Reflecting on Illuminate 2019: How to Empower the Modern Workplace

Screen Shot 2019-01-23 at 11.03.31 AM.png

Last week, I attended Illuminate, a one-day people conference on a mission to make the manager-employee relationship better. Hosted by people management platform Reflektive, the event was filled with tactical takeaways to improve myself as a manager and contribute to the growth of cred’s culture and people.

Featuring speakers from Allbirds, Airbnb, Omada Health, AppAnnie, Pinterest, and 23andMe, Illuminate shined light on the employee journey and its expansion to include a company’s work environment, mission, values, culture, and wellness.

Omada Health CPO Jo Dennis and CEO Sean Duffy weighed the pros and cons of anonymous feedback before concluding their business is better off without it, opting for a transparent culture of feedback. Transparent feedback limits confusion, has ownership, and provides context. While not easy for anyone, giving constructive feedback does gets better with practice.

In addition to sessions discussing diversity and inclusion and coaching culture at scale, Illuminate offered attendees a chance to win a pair of Allbirds following the event. While I didn’t win the Allbirds giveaway, I walked away with a deeper look into what it takes to be a better manager and overall a better team.

More thoughts from the stage:

  • Fairness is the foundation of feedback. Create an equal playing field by offering tools and resources that ensure everyone is speaking the same feedback language.

  • Peer-to-peer feedback is just as important as manager-to-employee feedback.

  • No one quits because they received too much praise from leadership. Top communication issues that prevent effective leadership include failure to recognize employee achievements, offer clear directions, and carve out time to meet with employees.

  • People development and culture is a work in progress. It can be rewarding, challenging, messy and constantly has to be worked on.

  • For more, here’s Reflektive’s official event recaps.

Interested in continuing your learning and fostering a culture of #nobadmanagers? Check out these four books that stood out and were recommended by speakers and other attendees. I’ve added them to my reading queue, what about you?