Everybody’s talking about the power dynamic between men and women in the workplace and a culture that has enabled inequality between the genders. The entertainment industry especially has been under fire, with the New York Times publishing an article in January reporting on 51 men who have fallen from power in the wake of allegations against Harvey Weinstein. And that number has only gone up.
However, just last week this movement touched a major ad agency. Droga5 – the creative team behind the powerful and viral “He Said, She Said” ad – announced it had terminated chief creative officer Ted Royer, citing its commitment “to maintaining a safe and inclusive environment for all our employees,” amid an investigation into his conduct.
With so much workplace harassment coming to light in recent months, I have been reflecting on the policies and company culture of Princeton Partners. With so many voices being amplified, getting perspectives from the people on the front lines is important. We have been successful as a small business in fostering respect and professionalism among our tight knit team members, and I believe we have been able to achieve this for a few reasons.
As the sole member of Princeton Partners’ HR team and the wife of the company’s CEO (more on that later), I am intimately familiar with the principles this company holds at its core. The first of those principles, as explained in our handbook, states “We will put people first – because people are precious.” This principle requires us to respect the value of the individual and listen when people speak up or speak out.
Additionally, culture is an incredibly important part of the hiring process. Not only do potential full-time employees meet the team prior to being hired, but they also sit down with me for a one-on-one conversation. I use this time to determine whether they fit not just the position, but also the company culture. To hire someone who didn’t hold the same values as Princeton Partners would be to do both the agency and the individual a disservice. This step in the hiring process helps keep our culture of respect alive and well.
I have been heading HR at Princeton Partners for 17 years. Before that I was working as a nurse and then a nursing administrator. I am a woman. My husband is the CEO of the agency. These things have all paved an important foundation for the way that I handle HR for our employees.
I believe having a female leader in HR makes the department more approachable and less intimidating, especially for women. Experience has shown me, that female employees appreciate that I’ve been in their shoes and can understand, to a degree, what they are going through.
This is part of the reason why we have always offered flexible schedules for parents. Princeton Partners is a family operated company. Because of this unique perspective, we are more understanding of the needs of working parents and their spouses.
We have an open-door policy at the agency. This means that my door is always open and what we discuss remains strictly confidential at the request of the employee. Putting up a wall between senior management and the HR department is an important tool for ensuring that employees feel safe reporting behavior that is inappropriate or questionable.
At a family owned and operated company with a small team of employees, the line between friend and coworker can become blurred because of the tightknit culture. This is when very specific guidelines become an important resource. They need to be honored and enforced at small businesses to maintain professionalism in the office.
My management style as a nurse was to lead with kindness. I try to live by this each day because I believe that kindness resonates with people and fosters a sense of trust. At Princeton Partners, our employees know that they have both my support and the support of the company’s leadership. This is a key to creating an environment that doesn’t tolerate harassment of any kind. Quite the opposite, we work to empower our employees in any way that we can and encourage them to live courageously and without fear.
We even put this in the handbook!
Fostering a safe and comfortable work environment needs to be a company priority if you want to create and maintain a safe, positive, and egalitarian culture. Evaluate your company’s foundational principles and reflect on how it’s played a role in the culture. It’s important for small businesses to take these steps if they want equality in the workplace.
February 6, 2018
Written by Jan Sullivan
In this week’s Marketing Insight, CEO Tom Sullivan shares some personal reflections on how to respond to today’s of… https://t.co/43WRKaYkI5
December 6 - 12:06 pm - View on Twitter
In this week’s Marketing Insight, Director of Brand Innovation, Manish Patel, discusses the impact of digital gamin… https://t.co/fYfSgLRRCk
November 29 - 11:09 am - View on Twitter
At PPI, we love all things spooky. Check out our Halloween Video for a creepy treat! https://t.co/tKQHPyuvpm
October 31 - 9:33 am - View on Twitter
In this week’s Marketing Insight, Director of Brand Innovation, Manish Patel, shares a personal anecdote that sheds… https://t.co/xc9uCVFHFK
October 11 - 1:50 pm - View on Twitter
CEO Tom Sullivan discusses several approaches for developing an informed, data-driven content strategy to boost the… https://t.co/0Nbz61DCd9
September 27 - 12:15 pm - View on Twitter
In this week's Marketing Insight, CEO Tom Sullivan continues to explore what we can learn from FAANG's Walled Garde… https://t.co/JeUvsfcDSb
September 19 - 11:30 am - View on Twitter
In this week's Marketing Insights, CEO Tom Sullivan discusses the Walled Garden approach that FAANG companies, and… https://t.co/vRDzMWoAs9
September 12 - 10:26 am - View on Twitter
In this week's Marketing Insights, Associate Creative Director, Tim Burr, discusses how a focused approach to marke… https://t.co/5loRgrFdUS
September 5 - 11:44 am - View on Twitter
Check out our last installment of our Voice "mini-camp" series where VP of Marketing and Media Strategy, Chris Sull… https://t.co/6yxEmeYu9G
August 30 - 10:13 am - View on Twitter
In our third Voice Marketing Insight, VP of Marketing & Media Strategy, Chris Sullivan, explores how marketers can… https://t.co/vjHPQEcWbe
August 16 - 10:50 am - View on Twitter
VP of Marketing & Media Strategy, Chris Sullivan, discusses the importance of persona development and Audio Identit… https://t.co/fYSbIZGLED
August 7 - 11:41 am - View on Twitter
In the first Insight of a "mini-camp" series on voice marketing, VP of Marketing & Media Strategy, Chris Sullivan,… https://t.co/tFgqjVh11C
July 31 - 2:05 pm - View on Twitter
CEO Tom Sullivan explores the recent succession of CEOs in the Fiat Chrysler Automotive and Ferrari families, and h… https://t.co/yIoeSKdhov
July 24 - 10:05 am - View on Twitter
Check out my latest #podcast https://t.co/eFFLCk7uYn on #Podbean
July 23 - 4:02 pm - View on Twitter
Check out my latest #podcast https://t.co/D9dl82LjkP on #Podbean
July 23 - 3:52 pm - View on Twitter
Check out my latest #podcast https://t.co/lP2wak0fVg on #Podbean
July 23 - 3:42 pm - View on Twitter
Check out my latest #podcast https://t.co/v4k2ukp4TA on #Podbean
July 23 - 3:42 pm - View on Twitter
Check out my latest #podcast https://t.co/WCKrgKaLbV on #Podbean
July 18 - 6:52 pm - View on Twitter
Happy #WorldEmojiDay! https://t.co/1NR4Vw2cZP
July 17 - 8:56 am - View on Twitter
As the 2018 FIFA World Cup comes to a close, CEO Tom Sullivan explores the impact of socially-charged marketing ini… https://t.co/uNn1JuCMaI
July 10 - 2:27 pm - View on Twitter