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.

Virtual Team Building Exercises

Tuesday, January 26th, 2021|

It seems we will continue to navigate work-from-home life for some time to come.  However, being solo does not mean being in a silo.  There are many opportunities to connect virtually, boost team morale, and spark cohesion by implementing virtual team-building exercises to bring teams together and grow the culture. 

In a remote work environment, communication is the glue that holds the team together by preventing misunderstanding in both task execution and personal relationships. Prioritizing communication with remote teams will not only increase engagement but also foster a sense of support. At Artisan, we have a video-first approach where possible, then resort to slack or calls.  We prefer to see one another and our candidates when possible via video when communicating.

We also incorporate icebreakers into our Monday morning calls. Below is a list of virtual team-building exercises and tips that will spark the sense of community your team may be longing for as we continue maneuvering through these difficult times. 

Start the Zoom Meeting Off Right

Generate excitement and engagement at the start of every video meeting by implementing icebreakers to promote connection and team-building.

For a quick icebreaker, have each team member share a lesson learned for the week or share a “high” and a “low’ from the previous week.  Depending on the team’s dynamic, this can be as casual or as deep as each person would like.   

Another great icebreaker is to is pose a critical thinking question or a riddle to the team. This does not necessarily have to be related to work and can be more playful and thought-provoking. This will not only prompt your team to get their wheels turning immediately, but it will also provide insight into how your team thinks.  We’ve used the 3000 Questions to inspire fun and create meaningful conversations.

Dedicate More Time to Lengthy Team Building Activities

If your company culture calls for more in-depth team-building exercises, many virtual games and activities encourage teamwork and create an immersive experience!

Outback virtual team building has several professionally organized team-building experiences that range from 1 to 3 hours and can be adjusted for any size team! You can even choose between a self-hosted or virtually-hosted format. 

For a more simple activity, create a virtual coffee break or happy hour to celebrate with your team! You can plan several virtual games and activities for everyone to spark conversation and storytelling. If you want to go above and beyond, send your team members a package with drinks and snacks!

Additionally, there are many platforms for team game nights and trivia nights. For example, The Offsite Co. has options from virtual escape rooms to scavenger hunts, and Avital Tours offers cooking classes and culinary experiences.

Utilize Team Building Software 

The transition to remote work started before the pandemic with the emergence of several highly efficient cloud-based software can further increase engagement and build better communication daily.  

Klaxtoon or Mentimeter are two platforms that facilitate remote meetings by enabling each team member to participate with their own device. The software then visually depicts the collected input with easy-to-digest, playful graphics that can be shared with the whole team. 

Both have many features that make them highly engaging platforms, such as filtering ideas by color, creating surveys, and collecting feedback once the meeting has ended. 

Other team-building software such as Range or communication and collaboration apps such as Slack or Trello allow for seamless check-ins with all team members. They facilitate the creation of personal relationships by allowing team members to connect and to communicate successes and challenges. These same tools can also be used for onboarding a new hire remotely.  Additional tips can be found here.

The current global pandemic has created an opportunity for us to adapt the way we work, and more significantly, the way we communicate. We must work together to bring our teams a sense of cohesion and connection when communication only happens digitally.   

As we continue to learn and adjust, it is important to encourage team unity through team-building exercises that make your team feel connected, facilitating engagement and productivity.   What best practices do you use for remote team-building?

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 578th 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.

A message from Artisan Creative

Saturday, June 6th, 2020|

No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate. And if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the heart than its opposite.” 
– Nelson Mandela

To our creative community, talent, clients and our a.team,

As an immigrant and a female business owner, having an equal voice– and giving an equal voice–has been a personal motto for years. We have built Artisan Creative on diversity and inclusivity and we’re proud that our team has always been representative of many races and ethnicities.

Artisan Creative stands for equality, inclusivity, and fairness with a core mission to create relationships based on trust.

We firmly believe diversity and inclusion are the foundations of a just and fair society that extend to the business community. We stand with those in the fight against racism, oppression, and injustice. Our hearts are with those who have been negatively affected by today’s political, social, and business climate.

We recognize there is more work to be done on many fronts and we commit to learning, engaging, and to being part of a new narrative. To create meaningful change we must make our collective voices heard loud and strong.

To further support the need for justice and to support organizations that fight for change, we have donated to The Innocence Project that exonerates the wrongly convicted through DNA testing, and reforms the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.

Additional Opportunities to Donate or Volunteer are below: 

George Floyd Memorial Fund

Black Lives Matter

www.blackgirlscode.com  STEM education, Technology training for girls, diversity learning, Social Entrepreneurship in Oakland, CA

Empowher is committed to empowering girls and young women in marginalized communities by helping them gain the skills necessary through education, training, and mentorship to become confident, college, and career-ready.

Learning

Obama Foundation

Barak Obama’s Medium article

Opal Tometi

Codeswitch

 

Together we can create change,

Katty Douraghy
President

Artisan Creative

Creative Team-Building Activities

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019|

In business, as in life, so much comes down to effective communication, coordination, and collaboration. When teams work together to solve problems in a fun environment, they can bond, connect, and learn to trust each other in ways that will help them navigate through difficult challenges in the future.

This explains the perennial popularity of team-building activities. Team-building exercises can take place inside or outside the office. They can be competitive and cooperative. Some are more fun and creatively galvanizing than others.

If you’re leading a creative team through a project or you’re a manager supervising creative professionals, it’s important for you to decide what team-building activities will best help your team to coalesce, cooperate, and put their best qualities into play.

If you’re looking for unusual team-building exercises to fire up the imaginations and problem-solving skills of your team, here are a few we suggest.

Escape Rooms

Escape room games have exploded in popularity in the last few years. They give your team a chance to work in concert and breakthrough to freedom, generally through solving a series of puzzles. As team-building exercises for professionals, escape rooms can reveal hidden leadership potential, teach colleagues new ways to support each other under pressure, and reveal issues that may need attention, all in an atmosphere leavened by storytelling, humor, and fun. Winning an escape room game can be a strong bonding experience, and even if you lose, you will gain valuable insights into how you can work better together.

Painting Parties

A painting party can give your team a chance to get moving, get their hands dirty, work their imaginative muscles, and share fun new aspects of their personalities, all in an environment emphasizing creativity, conviviality, and joyful expression. Kristine Griffith, owner of Paint ‘n Sip, a mobile paint-party service based in Los Angeles, describes a painting party as “a relaxed environment and a non-competitive activity that releases stress and facilitates conversation on a level above workplace politics. Bonding ensues.”

Storytelling Games

When you encourage your teams to tell stories about themselves and their work, it can help them develop a sense of structure, better appreciate their shared values and mission, and see their challenges by fresh and more useful lights. Such “inside games” draw on skills ranging from recalling shared memories to strategizing and mapmaking, and can incorporate the tools of brainstorming, authentic relationship-building, and improvisational comedy. You could even make a deliverable, such as a parody music video. Such games can be great standalone team-building activities as well as wonderful ways to break the ice before meetings.

At Artisan Creative, we have many ways to support managers in helping their teams reach their fullest potential. Contact Artisan today to get started.

Impacting Workplace Culture

Wednesday, October 9th, 2019|

Most of us spend significant chunks of our lives at work. How we experience our jobs, our workplaces, and our professional cultures is a big part of who we are and shapes who we become. Therefore, all of us – HR and management, creative professionals, all of us – have much to gain from becoming more actively invested in our workplace culture. We deserve it.

As you become more aware of your workplace culture, how it works, and how to make it better, here are a few things to keep in mind.

All Culture Is Designed

Workplace culture rarely happens by accident. It is the result of values, whether spoken or unspoken and of actions, whether conscious or unconscious. When we act more mindfully and communicate our values more clearly, we grant ourselves more agency to collaborate and create the sort of workplace culture that better serves our needs and helps us achieve our goals. When we have a strong, supportive workplace culture, we can take pride in nurturing that culture and living in tune with what we really care about.

Know Before You Go

Recruiting and onboarding should include clear communication of the values, priorities, and expectations of the workplace culture. Before you join a team or take on new members, make sure your workplace culture is made explicit, and that it’s something everyone involved can proudly uphold and celebrate. It’s going to be a big part of your life – make sure it’s a good fit from the beginning.

Keep the Paths of Communication Open

If you don’t know, don’t be afraid to ask! Workplace culture is everyone’s business. A healthy one will encourage curiosity, new ideas, and positive contributions. As the millennial generation of workers and entrepreneurs rises in influence, its values of transparency and mission-focus can make it easier to ask useful questions and have important conversations about workplace culture.

Little Things Matter

Seemingly minor details – color schemes, layout, and organization, or whether a workplace is dog-friendly – will compound in importance over time. When you can turn small elements of your workspace or your office culture to your advantage, you make a powerful investment in your long-term success and happiness.

Check-In With Yourself

Even when you’re working hard, give yourself the time and psychological space you need to know your own mind, listen to your heart and gut, and be aware of how your workplace culture is resonating with you. The tools of mindfulness can be helpful with this process – more than a style of meditation, mindfulness is a set of habits you can adopt to develop a more perceptive and grounded take on the world. If those at all levels can become more mindful of workplace culture and dedicate themselves to nurturing and improving it together, it can be an enormously positive influence on team cohesion, productivity, and overall well being.

At Artisan Creative, we love to see creative professionals and businesses thrive. Contact Artisan today to start the conversation.

WE hope you’ve enjoyed the 545th issue of the a.blog.

Cool Job Perks

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019|

Whatever you do for a living, you’ll be spending a good amount of time on it. Thus, it’s important to choose jobs, gigs, and careers that are aligned with your values, your strengths, your goals, as well as with your sense of adventure and fun.

When you’re job hunting or looking for a new creative career, simply picking an opportunity with the largest salary attached may not lead to as much happiness as you might be expecting. Take some time to look at the whole picture, including job perks that will make your job and the workplace you’ll be spending 8+ hours a day in uniquely welcoming and rewarding. And, if you run a business and you’re hiring talent, consider offering enticing and unusual job perks to help attract the right team that can take your entity to the next level.

Here are a few job perks to consider, from the common to the quirky, to the cool.

Flextime: The ritual of working regular shifts Monday through Friday, 9:00 to 5:00, is based on an old industrial model of workplace efficiency that is not necessarily applicable or useful for all modern businesses. Flextime gives workers and their managers the opportunity to collaborate and create slightly offbeat schedules that may better accommodate the circumstances and needs of everyone involved.

Remote Work: As the capabilities of workplace technology improve exponentially, entirely remote teams will become more and more common. It’s how we’ve been working at Artisan Creative since 2009, and for us (and a lot of our clients), it’s working quite well.

Unlimited Vacations: American workers are notorious for their relative lack of long vacations, but things may be changing. Some top companies are no longer doling out small allotments of PTO and sick time and are switching to something more like an honor system, granting their employees full freedom to vacation as they will and trusting them to do so responsibly.

Fitness & Health Perks: Many employers are becoming more focused on the overall health and wellness of their talent, providing yoga sessions, bikes and other perks that help them feel good and develop good habits, inside and outside of work.

Dry Cleaning: Hate doing laundry? Need to be spotless and wrinkle-free for client meetings and presentations? Consider a job that will steam your pants and tumble-dry your whites, on the house.

Nap Rooms: Naptime may have felt like punishment in kindergarten. Now as a hardworking adult, you could probably use some R&R on the clock. More companies are providing small sanctuaries for meditation, contemplation, or simply catching a few Zs.

Life Coaching: At Artisan, we believe creating the right career is about aligning all aspects of life to orient yourself toward your true values. So we’re entirely in favor of getting a gentle push from a qualified life coach, especially when it’s part of your job.

Ax-Throwing Lessons: Then again, some people need more aggressive catharsis than others. If you want to release some tension and be prepared to kill your own food if necessary, there are job perks out there for you, as well.

Together with our top talent and world-class clients, we’re helping to shape the workplace of the future. Contact Artisan Creative today and discover better ways to work.

We hope you enjoy the 522nd issue of our a.blog.

 

 

Pet Friendly Work Environments

Wednesday, May 8th, 2019|

The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” – Mahatma Gandhi

This week is National Pet Week! There are many ways in which you can celebrate and assist our animal friends, companions, and colleagues.

Consider a Pet-friendly Workplace

Over the years, many American corporate environments have become more casual. This has led to more companies, including some of the hottest companies around, to create pet-friendly work environments and extend Take Your Dog to Work Week into a year-round culture of animal inspiration. Pet-friendly offices can be a good incentive for recruiting, as well as providing moments of levity and stress relief when work gets intense.

In most corporate or creative businesses, this trend mainly applies to dogs, although “retail cats” remain fixtures in bookstores and bodegas across the land, and can coax in new business through their online popularity.

If you want to make your workplace pet-friendly, take into account these considerations:

 

  • Will the animals be comfortable and safe? If they need to run around or use the bathroom, will they be able to do so easily enough?
  • What do the humans think? If your team is full of animal lovers, they may be enthusiastic. If some of them have allergies, or don’t want dogs around, a pet-friendly workplace may not be right for you at this time.
  • Do pets fit in with your brand and your company culture?
  • Will their presence make your team more productive and happy? Will their need for companionship be more of a distraction or an inspiration?
  • What are the applicable rules and logistical concerns that apply to your workplace?
  • Should you offer other animal-related perks, such as pet insurance?

 

Other Ways to Help Animals

Whether or not you can accommodate pets in your offices, there are many ways to support animals this week and throughout the year.

Top San Francisco animal charities and top Los Angeles animal charities are always in need of donations (money and items) and volunteer power. These include shelters, rescue groups, and organizations that promote animal welfare. You can use Charity Navigator to determine which animal charities in Los Angeles or San Francisco you most want to support with your money or your time.We love and support NKLA which is working hard to make Los Angeles a no kill city.

You might consider organizing a team volunteer outing to help such an organization. Giving aid to more vulnerable creatures can open our hearts, teach us a lot about ourselves, and help teams come together to better understand each other

At Artisan Creative, our mission is to help build the workplaces, teams, and careers of the future. Contact Artisan Creative today to explore more.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 520th issue of our a.blog.  Follow us on social and meet the furry friends who keep us company at work.

 

Creating Trusted Relationships

Wednesday, May 1st, 2019|

Trust….what does the word mean to you and how does it influence your business and personal life?

All relationships, whether interacting with a partner, co-worker, vendor, or family member rely on trust and will grow because of it, or falter due to a lack of it. As leaders, it’s important to earn and to give trust. Many people work hard to make sure they can be trusted, reliable and someone others can count on. For some, trust is given freely and blindly, until it’s broken. If that happens, they suddenly do an about-face and stop trusting. For others, they start from a place of distrust and work their way to trust over time.

In his book, The Speed of Trust Steven Covey says that trust is a function of two things: character and competence.

Character is one’s integrity, intent, and motives. Competence is one’s skills, knowledge, track record, and results.

Both are needed to create and maintain trusted relationships. Covey attributes 4 core principles to building trust – both with ourselves (self-trust) as well as with others. The first two principles have to do with character and the latter two with competence.

Integrity

Do we say and do what we said we were going to do? Do we stick to our core values? Do we have integrity with ourselves? Are our morals and ethics aligned with our core?

Intent

What are our motives? Do we work towards a win-win outcome with ourselves, with our employees and vendors, with our family and friends?

Capability

Do we know how to do what we said we were going to do? Do we have the qualities needed to inspire confidence? Are our skills, attitude, and knowledge aligned so we can grow and establish trust as leaders in our company, family, and community?

Results

This is all about getting things done – our performance and track record. If we don’t deliver on our promises, or never do what we say we are going to do, we lose trust.

The next time a situation arises where you get a distrusting feeling about someone or a situation, ask yourself whether it’s a matter of their character or competence?

If it’s a matter of competence, you can ask for data, for certifications, ROI, KPI, you can run assessments. From an on-going leadership and training perspective, it’s important to ask if someone has been given the proper training and onboarding to do their job well. Also, it’s good to make certain our expectations are clear, so they can do what is asked and expected.

If it’s a matter of character, you can check references, and conduct background checks. Julio Olalla of the Newfield Network speaks about the importance of not assuming all breaches of trust are betrayals—be able to distinguish between sincerity, competence, and reliability.

The first step in building trusted relationships is to lead by example, be authentic, vulnerable, and learn to trust. At Artisan Creative, building trusted relationships is one of our central core values. We look forward to connecting with you to build a new relationship.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 519th issue of the a.blog.

Managing a Remote Team

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019|

Remote work is on the rise. Taking advantage of the increasingly robust connective and collaborative capabilities of digital technology has been statistically shown to reduce employee stress, improve employee engagement, and save time and money for companies.

It just requires an ever-so-slightly modified style of management.

Digital nomads will play increasingly important roles in the future of business. If you’re a manager, it’s time to prepare yourself to help foster success for employees and contractors who work mostly or entirely off-site. Here are some key tips for managing a happy and productive remote team.

Start With Onboarding

From your onboarding and training processes onward, make sure your expectations are clear and that remote work best practices are baked into the culture of your business and enthusiastically embraced and understood by your team.

Facilitate Transparency

When employers, managers, and professional collaborators can’t hold regular in-person meetings, clear systems for accountability and transparency are crucial. Make it easy for remote team members to track and report on their work and to reach out to others for help as soon as they need it.

Use Technology and Stay Connected

Even if different members of your team live in different time zones, they need to be able to communicate with each other, as everyone must feel connected. For example, Zoom and slack can help you hold weekly video meetings, even if they’re simply status check-ins. Use the most appropriate project management software to track responsibilities and accomplishments and to enhance off-site collaboration. Build a strong company culture, encourage your team to support each other and take pride in what they do together.

Hire People You Can Trust, and Trust Them

The people who are best suited to remote work are generally highly motivated self-starters. They take responsibility without too much guidance or external discipline. They communicate clearly, sincerely, and consistently.

Take extra care to only bring in those who can contribute their best efforts to your team without peer pressure, micromanagement, and constant attention. Then, let them work. When managing a remote team, instead of being a taskmaster or a disciplinarian, be free to serve as a resource and a positive example of how people can work closely together without the need for geographic proximity, cubicles, or Casual Fridays.

Artisan Creative runs on the efforts of a tightly bonded and highly successful remote team. We have been a remote workforce since 2009 and understand better than most, the unique challenges of managing a remote team and how the right approach can set you up for success. We’d love to share our expertise with you. Contact Artisan Creative today to learn more.

 

We hope you’ve enjoyed our 516th a.blog.