Having an employee voice survey is one of the devices Jeff Weiner has used at LinkedIn to great effect. Jeff talks about the importance of transparency at LinkedIn and its value. One of the most important values at LinkedIn is what is described as acting like an owner, allowing people feel that as part of the company they can impact the direction of the company.
- Change hearkens back to something that we described and discussed earlier, which is this notion of connective tissue and communication as an organization scales. So when you're all in the same room, it's much easier compared to when you're in 30 cities around the world. So one of the devices that I think we've used to great effect, and it's not just anecdotal. We do an employee voice survey. We've been doing it biannually now for many, many years. And one of the things that consistently scores the highest is the fact that we do an all hands every other week.
So I do an all company, all hands every other week. It started, literally, in the cafeteria. We got all 338 employees together. And today it is broadcast to all 30 cities in which we operate. And if teams are not in timezones where they can watch it live, they tape it and they get together and they do a happy hour at the end of the week. And in that all hands, we focus on our priorities, our operating priorities, and we walk through what's happening in the company, for better and for worse, and it's completely transparent.
And that device has proven to be invaluable, in terms of the repetition necessary to ensure we're all on the same page with regard to the narrative, mission, vision, value, profits, et cetera, shining a light on the things we are working, so we can leverage best administrative practices, so we can celebrate what's working, so we can provide the right kind of recognition and gratitude, and perhaps most importantly to identify when things are not working, so we can get everyone at the company chipping in and trying to help figure out how we can improve those situations, how we can learn from them.
So I think the all hands has been invaluable. The biggest change that I've noticed at various inflection points that probably would not be too far afield from the numbers that you threw out, and one of the most valuable lessons I've learned and one of the most important values that we have that needs to be reinforced is what we described as acting like an owner. And I believe the most successful companies at scale are companies where individual employees talk about the challenges the company faces or the opportunities the company faces as we, and not the company.
And when they start to get frustrated or bothered by something, at a company that's going to, ultimately, I think inevitably experience challenges, they're going to say, "Why does the company do it this way?" As if, the company is something in the distance. It's this faceless, bureaucratic machine, and it's not them. We're the company. The leadership runs the company. I'm not talking about me or even my directs, I'm talking about the people underneath them. We're constantly reminding our vice presidents that they run the company day in and day out.
And it's important to remind them of that because they're each going to project their own baggage from when they worked at large companies where they didn't feel like they were a part of things, where they didn't feel like they could change the direction of the company. And I vowed that if I was ever in a position where I was ultimately responsible for a company, that people would always feel like they could make a difference, no matter how big we got. And so, reinforcing that, it's inevitable.
You make up the numbers. You go from 100 to 500 to 1000, 5000, et cetera, and at each one of those inflection points, you can just feel it. I mean, it's tangible. People start to feel like it's this machinery that's beyond their control, when it's not, ever. As soon as you start to think it's beyond your control, guess what happens? It's beyond your control. As soon as you start to think like a victim, and not like someone that can ultimately influence the outcomes, that's exactly what you become.
So if you can flip that model. And it's not just about saying this, it's about reinforcing that it's the way it works, where people then feel like they can express the things that they're frustrated about, they can come forward with solutions, and you will practice those solutions, you'll execute against those ideas. That reinforces the fact that we're all owners, we're all stakeholders, this is our company, it's we. So I think that's an important recognition.
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- Growing a leadership team
- Planning with critical mass and scale in mind
- Coaching others to be able to solve problems
- Evolving communication strategies
- Maintaining focus during change
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