May 6, 2012 by Frank Peditto
Last month, I wrote about the key criteria that companies rely on when selecting an auto transportation partner. Aside from price and technology, much of that blog involved the team members and their ability to communicate and demonstrate the value of the organization. As a small business owner, I have always been a strong advocate of having a positive and healthy work environment and creating a culture of dedication and fun. Of course, I have also realized the challenge of keeping driving an evolving culture and how critical it is for me as well as my team members to make that happen. It’s important for us to have happy and engaged team members at all levels within the organization. How do we do that, especially in a challenging economy?
- We begin with hiring the right people. We select team members that are dedicated to what we do and understand how important their role is to our day-to-day operations and our overarching business objectives.
- We offer competitive salaries and benefits and create a family atmosphere with the core values of respect and honesty. If a team member makes a mistake, we encourage them to bring that to our attention and together we work to remediate any issues. We don’t want an environment where team members are fearful and ‘living on the edge’.
- We provide ongoing training and development opportunities for our team members so that they continue to grow their skill set and their contribution level to the company. We value ideas from the team on new learning and ongoing educational opportunities.
- We provide positive, public recognition for individual and team efforts. Sometimes a simple ‘great job’ is all it takes, but all too often, because of time and the general chaos of a business, it is forgotten. It’s so important as a leader to make sure you’re aware of what’s going on and take time for individual recognition.
- We have fun. While it’s hard during a busy summer season or a vacation week, having a quick laugh or taking a ten minute break for an impromptu ice cream party is a great way to say thank you and ensure that your team members feel valued.
It’s not always simple, but having happy employees is an investment that yields more than just great work, it provides a true family atmosphere in the workplace and supports a culture of respect and honesty. While this is something internal in our company, it transcends to our customer relationships as well. And, while some leaders focus only on the monetary reward the other elements are as, if not more, important to keeping and growing your existing talent base.