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People Geekly #19

Issue No. 19, brought to you by Culture Amp
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This is the nineteenth issue of Culture Amp's weekly email updating you on all the best #peoplegeek news around.

"Participating in community service not only benefits the community but also engages employees in meaningful ways. #companyculture"

LINDA FISHER THORNTON  (@leadingincontxt)
Which offer to take? (2 min 40 sec) 

An engineer, weighing up two job options, asked Quora users which one to take, naming the companies - Uber and Zenefits - as well spelling out the pros and cons of working for each. The question prompted Zenefits CEO Parker Conrad to revoke his offer. Conrad explained that "one of our company values is to have a bias towards action — which means that when people are hesitating / going back and forth about whether they want to work here, we usually view that as a bad sign.” The post has sparked a lot of discussion about approaches to hiring and fairness. The comments on the original post are worth reading too (including Uber’s response.)

Work-life balance doesn’t really exists says Lara Dalch, what she proposes is “work-life integration”. "Even employers see the benefit of employees integrating personal and professional” writes Dalch. So what is work-life integration? According to a recent study: “Companies that can help their employees navigate both their professional and personal lives are likely to see strong employee engagement and enjoy an advantage as they recruit and retain high performers.” Dalch has some suggestions about how to integrate the personal and the professional, including keeping one to-do list rather than separate work and personal ones.

ZenPayroll founder Joshua Reeves says that even in a fast growing company you need to hire for long-term, not the immediate short-term, so pacing is important. The challenge comes in attracting talent when you’re not the “hottest” thing. So Reeves set out to"create a positive company culture that would keep people in their seats.” First off, he got rid of shoes. "“In the entrance of our new office we have a 10-foot tall shoe rack that fits hundreds and hundreds of shoes. — A very residential feel,” Reeves says. He also removed “boss barriers”  holding weekly Q&A’s where no questions are off limits. Then there’s the perks which include a ticket to anywhere in the world (called a ‘golden ticket’) on their one-year work anniversary, family-friendly dinners, limitless vacation and housing stipends. Reeves says, “it’s not just having perks for the sakes of having perks, it’s all about finding ways to think more holistically about the bigger picture.”

How to love tough (5 min ) PICK OF THE WEEK  

When giving an employee” tough love” there are a number of common assumptions that managers make, including that employees aren't aware of the problems that need addressing. Turns out that in a sample of "3,875 people who’d received negative or redirecting feedback", 74% indicated that they had known and were not surprised. Other points include that "subordinates whose managers did not listen to their point of view before offering up feedback were significantly less interested in receiving negative feedback."

What does Peter Thiel believe makes a great place to work? Rather than focusing on perks, Thiel says company culture is always best organized around the mission of what the company does. Building on that, he also mentions the number of friends at work being just as important. How do you build a company culture that allows strong friendships to blossom?


In San Francisco on June 26? 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 known for their extraordinary cultures and productive teams.  

Bonus link: Here's our own CEO Didier Elzinga on how to stop your employees from leaving. 

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