The Happy Manifesto

Episode 2 – Creating joy at work, with Cathy Busani

What if people could spend 80% of their time at work doing things that gave them joy? That was the question Happy’s Managing Director Cathy Busani asked herself that still informs her work, now 27 years later.

What Cathy found is that when people spend time doing the things they’re good at, their work feels more effortless, and thus more joyful. In this chat with Henry, Cathy lays out her strengths, and how Happy’s approach has evolved over time.

Cathy’s three tips for creating happier workplaces

  • Put your people at the heart of what you do.
  • Start from a premise of believing the best.
  • Stay curious.

Links

Transcript
Henry:

Welcome to episode two of the Happy Manifesto podcast, and today I'm very excited to have my colleague Cathy Busani.

Henry:

Cathy has been with Happy for over 25 years and has been absolutely crucial.

Maureen:

She is and she's actually my mentor, multipl.

Henry:

Oh, is she?

Henry:

Okay.

Maureen:

She coaches me.

Maureen:

So yeah, it's excited to hear what she has to share.

Henry:

So, what was your, what has brought you joy at work in the last week?

Maureen:

Oh, well this was a hard one trying to break this down.

Maureen:

So last week I attended a meeting with several local authorities, and this meeting was about, um, a presentation that we were delivering about apprenticeship that we had just recently designed specifically for black, Asian, and minority ethnics.

Maureen:

And, um, it was what gave me joy was the discussions, the questions, the interactions that we had throughout the presentation.

Maureen:

Everybody was on board.

Maureen:

Everybody was curious to find out how we can, you know, um, create more inclusion in leadership.

Maureen:

So I thought that's where my joy stopped.

Maureen:

But the joy increased even more.

Maureen:

So when one of my apprentices came in to share his experience and I was so proud.

Maureen:

He was so good.

Maureen:

Um, and he stepped up and he sh showed pure leadership and that gave me so much joy to listen and watch him blossom with this group at this home presentation.

Henry:

And we have actually got quite a lot of, quite a few bookings from that event.

Henry:

I'm very pleased with it, uh, Maureen, um, it gives me joy as well.

Maureen:

So what about you?

Maureen:

So what's giving you joy this week?

Henry:

Well, I am currently going on a Power BI course.

Henry:

Um, now Power BI is, it's how you get visual data visualization from Excel.

Henry:

And as you know, I love Excel.

Maureen:

Oh yes

Henry:

If I could do Excel all day, I would absolutely, absolutely love that.

Henry:

So, to get, uh, the Power BI, it's, it's our own course.

Henry:

You know, it's one that we do ourselves.

Henry:

And it's, uh, it's fabulous.

Henry:

Um, I'm not sure how the facilitator feels about me being on there, but, um, she did mention that I was, was her boss at some, at one point yesterday, but, um, I'm loving it.

Maureen:

And you know, I do share your joy of Excel.

Maureen:

Not many people do, but you know, I love Excel.

Maureen:

I just, you know, the world, you know, leaders need Excel.

Henry:

And one tip on a, so my tip on ad Be Happy, which, which links a bit to, to, um, uh, some of the bit in Cathy is, is playing to your strengths.

Henry:

And I, I mentioned in the thing that we're about to do that at Happy, we recruit to a job description, but then we throw it away, and help people play to their strengths.

Henry:

And there's a great piece from Nicole, um, in, uh, oh, hang on.

Maureen:

I could see you.

Maureen:

See you pulling that information.

Henry:

No.

Henry:

Okay.

Henry:

So Nicole, um, was hired as a, a as an administrator and then she realized that administration wasn't something that brought a lot of joy.

Henry:

So she discussed it with her, with her colleagues and realized that what she love is building relationships with the, with the learners and giving them the information they need.

Henry:

Um, she became a qualified information, advice and guidance successor.

Henry:

And what she loves about it is that Happy gave me the opportunity to shape my job, Descript around the work I loved.

Henry:

And if you get people to play to their strengths, that's what happens.

Maureen:

I love that.

Maureen:

I love that.

Maureen:

And do you know what, I'm gonna back that up.

Maureen:

Because I remember when I first joined Happy that I thought that when I went through the recruitment that I didn't get my, get that job.

Maureen:

I thought I'd failed miserably due to the fact that I did not have, um, the expertise.

Maureen:

but Happy saw my strengths in terms of how I connected, in terms of, um, delivering training and getting people

Henry:

We certainly did Maureen, we certainly did see that.

Maureen:

That was so fun.

Maureen:

And do you know what's so surprising, Henry?

Maureen:

I think we are both on the same plane at the moment because my tip was around recruitment as well.

Maureen:

So I'm gonna just take it cuz you've talked about strengths and um, I want you to just tap on the whole thing about the hiring side of it.

Maureen:

And, you know, we say about high for attitude and train for skill.

Maureen:

And um, that's one of the tips I got was just take it a bit further in sense of that being specific about hiring for humility and um, I, I, I actually love that idea of actually understanding what a person is, who the person is, getting to know that person and whether they fit the culture.

Maureen:

And funny enough, today, um, I was listening to the news and there was, I dunno if you've seen a program called, um, The Big A, um, and there's a spin-off of a program.

Maureen:

It's about, um, people with disabilities.

Maureen:

And they were talking about how are they hired people for one, the program, the productivity, and um, producing the program itself.

Maureen:

And they said the key thing for them was not about the expertise, it was about how they fitted in with the group of the disabled people and the accessibility, dealing with all of that rather than, um, their expertise.

Maureen:

Their expertise could be worked with, as we said about training for.

Maureen:

You know, that skill side of things.

Maureen:

So it, it just made me think more about the needs to hire, humility, understanding people, looking at their vulnerability and whether they fit into the culture and whether they fit in with the family, the people that they're gonna work with.

Henry:

And we had that in the last episode, didn't we?

Henry:

With Tom Peters that, um, uh, he, he quoted Google's project Aristot, where it was not the brilliant scientists who produced the best teams.

Henry:

It was the teams that had an equal voice, that had, that had that humility.

Maureen:

And, and just to say if anyone's interesting, it was the, the program to look out for, just to see how it works was Ralph and Katie.

Maureen:

It was a spinoff of the, The A Word, that was the name of the doc, um, of the program.

Maureen:

So

Henry:

Good tip.

Henry:

Maureen, good tip.

Henry:

I'm talking to Cathy Busani who has been at Happy for how many years?

Cathy:

Uh, 27, nearly.

Henry:

27 years is an absolutely key part of everything we do at happy to create happy workplaces.

Henry:

One of the key elements that you brought in was the idea that people should have joined their work, wasn't it.

Henry:

So tell us about that.

Cathy:

I think one of the, it was, it was basically around the book, Mary Condo's book on joy, doing a clear hour home and finding joy in that.

Cathy:

And somehow it resonated beyond that.

Cathy:

And I started to think about this idea of.

Cathy:

Beyond happiness at work, actually this idea of joy at work.

Cathy:

And I thought, wouldn't it be amazing if our staff could say they spent at least 80% of their time at work, doing things that gave them joy and that thought then.

Cathy:

Led me on to think about many of the other things we do around that, but particularly around strengths when you're working to your strengths, when you are doing things that you both enjoy and are greater and feel effortless, you're much more likely to feel joyful at work.

Cathy:

So those sort of those two things became entwined.

Cathy:

That idea of, if you want to spend 80% of your time at work enjoy, then you probably need to be spending 80% of your time doing things that you are great at.

Henry:

Can you give an example of, of, of people playing to theirs?

Cathy:

So my own example is I, one of my strengths is to be a relator.

Cathy:

And one of the things that I have really enjoyed in my role is not just building relationships within Happy, but also getting to work really closely with a small handful of clients.

Cathy:

So I really get a feel for who they are and what they're.

Cathy:

And really have a sense, not only of them, but of the organization they work for.

Cathy:

And that does mean that I have a handful of clients that in some cases I've worked with for over 20 years, which I think is really amazing.

Cathy:

And then a strength within the team.

Cathy:

One that strikes me is Simone on our team has the strength of individualization, which means effectively.

Cathy:

That you are able to deal with everyone respectfully and fairly, but know that each person will probably want something individual from you.

Cathy:

That sense of being treated as unique and special.

Cathy:

And I think Simone does that really well in a number of ways, one as a mentor and, um, multiplier, which is what we call our manager, our people managers are Happy.

Cathy:

So she does that really well as an M and M, but she also does it really well within the team.

Cathy:

So making sure that everybody feels heard, making sure that everybody's opinion is valued.

Cathy:

Everybody's ideas are, um, you know, everyone gets to contribute them and then beyond that throughout Happy.

Cathy:

So she does it in our team and beyond by, you know, she got the most votes as the, when two years ago we asked who would be, um, the next leaders happy.

Cathy:

And she got the most votes of anyone.

Cathy:

I think that's perfect evidence of where she uses the strength across the company.

Henry:

And so, uh, on the 80% target for creating joy at work, I think we started at 73% at one point.

Henry:

Didn't we?

Henry:

Uh, what are we?

Cathy:

I think we're over 80 now.

Cathy:

I think we're well over 85%, actually.

Cathy:

I was gonna say, I think we're 85.

Cathy:

We're just about to, um, in the next week or so release the latest figures, but I haven't had a chance to look at them, but last time I think we were 85%.

Cathy:

So we're doing really well.

Cathy:

And it's really interesting because funnily enough, I was, um, having a snapshot meeting, which is what we replaced our appraisal system with, um, with somebody who actually a couple of years ago had quite a low joy score.

Cathy:

I think that's really interesting cause it's not, although we aim for 80%, it's not like people can't be honest, and say, actually I am at 25%.

Cathy:

And I think when I met her, I felt like she was minus 25, not 25.

Cathy:

And it was partly cuz we'd bought in a new system.

Cathy:

Um, that wasn't really working very effectively at the time.

Cathy:

But it was really interesting because this week when I, uh, met her, I'm trying to think now off the top of my head, what her score was, I can't remember, but it was over 80.

Henry:

Wow.

Cathy:

And, and I think that's just amazing.

Cathy:

So it's, it's interesting.

Cathy:

How

Henry:

And what changed her around?

Cathy:

So a number of things.

Cathy:

I've been doing quite a lot of work with them around appreciating them valuing them, um, looking out for projects that play to their strengths, really encouraging them when they're taking those on.

Cathy:

And what I've really seen them do over the last couple of months is demonstrate leadership beyond their immediate team.

Cathy:

So for example, they, um, have a real strength around client work.

Cathy:

And somebody in another team was telling me how they'd achieved something, but only because of this person's help and support.

Cathy:

And I was just like super impressed, cuz I knew that that.

Cathy:

They wouldn't normally have connected perhaps, and somehow they'd found a way to connect on this project.

Cathy:

So I thought that was really exciting.

Cathy:

And that's what they described that they'd been involved in a number of things, including becoming the chair of an action group at Happy around something they're very focused on.

Henry:

So I often say that we recruit to a job description at Happy, and then we throw it away and work out what their actual talents are.

Henry:

Would you agree with that?

Cathy:

I would actually, because one of the first things we get them to do at the end of their three month probationary induction period, is we get them to match their strengths to, from the strengths finder results to their current job.

Cathy:

And just to do that exercise of, are we ultimately using their strengths in the role that they've taken on?

Cathy:

And are there gaps either?

Cathy:

They're doing things that don't play to their strengths or in effect there, they have a strength that they, they're not really got any tasks linked to?

Cathy:

And we find that's a really powerful way to set up the next few months.

Cathy:

Because it gives them a place to look out for projects that play to their strengths, as well as think about, is there anything that perhaps they do need to delegate and see if somebody else will be better placed to do.

Cathy:

Um, and that generally works really, really well.

Cathy:

So we've got somebody who's.

Cathy:

Completing their induction next week.

Cathy:

And that will be one of the exercises that they will go through with their M and M.

Henry:

Excellent.

Henry:

Excellent.

Henry:

And, um, let's talk about the world of managers and coaches.

Henry:

Uh, cuz I think over the 27 years you've been with happy, that's changed quite a bit, hasn't it?

Cathy:

I think so.

Cathy:

I mean, we've always tried to have a really empowered model, but I think, perhaps even in the early days, we were still more nurturing than empowering, I would say.

Cathy:

So I think there was lots of good things we had in place.

Cathy:

So staff felt really valued.

Cathy:

I think staff had one to one time with their, um, people manager, we didn't call them that, but let me just use that term just because it's generic.

Cathy:

So I think people felt more valued.

Cathy:

They had more time, one to one with them.

Cathy:

They felt listened to, they felt they had a place where they could deal with challenges.

Cathy:

But I think when I reflect back.

Cathy:

Probably in those days, um, what the people manager did was help them, you know, probably gave them the answer to a lot of those challenges, rather than coach them.

Cathy:

And I think that's one of the key things that we've changed over time.

Cathy:

We've got much better at coaching rather than providing the answers.

Cathy:

We came across Multipliers a number of years ago, which is the book from Liz Wiseman.

Cathy:

And I think that took us to an even greater level.

Cathy:

Because the idea of, I've always thought of people management as being about support with challenge.

Cathy:

I think it was this idea that you really need to watch how much support you give, because actually it can be disabling and create dependence rather than independence.

Cathy:

And I think that's helped us be so much clearer about what we need to do as M and M's, which is, as I said, what we now call our people managers.

Cathy:

So I think we've got much better at that much clearer at that.

Cathy:

The coaching feels better.

Cathy:

And also we've taken on this idea of trying not to make really very many decisions at all.

Henry:

Yeah.

Cathy:

Particularly you and I, Henry, um, but I think other M and MSS as well.

Cathy:

So I think that's a, an ongoing challenge that we're working on and, you know, I hear all sorts of examples about decisions I'm never involved in at all, um, on a regular basis.

Henry:

So tell, tell, tell us more about that because yeah, you set out the way of your team, haven't you and you're, what kind of things do they do they do without, without your, the need for approval from you?

Cathy:

Well, it's really interesting.

Cathy:

Cause we've always said, you know, the, the account management team are empowered to create customer delight and do whatever's needed for that.

Cathy:

But when I reflect back, I, I can think of many times when I was asked my view on that.

Cathy:

And actually I'm just not anymore, cuz they really understand what that means.

Cathy:

So we've done a lot of work around what decisions people might take and why they might take them and what things they might want to think about to help them make informed decisions rather than just for the sake of it.

Cathy:

And, uh, just a really simple example was I was, um, going through the accounts for our team yesterday.

Cathy:

And, um, there was this little bit of an explanation.

Cathy:

It said one of our associates had delivered a session for a client, the client had asked for a standard course, but when it had been delivered, it wasn't really what they wanted.

Cathy:

So one of our internal facilitators spoke to the client, worked out what they did want, we've given them something free of charge.

Cathy:

But this, um, facilitator said that the associate had done what they would've done in under the circumstances.

Cathy:

So the team agreed to just pay the associate, even though we got no money for that day of training, because it did not feel fair or right to ask them to not be paid.

Cathy:

And I just thought, yeah, that's what I would've done.

Cathy:

It's just like such a, such a celebration of helping people feel good about themselves, but the client was happy.

Cathy:

The associate was happy.

Cathy:

There was real backing up internally for this associate.

Cathy:

Just such a perfect example of teamwork.

Cathy:

I just love it.

Cathy:

I love those stories around happy for me.

Cathy:

It's just like perfect examples of us getting our ethos.

Cathy:

Right.

Cathy:

I'm not involved at all in any shape or form.

Henry:

And tell us, uh, tell us the nursery example.

Henry:

That was, that was that couple.

Cathy:

Oh, lovely.

Cathy:

That was another one.

Cathy:

So effectively we had a year long program that we hadn't managed to do as much marketing as we would've hoped for when the program was due to start.

Cathy:

So we delayed it by a couple of months in order to get enough participants to make it a really successful event.

Cathy:

And in delaying it by a couple of months, one of the people who'd signed up quite early was quite upset because it meant that they could no longer attend day one.

Cathy:

Pretty much with our programs, if you can't attend day one, we always say, oh, you're gonna lose so much.

Cathy:

It might be that you need to transfer to another one.

Cathy:

She didn't want to wait.

Cathy:

And the only thing that was holding her back was that she could come, but she would need to book childcare.

Cathy:

And she couldn't afford that.

Cathy:

And so we paid her childcare.

Cathy:

And I did not make that decision.

Henry:

Yeah.

Cathy:

Somebody on the team made that decision and I just heard about it afterwards and I thought it was an example of being really inventive.

Cathy:

And another one that just strikes me cause that's from both of those from our account management team.

Cathy:

But another example from one of our facilitators, she'd taken on a client that was doing some project management training, and there was one from this group, there was one person who just wasn't really participating.

Cathy:

And it turned out there was neurodiversity issues.

Cathy:

And so she offered this person free coaching to cover all the things that they wanted to ask in a one-to-one space.

Cathy:

Didn't arrange it with the organization, arrange it direct with the one, um, delegate.

Cathy:

And of course they were left feeling really happy and supported and real fans of Happy.

Cathy:

And again, just not involved in that, the facilitator just did it, rightly so to make everything right for the client.

Henry:

Absolutely.

Henry:

And you mentioned earlier about, um, you we've switched to snapshot as opposed to, so what happened with the appraisals, the old appraisal system?

Cathy:

So it felt to me like there was a movement generally in HR, not that we particularly have a HR department, but generally in the world of HR around appraisals, not getting a very good, um, rep.

Cathy:

And although we've done it fairly successfully at Happy, I mean, it hasn't been a miserable experience like its in some places, I did feel like it was, it had become outdated, and our form had become completely unwildly because we just added more and more things in that we wanted to ask staff and it just meant it was too many pages long.

Cathy:

So I decided to ask staff if they would like to keep an appraisal system and maybe update it or completely scrap it and come up with something there else.

Cathy:

And I can't remember what the vote was, but I think only one person voted to keep it, everybody else, um, voted to scrap it.

Cathy:

So I then set up an action group and, um, did the pre-approval thing, which is basically here are some guidelines.

Cathy:

So yeah, it mustn't be an appraisal.

Cathy:

It must mean that we regularly, people have a chance to review what's going well, and what's not, um, it can't, if we're gonna use a form to record anything, it can't be more than a page long.

Cathy:

Um, Barely anything, but three or four little simple things and then made sure in the action group, we had somebody from every team, at least one person from every team, but people who were really interested in making.

Cathy:

In creating a system that would be really successful.

Cathy:

And their remit was that they must consult with their team so that everyone got involved through the action group.

Cathy:

And effectively we set some deadlines when they presented back to me.

Cathy:

And it was pretty, it was preapproved.

Cathy:

So they were just re pre presenting back to me their progress, and eventually they said, this is the thing we've spoken to everyone.

Cathy:

It's called a snapshot.

Cathy:

This is what it looks like.

Cathy:

This is what it asked.

Cathy:

And it met everything we needed, and has been our system for about four to five years now, I think.

Henry:

Yeah.

Cathy:

And we regularly, we do it three times a year.

Cathy:

It fits in with a normal one to one.

Cathy:

So it's a half hour meeting every four months and it reflects back and reflects forward, and it's tied to things like our values, our strengths, our business plan, and this all came through from this action group.

Cathy:

And now we change one question every time, which might be linked to something that's going on in our business.

Cathy:

So for example, recently we added a question around productivity because we've just moved to the four day week.

Cathy:

So we wanted people to be recording what they've been doing to improve their productivity in this period since June when we started.

Henry:o work in the UK this year in:Cathy:

Yeah, absolutely.

Henry:

And, what do you helped contribute to that?

Cathy:

I think it's mainly that we haven't stopped growing and changing and improving.

Cathy:

I don't think we ever rest on our laurels and go, we've got it right.

Cathy:

And, you know, Henry that we often do end up getting, you know, at times what can be quite challenging feedback from staff when we don't get it right.

Cathy:

But I think what they do see is that we take that on board and find some way to make that better.

Cathy:

Often not then driven, the solution isn't often driven by us, but it very much is ratified by us and has our approval.

Cathy:

Um, and I think it is that thing, that it is a journey we'll never be perfect, but our want is always to create something that feels joyful, exciting innovative, that helps people to feel really proud of where they work and what they're achieving there.

Cathy:

And I, you know, when we think about what most of our staff are interested in, it's about making a difference.

Cathy:

And I think we do do that.

Cathy:

Whether it's through the leadership training, the personal development through our it training through our apprenticeships, the feedback we consistently get from clients is we make a difference.

Cathy:

And I think that helps our people to feel like we make a difference, which is perfect.

Henry:

And we do of course, teach all these ideas to our clients.

Cathy:

Indeed, we do.

Henry:

We help our clients create happy workplaces.

Henry:

What do you think are the key ones that people really appreciate?

Cathy:

I think the ones that challenge the leaders the most are the stuff around multiplying coaching.

Cathy:

So not making decisions, but helping people to reach their solutions.

Cathy:

Recruitment through hiring for attitude.

Cathy:

And probably things like preapproval.

Cathy:

often those are the things that people struggle perhaps a little bit more with.

Cathy:

Um, psychological safety has become a really hot topic and obviously inclusivity, um, and diversity are some of the other hot topics that are really important in leadership today.

Cathy:

So I think it's those things that people really embrace and want to know more about.

Henry:

So let's go a couple more things.

Henry:

So recruiting for attitude.

Henry:

How do we Happy recruit for attitude?

Cathy:

So for us our interviews are very much a sort of holistic experience.

Cathy:

What we're trying to find out is what sort of person are they, which is the attitudinal stuff.

Cathy:

So are they can do, are they respectful?

Cathy:

Do they prioritize the team over the individual?

Cathy:

Do they have strong values?

Cathy:

Um, are they culture fits?

Cathy:

So all of that stuff.

Cathy:

And then we're also looking for, can they do the job?

Cathy:

So we don't care about qualifications.

Cathy:

We don't even really care about experience.

Cathy:

And I can think of our most, some of our most senior people that previously never worked in an office, but actually they had transferable skills.

Cathy:

So that's what we're really looking for.

Cathy:

And, and by that, I mean, If we need you to write a positive email, we'll test a interview.

Cathy:

Can you write a positive email?

Cathy:

So we're not, we're not random tests, but, but testing what you would need to do in the job so that you are set up to succeed.

Cathy:

Interesting enough, I was talking to somebody in HR and another organization yesterday, and she talked about this issue.

Cathy:

She was facing where they had, um, a vacancy and they'd basically hired somebody urgently rather than being the right fit because they desperately needed somebody to fill the position.

Cathy:

And in the meantime, they'd found somebody who would be much more appropriate.

Cathy:

And the dilemma was do they withdraw the offer from the original person and offer it to the second person.

Cathy:

And it, for me, it was a perfect example of one.

Cathy:

You never should be rushing recruitment.

Cathy:

You need to spend time and energy on it and accept that it will take some resource to get it, um, working successfully.

Cathy:

Because it's not only about you finding a right fit, it's also about the person being a right fit.

Cathy:

It's no good pretending you are some sort.

Cathy:

I dunno something that it tracks people and then they don't wanna work there because they, you don't fit with them.

Cathy:

So for me, it's got to be something that you think, oh, this person's for us.

Cathy:

And the person thinks you are for me.

Cathy:

Our latest recruit has said to me on more than one occasion and I, she doesn't work in my team by the way.

Cathy:

But she said to me on more than one occasion, coming to Happy was the best decision I have ever made in my life.

Henry:

Really?

Cathy:

Yeah.

Cathy:

And that says to me, we've got it right.

Cathy:

Not just for us.

Cathy:

Cause she is super amazing and she is, you know, an amazing, amazing recruit, but we want them to feel that as well.

Cathy:

So all of that stuff around testing the attitudinal stuff and testing the skill set needed to do the job, making it practical, having lots of people be involved in the hiring.

Cathy:

So the people that will need to work with the, with the new recruit needs to be part of the decision making process.

Cathy:

All of that makes a difference.

Cathy:

I believe it's called collaborative hiring.

Henry:

Yeah.

Cathy:

Um, one of the areas I think we have fallen down slightly and one of the things I want to change, we're looking at recruitment actually at the moment to make it even better.

Cathy:

I think we just need a bit more diversity in our, um, hiring panels.

Cathy:

So we don't always get everything right.

Henry:

Yeah.

Cathy:

But again, it's that idea about wanting to learn and improve and make things as great as they can be and looking out for those opportunities where we can do that.

Henry:

And one of the things that I know, uh, a lot of our staff really appreciate about Happy is the celebrating mistake.

Henry:

Um, they know that if they can, if they try something risky, something difficult and they get it and it goes, all goes wrong, that will will celebrate it.

Henry:

Any thoughts on that?

Cathy:

No.

Cathy:

And, and if you're about to ask me for an example, I can't think of one, actually.

Cathy:

I have to be honest.

Cathy:

I mean, I can think of a number of times I've said to people, oh, let's celebrate that.

Cathy:

But I now can't think because it feels like it's part of the language and part of what we do.

Cathy:

So they never really stand out for me.

Henry:

Um, well I think actually I can give an example because

Cathy:

There was one in finance recently but I can't even think what it was gone.

Henry:

The new person that you were just talking about did bookings completely wrong?

Henry:

So it looked like we were, uh, we had 20,000 pounds more income than we did that.

Cathy:

Oh yeah.

Cathy:

Yeah.

Cathy:

That was perfectly great.

Henry:

Said.

Henry:

Yeah, that was my fault.

Henry:

I get it wrong.

Henry:

And we were absolutely able to celebrate that.

Cathy:

Yeah.

Cathy:

And I think, um, we had somebody on our team who'd, um, who was doing cover for somebody on our income, sharing out weekly income figures.

Cathy:

And because she hadn't been taught, she was just trying to work out how to do it herself, cuz the person who usually did it had gone off on bereavement leave, she made a couple of mistakes and it went up and then it disappeared again.

Cathy:

And I thought, oh, that's interesting.

Cathy:

And it just made me smile.

Cathy:

Um, and, and, and I know that she celebrated that.

Cathy:

So I think there's lots of examples, but I don't, they, they never end up being terribly memorable because we just learn from them and move on.

Cathy:

So it feels like it's just part of our culture and part of what we do without it being a big deal.

Henry:

So Cathy, what are your three best tips for creating a happy workplace?

Cathy:

So I think put your people first, put your people at the heart of everything you do.

Cathy:

You can't add on thinking about your people when you've got a spare five minutes in the day job, it's got to be intrinsic to everything you do.

Cathy:

Which leads onto when you put 'em at the heart of everything you do, you have to start from the premise of believing the best.

Cathy:

If something has gone wrong, if something isn't quite as you'd want it to be, what's led to that?

Cathy:

So if you start from that idea of believing the best ie no-one deliberately messes up, then that helps you to have lots of really positive enlightening conversations.

Cathy:

And the third part to that is stay curious, because from the curiosity place, we enable others to empower themselves, to make their own decisions, to come up with their own solutions, because we are not providing the answers for them.

Cathy:

We're maybe just helping coach them to find the answers for themselves.

Henry:

Excellent.

Henry:

Thank you very much, Cathy.

Henry:

And may you stay with us for another 27 years.

Maureen:

I mean, I'm not being biased for the fact that Cathy is my M and M, you know?

Maureen:

But, but the, the thing is, is that she is what she speaks, you know, she walks to talk, um, At when we have our one-to-ones together, she really supports me.

Maureen:

I think everything that she said there about, you know, helping someone, um, understand their strengths.

Maureen:

And partly it's because she shows appreciations.

Maureen:

She shows, she tells me about what's gone well, things that I don't even see myself, but she brings to like what's gone well, what I need, what my values, um, how valuable I am to the organization.

Maureen:

And she also challenges me.

Maureen:

Where I might think that something's not working, she always ha asks those hard questions and she doesn't let me get away with it,

Henry:

Perfect.

Henry:

Perfect.

Henry:

And just remind, just let listeners know what is an M and M?

Maureen:

Oh, so it's a multiplier and mentor, so it's not a sweetie.

Maureen:

And if I was a sweetie, I would be the blue one.

Maureen:

But yeah, but it's about multiplying and that's the, um, that's the whole thing about actually empowering and giving me strengths.

Maureen:

You know, so as, as Kathy talked about, nurturing versus empowering.

Maureen:

I think it's a mixture of both that she, she's, she's got that skill, that strength to pull out.

Henry:

And it's the, the equivalent of, of a manager, but it's much more of a coach really, isn't it?

Maureen:

uh, coaching all the way.

Maureen:

So, um, Cathy doesn't tell me what to do or how to do it.

Maureen:

She actually takes the time to work with me, for me to understand how I can be the best that I can be and, um, solve any challenges that come my way.

Maureen:

You know, the buy-in about, um, overcoming challenges has to come from me, and you can only do that by coaching.

Henry:

Well, I'd say that's a good summary of what Cathy does for us, absolutely.

Henry:

Okay.

Henry:

That's the end of this episode.

Henry:

Let's, uh, uh, , let's go.

Maureen:

let's keep giving joy.

Maureen:

That's what we need to do,

Henry:

Absolutely.

Maureen:

So I think that joy came out a little bit too loud, but guys, as you know, joy is a high energy.

Maureen:

So let's keep on giving that energy and giving that joy back in the workplace.

Henry:

Yeah.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *