Take Aways from Mark LeBusque's "Humannovation"

I had the pleasure of attending an event where Mark LeBusque spoke today. If you’re not familiar, Mark is a champion of humanizing the workplace. He spoke on how to purposefully create workplaces where people feel like they belong. Here were my 3 key take aways:

1. Culture thrives when people are allowed to show up as whole humans. Belonging and connection are key pillars of culture at an organization, from a financial impact and behavioral standpoint. Reinforcing this idea through conversations on why and how employees are valued and contributing as humans and workers is a key feedback loop often missing in the workplace. For virtual employees, consider bringing them into the conversation through virtual coffees.

2. What drives Trust in your organization? Mark listed these options:

  • Motive (you’ve got my back)

  • Capability (technical ability)

  • Reliability (doing what you say you will by when you say you’ll do it)

Choose wisely! For us, capability is super important because if we screw up, DOL could come calling. However, if you can’t be counted on, that will definitely make trust really hard. Because we’re a small organization, we usually aren’t concerned with motive, as there just aren’t the number of personalities and politics as there are at large organizations. HR from a government contractor noted that for her it’s capability, but the organization values reliability. Mark noted that reliability and motive are often a choice, whereas capability can often be taught.

It’s fun food for thought — and you might find that what trust is based on for YOU is actually different for your organization. You also might find your population might default to being skeptics until trust is earned, or the default may be to trust until proven otherwise.

3. Be wary of annual performance reviews. We can all agree there’s no panacea with performance reviews. They are necessary evils where most people walk away disappointed, especially if management is forcing the review to fit on the bell curve of the 5 point scale. “Sorry, I tried to get you a 4 but a 3 is really a strong number…” Consider replacing or supplementing with frequent, structured check-ins. Mark suggests a review of financial goals related to the job, barriers in getting the job done (plus what can the manager do to remove those), demonstrating values they live by, feedback for me/feedback for you.

If Mark is nearby, you should go hear him. No matter your approach to culture design, we can all agree that if we spend the majority of time at the workplace, it’s important to feel like you matter and you’re a part of a team. Don’t forget that your benefits should also be a reflection of your organization’s culture, and that includes your employee retirement plan!

Courtenay Shipley