“Best Practices” That Are Crushing Your Culture

Date: 04/21/2023

Time: 10:00 am - 11:00 am PST

In this session, TERRA’s Chief Strategy Officer, Jen Lambert, will interview Aaron Schmookler, Culture Engineer, Co-Founder and CEO of “The Yes Works” about best practices he has seen that are likely undermining your people, your results, and your company’s future.  This is a session for those who are willing to engage with “conventional wisdom”, shake it up and see which of these sift to the bottom of the pile of best practices and which rise to the top.

We probably won’t have time to cover all of this, but here is a sampling of best practices Aaron is itching to discredit:

  • PIPs & employee writeups
  • Stay interviews
  • Annual reviews
  • Policies, more policies and policies on policies
  • Panel interviews
  • “If you don’t have a solution, don’t bring me a problem.”
  • Exceptions to policy for special cases
  • No exceptions to policy for special cases
  • “Respect” (or other abstract concepts) as a meeting/workplace norm without any specific behavioral definition/standard
  • Giving people the “benefit of the doubt”
  • The perp walk – security escort after being fired
  • Computer activity-tracking software

This is less of a “presentation” and more of a battle for the best ideas.  Interaction will be highly encouraged, but if you want to sit back and watch the fireworks, you’re welcome to do that, too.

About the Speakers:

Aaron Schmookler

Aaron Schmookler works with business leaders who believe that their people are their greatest asset. As a “Company Culture Engineer,” he supports them to build structures, habits, and mindsets that support an enduring high-performance culture so their profits and their people thrive.

While his career appears anything but linear — ranging from outdoor leadership to corporate contributor to theatre director and founder to teacher of theater and business communication — one thread ties everything together. For over 20 years, Aaron has been striving to help people find their own intrinsic motivation, their capacity to collaborate, and the fulfillment that comes from harnessing the creative impulse in us all to serve others.

In 2014 Aaron and business partner, Adam Utley, co-founded The Yes Works and developed the Adaptability Model of collaboration and leadership training and the Adaptable Culture Audit.
Aaron and The Yes Works serve clients across the country and across industries including Microsoft, MOD Pizza, DiscoverOrg, Burkhart Dental Supply, SOG Knives, 9th Gear, and Textainer to make work good for people and people good for work.
“Every team has genius at work. Only the best encourages and inspire the genius to emerge.”
Jenifer Lambert

Jenifer Lambert, is the Chief Strategy Officer and partner with TERRA Staffing Group, one of the largest privately-held staffing firms based in the country. TERRA is comprised of 18 offices in the Seattle, Portland (OR), Phoenix, Denver and Dallas markets. TERRA has been named to ClearlyRated’s Best of Staffing list 11 years running—an honor awarded to less than 2% of staffing firms nationally based on exceptionally high client and candidate satisfaction scores. In 2020, TERRA was named by Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) as one of the “Fastest Growing Staffing Firms in America” and in 2022 named by Puget Sound Business Journal to their “Fast 50” as one of the fastest growing mid-market companies headquartered in the Seattle area.

TERRA Staffing Group provides a full range of staffing solutions (contract/temporary, project staffing, contract-to-hire, direct hire) primarily in light industrial, office/administrative support, management, engineering and technical staffing.

Jen is a frequent speaker at conferences on the topics of growth and talent acquisition strategies. She brings her perspective as a solution provider to the thousands of companies TERRA serves across broad industries as well as an executive in a rapidly growing firm where “recruiting and retaining top talent” is one of their top 5 growth initiatives.

Aaron Schmookler

The Yes Works