How much should a company value its employees? Well, they need more than a paycheck, they need to feel valued, empowered and part of the organization’s mission. And you, as a business owner, will reap the benefits of having an engaged and satisfied workforce. You won’t just feel good inside; you will drive business growth and profit.
Your employees can be your best brand ambassadors. The more valued and empowered they feel, the harder they will work for your clients. The more productive they are, the more your clients will perceive the value of your service or product. Satisfied clients are loyal clients. And every business strives to create and maintain loyal clients.
The key is to find the right team of employees for each client and then work to empower your employees to create client value and loyalty.
Simple, right? Well, it’s easier said than done. After all, what do employees need to feel happy in their jobs?
At CMA, we have several initiatives aimed at making work a fun, happy— and empowered— place to be.
Establish company core values
My leadership team and I came up with values that we would like every employee to emulate. These are the expectations we set and we believe it helps to have everyone strive for the same goals.
- Passion: We demonstrate unmatched client loyalty because we’re passionate about our clients and the services we provide.
- Enthusiasm: We radiate positive energy and invigorate those around us.
- Excellence: We anticipate, initiate and execute with a sense of urgency.
- Professionalism: We are competent, skilled and respectful in all that we say, do and represent.
- Solution-Oriented: We drive “out-of-the-box” solutions for clients and colleagues.
- Accountability: We take responsibility for all that we say and do.
- Teamwork: We harness the power of teamwork. We supersedes me.
Company game plan
Our game plan outlines our strategic imperatives for the year, listing action items and assigning responsibilities within its pages to show employees how they fit into the company’s overall goals. It’s a motivational tool and helps employees feel like they’re part of the team, with assigned goals and objectives. When employees do not understand their role in the company, they can become discouraged, leading to decreased productivity and company turnover. The game plan is also a way to measure our yearly initiatives and analyze return on investment.
We believe that happiness begins with being a pet-friendly office. Dogs are a regular part of our culture here at CMA. We have been a pet-friendly workplace since I founded the firm in 1987. It has helped define our culture. We work long and hard for our clients. Pets help us keep our sense of humor, spark creativity and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Work Hard, Play Hard Philosophy
We have a committee of employees that regularly plan fun outings for the entire staff. Sometimes it’s an egg hunt for Easter, once in a while it’s a happy hour after work, and other times it’s as simple as community volunteer opportunities. These are moments when all employees can get away from desks, paperwork and phone calls.
Summer picnics, summer hours
We know employee productivity and motivation can lower as temperatures begin to rise. During May, June, July and August, we offer ‘summer hours,’ adding an extra 30 minutes to each workday Monday-Thursday and then letting employees leave at 3 p.m. on Fridays. We also have biweekly outdoor company picnics. Everyone pitches in, potluck-style by bringing appetizers, side dishes and desserts, while the company provides the hotdogs, hamburgers and grill. For an hour, we simply enjoy each other’s company, without talk of deadlines, clients or reports. Our biweekly company picnics have proven to also be opportunities for team-building and increasing staff relations.
If it’s a beautiful day outside and employees have internal meetings planned, the company advocates for attendees to move their meeting outside at the picnic tables to enjoy the beautiful weather. However, while everyone wants to have meetings on a sunny 70-degree day, no one wants to do so in black slacks and long sleeve shirts. This led to us instituting a summer dress code where employees are allowed to wear shorts in the office on Fridays
The golden rule
We believe in treating people the way you want to be treated yourself. Encourage your employees to learn and take on new challenges as they grow within the organization. Embrace a management style that treats people professionally and gives them the flexibility and freedom to create their own path within their work environment.
You know the saying, “it’s not personal, it’s business.” I believe all business is personal and the more you value your employees, the more rewards your company will reap.
Jeffrey Barnhart is president and CEO of Creative Marketing Alliance (CMA) a full-service, award-winning strategic marketing and association management firm that builds reputation, relationships and return on investment. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.