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People Geekly #60

Issue No. 60, brought to you by Culture Amp
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This is the sixtieth issue of Culture Amp's weekly email updating you on all the best #peoplegeek news around.

 Tweet of the week (2.5 sec)

"Culture drives innovation..each employee 1 by 1 creates the culture. A culture of trust and cooperation allows for innovation :)"

Monica Smith  (@monicasmith2015)

A recent study found that a company’s positive culture can help its bottom line, but not vice versa. In other words, a company’s financial success does not always mean that it will have a positive culture; in fact, the researchers found that even if the company succeeds for a time, it will likely begin to fail, if it doesn’t have a positive work culture. Dr. Michael Gillespie, one of the researchers on the study, says even though it’s harder for larger companies to make culture change, it's still important to do. “Culture change today is at the heart of winning because it’s so difficult for [other] employers to copy,” he says. 

Depression and work (4.5 min)

Depression is a serious health-care concern, and while one in four adults suffers from it, it shouldn’t be kept a workplace taboo. Jordan Oldbury writes in this Guardian piece about his experience with depression and work. Minor things can become major events when dealing with a bout of depression. He was lucky enough to be able to talk with his manager about it and was allowed to work in a way that minimized depression-related problems when they arose. “All employers have a responsibility for their employees’ health and safety in the workplace, including pre-existing mental health conditions and conditions brought on by work. How can employers ensure they meet this responsibility? I would suggest that the best way is to remove the taboo around depression and other mental health conditions and encourage their employees to come forward and seek help,” says Oldbury. 

Interested in attending a People Geekup? We’ve got events coming up in
Denver and New York. Get your tickets here.

This article in the Atlantic talks a lot about the word “diverse/diversity” and how it’s been misused recently. The idea that a single person can be diverse, is an impossibility. The article cites several misuses in the film industry including the recent hype of the Oscars not including enough people of color, and quotes from ‘Selma’ director Ava DuVernay who hates the term. Many people have been using the word to mean “not white male.” Many voices in the arena want to start more conversations about inclusion or belonging. 

Several large companies, like Wal-Mart, are tapping employee wellness firms to help cut health-care costs. The hope is that these firms will collect loads of employee data, crunch the numbers and be able to help the company help their employees to lead a healthier life, thus lowering heath-care bills. Harry Greenspun, director of Deloitte LLP’s Center for Health Solutions, a research arm of the consulting firm’s health-care practice, says that factors like where a person spends money, credit scores and even how often they vote, are all indicators on the kind of lifestyle they lead. Privacy activists, however, see this as a huge invasion of individual rights. A company could easily take certain health information and use it against an employee. 

Trust (7 min)

Medium contributor Simon Cross talks about his first day at a new job where a junior engineer pitched a solution to a problem. The manager discussed the issue for a bit then said “I trust you,” and the meeting moved along to the next issue. Cross was surprised how easily the problem was resolved after a seeming impasse. He then describes what workplace trust actually is: “Trust = Goal Alignment + Competence.” (Something written on a wall at Facebook HQ.) Cross offers several key principles to follow to help you give trust to your coworkers, including: assume good intent; feed people’s rationality; have self confidence; realize failure does have benefits; and set clear goals. 


We’ve got a lot of People Geekups planned for 2016. If you’d like to host a People Geekup in your city in 2016, reply to this email and we will be in touch.

New York City on Feb 25th.

Denver on March 29th.

If any of the events are sold out, make sure to grab a waitlist ticket as we’re looking to expand some of the venues.

Check out back issues of the Geekly and other things going on at Culture Amp over at our Blog and PeopleGeeks.com

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