Sunday, September 25, 2022
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How not to make a virtual town hall

yesor this channel is it just for the speakers to communicate? Good. Right, how many of our valued colleagues are on the call? Looks like we have enough to start with. And the sooner we start, the sooner we can get back to doing a proper job.

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Good afternoon everyone! Welcome to our monthly virtual town hall. As you know, “Frankness” is one of our core values. That is why I look forward to these opportunities to hear from all of our team members around the world. Jeff, our CFO, will start by giving you an update on the state of the business and then we will have a special presentation from Cynthia, our chief people officer, on psychological safety. Then you ask. Jeff, I’ll run you through the numbers.

Jeff, I know it’s been a bad month, but we don’t need to see it written on your face. Please, can you look happier? Actually, forget it. You just look constipated.

Thank you very much Jeff. He didn’t sugarcoat the numbers, but facing reality is the first step to getting better. As I like to say, candor is a mixture of “can do” and some other lyrics. I am very grateful to everyone on the team for their hard work; I have no doubt that we will get through this difficult period.

Now Cynthia is going to talk to us about psychological safety. This is so important to us that we decided last year to make it not just one of our core values, but two of them: “Psychology” and “Safety”. Honestly, I don’t think any other company in the world would do that.

As Cynthia speaks, a quick reminder to ask questions. We have some that appeared before this town hall but you can also use the what&a channel, where I will select the best. Please participate: as I like to say, “voice is a choice”.

Well, let’s see what they’re complaining about this month. Vivian, can you take note of everyone who mentions my salary? Unionization: No. Court case: Not at all. “Why aren’t the questions open for all to see?” I love that you still ask this.

Thanks for that, Cynthia. Psychological safety means that we cannot move forward as a group if we do not question and challenge each other without fear of consequences. I am very proud to lead the way to a culture that I like to think of as whole. P.S..

What do you mean the questions are open for all to see? Can people tell what questions I’m ignoring? How many times do I have to explain things to you morons? Let’s go to one of the questions that we had agreed on earlier. The benefactor.

As you know, we ask people to send in their questions ahead of time, and Ruth in procurement has asked a great question about our sustainability initiatives. These are uncertain times, but we will not back down from any of our commitments. As I like to say, there is a “plan” in “planet” and we are sticking to ours. Derek, I think you have a slide on this to share with our colleagues.

Now everyone asks about the ones I’ve skipped. Who decided to make the questions visible? What are you, Viviana?

I see that many questions arise. It’s great to see such commitment from our team. But I want to respond to one that Fergal sent me earlier in finance, about the company’s debt load. Remember, asking questions ahead of time is the best way to prepare the most complete answers possible. Jeff, this is your territory, so why don’t you take this?

I can’t keep ignoring all these other questions. I’ll have to take some of them.

Thanks I see some of you have asked a few questions about my payment from last year. We pay competitively, which means paying as much as it takes to get the best from the best people. My interests are aligned with yours. If you do it well, I do it well. And if I do well, you can do well too. Cynthia, can you talk a little bit about the compensation benchmarking study we did last year?

Find a way to convert the what&a disable the channel. Or start asking questions yourself. Use fake names if necessary.

There is a lot of interest in the court case, which I obviously cannot speak about publicly. Suffice it to say that we completely reject the accusations.

I also see a lot of questions about job losses. We may have to do some restructuring of the business. I have nothing to share with you on this at this time, but I can’t guarantee that jobs are safe (other than psychologically, of course). That goes for all of us: you, me, and every single person who organizes this very town hall.

Oh God Someone asks what we did the last night of the corporate retreat. How the hell did they find out about that? Vivian, stop the call. Now. Jeff, is that your real smile?

Read more from Bartleby, our management and work columnist:
How To Get Things Done, Eventually (September 15)
Why all the fuss about quitting quietly? (September 8th)
Is there a point to exit interviews? (September 1st)

For more expert analysis of the biggest stories in economics, business and markets, sign up for Money Talks, our weekly newsletter.

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