CEO to CEO: Creating a Positive Workplace Culture

speech bubbles Associations Now July/August 2019 Issue

Four association CEOs share how they promote a positive culture in the office to support their hardworking employees.

As my team and I work toward a dynamic work environment, we like to think outside the box. We try to mix it up with a variety of team recognition and team-building activities, such as bringing in chair massages, or creativity-spurring activities like painting.

—Raquel Tamez, CEO, Society of Hispanic Engineers, Los Angeles

We designed our office to support a workplace culture that we are working to achieve and maintain. Our goal is to create a culture that supports health, wellness, and well-being. Our office design is the first in the world to achieve both WELL and LEED platinum certifications. We can attribute the design of our space to increases in productivity and decreases in absenteeism—a positive impact to our bottom line.

—Randy Fiser, President and CEO, American Society of Interior Designers, Washington, DC

We created a staff capacity and culture study that brought in outside consultants to assess our barriers and accelerators to capacity and to determine if we had the right number of staff to accomplish our mission. This has resulted in spin-off employee groups, which have empowered us to take workplace culture to the next level.

—Nathan Monell, CAE, Executive Director, National Parent Teacher Association, Alexandria, Virginia

I’ve found that it’s the little things that make a difference. We celebrate staff birthdays by decorating their offices and hosting birthday lunches. We give several floating holidays for employees to use when they want. We also have a flexible schedule on Friday afternoons, so staff can take care of personal appointments or get a jump start on the weekend (if workload permits).

—Shawn Talbot, CAE, Executive Director, National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors-Texas, Austin, Texas