At Hummingbird Media, we love to promote the fantastic work others are doing, especially those who are helping other businesses! On the blog this week is a featured post on Jess Critchlow, a people & culture consultant and proud owner of Light UP Work — a company based in Canada that works with businesses in ways that helps them grow and expand a successful team.
Tell us how long you’ve been doing your amazing work and how you started working in this field.
I’ve been doing this work for over a decade, started my career in HR in a large engineering organization, eventually moved into Learning and Development and Management roles in the tech industry, and over the last year and a half have been doing this work freelance on the side with a few clients.
I’m so passionate about seeing entrepreneurs be able to really scale and grow their biz by having a dream team around them – and feeling super confident and skilled as a Boss!
I appreciate I likely have much less published writing than many other people who submit, I actually have a lot of experience writing, only it was in my corporate world so there’s not much published on my own sites (yet!).
What do you love most about your work?
I think for me it’s seeing the relatively quick transformation from feeling out of their depth or just confused about leading a team, to feeling totally grounded and confident in being the Boss – awkward conversations, hiring, scoping out roles, delegation and the dreaded asking someone to leave your team. It’s so amazing to see that confidence grow – and with that their ability to get back to building their biz.
What do you believe sets you most apart from others in your industry?
A focus on good ol’ fashioned grown up conversations. I see in the industry a lot of tools and systems specifically designed to give a Boss an out from having those tricky conversations – writing a workplace policy about client interactions because of a complaint about one individual, sending someone on a training instead of giving useful insightful feedback, you get the idea.
In my experience there is absolutely no substitute for honest grown up conversations – and they give back tenfold in terms of motivation, output, loyalty and increasing skill set of the team.
…well, that focus and my sense of humour of course!
What’s one question you wish more prospective clients would ask in the initial consultation and why?
‘What are you going to ask me to do that I’ll be resistant to?’ I think it’s common and totally understandable that Bosses hire me hoping to delegate some of their management responsibilities, and when you’re overwhelmed and on the edge of burn out (hence hiring a team in the first place!) it’s even more likely. But that’s a band aid solution and I work with bosses on a more sustainable plan – getting systems and skills in place so they can manage and grow their team over the long term. Hard work at the time but sooooooo worth it!
If you could give a piece of advice to others out there looking for services or products you provide, what would you say?
Similar to my answer above – be very wary of anyone who claims to be able to take over your ‘HR’ duties for you. There is no magic solution and anyone who claims they can hire, develop and grow your team without any input or work from you is definitely selling you something that is NOT going to set you up for long term success. And similarly be skeptical if anyone who tells you that to be a good boss you need to do their $50,000 leadership program – there are some super quick and easy habits you can implement today to increase your confidence and impact as a Boss!