There’s no shortage of smart, talented people who show up to make Zest happen. Our Person of Zest feature is about celebrating our team and what they do.
Sarah King, Chief Operating Officer
There’s no question Sarah’s background in design thinking influences her approach to developing a work culture that gets things done. She recently joined us as COO, inspiring our team to work together in different ways.
One of your beliefs is the work environment has a huge influence on how a person behaves outside of work.
If you look at the hours you spend at work, it’s a lot! Think about the last time you had a really good day at work, and how you felt. It trickles down to how you behave. Maybe you were more patient with your spouse or that guy on the train. It’s these little things, but they add up. It’s the responsibility of leaders to make sure their tribes are being taken care of. It’s a responsibility of a company to send employees home better than they came in.
What’s driving this change?
The change comes from how people are working. People aren’t working in alone in private offices, but in multidisciplinary teams. It’s much more fluid now. Companies need to assume people aren’t going to stay forever. People are having a more human experience at work because they’re demanding it. I don’t work for you, I work with you.
There’s a concept of wearing a mask –– you have this work mask and this personal mask. But that’s changing, because people don’t want to have to wear both. They just want to be themselves, and it doesn’t matter if it’s at work or not.
Companies have to change or no one will come to you. The talent is the driver. How are you going to motivate and excite and develop these people? There’s less of a focus on retention. You’re not going to win the retention game, you’re going to win the experience game. It’s such a networked workforce now. There’s a difference in being a part of something, and belonging to something. How do you get people to belong? Things like an open environment and flexible culture really contribute to that.
What’s something you recommend to everyone?
Get to the why. Drop the assumptions. Discover why someone is behaving a certain way, and dig in. What assumptions am I bringing in? It’s important to lead with empathy.
Tell us what’s really excited you recently.
I remodeled my basement. I’m a wannabe interior designer! I’m very interested in design. I love thinking about how people live in spaces. It’s a canvas. You can do little things to spaces and it really helps people thrive in them.