As a part of my series about about how leaders can create a “fantastic work culture”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Fab Giovanetti. Fab is a business mentor, published author, influencer-specialist, best known as the founder of the Health Bloggers Community. Serial start-up founder and professional troublemaker, she is obsessed with avocados and helping people making an impact in health and wellness. Can find out more about her writing here
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I have a I asked people what they wanted and they answered. All I had to do was listen and give them this. The reason the community is working so well is because I am becoming a very good listener. For months the platform was just a free group where people shared their concerns and doubts, and we slowly implemented by literally screen-shooting conversations, answering questions, and brainstorming like a MOFO. Every month or two, we ask the community what they’d like to see next. Ask and you shall receive. Even our events are created by asking our attendees what they’d like to see next. It’s a lot about detachment and letting things be controlled by the members, rather than forcing something their way.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
I think one of my pinch-me moments was when I managed to crowdfund my first book, Make an Impact (link: http://bit.ly/makeimpactpromo). Thanks to the health Bloggers Community I managed to reach my target in only 3 weeks, and overfund it — which was incredible.
Are you working on any exciting projects now? How do you think that will help people?
We just launched the first register of influencers, aiming to keep influencers accountable to what they post and how they do it. The ROHWI is the first and only independent register for the Health & Wellness Influencers worldwide, and it provides training for influencers and regulations for the industry. (http://rohwi.org )
Ok, lets jump to the main part of our interview. According to this study cited in Forbes, more than half of the US workforce is unhappy. Why do you think that number is so high?
Because bosses and managers are still learning the art of flexibility. Flexible hours and flexible work should be paramour — at the end of the day, your team is supporting you grow your own dream, so I do not understand why you would not be open to what they have to say, and their needs.
Based on your experience or research, how do you think an unhappy workforce will impact a) company productivity b) company profitability c) and employee health and wellbeing?
I can tell you in reverse something that happened to me: one member of my team is going through some anxiety counselling, and was asking for some time on Monday to book in her sessions right after lunchtime. She promised she’d make the time up and, of course, I said yes. She was touched and incredibly grateful for me understanding where she is coming from. The sessions are helping her greatly, and she is always happy to put extra hours or time during busy working stretches. It’s an exchange after all.
Can you share 5 things that managers and executives should be doing to improve their company work culture? Can you give a personal story or example for each?
- Implement fun activities for your team: we love attending events together, especially food and fitness or mindfulness. Whatever is your shared passion, cultivate it
- Schedule review time: we always go through 90-day reviews as well as end of the year review, we make it fun and engaging, and every member of the team gets the chance to share their experience
- Have communication channels that are easy to implement: we use Quip to communicate as a team, it’s a great way to be able to amend, edit and review tasks and documents and keep the conversation going
- Be flexible with working arrangement: I allow the team to work from home a few days a week, saves them commuting and all of us a lot of headaches.
- Surprise your team: I often have small gifts or tokens, and not just for birthdays. A vegan donut every now and again goes a long way!
It’s very nice to suggest ideas, but it seems like we have to “change the culture regarding work culture”. What can we do as a society to make a broader change in the US workforce’s work culture?
I think we need to realise portfolio careers are a thing, and most people will juggle different jobs at the same time. It’s not so straight forward, and society still seems to struggle with the idea that 9–5 is an old, outdated model that is making us overworked.
How would you describe your leadership or management style? Can you give us a few examples?
Just like my work ethic overall: fun, approachable, yet professional. I always write things down, I love simple written agreements — yet, I will probably send GIFs in emails every now and again. It’s my unique way of communicating, and as I am also a speaker, it comes across on the screen and in person.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
As cheesy as it sounds my team made me stronger, more passionate and more resilient. It’s incredible what we can achieve when we find incredible people who believe in us. They were the first to cheer me on during my book writing process, so I am incredibly grateful to them!
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I aim every day to support people who create incredible brands to help others, themselves and ultimately our world at large. I believe in the idea of positive influence, I believe in the power of having a great story and message, and making the world a better place. Supporting people making their dream come true is the greatest gift.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it”. My whole journey can be summed up by this quote, because it’s your resilience that truly makes you over everything else.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I want people to be more present in the moment. To get off their phones, their laptops and enjoy the time off the screen — which sound counterproductive given what I do, I know. I believe in the power of marketing, content and social media, but only when used wisely.