Skip to main content

15Five acquires Emplify and relaunches human-centered platform Learn more

Bite-Size Insights 1: What is the right level of communication?

May 05, 2020 | 00:00

00:00 00:00

Episode Description

Insights is a show powered by Emplify to empower Executives, HR professionals, managers, and leaders of all kinds with the best in class information to help your employees unlock their true potential.

The reality is, right now you have questions. We all do. We’re in uncharted territory while our social feeds, news stories, and inboxes are full of blogs, webinars, videos aimed at providing you with answers. There has to be an easier way to get our questions answered quickly without having to comb through the masses of content available. At least, that’s what we thought, which is why we are introducing ‘bite-size insights.’

We’ve turned to our community to fuel this new series with questions sourced from you. For the first episode in our series we’re answering our most asked question over the last few weeks: communication.

You’ll hear Adam Weber, Chief People Officer and Co-Founder of Empilfy along with Nicole MacLean dialoguing around the what, how, and when for communicating with your team.

Listen via mobile app

google podcast logo icon


Episode Transcription

Nicole [00:00:03] Hey there, insights, listeners, Nicole here. And thanks so much for joining me now, as you know, Insight's is a show powered by Emplify to empower executives, H.R. professionals, managers and leaders of all kinds with the best in class information to help your employees unlock their true potential at work. Now, the reality is, right now you have questions. We all do. We're in uncharted territory. While our social feeds, news stories and inboxes are full of blogs, webinars, videos, you name it all trying to just provide answers. There has to be an easier way to get our questions answered quickly without having to comb through the masses of content available. At least that's what we thought. Which is why we're introducing bite-size insights. Each week we're adding these episodes to do one thing. Answer your questions in less than 10 minutes. We've turned to our community to fuel this new series with questions sourced from you. Our hope is while your routine may differ from season to season, your ability to rely on a trusted resource won't. You can count on our bite-size insights to give you the information you need on all things people related. Before we jump into our first question posed. Be sure to hit. Subscribe to never miss the answer you're looking for. Now for this first episode in our series, we're answering our most asked question over the last few weeks communication. You'll hear Adam WEBER, chief people officer and co-founder of Emplify, along with myself, dialoguing around the what, how, and when for communicating with your team. [00:01:36] So first for us, when we made this decision to move forward. And we've been serving remote distributed teams for for the last several years and we just decided that day. Adam [00:01:48] We're like as an engagement company like we're doing, we're all in and we're doing this with excellence. We're going to sell out to being a fully remote culture. So we went from a hub, centralized hub to remote. And in a day and so quickly we created a centralized resource just to lay out what the ground rules were. And our default was over communication. It's how can we set up these new cadences that really institute touch points like how how do we bake these in? Because we're not going to have hallway conversations anymore or like that just happen organically. So we need to be really intentional about that. So we're just to get going to tackle on what this looks like for us. We're doing a weekly all team meeting. That is on Monday. First thing on Monday. Forty five minutes. And it includes we do. I've been leading a guided gratitude. Meditation is a couple of minutes doing a poem. And then Santiago, our CEO, my business partner, does business updates. I do people culture updates. And then each of the departments do rapid fire updates as well. And I think it's going to be interesting coming out of this because something like that is so valuable to the whole company and you're able to everyone in the loop on all the moving parts of your business. I'm really curious with some of these over communication things, what things we all realized we were under dramatically under communicating before. So that's one we are asking every single team to do video standups every day as well. So usually. So every single day. And the key here is aligning on priorities, especially like the top two priorities, like take your big horizon and make it really small and challenge and equip your people managers to give clarity to the employees, like, do I understand your situation? OK. Do I? And then are we both aligned on what we're expecting out of you? And do we have clarity on what might block you from achieving those and then trying to every single day at the company level, every single day and making sure there's a check call with the manager, even if it's five minutes? We just want to make sure that manager and employee, you're having a brief touchpoint every single day. That's been our our basic foundation that we followed. And then I guess in addition to that, with all the people managers, my team is meeting with them once a week to just to hear what's working, what's not. And what we're really doing is creating a shared space for them to a lot of these direct people. Managers are the ones who are in the toughest spot right now because they are trying to manage all of these people. They're trying to process the situation themselves. They feel helpless about maybe some of the larger business impact things. And so how are we caring for those people and giving them a place to both learn from each other, process gain tips like how how can they lead? Well, that sort of thing. Nicole [00:04:27] One of the things I was doing, too, is asking the team to do a quick write up until every morning. It is. What was your last 24 hours? What's your next 24 hours? And do you have any blockers to achieving that? And what was nice about it is that when we were talking or doing video calls, we could focus a little bit more on the human side because we had already surface that todayas. And it was nice to be able to go back and reference those so that if someone you know, if you have to manage and report on what's going on, you kind of can go back and look with it day by day. What was accomplished? What was it? And so and I think there's something about having to write down your priorities versus just verbalizing, then it kind of makes a little more concrete. So that was something that was working well that I think you could kind of fold in to the communication cadence on the screen. Adam [00:05:15] That's awesome. Well, I forgot to add, just because this is a real time, you know, things change fast. We did add one other thing to our communication cadence as well, which is Santiago. Our CEO has been doing a Friday video every week. That is not about business updates. It's just a personal reflection on the week. It's like five to seven minutes long. And it shows just the more the more authentic side of what the experience is like for him. And one of the things as a leader, I think just to ask yourself what and why I think it's powerful is how are you giving your team permission to process authentically this situation? And one of the ways you do that as a leader is by displaying it in yourself. Nicole [00:05:55] I've also heard CEOs that maybe are a little more removed from the organization that are just doing like 90 second videos every morning. And so for us, you know, we're doing more of like a five minute video at the end of the week to recap and then taking a week off with the entire executive team. And some are having leadership, you know, do it a little bit more like bite-size each day. I think what's important is allowing your employees to connect face to face with this senior level executive team or even more specifically, your president or CEO and allowing to lead by example. So we like a human requires you actually being a human. Adam [00:06:35] I wanted to talk to. A little bit about technology ground rules as well, because we you know, when you go, especially if you're someone who just went remote and maybe, you know, you're dealing with this real time and you haven't re- updated what your flows of work are and to not take for granted that employees maybe don't know what the expectations are. And what I mean by that is sticking through all of your different communication channels and what they each mean inside of your organization. Well, what this does is it helps it helps employees know how to be with technology. So, for example, email not urgent, but high priority usually a lot of times more strategic work for us. So we'll respond within 24 hours. The key, though, is, for example, if I send an email to my direct report at 10 p.m. because work is different, like I maybe can't get to work because I've got kids and my wife owns a business and we're all trying to get stuff done. So I'm I'm working really late. We should have clarity on when there's urgency to respond. Right. And so this is saying I can email you and that's a place you shouldn't feel any pressure to respond with. Slack. It's not as urgent. It's low priority. Get to it when you can with text. It is urgent and high priority. Please respond as soon as possible. And then with the call it is so text mid-high priority and then call urgent high priority. Please call back. So if I call it 10 p.m., hey, let's pick up the phone we got we have to do you know there's something that needs to be done. But this also matters, though, because I think when we when our default is under communication as a leader, you often don't realize how much you're impacting your employees lives. Maybe they have notifications on their e-mail. They get an email at 10:30 and their narrative is like, I can never take a break. There's no downtime. There's no way for me to escape this. But if you give them permission and create the arc of how communication works, what you'll actually find is your people will be more productive because they get more space like they have more more default times to recharge and they have better understanding of what these flows and streams of work are. Nicole [00:08:37] Thanks so much for joining us for this first ever bite-size insights. You can send us your questions at podcast at emplify dot com and subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts.