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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Q12 Strong: Creating a Caring Environment to Enhance Workplace Performance -- Gallup Called to Coach: April Marcot (S7E2)



On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with April Marcot, Head of People and Culture at Talent International, one of just two organizations in Australia that have qualified for the Global Engagement Award as one of the most highly engaged workplaces in the world.
Our host was Gallup Regional Director of Business Development for Asia Pacific, Claire DeCarteret. 




Below is a summary of the conversation. Full audio and video are posted above.

Claire DeCarteret: It feels like you’ve come a long way in a short time and embedded this philosophy into your organization. How does it feel now from an engagement culture point of view?


[View YouTube 13:20] April Marcot: I have to say it’s the most unique company I’ve worked for, and the most fun company, in my work career -- and that spans 20 years. There’s a really good vibe, a good “buzz” and people genuinely care about each other and are passionate about what we are doing as an organization, what makes us different from other recruitment companies and about winning, as you can see from all of the awards we’ve won.

Fundamentally, everyone genuinely cares, but caring doesn’t necessarily mean you’re weak. In some places, caring is seen as weakness that comes at the cost of performance. But that doesn’t have to be the case -- it can support and enhance performance, not go against it. We still make difficult decisions and have difficult conversations, but we do it in a human-centric way. And I think the results speak for themselves. …

[View YouTube 18:38] One thing I think about constantly when I’m having sessions with teams is that 70% of how an employee feels, engagement, performance, is related to the people around them and their manager, and not to what I (April) am doing. I can’t fix the problems in another state or even a couple of doors down. But the most critical relationships people have are with the people they sit with and with their manager.

So when we do the debriefing of the Gallup results, I talk about that. They are responsible for their results. And that’s why I like the Q12, because it puts the solutions in the hands of the teams.

We try to have really open conversations about what we need to do and “What would a ‘5’ look like?” People are quite good at talking about the problems, but let’s focus on what the solutions will look like. We find that there are some simple things we can do to improve things.

Communication is one of them that our people have learned well, and it’s happened because of the Gallup surveys. They’ve learned that they can’t overcommunicate with their people; they need to communicate more. It’s gotten through to a lot of our people. It’s improving teamwork, it’s improving results, it’s improving engagement.

CDC: The Q12 can almost become a framework for those conversations.

[View YouTube 22:01] AM: It’s almost paint-by-numbers. It’s step-by-step -- let’s get this stuff right. First at the bottom and then let’s continue to move up that (Q12) ladder. And it takes people away from all of the stuff that doesn’t matter. That’s not what gets you out of bed in the morning. It’s the relationship with your manager that gets you out of bed in the morning.

CDC: We’re launching our book It’s the Manager in May. The manager operationalizes the day-to-day experience. We in the leadership suite or in HR can have the vision and put the systems in place, but that experience and that magic happens between the manager and the team.

As a recruitment firm, it’s important for you to get people in the right role and playing to their strengths. How do you build the capability of the manager bench and how does your manager development feed into your culture strategy?

[View YouTube 24:08] AM: The management team is supportive, collaborative and a bit competitive. We focus on the idea that in order to succeed in our business, you don’t need to become a manager. People who do well in recruitment and build beautiful businesses don’t necessarily always want to become managers. So we give them the opportunity to feel like they’re winning and developing and growing by continuing to build their businesses within our business.

And for those who have a passion for leading teams say that, and we have the ability to give people that choice. Not becoming a manager is not some kind of failure. I think it helps longevity in the business, and gives us the opportunity to develop our people in a way that suits them. 
You can start using your CliftonStrengths today:


April Marcot is a People and Culture leader with 18 years’ experience across the digital, media, wholesale and professional services industries. Her commitment to improving the employee experience has resulted in strong business results at both large global companies and startups.

As Head of People and Culture at Talent, April has overall responsibility for the development and execution of the strategic people plan to further improve engagement and performance across the business. April and her team are focused on the implementation of pragmatic people strategies that deliver tangible business results. Particular interests are health and wellbeing, and diversity and inclusion in line with the 100% Human at Work movement globally. April is passionate about innovative learning and development solutions, and equipping leaders with the necessary tools, support and autonomy to drive organizational results.

April Marcot’s Top 5 strengths are Input, Individualization, Communication, Ideation and Positivity.

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