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People Geekly #25

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Issue No. 25, brought to you by Culture Amp
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Welcome

This is the twenty-fifth issue of Culture Amp's weekly email updating you on all the best #peoplegeek news around.

"The best way to improve the customers experience is to begin with the employee experience."

Vala Afshar  (@ValaAfshar)

We’re less interested in arguing about why we have a gender imbalance in tech, and more interested in finding solutions, and this one is pretty simple: stop saying “guys”. npm co-founder Laurie Ross says that if you use the word and are referring to both men and women, then it’s time to put money in the “Guys Jar”. We like the fact that once the total hits $50 that money is donated to Girls Who Code. We think it’s a handy way to start getting people to think about casual sexism.

Quitting quitting (2 min 20 sec)

HR’s love affair with performance reviews seems largely over. Here, Adobe talks about how they ditched them, along with their “rank and yank” system, where managers identified the poorest performers and moved them on (so to speak). Based on feedback, performance reviews were replaced with a “check in” which is a real-time ongoing discussion of how things are tracking. Managers were also empowered to make decisions about pay rises, without the involvement of HR. The new system operates with transparency and overall has led to less people quitting.

Supporting LGBT employees (5 min 25 sec)   PICK OF THE WEEK

We're big fans of the Airbnb approach to inclusive culture, and what better endorsement than one of your employees proudly saying you've got things right. Here Chip Conley, Head of global hospitality and strategy, talks about the evolution of workplace rights for the LGBT community. At Airbnb, he says they "have an internal company LGBT organization called GLAM, and it’s probably the most active sub group of employees in the company in all 20 offices.” It comes back to creating opportunities for Airbnb employees to make a meaningful contribution to issues they care about. As Conley says, they strive to create an "environment where people feel they can make a difference both in their company and in causes that matter, and they can band together with employees to make that happen, gives people a sense of meaning."

Here at Culture Amp we are both #peoplegeeks and #datanerds, so we loved this piece on data and people. This quote mostly sums up why: "While the level of maths and the depth of implementation of mathematical analyses can look scary [...] there is still one underestimated but critical element in the analysis pipeline, and that is the learning by people of the learning achieved by the machines." Data has an important role to play in learning about company cultures, but those lessons inform people about real issues in their companies which they can then act on. The piece also has great tips on presenting data, including these words of wisdom: "To learn something, look beyond your assumptions, however instinctive."

The case for civility (10 min 15 sec)

How we treat people at work matters, writes Christine Porath, who has studied the costs of civility for nearly 20 years. "Insensitive interactions have a way of whittling away at people’s health, performance and souls,” she says. Bad behaviour at work is often excused by way of being time-poor, however respect does not require extra time - rather, a better tone and voice. The result of incivility at work extends beyond the psychological affects to an individual - it also hijacks workplace focus, something Porath has confirmed in studies. "Leaders can use simple rules to win the hearts and minds of their people — with huge returns. Making small adjustments such as listening, smiling, sharing and thanking others more often can have a huge impact,” writes Porath - and again, she backs it up with research. In summary: There’s much to gain in being nice at work.

Events

Do you identify as a people geek? Yes. Are you also in San Francisco Thursday 2nd July? If so join the Culture Amp team for our #peoplegeek meet up where our CEO and co-founder Didier Elzinga will be talking about building a culture-first company. You’ll also have the chance to get to know the growing Culture Amp team as well as the rest of the #peoplegeek community over some food and drinks. 

A few tickets remain for the Culture Summit this Friday 26th in San Francisco. Culture Summit is a one day conference that brings together successful entrepreneurs, leaders, and culture experts to share their experiences and insights on building strong cultures that lead to successful companies. Speakers come from companies such as LinkedIn, Infusionsoft, Culture Amp, Medium, and Nitro who are known for their extraordinary cultures and productive teams.  

Later this year will see the Your Workplace conference take place in Toronto, Canada. This year's conference focuses on the topic of resilience, something we’ve covered before in the People Geekly. It aims to bring HR Professionals together alongside senior managers and executives. 

Have an upcoming event that you want to tell us about? Fill in the details here. If it's relevant, we'll promote it to our audience.

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