How to Create a Positive Work Culture

hello everybody welcome to expert
influencer Academy where we help you position package promote and partner so
that you can monetize your content across the top five social media
platforms I’m your host Charles Watson and today we have on the expert podcast
a very special guest with us we have the CEO of your happy workplace miss Wendy
Conrad Wendy thank you so much for joining us today how are you great
Charles thanks for having me thank you and thanks for coming on today
you have a very unique story and a very unique business in fact I think you’re
the only one I know that actually does what you do but it’s really important so
thanks for coming on I’m excited to talk to you about that and speaking about
that you tell our audience exactly what you do and why you decided to get into
your particular niche I would love to and you say it’s a unique story but I
don’t think it’s you as unique as you would think and get to that in a minute
when I tell my story but I’m Wendy Conrad I’m a workplace happiness
consultant and I founded your happy workplace and I work with small
businesses to help them discover new ways to motivate their team and I do
that by gathering information from their team and using that data and any extra
research I need to do that’s industry specific to create custom action plans
for them so they can better their work culture which in turn increases employee
engagement makes them more competitive in the job market which we’ll talk a
little bit more about later also and also improves their customer service
because that’s what our businesses are set up to do is to serve our customers
so how I got into that is interesting as you know I have spent the past twenty
years working for a dozen small businesses and in one of those
experiences I overheard a boss of mine tell another co-worker
that my quality of life didn’t effing matter and that I didn’t make the rules
and who do I think I am and bla bla bla bla bla so there were a lot of things
that led up to that moment that were would blow your minds and the minds of
your audience but unfortunately experiences like that
aren’t that uncommon every time I tell my story somebody always comes back at
me with a bad boss story we all have a bad boss story but this place was took
toxic to the next level and it just kind of amplified the questions I kept asking
myself at each of those twelve small businesses and it was why don’t they
just get that if they paid a little bit of attention to their work culture if
they paid a little bit of attention to their team what their team needs to do
their job better what their team needs to grow as a human being
um what they need to thrive in the workplace but that’s gonna spill over
into everything that their business was created to do like I said
increased customer service just think about if your team is unhappy and
disengaged how are they gonna interface with customers but if they’re inspired
and they’re at a place where they know that they’re respected and they’re
valued and they’re seen and they’re heard in their development is is paid
attention to how do you think they’re gonna interface with those same
customers night and day that is a great what a great story and what a great
industry to be in because I mean you I don’t think you have to go far to find
an employee that feels like their company or their boss really doesn’t pay
attention to their needs or they feel like they’re undervalued you know they
feel like they’re not respected in their workplace I I bet if you get five people
in the room three out of those five people are gonna have those similar
stories and it’s it’s kind of crazy and you know I’ve always thought that and
correct me if I’m you’re the expert I’m John not the
expert but like we mentioned earlier when we were chatting I I believe that
companies need to realize that their biggest asset in their business is their
employees because it doesn’t matter what widgets you sell it doesn’t matter how
much money you bring in or how awesome or great your product is if you don’t
have the infrastructure if you don’t have the the the employees to drive and
manage and produce in that business you don’t have a business there’s there’s no
business and am I right to assume that I mean yes I think it’s it’s the one thing
that is common to any business that has employees you know marketing and
servicing your customers and manufacturing that that’s all industry
specific about different ways to market and what’s the best way to do this and
what’s you know what kind of training you should have all of those things are
variables that can depend on your specific business but work culture
that’s where everything starts from that that is not industry specific every
business owner manager HR professional any kind of leader within your team
needs to be paying attention to this and it just seems like and and and then I
start to ask myself why is it like that why do we have so many bad bosses out
there that’s what I was gonna ask you why do you think just now this is you
know coming to light well I don’t think it’s just now let me tell you my
thoughts on this whole thing so as I was going through all of these different
jobs in different work cultures I started to do a lot of research and what
I found is that work culture has evolved over time as what people need and want
and life has evolved over time I think now that we this is the first time in
history where we have five different generations in the workforce all at the
same time and so yes so it’s you not only there’s no cookie cutter
way to motivate a team maybe in the past just the fact that you have a job and a
paycheck that’s enough in the past that would have been enough or giving
somebody a little bit of rate arrays would be enough to motivate them to do
better now people are looking for so much more than that they want more out
of a job and more out of life quite frankly they want to be in a place
that’s going to inspire them and and be invested in their development so it’s
not just about salary anymore it’s about having you know the work-life balance is
such a buzz phrase these days and I have separate thoughts about that but that
might be another show so I think in the past bosses were and it can depend on
what kind of bosses people have had in the past what kind of role models have
you had some people feel like well if I’m going to be that you might be an
expert in your field let’s say you start a plumbing business and you are the best
plumber on the planet you provide great customer service you know what you’re
doing you’re technically awesome but you’re the owner now and now you have
employees and you may subconsciously think well if I’m going to be the boss
I have to be an ogre I have to roll what the firm hand to get them to do what I
want I have to do X Y & Z and that so can be so ingrained in us as people and
it’s not because intentionally what you want to be a jerk it’s just that
subconsciously when you think boss you think you know do what I say right you
know it’s a there’s no example for other ways to do it and there’s no you know a
lot of what I do is about educating people about what it means to be an
effective leader in your business whether you’re the owner or the
management or wherever your role lies it’s all about thinking of new ways to
do things and also new ways to inspire and motivate all these generations of
people that are now in the workforce today that’s awesome
and and thank you for all that information I have a question for you
that I thought of what while you were talking and that is uh you know
technology drives consumer behavior technology drives the the the workforce
and employees and I mean we live in a very fluid technological stage in this
day and age do you think that the advancement of technology has you think
that has anything to do with helping to create like a more a happier work
culture a more fluid work culture and-and-and what I’m getting at is that
like you no longer have to sit in a cubicle from 9:00 to 5:00 to do you know
like menial tasks work or let’s say let me take my experience for example IT
work there were a lot of things that I could do from the comfort of my own home
as an IT support technician you could remote into computers you could fix
ninety five percent of users problems it really didn’t matter where you were
located all that mattered was that you had the technology to be able to perform
your job do you think that that I mean do you think that that helps or hinders
where do you see technology’s role in helping to create a more flexible and
happy work environment absolutely technology affects everything we do it
affects everything it affects your customer service it affects you know how
employees show up for you and and the jobs that they have to do in-house
versus you know whether you can be a little bit more flexible and I think
that’s where maybe the the incongruence is coming in because there are so many
generations now when you have the the generation over here who maybe started
the business XYZ number of years ago and now you have the employee who’s here who
knows about all this technology and different ways of doing things right
that’s where you get kind of a clash about how it should you know that
technology may be uncomfortable for this business owner and that’s why they don’t
have the kind of options available oh no I mean I
know it is you know what I mean I mean I can tell you in my business and even in
social media management and things like that that’s the number one thing that we
run into is uh especially the demographic of like 50 and over small
business owners entrepreneurs CEOs I might have you know five employees or
less they they know they have to use technology like again just my experience
they know they have to be on social media and they know they have to be on
Google because that’s the future but a majority of them don’t know how to use
utilize the technology and they also have no interest in learning how to use
the technology so honestly that’s really worked to our advantage as as a business
but they just tell you straight out listen I’m old I don’t know I don’t want
to know how this works I just I’m gonna pay you I need it to
work so I think you brought up a really good point I mean it it’s I guess I
transcends everything so I guess that mentality kind of carries over into the
entire work experience our brains are not wired for change so if there is
something new or different even though intellectually we know we have to do
that to kind of be competitive like you said they know they have to you know be
on Google to compete in terms of getting the word out there but as soon as you
introduce something new and I’m guilty of a two you know I just got an iPhone
11 after having a five for a long time because in my brain you know if it ain’t
broke don’t fix it right it still make phone calls who cares
but obviously the 11 is so much better and so if we can kind of that’s why I
say a lot of what I do is about education if you can kind of show them
why it’s better and not just that and we talked about this the other day show
them what’s going to happen if they don’t do it yes if you don’t pay
attention to work culture your business is going to suffer your employees are
going to suffer and your employees are going to leave yeah and they are going
to look for other job during your time with them they may be
doing it right now yes I mean you’re you’re right technology cuts both ways
you know and I mean I we can go along with the theme of that because I think
it really plays a central role in in in what you do but it works both ways it
cuts both ways it’s a double-edged sword so it’s like employees have options
these days you know like your company isn’t the only company in town anymore
and it really doesn’t matter where that company is located because I think in
this day and age you know you have a company can recruit the best talent in
the world you know the work culture there’s a fundamental shift in the way
businesses operate and there’s a fundamental shift in work culture and I
think that’s important for employees to know you know for employers to know that
as well I think what I read that one of the most dangerous things an employer
could say is well we’ve always done it that way yes you know so that’s that’s a
good point I mean everyone has options now so you really it sounds like you
really do have to develop a culture that uh really takes into account the
personal lives and and the needs and and the wants of employees and just not sit
there and crack the whip anymore because like you said that shit just ain’t gonna
work right and everything is connected and so you know if you’re a business
owner and you have the mentality where well that’s their personal life that’s
not my business it is your business because they’re bringing all of that to
work they’re a whole person you know we have families and pets and kids and you
know other things going on in our lives and all of that is going to affect how
your employees show up for you so I always say if you want to start and this
is where we can kind of start talking about what people out there can start
doing – right that was the no prove their their work culture because this
can all be so overwhelming because there’s so many things you know where do
I start if you’re going to start with one thing my suggestion is to
ask it schedule it right under your schedule used your phone schedule every
day think about how many employees you have and every day ask at least one of
your employees how can I help you to do your job better okay that’s it if you
just start with that and ask every one of your employees that not just once on
a regular basis because like we were saying your business is a living
breathing thing it’s constantly changing you know employees Lee even even when
you do work on work culture your employees are going to leave things are
going to happen so that kind of your team is always changing and things are
always changing and your people are always changing so if you’re asking them
that one question on a regular basis I’d be surprised if you didn’t immediately
start to see changes in people’s attitudes and how they’re showing up for
you and how they’re producing for you that’s awesome and I know that from
earlier when we were just talking AG I want to get it down here on the show you
really like pulled the curtain back I had like a light bulb moment that I
really hadn’t thought about before it I want you to kind of talk about that now
is um your formula is your your business your company is a person can you can you
talk to us a bit more about that because that’s awesome
I had a shower moment of genius and we all have those when they’re in the
shower when we’re in the shower because there’s no dish that’s in one place
where there’s no distraction correct so I was in the shower and I was thinking
about coming on the show today and I thought of this great analogy if you
think of your business as a person so we as people we want to be happy how do we
make ourselves happy more productive or things we want in life
goals we want to go after we’re always seeking outside of ourselves maybe that
means you’re you know you’re constantly buying stuff and maybe you’re in debt or
you’re constantly going to you know personal development things but you’re
not implementing them or you’re always looking outside the perfect relationship
the perfect job everything’s outside of you and nothing
seems to be happening so you’re getting frustrated that’s a perfect analogy for
your work culture and your business I find that people tend to start from the
opposite end are thinking how can I get more customers how can i market this
better looking outside what can I do what can I do what can I do if you turn
inwards and think about your team start from the inside your team you start
there and all of those other things are going to kind of organically improve if
you pay attention to your team the inside just like us as people when you
turn inwards and search for those answers inwards that’s when you can
start to really see some changes that’s awesome that’s really cool thank you for
sharing that I think more people need to start looking at it that way shower
genius bye Wendy yeah amazing how many awesome ideas come
in the shower it’s crazy yeah let me ask you this because you you got the wheels
turning when the advantages of bringing in a you know a work culture consultant
such as yourself do you find that well I guess like two employees tell you stuff
that they normally wouldn’t tell like the boss like okay cuz a lot of times
employees are sitting there and they have all these ideas creative ideas
about ways to make your business better but they’re not voicing them to you
because maybe they feel like you know that you haven’t created a safe
environment for that kind of feedback okay or maybe they came to you with an
idea in the past or whatever the reason may be and maybe it’s not something a
creative idea to improve but maybe it’s something negative about something
that’s going on that is causing them to feel disengaged or not to care about
their job or to be unhappy so they may not necessarily come to you with that
because of fear so um part of that is is yes getting
those answers in the beginning that they may not necessarily communicate to you
but also to then set up a work culture that makes it safe for them to
communicate those things in the future because listen my job isn’t to come in
and wave a magic wand and fix everything and fix everyone and it’s a one and done
and you’re good you don’t have to think about it for the rest of the life of
your business right that’s not how it works my job is to come in and to point
out from where you are now what’s working what’s not how can we get you to
where you want to go and things that you can do in the future to create this work
culture and put you on the path to get there so yes them telling me things that
they wouldn’t tell the boss is a is a big part of it that in itself seems like
it really has value and from being employee in the past I could tell you
that that fear is absolutely real yeah that fears is is absolutely real so let
me talk a little bit to your audience out there who are maybe solopreneurs
because yeah the message the message behind what I’m saying doesn’t just
apply to people who have employees right it can also apply to you if you’re a
solopreneur which I am so I try to incorporate all of this stuff for myself
I try to create a work culture for myself that’s gonna keep me motivated to
go so kind of if you treat yourself as your
only employee and care about yourself you know everybody talks about self-care
but it’s really important to not only get the work done that you need to do
but also it can be kind of hard especially if you’re a solopreneur
working from home you’re always at work because you live there so it can be
tempting to I’m guilty of it myself you know the computers there it’s a Saturday
I might go in there and do three hours of work on a Saturday which you know
maybe you’re making up for lost time you lost during the week but it’s so
tempting to be on 24/7 you have to kind of schedule yourself
some off time to avoid burnout so creating a work culture for yourself
that includes self-care and things like investing in your personal life and your
relationships and your own personal development and things like that it
applies to solopreneurs as well and I think that’s really important and great
that you brought that up because it seems like you know if you have all
these mechanics and you have this infrastructure in place when you’re a
solopreneur then when you scale and when you grow yeah that’s already implemented
right exactly yeah you just roll it out to two other employees and you just kind
of scale that with your business as you as you grow and expand so that’s really
great advice so you should start early day one right device it’s a great habit
to start like you said if you’re planning on scaling in the future that’s
all start with you from day one and it’ll be easier to implement when you do
get employees so I know that you’re a big like your message is is all about
that you know humanity and and leading can can coexist and I think you’ve
really captured that really well I know that because we talked earlier before we
you know started recording and stuff I know that uh you you you watched a video
about Gary on from Gary Vee and he kind of he kind of got the wheels turning you
want to talk a little bit about absolutely I came across this video the
other day and somebody’s Instagram feed and I watched it and it like blew my
mind because Gary Vaynerchuk is somebody who I’m aware of obviously and some of
the things he had says and his philosophies about things I agree with
and some of his things he says I don’t and so I kind of haven’t really been
paying attention to him recently until I saw this and so I’m back to being a Gary
Vaynerchuk fan so he has this video and if you want to google it it’s called the
biggest misconception that bosses have about employees you can find it on his
Instagram feed you can find it on his Facebook but he talks about it basically
says if you don’t treat your employees like you work for them then you’ve
you’ve got the wrong idea about what it means to be a business owner and I love
that because that really puts a flip on what were trained and raised and
socialized to believe and we talked a little bit before about what it means to
be a boss it really calls into question everything we’re taught about what it
means to be a boss and I think part of the resistance for some people can be
that if I care about my team if I care about what makes them happy and if
people have such a thing about happy and work it’s like they can’t put those two
words together in a good thing but if I care about what makes my team happy I’m
gonna be seen as a weak leader they’re not gonna listen to me if I’m worried
about that why should I be worried about that and the opposite is true
you can still care about your team and still lead them to great things still
you know have them care have a connection to your mission of what your
business is trying to do it’s not mutually exclusive the humanity being a
good human and being a business owner or a boss can
coexist yeah so I think it can take a little bit of mind tweaking to allow
that reality in so yeah watch that Gary Vaynerchuk III
I’ve watched it an end and it reminds me of and while you were talking I just
remembered so I you know my story is that I was a computer network engineer
for you know 10 years you know in the industry working my way up from a
computer shop repairing computers to being a global IT network manager and
and and I had enough you know I was like I’m smart enough I know the internet you
know there’s there’s thousands of people that are making a living on the Internet
and having their own businesses and stuff like that I’m smart enough that I
can do it too and I remember when I got I got laid off in September of 2019 and
Tia my fiancee I think pretty much everyone knows who she is I remember us
sitting in the living room and making the decision that okay well this is the
universe telling us that it’s time to to do our own thing and I was so proud you
know I was so proud that this was it we’re stepping down and we’re gonna be
our own boss and I posted it on Facebook I was like from this moment forward you
know I’m running my own business I’m an entrepreneur and my uncle
commented congratulations now you work for everyone else he’s right I mean he’s
right and what you say is right being a leader is is not yeah I I think there’s
huge misconceptions in in in business culture and in the work environment
about what leadership and being the boss actually means and I could tell you from
the experience of just the six months five to six months that I’ve been doing
this I have never worked harder in my life then then I do now and like you
said it’s all the time it there’s no weekend there’s no Saturday
there’s no Sunday there’s no you know what I mean like somebody emails me at
10 o’clock at night I’m there I respond somebody you want you know and now
Charles you have to set boundaries right but and I think the majority of people
need to learn that and I’m glad that you brought that up because I really I mean
that really spoke to me when you when you were talking about that but I think
the thing is is is is in culture people have the misconception when you’re the
owner when you’re the manager when you’re the leader that you don’t work it
you know all I made it and that’s not true it’s completely opposite you work
your ass off and well I read something the other day that somebody said I wish
I could remember so I could credit them here but somebody said people will work
80 hours a week for themselves so they don’t have to work 40 hours a week for
somebody else that’s true yeah yeah that’s that’s absolutely true man that’s
crazy well yeah really
so Wendy for the people that saw this video and it like spoke to them and
they’re really interested in developing a better and more positive work culture
do you have like any resources or references that you can point people to
to check out yes there are a couple books that I love for the audience to
read if you’re thinking you know some things that I’ve said or that we’ve
talked about of kind of maybe changing the way you’re thinking about being a
leader at your job or if you own the business there’s a couple books I’d like
you to check out the first one is called the happiness advantage the author’s
name is shawn Achor sha WN AC hor he has a TED talk also
that you might want to check out it’s got tons of research in there that
proves everything that I’ve been saying that happiness matters in the workplace
there’s another book called the culture code by Daniel Coyle his last name as
CEO yle I haven’t read the whole thing yet but
it talks about you know queer culture and all of that kind of stuff so those
are some great recommendations awesome but I mean I think we have the master
and expert resource right here on the show so for anyone that is looking to
build on this and have you come in and work with you to build a positive work
culture where can we find you on social media you can find me everywhere find me
on Instagram the handle is at your happy workplace also on Facebook your happy
workplace I do starting to do more Facebook lives Charles is the
inspiration I got to get out there I’m also on LinkedIn and of course my
website your happy workplace comm where there’s an articles page where you can
read about a written a bunch of articles there where you can get started about
how to make your workplace better and also if you sign up for my newsletter
you will get the free downloadable guide find your person it’s a hiring and
onboarding guide with ten tips about how you can improve your hiring an
onboarding process to increase your employee retention rates I think you
have an incredible industry like you know like I’m to business industry like
it’s so important and it’s like one of those it’s one of those shadow topics
you know because it’s always on the minds of people but yet not a lot of
people speak about it openly and it’s nice to know that you’ve used a like you
to one you’ve been there so you you have that experiences as well but it’s nice
to know that there’s someone out there that gets it and understands and it’s
really bringing it to light I feel like in in business it’s what this is one of
those taboo topics that you really don’t wanna you know you really don’t want to
talk about because you the fear of retribution right
you’re getting fired or the fear of getting well that’s it fire I mean
that’s really horse that can happen they can’t take away your birthday or
anything the fear the fear of getting fired is is really it causes a lot of
panic and anxiety in people so it’s really great – it’s really great that
you’re out there advocating for this and really bring in the topic alight so I
hope as we both attested to being a business owner is can be all-consuming
and you’re so busy trying to market and find customers and you know there’s a
lot of things that businesses outsource like maybe you’re outsourcing your
payroll or maybe you’re outsourcing your accounting this kind of thing is
something you can also outsource and you know it’s really something that people
don’t think about like you said you may be aware that things are going on in
your business and but you’re so busy that you you you don’t even know where
to start or well maybe what to call it some people may have not even heard of
work culture or improving it or that’s the thing so it’s really about educating
business owners that you know if you need help help us out they’re awesome
Wendy thank you so much for coming on today and talking to us I mean I I
learned a lot and you really turned on some lightbulbs in my head I really
appreciate it you’re welcome it was a pleasure as like you said I love to talk
about me yeah yeah yeah and I’d love to talk about work culture because I’m so
passionate about helping business owners and creating happy well that is awesome
thanks again I really appreciate it and I hope you have a great day you do the
same all right talk to you next time

1 thought on “How to Create a Positive Work Culture

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