The #CultureFirst series is a chance to showcase the team here at Culture Amp. We asked everyone a few questions which will give you an opportunity to get to know each of us a bit better.
Maria Sakata - Customer Success Coach
With a double Masters in Industrial Organizational Psychology and Social Science, Maria hopes to make the world a better place - one work place at a time. Having worked in Employee Engagement for the past four years (in both internal an external roles), the best part of her day is helping leaders make data-informed decisions about their people, and seeing the great changes that happen as a result. For fun, Maria enjoys good friends, good sports, good music and good food - in that order.
Culture Amp: What can you do as a CAmper that you haven’t been able to do elsewhere?
Maria Sakata: Work with so many incredible People Geeks (both coworkers and customers), who are doing innovative things to create great cultures. Also, meeting Lazslo Bock and having a major fan girl moment.
CA: Best day you’ve ever had at work (here or anywhere else)?
MS: The most rewarding day was facilitating my first action planning session with a room of leaders and getting to an "a-ha moment." We walked through their employee opinion survey results. At the end of the session, all 12 leaders in the room raised their hand for the same action area, looked around the room and realized their next step as people leaders. Also, presenting original research at a large Public Health conference in Denver was a pretty proud moment for me.
CA: What do you geek out about outside from work?
MS: It changes over time. Right now, I'm learning about real estate and other personal finance topics. So, as boring as this sounds, I'm pretty excited to learn about real estate investment.
CA: What did you want to be when you grew up?
MS: A rock star...but then I heard my voice on a recording, and started working on a plan B.
CA: What is something about you not many people know?
MS: I tend to be a jack of all trades when it comes to hobbies. I enjoy playing basketball, volleyball, golf, tennis, snowboarding, and flag football. I paint when I have the time, and have been in a hip hop dance performance.
CA: What does culture first mean to you?
MS: Culture First means creating a workplace that enables each unique talent to its fullest. At some level, work performance is psychological and human. So Culture First is going beyond business outcomes, and caring about the ways we do business with and through each other so that we can bring out the best in each other. It's the day-to-day activities, such as how leaders model behaviors and how, through our actions and words, we create our culture.
CA: What was the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
MS: The things that divide us are far less important than those that connect us.
CA: If you could have one super power, what would it be?
MS: Build and renovate homes instantly. (Like I said, currently into real estate).
CA: You pick a magazine up to read – what is it?
MS: Harvard Business Review or The Atlantic
CA: What’s up next in your Netflix queue?
MS: Parks and Rec. I enjoy putting it on in the background of whatever I'm doing. I also can't wait until the new season of Black Mirror comes out.