Home' micenet eMag : micenet December 2015 Contents WORKPLACE CULTURE | LYNNE SCHINELLA
’ve just come back from sassy San
Francisco, the home of the tech start up
where I was lucky enough to hang out with
a few. As someone who advocates for
great workplace cultures, I was like a kid in a
These new companies, many captained by
20-somethings are being run just like the CEO
wants to be treated. The norm are games
(darts, ping pong, X Box) resident dog or pets
at work, fully stocked fridge of food and
drinks, masseuse in once a month, come and
go when you want – just get the work done.
So this is all pretty cool, right? But more
traditional businesses say to me – we can’t
do that, people need to be here at 8:30 each
morning. Sure, I get that smaller startups
have the ability to be more agile. But what
you can do is cultivate a motivator more
important than any of the above.
Without trust you can’t ask for
accountability, engagement or commitment.
The root of all dysfunction in any business
is a lack of trust. And a distrustful
environment leads to expensive and
sometimes fatal problems.
When you ask people to describe a working
environment characterised by low levels of
trust the most common responses are
stressful, divisive and threatening, as opposed
to a high trust environment where people say
supportive, motivating, productive.
Who would choose to stay in a stressful,
divisive atmosphere if they could be in a
motivational, supportive one? And you know
A little trust goes a long way in a business
environment, explains Lynne Schinella.
when people leave they cost between 50 – 200 per cent of their salary to replace.
So let’s do a check on the trustometer at your place. On a scale of 1 to 10, here’s five
statements your people should be able to rate at least an 8 on:
1 I can speak freely without fear of ramification when I disagree with a manager’s method
2 There is open communication within my team/area/organisation
3 I feel like I am listened to
4 My manager is skilled at having potentially difficult conversations
5 I am well informed of decisions made in my organisation
How do you foster trust? Top of the hit list is communication, so ask yourself:
• Am I communicating enough information?
• Am I keeping info back as part of my power?
• Does my team understand clearly what they have to do and where they fit? Or do I think they
understand because I’ve explained it?
Because the only thing that matters when it comes to clear communication is HOW they’ve
received the information. It doesn’t matter if you think you’ve been perfectly clear. Because if
they don’t think it, it doesn’t count.
Open, transparent communication is critical. Communicate frequently and in different forms.
Keep people up-to-date, involved. Don’t ignore things that you know everyone is whispering
about behind closed doors. Bring the issues out into the open and explain them as best you
Consider diversity training – whichever may be relevant (gender, culture, personality, disability, etc).
Do what you promise. Don’t hold the big we’re-asking-you-what-you-want conference and
then do nothing. Delete inconsistent standards. Don’t cut staff and then have the exec team go
to Bora Bora for a retreat. Manage negative people (they will poison your team). Manage bad
behavior (it’s contagious). Manage incompetence. If you let any troubling behavior slide
everyone will blame you when they feel the effects.
Who do you trust?
Chances are that you trust them because they’re always there for you, they do what they say
they’ll do. They keep your confidence. They don’t let you down. Be that person.
Trust can take years to build but can be destroyed in a moment. In a culture of trust when the
proverbial hits the fan, everyone sticks around to work through it. m
Working under the guise of a conference speaker creating better workplace cultures across industry,
Lynne misses her role as a buyer and has never adapted to the lack of invitations to AIME, first class
upgrades and Moet on arrival in her hotel room. www.lynneschinella.com.au T 0419 186 984
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