Learn actionable takeaways you can use at your company right away!
Founder & CEO
Topic: In this program, OpenTable CEO Christa Quarles discusses seven key proven strategies to develop company culture as a strategic asset. Learn how Christa develops OpenTable's energetic, collegial culture and gets employees comfortable with thoughtful risk-taking. Drawing on personal experience, Christa will also discuss how to push executives to question company norms and make a change in your culture.
Takeaways & Quick Tips
Christa Quarles’ take on 7 Tips to Creating an Amazing Company Culture:
- Live Joyfully - "Joy and Laughter Belong Here" is one of our company's core values. We create these little moments of time where you allow your humanity to come through - separate from work. When I'm joyful, I can work 10X longer and 10X harder. It's short sighted to not focus on joy.
Quick tip: I start every meeting with a short, personal anecdote. It could be something that happened with my family, or something that's happened in the news. Being personal is how you connect and create joy.
- Inspire Others to Action: Netflix has a saying, "Context not control". I give people the entire picture, rather than exact direction, and I find it inspires them more and yields better results.
Quick tip: Invest time in your people to give them the context and empower them to deliver on your vision.
- Take Care of Your Team: We started instituting meditation breaks for our company and we couldn't believe the response! We were oversubscribed for this optional activity.
Quick tip: Introduce a company-wide meditation break to create a community feeling around reducing stress.
- Practice Resilience: There is no reward without risk. How can you take smart risks? You can learn just as much if not more from a failure. You're going to be wrong most of the time; get used to it and get moving.
Quick tip: We have a test and learn culture. When we regroup on post-projects, we always ask, "what was the biggest surprise?". Your data should be the loudest voice in the room.
- Seek & Support: I make everything personal. I care about you the person, not just you the employee.
Quick tip: Expose your own vulnerabilities as a leader to help others feel comfortable doing the same. When you're willing to be vulnerable, you become the most powerful person in the room.
- Make it Personal: I hid my first pregnancy when working on Wall Street. Now, I try to do the opposite. My kids are included in all the conversations I have with employees.
Quick tip: I tell my reports, it's not just OK that you are going to do this personal thing that I know is important to you (like picking up your kids from school), I EXPECT you to do it. That gives them true permission.
- Find Your True North: Culture is a basis for how employees make decisions when you're not in the room. It is the DNA and structure of who we are as a business.
Quick tip: Meet your employees where they are and find the shared space. It's not one-size-fits all.
Crista’s Top 3 Culture Takeaways:
- Learn your company's legends: I joined OpenTable many years into its life. You have to understand and honor the past to learn your company's culture and know how best to proceed in the future.
- Understand how success and failure are responded to in your company. How do people perceive they will be judged if they fail? This may be stopping them from risk-taking.
- How do you DO and DON'T? Because all I hear is WON'T. Don't tell people DON'T do this. That's not a creation of a culture. How do I ask you for what we need for the company? Frame things in a positive way. You don't break habits, you replace them.
Silicon Valley culture secrets aren't just for Silicon Valley. Whether you're a hot new tech start-up in the valley, a manufacturing company in the mid-west, or somewhere in between, Grokker's culture tips can be applied to your workforce. Speak to a Grokker wellness and culture expert today to learn how.
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