How do you celebrate the wins—both big and small—of your team? In a virtual or hybrid work world, it’s a little harder to get everyone together for a party.
It’s crucial to find ways to take a victory lap now and again, to boost morale and help people feel recognized and valued. Lisette Paras, CEO and founder of Gravitate PR, recommends a #kudos Slack channel to share the love and highlight team success.
We caught up with Paras recently for our Day in the Life series and she shared several tips, including her favorite podcasts, top workplace tools and lessons learned from an eventful career in the PR industry:
1. What’s your favorite part of your morning routine?
Paras: Going for an hour-long walk with my dog. Even though I’m in San Francisco and Gravitate PR has clients based in Europe or the East Coast, I try to make sure I have routines that aren’t focused on immediately throwing myself into work in the morning.
2. Who’s the most important person you talk to every day?
Paras: My husband. We complement each other in the best way possible. He’s my biggest supporter and also someone who keeps things in perspective for me when I’m anxious or need to talk through a problem.
3. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?
Paras: Starting and running a business.
Looking back, starting the agency about 5 years ago after moving to the U.S. from Australia not having a huge network was a big step for me, but I had friends, family and colleagues supporting and believing in me, which in itself was a huge motivator. Since then, I’m sure we’ve faced a lot of similar challenges to many other businesses: grappling with COVID, hiring, engaging our team, innovating, etc.
But I think the lessons I’ve had along the way—and continuing to put everything in perspective—has really helped in approaching every scenario in the best way I can, with my team.
4. What’s your best book or podcast recommendation for PR colleagues?
Paras: I started to listen to podcasts again recently and have three that I tune in to regularly:
- HBR IdeaCast – a weekly podcast focused on business and management
- NPR’s How I Built This with Guy Raz – inspiring stories from successful entrepreneurs and the bumps they experienced along the way
- The Intelligence from The Economist – as someone with an international relations degree and who was born/raised outside of the U.S., I like to know what’s happening around the world and think it’s really important for comms professionals to know as well, as the world continues to become smaller and more interconnected
5. What’s your favorite tool you use regularly for your work?
Paras: Monday.com has really helped our teams stay on top of tasks, be accountable to deadlines, and get rid of a lot of the chatter on Slack.
Slack is still great for quick questions and banter.
6. Are you in an office/remote or both? What do you like (or dislike) about your current setup?
Paras: A bit of both to mix things up when possible. When our team does see each other in person, it’s very deliberate—e.g., for our annual kickoff meeting. At home, I am still working from the kitchen, and it should probably make more effort to create a more aesthetically pleasing setup!
7. What’s one trick you use to promote well-being, make yourself feel good at work?
Paras: Coming together as a team each week to share our achievements and learnings from the last week. We have a #kudos channel as well on Slack where people can give each other virtual props for a job well done.
As a team, it’s a boost to not only celebrate wins and accomplishments, but also discuss instances when things have gone a bit awry and what we can all learn from such situations.
8. What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you in your career?
Paras: Focus on what you can control. In our industry, there’s a lot of things that we have no command over—such as whether an article will be published, or whether the startup we’ve partnered with to drive a highly-visible campaign will succeed.
Ultimately, there’s no point stressing about something where the outcome couldn’t have changed. What’s important is to know that you’ve truly done your best work and achieved as much as you can to make an initiative successful.