Transparency, trust, and emotion create the foundation for a thriving workplace culture. In this week’s Always Learning on LinkedIn Live, Angel Junio, Head of HR for LoopUp joined Talent and Culture Strategist Laraine McKinnon to discuss real-life examples and tactics to gain mutual trust, create a sense of openness and honesty in her organization, and being an advocate for the employee.
Honesty and Being Human Are Key Pillars
With transparency comes with honesty and of course, being as human as possible. “Being honest to gain trust,” said Junio, to gain the trust of your employees and “creating that relationship that is really rooted in the real connection and mutual trust.” Mutual trust is important, not only from employee to HR but from HR to the employee all while maintaining confidentiality.
With HR professionals, sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the nitty-gritty paperwork and other administrative tasks, especially when you don’t have all the resources you need. In today’s modern workplace, with multi-generations and various demographics, adding the human element back into human resources need to be a top priority for your team if you want to create a healthy—and trustworthy—culture.
“If we really want to be our best selves at work, we have to be holistic in how we think about our employees, and treat our employees and crafting the benefits for them outside of work,” said Junio.
Knowing Your Audience
Whether your organization has 50 or 10,000 employees, and whether they’re localized or spread across the globe, it’s important to truly understand who each of your employees is. Employees are the building blocks of your organization, so knowing who they are, understanding their challenges, what their career goals are, and learn about what they like to do outside of work, makes an impact on building mutual trust and transparency.
To understand LoopUp’s workforce (held in 18 offices globally), Junio did something a bit different than just conference call department heads from the San Francisco office. She booked a listening tour to talk to as many employees as possible. These employees included managers, high performers, and other executives as well as the everyday worker, new hires, and tenures. That way, she is acknowledging the employees who are in the trenches, who are aware of the subcultures that are happening in the workplace that managers and executives don’t see.
“Trust is a hormone that is based in oxytocin and it’s the same hormone that creates love…so there are some behaviors we can do to build that and one of those is being intentional with your personal relationships,” said Junio.
The most important part of the listening tour for Junio was to allow employees to understand her as a person, and not just HR or an anonymous email inbox.
Be An Employee Advocate
Many HR professionals strive to be an advocate for the employee but face some challenges along the way. As HR, you want to represent the organization and you want to represent the employee too, but there is a balance that needs to be made.
“As an HR person, you are an agent of the company. I truly believe that if you want to serve your company for the best, you have to be an advocate for the employee because, otherwise your good talent will leave,” Junio advises.
Motivated and engaged employees are going to work harder, be more loyal, and help generate more revenue for your organization. Employees who feel more trusted and empowered are more likely to make better business decisions rather than follow a cookie-cutter approach.