The Intentionality of WFH

Friday, July 16th, 2021|

Industry reports are showing that staggering numbers of employees are re-visiting their priorities to decide whether to stay in their jobs or to leave for other opportunities.

According to the labor department, in April alone, 4 Million people left their jobs.

With labor shortages in every industry from hospitality to technology and the fact that not everyone has left for another job…..we wondered why is there such a huge demand vs. supply of skilled professional talent?

Some candidates are leveraging this demand and focusing on freelance vs full time careers.  Others have moved out of their city, changed their focus, and are spending more time outdoors or with family while contemplating what to do next. Others are taking inventory of their skillsets and taking online courses in a variety of disciplines to expand their current skills.

One thing that is clear, is that a large population does not want to go back to the office in a full time capacity. And, for some, they don’t want to go to the office in person at all.   For employers and employees, it’s important to define what the future of work looks like and understand why it’s important to know how and where we want to work.

The pandemic has taught many the value of time, and how we can best spend this precious commodity.  At Artisan Creative, we’ve long held the view of an integrated life with work vs. trying to find balance in work and life.  Finding work/life balance implies being out of balance and putting work first, then life.

We prefer to put the emphasis on life first and then integrate work within it—life/work integration.

We have been a remote team for 11 years now and we respect the moments when a team member takes a few hours off to accompany their child to swim class or tends to a personal matter.  We embrace the time someone needs to go for a walk in the middle of the day to reset.  We do all this because we trust one another and know the work will get done because we’ve committed to doing so. We also believe we will return to work happier.  We do all this because we know our team embraces our core values of Accountability, Agility,  Trust,  Communication, Enthusiasm.

One thing we’ve learned over the years is that remote work is not for everyone. The idea of it may be attractive to many, however, the execution of it takes diligence, self-discipline, and intentionality.

As you contemplate a return to work—whether hybrid, fully remote, or in person, be sure to evaluate which specific work situation is best for you and know whether you can self-motivate, and stay accountable to yourself and to your team.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 588th issue of our weekly a.blog.

Bringing Our Whole Self to Work

Wednesday, June 30th, 2021|

When people hear that I’ve written a book, they generally assume that I’ve written about recruiting, human resources, or the culture of creativity. After all, with over 20+ years of experience in the creative recruitment field, it’s an expected assumption.

When they learn that my book, The Butterfly Years, is actually about the journey from grief toward hope, a puzzled look crosses their brows, expressing an initial surprise that I share so vulnerably my experience of loss and grief.

You may wonder, what does that have to do with my business? What’s the connection? Well, writing the book had absolutely nothing to do with my business and has everything to do with my business… because it has everything to do with me.

I choose to bring my whole self to my business.

In the book, Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations, Frédéric Laloux explores the concept of new organizations (Teal Organizations) where management and teams focus on creating a culture where the whole self comes to work.

My whole self has dealt with grief this past decade, including the loss of both my parents and step-parents. I wrote about grief because it was hard for me to concentrate, stay focused, or even remain positive.   I worked hard to hide what was happening inside. Of course, I did not let candidates or clients, or even my team, a glimpse at what was truly happening to me on the inside at that time. I thought that I needed to fake it so I could make it. I was wrong.

Over the past ten years, I’ve learned the importance of being true to myself, being authentic, and encourage genuineness from those around me, professionally and personally.

So this is a request to all the hiring managers and recruiters who are interviewing right now. Everyone, every single candidate that you connect with, is more than their LinkedIn profile. They are so much more than what you see on their resume. It’s key to learning more about a candidate’s interests and passions, about their core values, aspirations, and motivations.

As you interview new candidates or manage existing ones, ask yourself who is the “whole self” that you’re interviewing and meet them where they are with empathy and authenticity.

 

Katty Douraghy

President, Artisan Creative

IQ + EQ + AQ = Onboarding Success

Wednesday, February 10th, 2021|

The first day at any new job is filled with equal doses of excitement and anticipation.

To start a new job in a remote environment where you meet everyone for the first time via a digital device can add an additional dose of nervousness.

To prepare yourself for a successful onboarding into a new company and integration into a new culture, follow the simple steps below.

First-day success falls into three categories: intellectual, emotional, and adaptability quotients. IQ + EQ + AQ = Success

Intelligence Quotient (IQ)

This is the intellectual piece of success in any role. It’s the cognitive intelligence that is needed to carry forth the day-to-day requirements of the role. How well we retain the training material, how fast we learn, our verbal skills all come together to take on a rush of new information and experiences. This requires an operational plan for onboarding. The why, how, and what of doing our job.

Some items to take into consideration are:

  • Orientation and training plans.
  • Tools needed to accomplish my job correctly.
  • Team communication preferences and cadence.
  • Logins and access to files and collaboration tools

Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

EQ includes a broad range of interpersonal skills needed to make a connection with the team.

This can start even before day one on the job by reviewing the new company’s social media pages and LinkedIn profiles to get a better sense of the team, their interests, and the company culture. Learning about and evaluating a company’s core values are key.

Some items to take into consideration are:

Be Friendly
Respond to a welcome aboard email and connect with your new team, participate in their various communications tools. We use Slack here at Artisan Creative and have a variety of channels for random posts, as well as setting our intentions and sharing our daily gratitude.

Build Connections
Reach out to your departmental team members individually and introduce yourself. While this can feel daunting, especially if you’re an introvert, making an effort at the start will have its benefits in the long run.

Be Curious
Ask questions and learn about each individual’s role and tenure in the company. Find out what they like about working there. Let them know what department you are joining and offer to help if they need anything from your team.

E-Coffee dates
Setup virtual coffee or lunch dates to make more personal connections and learn as much as you can about the company and its people.

At Artisan Creative, we use our annual Vision Board project as an icebreaker exercise where the team presents their personal and professional goals to one another and to our new hires.

Adaptability Quotient (AQ)

The third and equally important piece of the formula is the Adaptability Quotient, especially in today’s unpredictable environment impacted by the pandemic. Although many companies are adjusting to the remote work setting, it’s important to be mindful that many firsts can still occur during this time. Your remote onboarding may be a first for this hiring manager, so it’s important to stay adaptable as needed.

Some items to take into consideration are:

Positivity
Go with the flow and stay positive as both you and your remote team learn to master ever-changing communication skills.

Agility
Make course corrections and changes as needed. Demonstrating agility of thought and action is one of Artisan Creative’s core values, and it’s one we’ve relied on heavily during the eleven years we’ve been working remotely. It’s been even more important in today’s work environment where colleagues have had to juggle additional responsibilities including homeschooling.

Be open-minded
You may have learned processes or utilized tools in a different manner in your previous role. An open mind rapidly embraces new methodologies that may differ from your previous processes. If you see a better way, do share it once you’ve truly understood how your new company integrates with these tools.

Listening skills
Get to know everyone’s communication styles and activate your listening skills. It’s easy to misconstrue via text or slack, so when possible hop on zoom or a quick call for clarity.

Ask questions
Don’t be afraid to speak up if don’t know something. Every new role has a learning curve and it’s better to get clarity upfront.

We hope these tips create success for you in your new role. On day one, show up 15 minutes early, double-check your zoom and computer settings, fix your backdrop, grab a coffee and be ready to learn, connect with your team, and grow with your new company.

This article was originally published on Medium.com

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 579th issue of our weekly a.blog.

New Hire Welcome Kit: Why They are Important & How to Create Them

Tuesday, September 1st, 2020|

There are many facets to creating a successful onboarding process that truly welcomes and integrates your new hire. One of the best ways to make a positive, lasting first impression is by creating a new hire welcome kit. It may seem like a simple gesture, however, the thought behind is impactful.  A mug with your company’s logo or a personally crafted introductory note goes further than you might think.

In its simplest form, a welcome kit shows your new hire that you care about them. It acknowledges their presence as a new member of your team and alleviates first day jitters. Beginning a job can feel overwhelming, so getting an extra special introduction makes your new hire feel appreciated even before they step foot in the office. 

So what goes into a welcome kit? 

The short answer: anything you want that exemplifies your company culture and spirit. In general, welcome kits have office supplies or company “swag” like mugs or notebooks with the company’s logo on the front. They can also include supplies necessary for the job, such as headphones, a camera, and, if possible, an electronic device like a laptop or Kindle. 

If your company is known for a certain aesthetic, a creative welcome kit would reflect that. If you have a more playful or laidback company culture, throw in some quirky surprises like a puzzle or toys for their desk.  Or if your company has a foodie culture, consider a personalized gourmet box from boxperience to add some flavor to their first day.

In the same regard, your welcome kit is an opportunity to introduce your company itself and the expectations you have of your new hire. They are a great way to get the onboarding process going because you can provide a welcome packet with the necessary basic information a new hire might want to know, such as an outline of rules and regulations, important contacts, and FAQs. They are also a fantastic way to tell your company’s story, share your company core values, and get your new employee invested in the culture that defines you. 

To ensure your new employee receives a warm welcome, personalize your welcome kit! One of the best ways to do this is by including a handwritten note. It shows you care just that much more. Another great way to personalize your welcome kit is by putting your new hire’s name on some of the items you are giving them. By doing so, you are directly acknowledging them and giving your welcome kit that extra personalized touch. 

It is the little things that count. You want your new hire to feel that you are just as excited about having them on your team as they are about being on your team.  Providing your new hire with the necessary tools and personalized attention helps foster a smooth transition and is a great way to welcome them to the company.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 568th issue of our a.blog.

How to Discover Your Core Values

Tuesday, July 7th, 2020|

“Our values are at our core, and are an expression of how we act every day.”

Warren Rustand.

Lately, I’ve been reflecting a lot on my core values, how I define them, and how I remain true to them.

Warren Rustand, a successful entrepreneur and the Dean of Leadership for The Entrepreneurs’ Organization, says our values carry us through good and bad times. “Our values are everything we do, our acts, and behaviors. It tells people what we actually value, they define our character, they create and compose our integrity.”

Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People defines these as our three moments of truth:

  • Discovery of our values. We realize what our core beliefs and values really are.
  • Discovery of what we stand for when we commit to those values.
  • The moment we act on those core beliefs and values.

In the corporate world, it is common-place that companies define and share their core values and display them in their offices, on their website where customers, employees, and candidates can see them.

We did the same at Artisan Creative and I’m proud that our a.team helped articulate ours after several conversations together. They are Accountability, Agility, Trust, Communication, and Enthusiasm. These are the core values we embrace every day, and how we conduct ourselves in business year over year.

If companies take the time to discover and articulate their core values, why don’t we do this for ourselves? For our families? How can we better share what we stand for and what our values are to others and to our children?

It’s often during difficult times that we need to evaluate what is important to us. Today, with one of the highest unemployment rates on record, many are going through challenging times. Candidates are evaluating and contemplating what their next step can be, and what type of company they want to work for. I’ve heard from many who no longer want to commute long hours, no longer want to work for a company without a purpose, no longer want to travel just for work. They no longer want to work for someone whose values don’t align with theirs.

We live our lives by a certain internal compass, a moral code, and although many times we may not know how to articulate these actions as values, it is in challenging times that we can rely on them.

So as we are in this time of reflection, it’s important to determine and articulate our own personal core values and share them with one another.

Here are three steps to help define yours. This is a process of putting together seemingly disparate puzzle pieces until finally, an image emerges. It requires patience, thoughtfulness, and reflection.

Write down your answers to the following questions:

Reflect back to a time when you were faced with an important decision and ask:

  • How did I behave?
  • How did I feel?
  • What did I want?
  • What was important to me?
  • What was I willing to stand for?
  • What did I NOT stand for?
  • What was my non-negotiable?

Reflect back to a time when you were faced with a challenge in your life and ask:

  • How did I behave?
  • How did I feel?
  • What did I want?
  • What was important to me?
  • What was I willing to stand for?
  • What did l I NOT stand for?
  • What was my non-negotiable?

Reflect back to a time when someone needed your help:

  • How did I behave?
  • How did I feel?
  • What did I want?
  • What was important to me?
  • What was I willing to stand for?
  • What did I NOT stand for?
  • What was my non-negotiable?

Additional questions to bring clarity:

  • How do my friends describe me?
  • What gives me joy?
  • What brings meaning to my life?

Once you’ve answered all the questions, look for common themes, phrases, and words.

Circle those words, or search for other words that resonate with you.

What emerges? Who emerges from those words? Do they resonate with you, and are they who you are at your core?

Once you know them, share this with others. Then, add them to your website and your resume. Let potential employers and employees know how you live by these values.

In the words of Gandhi, “Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.”
 

Please connect if you are looking for your next opportunity or your next hire.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 564th issue of our a.blog.

3 Tips to Navigate Your Job Search

Tuesday, May 12th, 2020|

The current massive unemployment rates have many talented candidates out of work and searching for new opportunities. Additionally, the impact of stay-at-home measures is clearly exasperating the job search efforts for many.

As we navigate these unchartered waters and contemplate what the next version of what “work” is going to mean, it becomes important to take a moment and reflect. Julio Vincent Gambuto calls this moment “The Great Pause”.

We are indeed in a (prolonged) moment of pause—which is not comfortable.  However, since we are unable to rewind and go back to what once was, we can be more fully present and work on evaluating the future and possibilities that we can create.

To do so, here are three tips on how to evaluate what you really want to do next.

Define your Core Values

Take the needed time to think about what you want to do next and how that may align with your core values and purpose. If you haven’t had a chance to define your core values yet, now is a good time to partake in core values or visioning exercises to discover what is important to you.

Focus on Upskilling

As you re-imagine what that future of work will be for you, now is also a great opportunity to upskill. Many well-known universities around the world are offering free online classes. If you’ve been thinking of pivoting into other fields such as UX or product design, now is your chance. Ideo offers Design Thinking classes, as well as Leadership and Innovation classes. Masterclass is another great resource to try out a new hobby, learn something new, or write the story you’ve always wanted to tell.

Give Back

Volunteering is a great way to keep busy, make new connections in a new field, and help others in need. If you’ve always wanted to help out a non-profit what better time to share your expertise? It also provides a great opportunity to enhance your resume. More importantly, giving back is a great mood enhancer as it boosts oxytocin levels by creating levels of engagement, productivity, and usefulness which leads to gratitude.

We wish you the best as you embark on your job search.  For additional tips on resume writing and interviewing please check our a.blog. We hope you’ve enjoyed our 560th issue.

Giving Thanks 2019

Wednesday, November 27th, 2019|

We give thanks to our clients and talent, and to our a.team for 23 years of building a more creative world together.  Happy Thanksgiving.

Here at Artisan Creative, we have a #gratitude Slack channel where throughout the year our a.team shares what they are grateful for daily. Everything from bike rides and nature walks to home remodels and healthy families, we recognize every day how very fortunate we are in so many ways.

Here are some snippets of shares on Slack from the past year:

Grateful for health.
Grateful for family.
Grateful for laughter.
Grateful for loving relationships with friends and family.
Grateful for enriching experiences.
Grateful for launching our artisan podcast on creativity, inspiration, and determination.
Grateful for our virtual office and not commuting—celebrating 10 years of working remotely.
Grateful for a strong body and mind.
Grateful for learning to wake up to life at a deeper level.
Grateful for new friendships.
Grateful for old friendships.
Grateful for sunrises and sunsets.
Grateful for being able to give back and helping others.
Grateful for our 4-legged furry friends.
Grateful for air travel that makes it possible to see family and friends who are far away.
Grateful for babies sleeping through the night.
Grateful for positive attitudes.
Grateful for the bathroom remodel being done.
Grateful for “Find My Phone”!
Grateful for self-care.
Grateful for new beginnings.
Grateful for the amazing a.team!
Grateful for 23 years of Artisan Creative.
Grateful for our clients and talents.
Grateful for new additions to our team this year.
Grateful for our focus on life-work integration.
Grateful for living and being true to our core values.
Grateful for continual learning and growth.
Grateful for knowing and understanding our strengths.
Grateful for mindfulness.
Grateful for the entrepreneurial journey.
Grateful for a happy life!

Wishing you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving.
The artisan a.team