President of U.S. Operations and Cross Border Services, Chris Ciulla, and Marketing Associate, Diana Fernandez, joined AllVoices Reimagining Company Culture podcast. They discussed their thoughts on recession planning, transparently communicating changes in a hybrid workplace, developing core values, and more!
AllVoices Reimagining Company Culture is a series discussing emerging trends and priorities shaping the future of workplace culture and employee wellbeing. AllVoices highlights thought leaders who are constantly evolving their strategy and can provide insight to folks about how to address new business challenges.
Here are a few highlights from the podcast episode:
What is Comrise WeCulture and what are the core values that comprise this?
Diana Fernandez: WeCulture is a book that was written by Chris Ciulla. The premise of the book is that core values drive behavior within the workplace. Those core values are:
- Be Positive: We enter every work day with a positive mindset which becomes infectious to other colleagues and always say “we can”.
- Be Collaborative: People who say “we can” can usually get a lot done and work towards a common goal.
- Be Honest & Ethical: When we work together as a team, we want to be honest and transparent with each other, leaving the door open for any feedback from colleagues.
- Be the Spark: If we’re honest and transparent with each other, we can welcome and encourage our colleagues to share new ideas.
What is the unique role, in your opinion, of the President or executives to really contribute to a company’s culture?
Chris Ciulla: It goes without saying that executive leaders are responsible to live the core values and lead by example. Understanding what those core values are and citing them when you’re making decisions with your team is really important. For example, when making a decision, we filter every decision through the “Four-Win Principle”. This means candidates win, clients win, colleagues win, and Comrise wins.
As leaders, if the team is doing a good job, we’re growing the business and have to invite people to join. We hire by leveraging core values and keep them in mind before skill-set and accomplishments. This ensures that we support our corporate culture and that the people coming in share our values. Remember, you can’t teach core values or core competencies, but you can teach a skill.
Can you share examples of how you’re intentionally creating a successful and thriving hybrid workplace?
Diana Fernandez: In 2021, companies were toying around with the idea of either returning to the office, being fully remote, or adopting a hybrid workspace. However, Comrise leadership did not want to make a decision without the colleagues’ needs in mind. Therefore, the solution to that was to have an open conversation with colleagues.
As a team, we discussed our expectations, what we wanted and what would work for us. Then, we came to the conclusion that we would return to the office on Tuesday’s for face-to-face collaboration. For the rest of the week, we chose to work from home. This prioritized the work-life balance we thrived on while producing results for candidates, clients, colleagues, and Comrise.
How are you re-engaging colleagues who are thinking about quitting or who are in the stage of passively quitting?
Chris Ciulla: First, we need to talk about where quiet quitting came from. When companies went back to the process of how they were going to re-engage everyone through work schedules, many large companies dictated how the schedule would look and told people to come back to work. For instance, some of those companies were in NYC where people commuted an hour back and forth after having a work-life balance. When people feel their needs aren’t taken into consideration, they believe they don’t have a choice, which results in quiet quitting. If they do have a choice, they will actively quit and leave your organization.
We ask ourselves, “how do we address that?” and it comes down to transparency and honesty. We have needs for the business and want to grow while engaging our colleagues face-to-face to promote harmony. However, we also want to take feedback on what they need and find a balance. Whether or not people get what they want, if you hear them out, they’ll remain engaged and trust you. As a leader, it’s important to create an environment where people trust us as it results in them giving their best. Take care of your employees and your customers will get great service by default.. and that’s something that we live by at Comrise.