How putting your workforce first benefits your customers, your community, and your bottom line.
To be a great company, you must have great people. Training and motivating employees to become more empowered, more engaged and to take ownership of their jobs can provide lasting benefits for the company and its stakeholders. Both management and team members can play their role in the transformation of a good company culture, to a brilliant one.
Vivid Impact encourages and challenges other business to gain alignment around our “Good to Brilliant” initiative to boost growth and strengthen economic success in the community. Together we can inspire and ignite a more empowered, engaged and prosperous workforce.
“We’re investing back into our people which provides not only opportunities to our team members, but our team members are going to step up and contribute towards a great company.” Sam Campitella, Vice President – Sales, Vivid Impact
Create a business that employees can identify with through engagement, empowerment, and ownership.
“You want your company to stand out from the dozens you’re competing against — to do that, you have to help your employees stand out. Your team really is your most valuable asset, and your team will keep adding value once they feel your loyalty is as strong as theirs.”
John Hall, Forbes.com
How does a company transform from “good” to “great?” Prioritizing a strong belief system and positive company culture creates constructive results – both inside your organization and for your clients and stakeholders. However, mission and vision statements won’t hold any weight if everyone in your organization doesn’t feel a strong connection – or identity – to the company they work for, and the job they perform daily.
What exactly is a company culture? It can be defined as both the shared values or belief system of the members of an organization, as well as the pattern of behaviors and collective thought leadership in that workplace. The history of the business, its management style, products and strategies also help to shape the culture. Culture affects the way employees interact with one another and their customers. It outlines the “personality” of a company which allows team members to identify with their workplace.
In an article on Forbes.com, William Craig suggests taking a look around your workplace and observing behavior. How do people act while at work and interact with one another? What is the overall mood – positive or negative? Would employees look for new employment if given the chance? These “symptoms” can help us to gain insight on whether we’re observing a strong, healthy corporate culture, or one that is struggling and unhealthy.
Strong value systems can only thrive if the company culture has been defined and cultivated with each new hire, and each veteran of the business. The promises and standards you extend to customers should directly reflect the values held by your team.
“When team members come to work, we feel good about what we are producing, and feel recognized and compensated for our contributions.”
Chris Cunningham, VP of People & Culture, Vivid Impact
Compensate the “great.” Support the community.
“We want to create meaningful work, but we also want to create meaningful compensation to our team members. In Louisville, Kentucky, it is extremely important for us to provide our team members an opportunity to earn a great living.” Sam Campitella, Vice President – Sales, Vivid Impact
Giving back to the community can start right in your business – by investing in the workforce. Many companies recognize the social responsibility to create local jobs, support livable wage initiatives and launch employee training and development programs.
Promoting positive company culture, placing an emphasis on benefits packages and strengthening engagement initiatives can strengthen the local economy. Case studies like Starbucks, Walmart, Costco, Amazon are proof that livable wages can increase brand growth and profits, and boost reputations.
Consider Trader Joe’s success – customers and communities feel a sense of excitement when a new location is built. Their employees are cheerful and helpful. They humbly boast an army of customers who swear brand loyalty to their private-label foods and affordable wines. By offering a fair starting wage of around $13 an hour, health and vacation benefits and flexible schedules, they’ve reduced turnover to around 4% annually (which is substantially lower than traditional supermarkets). By rewarding those who make the company great, Trader Joe’s can declare a business-model victory.
Louisville, Kentucky has its own case studies for positive employee initiatives. Norton Healthcare was named a Workplace of the Year by a national advisory board that recognizes hospitals and healthcare systems for outstanding levels of employee engagement. With a powerful corporate culture and value system, each of their employees contributes to their achievement. This improves patient satisfaction and spotlights Louisville as an epicenter for excellent healthcare.
“When you’re able to have this kind of impact on the community around you, you can help build a community that’s better suited to your needs. When you give to your community, your community tends to give back to you. So, by working to make genuine improvements, you can build an environment that’s better suited to business growth in general.” Annie Pilon, Small Business Trends
Productive and Profitable - can more money spent on employees equate to a higher ROI?
“According to recent studies there are a handful of companies that perform at the top of the employee happiness charts year after year. Studies show that companies that invest in the employee experience benefit on Wall Street.” Blake Morgan, Forbes.com
When margins are tight, is it really an opportune time to spend money and efforts on employee engagement? Dedicating programs and initiatives to benefit employees can drive dollars. By allowing team members to earn a livable wage, support their families, and grow their careers in a positive environment, companies inevitably foster a culture of greater expectations and improved job performance.
An article on USA Today mentions that employees who feel engaged are more willing to put in extra hours and to perform at a higher level. This also reduces employee turnover – all of which lead to cost savings. Although the ways to improve the employee experience vary by industry, they must stem from a strong culture and committed leadership.
Employees who are happier, or who identify more with their company culture are more engaged at work, and not constantly looking for ways to step away (Business.com). This empowers them to offer up ideas and visualize the big picture, ultimately increasing retention and benefitting the business.
When a workforce is excited and proud of the jobs they have, the result is more efficiency in tasks, more proficiency in skills, and advancement of thought leadership - this affects the bottom line.
Let’s set the bar together to achieve greatness
Eric Garton of Harvard Business Review states “Perhaps the most transformational thing a company can do for its workforce is to invest in creating jobs and working environments that unleash intrinsic inspiration.” What are some of the ways to spark this kind of change in your company?
At Vivid Impact, we have tasked our workforce with a new “Good to Brilliant” initiative. The goals:
- Create jobs for our community.
- Provide MEANINGFUL WORK for team members.
- Deliver best-in-class services and products to help our clients discover their “why.”
The internal driving forces to meet these goals:
- The Livable Wage - base compensation increase to $15 per hour for all positions
- Performance-Based Incentives – ways to grow compensation over time
- Team Member Development – promote a learning environment
- New tools, processes and communications for team members – ways to develop engaged team members through our mission, vision, values and core competencies
- Recruitment and Hiring – investing in and on-boarding “top talent”
In addition to these changes, Vivid Impact is improving its facilities to boost employee experiences and foster a positive culture shift. A creatively-inspired makeover to the building’s exterior will feature murals by local artist collective Often Seen Rarely Spoken. Team members can also anticipate a parking lot revamp, new picnic pavilion, front-office refresh, manufacturing floor renovation and an improved team member lunchroom.