Seattle has a distinct personality: Humble, creative, and guarded. While it can be difficult to break through Seattle’s seemingly icy exterior, chipping away at the facade reveals that we are a city built on relationships. At Nyhus, we believe that investing in all of our relationships – even those that may feel commonplace or routine – leads to greater opportunity to connect on a deeper level, think critically and solve our community’s challenges through true partnership.
AVOID FREEZER BURN – Seattleites have a reputation for not wanting to form new relationships. Whether it’s technology that discourages personal interaction, or our city’s Nordic heritage that respects silence over small talk, regional newcomers feel the chill. But why should businesses care? If employees are unable to build friendships or make personal connections, they might be driven to focus on work to the point of fatigue. The World Health Organization recently declared burnout as an official medical diagnosis, which means businesses need to consider employees’ holistic wellness or risk turnover. Strong relationships can be a predictor of happiness in the workplace.
CAST A WIDE NET – Forming new relationships can feel daunting, but it doesn’t necessarily require massive effort. Encourage employees to look at their existing networks – from the office to the dog park – and they will find that investing in the everyday maintenance of those relationships can yield big returns. These small shared experiences are what connect us all on a human level and build trust, empathy and a sense of community.
TAKE PRIDE IN EMPLOYEES – In May, we shared how employee resource groups (ERGs) can help businesses remain authentic. But ERGs also help employees form genuine connections and can mitigate the effects of fatigue and burnout. It is important for leadership to remember that communities are more than the physical areas where we live or work. They are our friends, families, fellow commuters, and employers. ERGs – such as Nyhus client Alaska Airlines’ GLOBE resource group – build trust within a company, supporting its employees and creating opportunities for community engagement. Participation in this month’s Pride parades across the country are one example.
TURN POTENTIAL RIVALS INTO PARTNERS – In April, we highlighted the importance of cooperation and connection in times of change and growth. Our region is seeing more and more socially like-minded companies – even competitors – teaming up to support our community’s most vulnerable. Extraordinary generosity transcends competition and enriches all reputations.
THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING – June is Pride month, and as an LGBTQ agency, this month has always meant a lot to us. But this year, it feels a little different. Bigger. Pride has gone mainstream, with more businesses rolling out special Pride logos and adopting policies of inclusiveness. In fact, Apple CEO Tim Cook cited the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in his commencement speech at Stanford University earlier this month. He referenced the riots to inspire the graduates to build something greater and more lasting than themselves. Some might even call it community.