Super employees maintain a positive influence

The Chief HR officer (CHR) role in the company is a standalone function. The position does not have anyone directly reporting to her at the central or corporate level.

However, two HR managers are looking after the human resource operations of the three companies in the group. We also have a compensation and benefits function looking after the payroll of all employees.

Even though our CHR person does not have a direct line employee reporting to her, she still manages to get her assignments done. More so, if the work requires cooperation from other functions in the company. I was discerning her a few times as she took on new tasks.

She manages to get things done through others because she positively influences the people around her. It’s her influence on others. The following set of behaviors surfaces with her.

1. Humility. She is never rude or disrespectful when dealing with others.

2: Curious. She will ask questions about her assignment regardless of how it makes her look.

3. Inclusive. She makes sure that all relevant stakeholders are part of the discussion.

4. Helpful. When she notices someone struggling with an assignment, she is quick to lend a helping hand.

These are four simple behaviors I have noticed with our CHR that provide electricity for her magnet of influence in the company. She can get things done regardless of how big or small the challenge is.

How about you? How is your influence on your workmates? How strong is your influence in your organization?

A Family Culture in the workplace

Several companies claim that their employees are their most significant assets. In addition, many companies claim that they have a family culture. However, what does a company centered on family culture look like?

Let me share with you how it looks like. 

  1. These companies will do everything to avoid laying off employees during the pandemic lockdown.
  2. They physically check on their employees when a calamity strikes. Their leaders call on employees that live around the area of a catastrophe. They check up on their employees to see how they are doing.
  3. They put learning and development at the center of their plans. 
  4. They systematically identify high potential employees, future leaders and put them on a leadership development track.
  5. They hold monthly get-togethers to inform their 1,400 employees what is happening in the companies. 
  6. The individual companies hold engaging townhalls on a consistently regular basis.
  7. The leadership openly shares leadership quotes and Biblical verses.
  8. They are courageous enough to have 360-degree appraisals.
  9. They are open to new ideas regardless of what level in the organization it is coming from.
  10. Anyone may politely provide an alternate view to any leader, and it is not taken personally.
  11. They emphasize the importance of work-life balance.
  12. They help employees put their children through a scholarship program.
  13. They provide scholarship programs to key employees.
  14. The leadership is truly a group of servant leaders. 
  15. Even after their impressive growth, the leadership is still open to new ideas and ways of doing things.
  16. The leadership is not afraid to challenge the status quo.

I can keep going on, but I hope that you get the point. Family culture helped catapult this company from a 30 employee workforce to a 1,400 strong organization.

Yes, actual companies out there walk the talk when it comes to having a family culture.

I want to honor these companies for genuinely recognizing the value of their people. So here, let us celebrate a particular company I used as an example. They have a strong family culture and core values of Respect, Integrity, Service, and Excellence. So may you continue to R.I.S.E. in the coming years. God bless you!

The Quiet Power of Kindness

“Don’t underestimate the power of kindness in the workplace” is another genuinely insightful study from Harvard Business Review.

The article drives the point home that everybody wants to be happy. It’s a basic human instinct. The context of the article is todays new normal. A regular ‘Thank you, Garry’ or ‘Great Job’ recognition in the hallway is no longer the norm. It now seems like a practice from a distant era.

HBR’s study explains that showing kindness brightens the recipient’s day and brings happiness to the giver. Acts of kindness bring meaning to our life because we are investing in something much bigger than ourselves. Studies show that people giving compliments get more benefit from it than the recipient of the praise.

Kindness is like a boomerang. According to HBR research, kindness is paid back. Kindness is also paid forward—an act of kindness breed kindness. I read a story about the effect of a kind gesture a few months ago.

These two friends were walking in the streets of New York, catching up on old times. As they were chatting, the person in front of them had his backpack open. The person did not realize that some of the documents had fallen off his backpack. Without missing a beat, one of the two friends picked up the pieces of paper that had fallen on the street.

They reached the guy at a pedestrian crossing. The crossing light was red. As the guy stood waiting, the two friends tapped him on the shoulder. He looked back, and he was handed his documents. After the guy thanked them, he crossed the street. A bystander, who witnessed the entire incident, walked up to the two friends. He complimented them on their act of kindness.

Let’s see who benefited from this act? The backpack guy undoubtedly felt good that someone took the time to pick up his documents. The two friends felt good that they had a good deed for the day. The witness felt good after witnessing the good deed. All of them will probably find an opportunity to perform an act of kindness in the coming days.

At work, kindness fosters collaboration and teamwork. No matter the size of the gesture, big or small, people appreciate it. It helps create psychological safety in the organization.

If kindness has such great benefits to oneself and the organization, why don’t more people act accordingly? Why do we hesitate to show kindness to others?

I observe that, at times, people feel awkward to show kindness. We are more critical in the workplace. A toxic work environment promotes a culture of individuality. We are quick to find faults in others, but we are hesitant to find a good deed. At times, we dismiss good work as part of their job, so there is no need to show a kind gesture.

Sometimes, pride gets in the way. A gesture of kindness can be seen as a weakness by traditional managers. Some find it difficult to say a kind word, especially in public. Sending a private “thank you” email would be more comfortable for them.

Leaders, let’s set an example. The world is already challenging enough. Let’s not allow pride or awkwardness to get in the way of building an environment of kindness in the workplace.

It has always been a dream of many to wake up excited to come to work. A culture of kindness can help bring us closer to that dream. Let’s do our part and start now. Show kindness to the person next to you.

Stay safe,

Jordan Imutan
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