In this video, I’m going to outline the three things your business must have to be considered a great place to work.
Welcome to my YouTube channel where I teach you how to use customer experience and employee engagement strategies to build your business.
Today I’m talking about building great workplaces.
The reason everything I do is focused on customers and employees is because all companies, regardless of size or industry, are in the people business. It’s your people that you must leverage to build purposeful companies.
I was extremely fortunate to have worked at 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, the world’s largest junk removal company, for nearly six years. When I joined the company they had been voted the best workplace in Canada two years in a row. Think about that for a moment. A medium sized business, in a non-traditional industry, voted the best workplace in the entire country of Canada!
What I learned at 1-800-GOT-JUNK? and what we’re building at Baro, the 16,000 sqf, 100+ employee restaurant and venue that I’m a partner in, is what I’m going to share with you today.
If you go out and design systems and processes to be considered a great workplace the return on investment is that you will strengthen your company culture, increase employee retention and improve employee morale.
Company culture is something you’ve heard of before but culture isn’t bean bag chairs, beers on Fridays or unlimited vacations. A best-in-class workplace is an organization comprised of individuals with shared values, respect for each other and common goals.
The #1 thing I look for in great workplaces is how they reward team members who embody their core values.
#1: Rewarding Core Values
At Baro, our core values are: celebration, ownership, foresight, humility and integrity.
At Zappos, three of their ten core values are: Deliver WOW Through Service, embrace and drive change and create fun and a little weirdness.
Now, this is where most companies stumble, They create their core values and do very little with them. Your organization’s responsibility is to reward your team members who live and breath them each and every day.
You can recognize your top performers when hosting 360 reviews, weekly coaching sessions or through daily conversations. The reward doesn’t have to be monetary or incentive-based. It can be as simple as your CEO going out of her way to personally thanking the team member for driving the business forward.
Here’s a tip for rewarding and recognizing team members. Not all team members want to be rewarded publicly as it may make them feel uncomfortable being recognized in front of their peers. Thinking that all employees should be praised publicly was a mistake I made earlier on in my career. When onboarding a team member ask them if the prefer to be praise publicly or privately.
Being a great workplace means that you must align your entire organization behind the DNA of the company and, often, the DNA is made up of your core values. When you have a team member who is living your core values reward and celebrate their efforts.
#2: Create a Sounding Board
The second things I look for in a great workplace is if they have a sounding board.
The most underutilized tactic, the one that I use every time I build or advise a business is an Employee Advisory Board or an EAB.
An EAB is when one team member from every department is appointed to form a council that meets once per month. The only thing on the agenda is the current state of employee engagement and workplace morale.
The reasons I recommend EAB’s for all businesses is because:
- Your frontlines team members are able to speak candidly with owners or senior management about the current state of the workplace.
- It also allows different departments to come together to discuss employee engagement ideas that are generated from the ground floor.
- And, most importantly, EAB’s hold the leadership team accountable to continuously refining and improving the workplace.
I don’t ever recommend inviting middle management to your EAB meetings for a few reasons.
- #1 – Management already have their own regular meetings and
- #2 – You always want to be growing your next layer of leadership
To become a great workplace, you must give your employees a voice and an opportunity to contribute to creating systems and processes to increase employee morale.
#3: 1-on-1 Development Sessions
The third thing that will make you a great workplace are 1-on-1 development sessions.
Every manager within a business must sit down for a 1-on-1 weekly development session. The format I suggest is called Goal Setting & Review or GS&R’s.
A GS&R is a weekly, 60 minute meeting where a team member and manager meet to discuss the team members Top 3 quarterly or yearly goals. It’s imperative to discuss the tasks the team member is going to complete each week to achieve these goals.
Let me give you an example. Let’s say you operate businesses in the hospitality industry like me. One of your team members primary goals might be to manage labour percentage. Managing labour percent is the primary goal and the weekly task to manage labour would be to hire another line cook to avoid going into overtime hours.
GS&R’s should follow these rules:
- It’s participant-led. This means that the employee runs the majority of the meeting and the manager provides feedback and ensures the meetings stays the course.
- You never cancel the meeting. The GS&R should be a recurring meeting on both the employee’s and manager’s weekly calendar.
- And you give each other at least 24 hours to prepare for the meeting so the conversation is focused on goals, desired outcomes and tasks.
To be a great place to work your leadership and management team must continuously promote both micro and macro development of your employees. GS&R’s are a great way to promote micro development to achieve quarterly or yearly goals.
These are three things that build great workplaces.
I want to hear from you. Leave a comment below and tell me what other things must be considered to become a great place to work.
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Have a great day and I’ll see you next time!