A good People and Culture department, as the name suggests, puts its people first. There are various tactics for putting employees in the center. There’s a regular evaluation process, your usual 360°, a recurring company pulse check, surveys, and analysis... But, sometimes you just need to ask people how they’re doing - face to face. Informally. Give them the opportunity to be more than just a statistic in your NPS and give them a voice.
That is why we introduced our 1-on-1 talks: regular chats our People and Culture Manager has with each Martian. These talks are always available, with a helpful monthly calendar date to nudge them. To keep the focus, they usually last 30-60 minutes, depending on the topic (and perhaps a bit on the chattiness of all parties). They’re not mandatory, by any means, but they’re always there if anyone wants or needs them - kind of like the chocolate stash we keep on the top kitchen shelf!
The topics we cover during these chats vary greatly and depend on the person - following the direction that each Martian decides to go.
Sometimes we talk about their career development and obstacles, personal development, or issues that might be impacting their work. It could be soft skills, how to best communicate with your team, resolve conflict, manage their time and priorities - anything that is currently weighing on someone’s mind. These talks are also a great time to untangle any misunderstandings. Everyone can give feedback on current events, impact company policies, ask for clarification on things, or have a good old-fashioned rant.
Something that is crucial for this process is a high level of trust:
”It is really important that each employee trusts the P&C Manager. It is something that is built over time, in a million different ways and is really my honor to cultivate. The only thing I expect from our Martians is to openly share their experiences, thoughts, and feedback.”
Having an individual approach is also important. Each employee is unique; not everyone has the same communication style and expectations. But once everyone knows that they can really be open, honest, and speak their mind without any worry, to someone who is also an impartial voice and a sounding board to bounce ideas off - that’s when the magic happens.
...where everyone feels supported and is able to do their best work.
Creating and maintaining a supportive and feel-good atmosphere affects the entire culture of the company. A place that enables and supports them to work on their self-awareness, soft skills, stress management, and their motivation. That is how you get more engaged employees, which means they will be more satisfied, feel better as individuals and ultimately, it leads to better company results, as well.
With these conversations, there is also a higher chance to detect the risk that could lower their motivation or even the motivation of the whole team. Seemingly harmless problems, caused by misunderstandings or differences in interpretation, can sometimes escalate and lead to various consequences - whether it’s a decrease in motivation and productivity or even conflict, and these conversations can help nip that in the bud.
Listening and talking go a long way. Transparency and openness to give and receive feedback, motivation, mutual support, and understanding creates and maintain a supportive and healthy working ecosystem.
Every employee is important, and only by listening to their feedback and thinking things through together, can we really grow. We want our Martians to be as carefree as possible, especially in today’s challenging world, and a burden shared is a burden halved. These talks keep us in the loop, give us tools for development, and connect us. Is there life on Mars? Oh yes, and it’s bustling!
Now, do you want to have a chat?
Like what you’ve read? Check out our open positions and join the Martian team!See openings