Developing Thriving Workplaces with Wendy Hanson

Developing Thriving Workplaces with Wendy Hanson

Feb 23, 2024

Wendy Hanson - Chief of Culture and Community at New Level Work 

Picture this: A bustling dance floor, filled with teams working in sync, each member contributing to the rhythm of success. Now, imagine a lone manager stepping onto that floor, ready to spark a transformative change within their team. This manager embodies Wendy Hanson's belief that individual actions can ignite broader organizational shifts. We sat down with Wendy Hanson to chat about driving transformational change through culture. 

Wendy is a multifaceted business leader, and catalyst for change, specializing in executive coaching and fostering growth in companies of all sizes. In the early 2000s, Wendy helped the pre-IPO Google team build and grow their business rapidly. Driven by her passion for continuous learning and creating thriving fast-paced workplace environments, Wendy co-founded New Level Work. 

New Level Work is a leadership development platform helping companies of all sizes cultivate workplaces where every individual thrives.  In her capacity as the Chief of Culture and Community, Wendy plays a pivotal role, in spearheading initiatives aimed at fostering positive work environments. Additionally, she extends her influence beyond her organization, collaborating with other managers and companies to instill values of inclusivity and empowerment, ensuring that individuals not only succeed but flourish in their professional endeavors.

“What is the biggest challenge facing work-life culture today?”

“The biggest challenge facing workplace cultures today are nurturing both remote and in-person modalities.” Wendy tells us. With the rise of remote work arrangements, companies are grappling with maintaining cohesive cultures and fostering collaboration among dispersed teams. This requires innovative approaches to communication, team building, and inclusion to bridge the gap between physical and virtual spaces.

Another significant challenge lies in companies' reluctance to invest in learning and development initiatives. Wendy explains that continuous development to enhance and diversify skill sets is crucial for employees to stay competitive and adaptable. However, some organizations prioritize short-term financial gains over the long-term benefits of investing in their employees' growth and development. This not only limits individual career progression but also stifles innovation and overall organizational success.

Addressing these challenges requires a proactive approach from leadership, prioritizing investments in technology, and training, and fostering a culture of continuous learning and inclusion.

By recognizing the importance of adapting to hybrid work environments and investing in employees' professional growth, companies can overcome these challenges and create resilient, thriving workplace cultures.

Are there any telling signs that an organization's culture is holding them back from their goals?” 

“When an organization is siloed and not working cross-functionally, that is a big indicator that they are being held back from succeeding in their goals,” Wendy explains. 

A silo may seem like a small problem but has very drastic implications for the organization as a whole. When an organization or team is experiencing a silo effect it can result in conflicting priorities and disjointed strategies. It can hinder innovation and creativity, plus organizations may miss out on great opportunities to create, work, and problem-solve together—due to limited cross-functional interaction.

Can one team manager spark positive change for their team? Or is it only really effective if change happens at an organization-wide level? 

“Yes, and.” Wendy tells us. “Yes, one manager can make a difference in their team. I’ve seen many great managers spark change individually. And…positive change can happen at an organization-wide level.”

Wendy uses an analogy of a balcony above a dance floor full of people. Those who are on the dance floor are team members and team leaders. They see and interact with each other, but they can’t see everything around them or get a birds' eye view. Those who view the dance floor from the balcony are executive leaders, those who have an overview of all the team members and leaders.

“The leadership at the top have that birds' eye view of the team at large. They are able to see and direct the changes that they see fit.” 

“So overall yes.” Wendy restates. “Yes one manager can spark a positive change, and it helps if leadership can promote and direct that positive change.” 

Her analogy of the dance floor and balcony underscores the importance of both grassroots initiatives and top-down direction in cultivating transformative cultures.Let us embrace the challenge of breaking down silos, fostering collaboration, and investing in the growth of our teams. In doing so, we not only unlock the potential of individuals, but pave the way for organizations to thrive in an ever-changing world.

You can find Wendy Hanson on LinkedIn here.

Follow our journey to revolutionize the modern remote workplace here.

Copyright © 2024 BOND

Copyright © 2024 BOND

Copyright © 2024 BOND