On April 6, The MPI BC Chapter in partner with PCMA Canada West and ILEA Vancouver hosted Global Meetings Industry Day for the Greater Vancouver Area. With Coleen Christie as the master of ceremonies, the event was kicked off with the most amazing positive energy. Once Dee Byrnes from the Disney Institute took the stage, everyone was completely engaged. Her talk focused on company culture and why we should be doing exactly what we think we shouldn't be doing - over managing.
This was my first time attending GMID and wasn't really sure what to expect. Since the event was being put on by many amazing suppliers and planners I have worked with, I knew it would be valuable, but I did not expect to be putting the speaker's information to use the next day!
Here are a few gems of wisdom I took away from the session, some I put into effect immediately.
Have you ever asked your staff how they like to be recognized?
Chances are you like to recognize people the way that you like to be recognized. Do you want a big parade with fireworks? While many other people also do, some of your staff may prefer something a little more toned down.
How about how your employees like to communicate?
Obviously this generation is more about online communication than actually picking up the phone for a conversation. Instead of getting frustrated that your staff or coworker is not getting back to you as soon as you would like, ask them what is the best way to get a hold of them.
Take the stress off of new hires and answer minor questions before hey start; like when pay day is, where people usually take their lunch, and what a typical day will look like so they can focus on showing up and doing an amazing job instead of stressing over the small stuff.
When you care for your employees, they in turn can care for the clients.
If you do not create your culture, your culture will create you. Part of Disney’s culture is being insanely happy and positive at all times. Their culture represents this through their employees.
Scream your culture when you are hiring so you weed out the ones who wont fit with your culture.
When looking for new hires, be forthright with your non negotiables. Make a list of the behaviours you want from your employees, not just traits. Make sure to drive the behaviours of staff to reinforce the culture you want.
All training should deliberately reinforce your culture in addition to training/new skills. Think about where you are training your new staff, what does your office look like, how do your staff look. Does this reflect your culture? are you reflecting how you want your new hire to behave?
More words of wisdom from Dee
A critical aspect of effective communication is intentional listening. We have two ears and one mouth for a reason!
Ask your employees "What do we make you say no to?" Is there something they are constantly having to turn your clients for that could be a revenue maker?
Instead of telling people that they matter, SHOW them how they matter. Its that classic story of the people in the factory making life saving pacemakers who just look at them like a piece of plastic. But when they were taken to meet people who actually had these pacemakers put in their hearts to save their life, it became so much more real for the employees. They could really see the effect they had doing their job and take pride in what they do. While your employees may not be making life saving devices, it still would be valuable to have your staff who cleans the linens see tables set up with the linens they cleaned and why they are such an important part in making your event a success.
The session ended with Dee’s best advice. She had us make a list of what you can start doing today, six months from now, and in the next year to improve our company culture and over manage our employees. How can you start today?
Overall, the event was fantastic. It's pretty special when our whole industry and different association chapters can come together across the city and work together to create such a positive, valuable event. While this was my first time attending GMID, I'm sure it wont be my last!