Are you interested in transforming your company into a Best Place to Work? Developing a culture of mutual appreciation and communication between you and your employees isn’t easy. The “Kaufman Rossin Presents: Want to be a Best Place to Work?” breakfast seminar on March 28, 2014, asked a panel of business executives to weigh-in on ways to build a company culture that is consistently recognized as a Best Place to Work.
A panel of experts, moderated by Sammy Mack, a producer and editor at WLRN – Miami Herald News, discussed strategies for building and maintaining a positive work environment. The panelists all lead businesses that have been recognized for having an outstanding company culture:
The panelists identified starting points for transforming your office culture, as well as tips for maintaining that culture as you grow. They also discussed some of the challenges that arise when you put your employees first.
Here are five tips for turning your business into a Best Place to Work:
1. Hire personalities, not skills. Skills can be learned, personalities can’t. The best way to begin building a happy office culture is to hire personalities that align with your vision. If you believe a potential employee’s personality would be a great fit for your organization, but he does not have enough experience, make room for him. If a candidate is perfect on paper but you aren’t sure about his personality, don’t hire him.
Understanding a potential employee’s personality before you make the hiring decision requires extra work. Invest in software to evaluate candidates based on a personality test or behavioral assessment such as the Predictive Index, or make time to get to know the candidate one-on-one before you decide.
2. Invest in your employees. Encourage employees to be the primary beneficiary of their own success. In other words, root for them to achieve their goals and assist them when you can. Investing in the continued education of an employee and promoting from within are less expensive and more rewarding than recruiting new candidates on a regular basis. You build a culture of trust and respect when you value your employees and encourage them to grow.
3. The extras aren’t extra. Gyms, personal trainers, dinner parties, catered lunch, a game room –the “extras” make a big impact on the happiness and well-being of your employees. If you are investing in them, your employees are more inclined to feel loyal to your company, to work harder for you and ultimately, to stick around through good times and bad.
4. Tear down the walls. An open floor plan in the office promotes transparency and encourages collaboration between employees. But having an open floor plan isn’t everything; the panelists suggest having an open-door policy with other aspects of your business as well, including your books.
5. Lead by example. Maintaining a Best Place to Work culture as your business grows is exceedingly difficult, and those in leadership positions are never off the clock. Be a champion of your culture, and show your team that you’re willing to make tough decisions in support of firm culture – even if those decisions occasionally come at the expense of profits.
Promoting a Best Place to Work culture in your office ultimately contributes to your company’s success. An open, collaborative culture attracts promising talent. Joyful, motivated and dedicated employees provide better service to your clients, who in turn will be more satisfied and loyal. The more you invest in your employees, the more you will get in return.
Samantha Cronn is a communications coordinator in Kaufman Rossin’s Miami office. Kaufman Rossin is the fastest growing accounting firm in the U.S. Samantha can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.