Culture and Creativity

Make Waves at Your Job

Some people will read that headline and think, “I don’t want to make any waves at work. I like to keep my head down and just do my job.”

But at GL group, we’ve found that people who make waves stand out positively and get things done.

We have a culture of empowerment and we want employees in all areas of the business to act and think and act like an owner. In fact, we specifically ask them to do so. We are not looking for someone to come in and perform a “job” but rather, someone to get involved in their work, to look for ways to improve processes, and/or come up with new ideas. We do not want any of our employees to be fearful of trying something new. We trust our employees to know their job and do what they need to do to improve their job and their work environment for their team. We call these employees Wave Makers.

We have seen what happens when we encourage our employees to make waves. It makes our work environment better, it makes people happier in their job, and both of those things directly affects the bottom line – positively.

We believe every employee can make waves in the work they do, but we hire and promote employees who can do this respectfully. We don’t want employees whose attempts at change become disruptive or employees who try to make changes for change’s sake.

Here are some traits Wave Makers have. They:

  • Suggest new ideas;

  • Take on a project (which mostly like leads to more projects);

  • Participate outside of their normal job (volunteer, sit on committee, are involved in extracurricular activities);

  • Speak up and are pro-actively vocal in a positive way;

  • Solve help problems both company and peer related;

  • Make decisions and/or are actively involved in the decision-making process;

  • Are cheerleaders for the company and for each other; and

  • Think and act like an owner


If you’re still not buying the idea of making waves, here are a few examples of how employees can make waves.

  1. A new employee dives in and takes on more responsibilities associated with committees and activities, so they can learn more about the business and make an impact.

  2. An employee challenges an idea or project to better understand how they can positively impact the process or product.

  3. An employee who does not accept obstacles as defeat and uses unique ideas to gain business experience and solve problems.

So next time you are in a company meeting or on a call and have an idea or disagree with a discussion, be proactive and ask questions. Respectfully offer alternatives, or suggest a new idea. Trust me, you will be heard, you will be acknowledged, and you too will become a Wave Maker. And if you’re not – you deserve to find an employer who recognizes your value as an employee.


WRITER: Gary Jaffe