Welcome to The Work Place, where we talk about the cultures we work in, and how to make them better for everyone.
This episode, we’re talking with the CEO of Great Place to Work, Michael C. Bush. If you haven’t heard of him, you’ve almost certainly heard of his company and what they do. And if you HAVE heard of him, you know why he’s the perfect person to kick off season 3.
Stick around after the interview for Tangible Takeaways, where we break down the big ideas from the interview into bite-sized morsels you can use in shaping your own workplace culture.
Michael C. Bush is the CEO of Great Place to Work®, the global research and analytics firm that produces the annual Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list, 100 Best Workplaces for Women list, Best Workplaces for Diversity, and many others. He served as a member of President Obama’s White House Business Council (damn . . .) and is the author of A Great Place to Work For All: Better for Business, Better for People, Better for the World.
Now it’s time for Tangible Takeaways, where we take big ideas through the hedge maze and into the sultan’s private gardens, wreathed with flame lilies, ghost orchids, jade vines, chocolate cosmos, middlemist reds, and blue roses, parrot’s beaks, island hibiscus, gibraltar campions, and in the center, a corpse flower in full bloom. Cool AND gross.
1. The first is that if we’ve learned anything from this crisis, it’s that trust is the true barometer of a healthy workplace culture. The more trust people have in leadership, the less fear they experience day to day. They can breathe easier. Worry less. Which opens up more time and mental energy for other things—like innovation. Because like Michael said, innovation takes that extra effort. And extra effort is hard to find when you can’t trust your leaders to tell you the truth. Or worse, to tell you anything. Trust is the antidote to fear, and it’s what people need. Not just in the middle of a crisis, but when times are good, too.
2. The second is that if you want to be a great place to work FOR ALL, you should be going after more than just diversity. You should be going after equity. Fairness. Representation. Representation across all levels of the organization. In the warehouse AND the boardroom. That’s equity. Many organizations have a disparity between the workplace culture at the executive level and the workplace culture for the everyday employee. We have to look closer at our own cultures and acknowledge these disparities in the data. And not only acknowledge them, but take action to address them. As usual, this won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.
3. The third is something you won’t have noticed this episode, but will notice as the season goes on: we’re starting every interview with the same question. What was your first job? Because everyone’s had a first job, but few of us have had the SAME first job. And whether we know it or not, our first job says something about us. Who we were. Who we wanted to be. And how far we’ve come. Work has a profound impact on our lives. And our first experience with it is worth revisiting. And not just for guests. For you, too. Yes, you. Send us an email with stories about your first job to email@example.com and we’ll feature the best ones in an episode later this season. That’s firstname.lastname@example.org.
This episode was written and read by Andrew Scarcella—with additional writing, production, and sound design by Daniel Foster Smith. Special thanks to Katie Clifford, our Executive Producer, for all that she does.
If you liked this episode, or even if you didn’t, please rate, review, and, of course, subscribe to The Work Place wherever you get your podcasts.
The Work Place is sponsored by O.C. Tanner, the global leader in engaging workplace cultures. O.C. Tanner’s Culture Cloud™ provides a single, modular suite of apps for influencing and improving employee experiences through recognition, career anniversaries, wellbeing, leadership, and more.
If you want your organization to become a place where people can’t wait to come to work in the morning, go to octanner.com.
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