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Crafting Thriving Workplaces – Exclusive Interview With Mykella Auld, M.Ed., Founder Of The Work Well Studio

Mykella Auld, M.Ed., is a pioneering thought leader in organizational culture and leadership. For a decade, she has partnered with organizations to design culture strategies based on well-being and belonging research and innovation principles to support employees and chart innovative growth – the secret ingredients for dynamic, high-performing businesses. Mykella brings a strategic approach to contribute to organizational solutions that help to produce and sustain human-centered outcomes to build psychologically safe work cultures. As the Founder and Executive Coach of Culture and Leadership at The Work Well Studio. She conducts culture audits, leadership coaching, and strategy consulting services to propel organizations toward psychologically safe, equitable cultures prioritizing well-being and belonging. She is committed to sparking transformative change.


Image photo of Mykella Auld

Mykella Auld, Leadership and Culture Coach

 

Can you tell us about your journey and what inspired you to become a culture and leadership coach?


I know what it is like to feel like the best part of you is being sucked out of you by a toxic work culture. And I know what it's like to feel like you can’t grow and pursue your career goals because the leaders around you are not investing time into hearing and supporting you.

 

As I got into supervisory and leadership roles I realized something: a lot of times supervisors and leaders are not adequately prepared and supported as employees themselves. This realization drove me to become a culture and leadership coach to help transform work cultures to bring out the best in all employees and the businesses they invest their time in.

 

Like many of us, I started to struggle with chronic burn out and then I got sick. I found myself combating chronic health diseases and chronic burnout, and questioning my purpose in life. My overall wellbeing was being impacted by my workplace.

 

I stepped into the culture and leadership space after receiving both my Master’s in Leadership and my Leadership Coaching Certification. At this time in my life I had spent my career climbing the ladder into spaces that I believed would allow me to live the life I had dreamed of. This experience inspired me to take the step to launch The Work Well Studio and work with leaders and organizations to strategically examine and re-design workplace cultures to build thriving and sustainable organizations.

 

What is the mission and vision behind The Work Well Studio, and how does it align with your personal values?


In 10 years, it will be 2034, a new generation will make up the workforce. Wellbeing, belonging, and trust is no longer a suggestion… it's a requirement to keep up and attract this incoming generation.

 

I see a world where the “Sunday scaries” are less scary, where employees and leaders are less burnt out and stressed. When this happens, I see organizations that are innovative and engaging, leading to an increase in job performance, and a decrease in both burnout rates and employee turnover.

 

To prepare organizations for this landscape change, leaders need the skills and time to build engaging work cultures where staff voice is heard and used in decision-making. I see leaders and organizations being able to make these changes when they invest in programs and coaches that can help them design culture strategies rooted in shared leader and psychological safety principles. Just like everything else, when we are trying something new for the first time, we benefit from having help.


At The Work Well Studio our mission is to lead organizations through this transformation by cultivating dynamic and high-performing businesses grounded in human-centered and innovative approaches. I specialize in crafting change-capable organizations that prioritize collective wellbeing and resilience while driving systemic transformation.

 

What do you believe are the essential components for creating dynamic, high-performing businesses in today's environment?


There are three major, things that organizations need to prioritize when it comes to creating a high-performing business:


  1. Investing in culture strategy as part of the strategic planning and annual priorities planning process. It is easy to want to make these processes go as fast as possible and cut down on unnecessary steps. A culture strategy is not one of those things to skimp on. Remember that culture eats strategy for breakfast.

  2. Prioritizing employee voice and engagement crucial for productivity and innovation. When employees feel valued and empowered to voice their opinions, share ideas, and actively participate in decision-making processes, they become more invested in the success of the company and feel valued.

  3. Finally, continuous learning and development for both staff and leadership are often overlooked. How often have you asked to attend a conference that you know would allow you to learn new cutting-edge industry skills? Or would allow you to position the organization as a leader in the field, and you are told we don't have professional development funds? It is a tale as old as time! Without these opportunities, employees become stagnant, leading to disengagement and reduced productivity.

 

By addressing these areas, organizations can create an environment where employees thrive, leading to higher performance and success. In today's dynamic work environment, creating high-performing teams requires a comprehensive understanding of the factors influencing workplace engagement and stress levels. Effective leadership and management play a crucial role in fostering employee engagement and addressing underlying wellbeing issues

 

How do you address the importance of well-being in your coaching and consulting work?


Have you ever hyped yourself up to go to work, thinking to yourself, “You got this” or “It’s going to be a great day”? And then you walk in or log on and hear or see complaining, frustrated faces, or an angrily worded message. You start to feel all the energy you spent hyping yourself up drain away.


This is the concept for collective well-being. Well-being is a state of being where someone is thriving, but if the person next to us is not thriving then how can we ourselves thrive? Their reality and feelings impact ours!

 

As the leader of a boutique consulting firm Mykella’s services at The Work Well Studio support wellbeing in a number of ways through their services:


  1. Organizational Culture Audit: Our most popular service! Analysis of leadership, engagement, policies, values/ norms, innovation, wellbeing, DEIB, and strategy.

  2. Culture Strategy Design: In today's fast-paced world, building a thriving workplace culture isn't just a nice-to-have; it's a MUST for staying ahead of the game. That's where Culture Strategists come in!

  3. Culture Design for Strategic Leadership Course: To prepare organizations for this landscape change, leaders need the skills and time to build engaging work cultures where staff voice is heard and used in decision-making. Leaders are able to make these changes when they invest in programs and coaches that can help them design culture strategies rooted in shared leader and psychological safety principles.

  4. Strategic Design for Entrepreneurs Course: Are you an entrepreneur? Or a small business owner? Or do you have a great idea for a service or product? You know your idea is strong. and you know you can make an impact on others. But you also know you need a plan or strategy. That is what this course is for!

 

Our superpower is creating change-capable organizations. We advocate for producing and sustaining equitable outcomes, grounded in systems-based and human-centered approaches to building justice work cultures.

 

Ready to take the next step? Help drive organizational innovation with a customized leadership and culture strategy for your organization using our research-backed models. Available leadership coaching, culture audits, culture strategy development, and equity and belong framework design to contribute to the overall thriving of individuals and communities. Mykella invites readers to join her in making 2024 the year of personal and professional well-being.


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