.

Russell Dennis
You’re not just another cog in the wheel here. We want a healthy whole person her. And tell us where we’re failing you on that. And we’re a tea. And the executives have to take that on too. They need to look at themselves as a healthy whole person. And where’s the company failing that with that? And are they taking everything on their shoulders? They have amazing people here to rely on. And talents, and gifts, and you know what? I know that as a team, we can do this together. And we’re going to be whole and healthy.

Russell Dennis 47:41
Good leaders build up the leader. The better your team is, the better you’re gonna look as a leader. It’s win win. Why wouldn’t you do it?


Why you must make culture the centerpiece of your on-boarding program


adaptability, culture, purposeful action, emotional engagement, influence, observation, business growth, intellectual property

How do you help a new employee understand the culture of your organization?

Our actions show what we prioritize. The perception of those priorities add to, or take away from, your organization’s culture. The better you know what the culture is and can talk about it with new (and existing) stakeholders, the better you can leverage innovation and achievement. Jess Dewell, mentor to executives and founders, hosts Barbara Jaynes, Founder of Positively Funded, and Russell Dennis, Possibility Engineer, to discuss how well we understand our culture.

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