Episode 7: Transforming a Business Through Trust with Courtney Lawrence
In the Season 1 finale, Courtney Lawrence, Director of Human Resources at Medicopy, discusses how to build a workplace on the foundation of trust.
One of the very first employees at Medicopy, Courtney Lawrence has been working with his best friend, Elliott Noble-Holt, for decades. The two friends have seen the parallels in building a business and maintaining a friendship.
It taught Lawrence the importance of trust in working for a start-up. Much like a friendship, it’s a key element alongside time, patience, and open communication.
In this episode, Noble-Holt and Lawrence dive into fostering mutual respect, investing in personal growth, and coming as your most authentic self to the workplace.
Creating a collaborative environment
One of the best parts of a friendship is the honest and open flow of communication between you and your friend. It’s this kind of rapport you want to replicate in your business.
Employees shouldn’t feel like they need to tip-toe around company leaders but should be welcome to give their feedback and input.
“Working with your CEO can be intimidating,” said Lawrence. “Most of the time people don’t even have a relationship with their CEO to go into their office and speak with them on a friendship level.”
It’s this open-door policy that propels companies forward and encourages employees to voice their opinions. When you place value on the voices within your company, the business begins to pervade a sense of mutual respect.
“I always want to be a good example. I always want to speak professionally. I always want others to respect me. And I always want to show respect to others,” said Lawrence.
Part of this mutual respect stems from trusting others to get the work done. Or, in other words, embracing delegation. As the company grows, you may have to give over some projects to other employees. When you do, it’s important to believe in your colleagues to do a great job.
“There’s a surrender I had to do myself and say, ‘Okay, God I have this trust that everybody is going to do what they’re supposed to do,” said Noble-Holt. “Then I believe, manage and monitor.”
Building an authentic workplace
Trust goes hand in hand with authenticity. In order to have a workplace that actually works, you need to foster an environment where your employees feel comfortable to be themselves at the company.
“We’ve always been true to who we are,” said Lawrence. “When someone meets me, I give them the same energy they’re going to give them the whole time that they know me, so they already know what they’re going to get.”
As a leader in the company, it can be tempting to control every detail of a company. But, the more room you leave for individuality, the more you’ll learn from your employees and vice versa.
Communicate to your employees that you’re hiring them for who they are, not for what you want them to be.
“Allow people to be who they are. Allow them to make their own mistakes. Guide them, but don’t dictate them.” said Lawrence.
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