By: Emily Ellison, SPHR
Successful business owners and leaders all seem to agree; the success of any organization depends on the people who work there. To stay competitive employers have to be more focused than ever on attracting and retaining top talent. Becoming a recognized Best Places to Work Company is one way to do so.
Knowing that people make the difference, Hire Dynamics decided early on that we wanted to be a Best Places to Work (BPTW) in each of our markets and is proud to have been recognized 3 years in a row as the #1 Best Place to Work small company category in Northern Nevada. In this article we’ll share the story of our BPTW journey and describe the type of leadership support, teaming philosophy, culture development and employee involvement programs that have helped us achieve our talent goals.
The most important component in the BPTW journey is leadership support. At Hire Dynamics we were fortunate to have this initiative championed by our CEO and Senior Management team not only because it’s the right thing to do but because it’s good business. Estimates put the cost of turnover at anywhere from 25-250% of the employees annual salary depending on the industry. Between the costs of exiting the employee, productivity lost while their position is vacant, recruiting costs, on boarding expenses and productivity ramp up time, if you lose even one good person a year it makes fiscal sense to devote resources to employee retention.
The second and third components of a BPTW company go hand in hand and are a strong teaming philosophy and a strong, almost “cult like” culture that inspires people to want to belong and to not want to leave. When we survey our people about why they like working at Hire Dynamics the first response is always, “the people I work with”. Building camaraderie is a process that takes focus and effort and we have utilized the principles of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni to do so. This easy-to-read guide to building great teams is a practical approach to the concept of teambuilding and maintenance which can be very theoretical and abstract concepts. Everyone that joins Hire Dynamics receives a copy and is expected to read it; we regularly hold “Five Dysfunctions” meetings where the different principles at play are openly discussed during the course of our work.
A strong team is complemented by a strong culture which takes the same kind of focus that team building does. It starts with defining the company’s mission, vision and values and then understanding how delivering those goals will take shape in the organization’s environment. Every company is different but at Hire Dynamics, our mission, vision and values have helped to create a place where employees have a “whatever it takes” mentality and are empowered to do the right thing for our clients, employees and the community. Although we work hard, Hire Dynamics makes fun a priority and supports a family friendly environment that employees value. We also think of our company as an exclusive club and are selective about who has the opportunity to join. We have defined the non negotiable qualities for someone to be an “A-Player” in our organization. Potential employees of Hire Dynamics go through a minimum of three interviews including a group interview of potential peers where no one is hired unless all parties support the decision. Once an employee joins our team, it is the responsibility of the local managers to facilitate integration of the new employee into the Hire Dynamics culture. Retention of employees is so critical to our business that manager compensation is tied to retention results!
The final component of becoming and maintaining a Best Place to Work Company is employee involvement. Hire Dynamics’ experience with this program has been a journey over the course of our nine year history. For us, the desire to receive the award was an attempt to confirm that our goals around employee satisfaction were being achieved. The first few years that we submitted for the award we did not win but we saw each year as an opportunity to improve. The surveys provide great feedback directly from our employees and in response we put together employee committees that review the results, make recommendations for follow up and action plans are formulated. Survey results and subsequent action plans are provided to all employees. Hire Dynamics views being named a Best Place to Work as a journey versus a destination.
Employee involvement doesn’t stop with Best Places to Work survey results and initiatives. We work hard to involve employees at all levels through open communication and by knowing our people. First, people want to be “in the know” and at Hire Dynamics we work hard to be transparent with our people. All employees have access to Senior Management (open door policy) and senior leaders regularly reach out to local teams to check in and provide updates. We have quarterly “State of the Union” company conference calls and our CEO provides detailed updates on the state of our organization (good or bad). It’s also important to figure out what employee “passions” are and when a project comes up that plays to an employee‘s strength, we get them involved! From technical projects to special events, from financial goals and results to representing Hire Dynamics in the community, the boundaries on what an employee can participate in or contribute are very flexible.
Organizational support, strong teams, strong culture and employee involvement are just the beginning of building a BPTW culture. Partnered with specific initiatives and programs that are important to the employees in your organization and you have the ingredients for a Best Places to Work Company that will attract and retain the top talent in your industry and set you apart as an organization.