At any given moment, do you know the pulse of your organization? On the show today we have David Niu, a serial entrepreneur who, after a “careercation,” founded TINYpulse, which gives clients a pulse on how happy, frustrated, and burned out their employees are before they get that surprise two weeks’ notice out of the blue. We’re exploring the topic of employee experience and engagement, and how to make sure you’re creating a culture where your people can thrive. Listen to the full episode:
Burnt out by his own startup, David uprooted his family and bought one-way tickets to New Zealand. During this vacation, he had two main goals: to unplug and connect with his family, and to figure out what was next.
So he conducted a series of interviews with CEOs about their pain points, and from these interviews, a common theme emerged: the haunting feeling when someone would give them their two weeks’ notice out of the blue.
This became the inspiration for TINYpulse. What if we could take the pulse of our employees – in the moment – so leaders could get on top of issues ahead of time and resolve them collaboratively before they spin out of control?
Instead of one huge survey once a year, what about asking people one simple question at a time? For management, it’s much easier to get a picture of what’s going on as there’s much less noise than if you had asked 30 questions. It’s also easier to find themes and actually do something about it.
Characteristics of companies that flourish
One is the importance of recognition. Whether you use TINYpulse or something else, make sure that there are multiple avenues of giving each other recognition, and that it’s very easy to do.
The second thing is the perception of management transparency. One of the biggest drivers of how happy employees say they are is how transparent they believe management is. So David challenges leaders: given your role, how can you be more transparent?
Cheers for Peers
This TINYpulse feature allows colleagues to appreciate one another in real time. Recognition isn’t just a high five, it’s (1) What am I giving you recognition for, specifically? (2) What is the significance or impact of what you did? (3) How did it make me feel? Not only does this boost engagement and morale and build a culture of recognition, but a manager can also check the cheer scanners and see what’s going on. In TINYpulse offices, these cheers are publicly shared and visibly celebrated.
You’ll know if a set of values are your values if it allows the people you want in your company to flourish and the people you don’t want in your company to self-select out. You should be able to make decisions by these values and hire and fire by them.
Here are TINYpulse’s:
Delight customers. This includes internal customers because if you can’t delight each other internally, you can’t delight customers externally.
Spread positivity. When you walk in the door, you can be positive, negative, or neutral. It’s a free choice.
Lead with solutions and embrace change. If you have something to complain about, offer suggestions on how to solve it.
Improve communications by being direct and transparent.
Go the extra mile with passion. It’s super hard but very rewarding.
Hold yourself accountable. You don’t need to be policed. You have the freedom, but you also have the accountability. Balance it.
Treasure the culture of freedom we have. Everyone who comes after you will take their cue on how to act from you.