Here are five key practices that you or your organization can adopt to help foster a workplace culture that supports female employees throughout their career journeys:
TIP #1: TRUST YOUR TEAM, PERIOD.
Our team is made up of amazing, hard-working, and critically-thinking women. When we first started MySherri, there was a lot of planning for how to deliver delightful service to clients week after week. What we quickly discovered is that the best-laid plans are made for pitch decks and vision boards. The day-to-day requires that we equip our team with the tools and support needed to bring MySherri to life. We must trust that our team can act independently and effectively. In sharing that trust within our team, we have empowered our employees to contribute in a meaningful way to the company we are building.
TIP #2: GIVE WOMEN ROOM TO GROW.
“Once a Home Coordinator, does not mean always a Home Coordinator.” I share this with women interested in joining our team as well as our current team members. In my experience, wanting to attract and retain A-players, means that space for professional and personal growth is key. Taking an interest in the professional and personal development of team members can at times seem daunting. For us, it has been an intentional practice of checking in, providing resources to grow, and a pathway for success within our team.
TIP #3: GOSSIP IS NOT CURRENCY.
A mentor once shared this: “It’s important to not let your team make gossip a currency for success within your team.” I took that to heart and implemented systems within our team to create a culture that is open and honest. Challenges and obstacles will arise. Decisions will be made that do not make everyone on your team happy. I tell my team that if they need to vent to me or their manager, to please do so. Then be a part of the solution. As soon as they “vent” to other people within the team, it has transformed into gossip, which can erode the culture of trust we are creating.
TIP #4: BEING HUMAN IS OK.
If I have learned anything over the past two years, it is that life is messy. And that is what makes it beautiful. Since launching MySherri, our company has supported women on our team going through financial hardship, mental health struggles, escape from an abusive relationship, and health problems. MySherri is a business, sure. But I believe that if we forget that humans are the core of our business, we lose the connection that keeps us successful. Our people are meant to be and encouraged to be human. That is our superpower.
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TIP #5: IMAGINE WITH THEM.
This is my favorite part! To build a culture that supports women, the women on our team must have a say in what it becomes. We do regular visioning exercises with team members individually and as a group so that we are consistently working together to create a company we are proud to be a part of. My team is aware of where we have been, where we are, and where we are going. We cast the vision together and then involve them in the building needed to bring it to life.
Ashley Butler is the founder of MySherri, a home management company that is focused on helping busy individuals and families manage their households so they can focus on what matters.
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