Interview with Christine Meyenhofer, Consultant
Hi Christine, what are you doing at Great Place to Work?
Actually, I use workshops, presentations and evaluations to ensure the development of excellent workplace culture in companies. But my goal is also to equip outstanding workplace cultures with an awareness of social responsibility and to introduce them to the concepts of corporate social responsibility.
How and when did you come to Great Place to Work?
I first heard about Great Place to Work® in 2015 in New York, where I lived with my family for four years. Every year the "100 Best Employers in America" are chosen there, and the topic of workplace culture is correspondingly strongly represented in the media in America. At the same time, I developed professionally in the same direction: I completed a master's degree program, which was mainly concerned with value-based leadership in the non-profit sector. This also sparked my interest in workplace culture - and in particular in corporate social responsibility. When we moved back to Switzerland as a family in the summer of 2018, I really wanted to work in the field of workplace culture - and Great Place to Work® came to mind. And since April, I've been an integral part of the team, helping companies develop an outstanding workplace culture.
And does the name of the company keep its promises? ;-)
Of course it does! (laughs). Joke aside: I'm too fresh on board to make that decision. Even though my expectations as a new employee are high, the signs are good! Because so far I have got to know and appreciate a very warm, transparent and nice team. A team with a wealth of experience in organizational psychology, consulting, marketing and data management, and expert knowledge in the areas of employer branding, workplace culture, agile working and leadership development. Here are professionals at work who know about workplace culture!
What makes an employer a Great Place to Work for you?
For me, it's an employer you can trust. An employer who takes responsibility - not only for employees and customers, but also towards society. It's someone who regularly works on themselves, reflects and improves. A Great Place to Work® is a organization that not only wants to look attractive as an employer, but also lives the company values. Only what is authentic and lived can convince. The consumer has the decision-making power and expects a company to act sustainably and thus actively support social, ecological and economic concerns.
A Great Place to Work has a lot to do with workplace culture. What does workplace culture mean to you?
A workplace culture is a matter that exists in every organization, but which no one can really grasp. It's about trust, commitment, caring, meaningfulness - all aspects that make an organization a unit. In such a way that each individual pulls together with fire in their eyes and burns with passion for the same goal. A workplace culture means living the values that make an organization authentic and that employees carry to the outside world. and yet this "organization soul" is extremely important.
Why should companies concern themselves with their workplace culture?
In the past, employers could choose the most suitable specialists. Today, employers are chosen by the professionals. Their demands are not low. The catalogue of criteria for the future employer includes, for example, social commitment, remuneration, work-life balance, flexible working time models, mobility, interpersonal cooperation, management style and above all: meaningfulness at work. All of these points are promoted by working on workplace culture - precisely because we are concerned with the wishes and needs of our employees. If a company masters the art of listening and developing its workplace culture, not only will the search for new qualified employees be easier, but the bond between existing employees will also be strengthened.
"Only what is authentic and lived can be convincing."
What's your contribution to a better workplace culture?
I realize that developing workplace culture in daily business is not easy. Workplace culture takes time and effort, and all too often other items on the to-do list take precedence. So it takes a management with a healthy dose of courage that wants to build a sustainable and trusting workplace culture together with your employees. You will get the right tool for this from me. Because I am a person who, in addition to constant change and many years of experience in dealing with cultures and organizations, also has the specialist knowledge at hand.
What makes you an expert in workplace culture?
I bring over 15 years of international professional experience from America, Asia or Europe in various areas such as marketing, procurement and sales - from matrix organizations to highly hierarchical SMEs. This gives me the background knowledge to look behind the curtain of a company and understand where a screw has to be turned, tightened, loosened or simply oiled.