Heather Foeh, VP of Customer Experience at PathFactory, knows the only way to build trust with clients is to first build a trusting team. Heather does this by fostering an open environment where frank two-way feedback is encouraged.
Heather makes it seem simple: Nurturing and Nudging. Strike an honest balance and you’ll be set.
The honest truth, as Heather would tell you, is that it came from an experience she had. In her first management role, Heather had an incredible team - but one employee was struggling to keep up.
Heather and the employee talked about a lot of these issues in their one-on-ones. It’s the classic tale of two stories: she thought she was subtle, but clear; they thought the feedback was positive, but constructive.
Then the annual review came. And, when the employee saw themselves in the bottom right “needs work” quadrant they were floored. Turns outs Heather hadn’t been as candid as clear as she thought and the employee had gotten the impression they were doing a fine job. Ouch.
Eventually this led to the employee leaving the company. Why? Well, the same reason most employees leave companies, their manager of course: Heather. Double Ouch. And she found out via an exit interview with the c-suite. Triple Ouch.
From that day forward, Heather began practicing what she calls “nurture and nudge”.
Here are three ways to start implementing the Nurture and Nudge way today
There’s nothing clearer than just telling people it needs to happen.
Heather sends every employee a document that outlines how she likes to work. It lets them know she expects them to always bring up whatever issues, questions or ideas are on their mind, and that she will do the same!Download Heather's Doc
Private face-to-face meetings help her build deeper trust and more authentic relationships with her team.
update 30m date_range weekly accessibility video + soapbox
One-on-ones are a chance to take everything to a personal level. Not only for personal updates, but company updates, day-to-day work, and professional development.
Start with a few simple, non-work-related questions to reinforce a personal connection. Help them prioritize their day-to-day work and see where they need support. Twice a quarter, devote some time in the meeting to check in on quarterly goals.
update 1h date_range monthly accessibility in person + soapbox
Team meetings are a chance to cover company updates, updates from the team and from other departments, and review metrics.
Start with company news and invite your team to ask questions. Share wins and failures so the team can learn from each other’s experiences. Ask a few people to update the team on their projects. Every month invite someone from a different team to share updates.
Shared Problem? Shared solution.
update 2h date_range ad-hoc accessibility in person + soapbox
Whenever there’s a big issue to be solved, Heather organizes an in-person sticky session. The team gathers in a room - and they stay until the problem is solved!
Heather and her team have used Discussions like these to solve lots of problems - like how to cut customer onboarding time down from several weeks to one day!
How Heather handles the awkward...
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