Building an Authentic and Supportive Workplace Culture

I had been working in the Human Capital Management space for a few years when my then-former boss recruited me over to a company (and industry) I was not familiar with. I had been following her journey in helping to build healthier company cultures over at a company called “Emtrain.” As soon as I heard what Emtrain was all about, I told her, “Yep, get me on board over there!” Diversity? Inclusion? Culture? Equality? Anti-harassment? Workplace culture? Sign me up!

Thankfully, I was brought on board to Emtrain as the one and only SDR during the #Metoo movement, which was no small feat. The world was starting to pay more attention to preventing workplace harassment, and I was proud to help educate workforces on how to behave morally and how to identify and track that behavior, once we came out with Emtrain AI. I fell in love with the company and the people here that all had one thing in common; they cared. So, I worked as hard as I could for a year and a half and was rewarded for my efforts with a promotion to client success operations manager! During this time, the Black Lives Matter movement had gained momentum and again, Emtrain was ready to react and educate immediately during this pivotal time in history with up-to-the-minute relevant videos and courses.

March of 2020; boom- the Pandemic hit. Of course, this brought on a whole new slew of workplace psychological and logistical challenges such as remote working, a political divide that I had not seen in my lifetime, and new health and wellness challenges due to COVID-19. Organizations had a hard time navigating these challenges, but again, Emtrain has been right there, ready to foster a healthy workplace culture in the midst of it all. 

Transparency and Support from Leadership

In June 2020, my husband and I both contracted COVID-19. He was hospitalized and I was deeply affected as well. Emtrain was there for me, sending my family meals while we were sick and taking care of as much of the paperwork that is associated with time off and FMLA as they possibly could. When I came back to work 3 months later in September 2020, my brain was not working correctly. COVID had caused me to have “brain fog,” which is really just a polite way to say “neurological issues.” After trying my hardest to do my job for the next three months in client success ops, I reached out to the founder and CEO of Emtrain, Janine Yancey, for help. I actually asked her for a demotion and a pay cut. She listened, and she believes in me, so she found a role that she thought I would excel in and promoted me to that position, working under our stellar CMO, because she thought it was the right fit. She was right. It is the perfect role for me; managing a team of amazing SDRs. 

Emtrain has created a culture where I felt safe enough to go to our leadership with full transparency of my situation. I felt seen, heard, empathized with… this is what Emtrain is all about. We not only talk the talk, but we walk the walk. Recently, Emtrain has been piloting a 4-day workweek in an effort to further nurture their employees and the result has been more well-rested employees who are able to enjoy life both inside and outside of work. The result? Increased productivity and progress.

Building a Strong Foundation of a Workplace Culture that Benefits Everyone

How can you instill a passion in your employees so they are enthusiastic about their work-life? You can start by evaluating these three pillars, and the leading social indicators that can contribute to (or sabotage!) a healthy workplace culture:

Ethics Pillar: 

  • Decision-Making Processes
  • Norms & Practices
  • Accountability
  • Trust

Respect Pillar:

  • In-Group/Out-Group Dynamics
  • Power Dynamics
  • Norms & Practices
  • Unconscious Bias
  • Social Aptitude
  • Pre-Existing Mindsets

Inclusion Pillar:

  • Decision-Making Process
  • Valuing Differences
  • Allyship
  • Demographic Experience
  • Curiosity & Empathy
  • Authenticity & Belonging

If you would like more information about how to create a culture of inclusivity and transparency, but don’t know where to start, please feel free to reach out to me directly and I will be happy to connect you with the appropriate culture expert to answer all of your questions and to tailor a plan for your unique organization. 

covid-19Workplace Culture
Kristi Montes
Business Development Manager | Emtrain
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