How to Become an Award-Winning Workplace
Every business seeks to provide a desirable environment, but it takes more than desire to become an award-winning workplace. High performing organizations put their people first, the leaders are consistently engaging their team members, and the employees are invested in the overall vision of the company.
The pathway to becoming a Top Workplace may look different, but some specific elements are constant within every winning organization. Below are five specific keys we have implemented to get to where we are today.
Values Based Leadership
“Our main philosophy is simple. We want people to grow with us, to be happy, and to be healthy.” -Alex Dovgal
Some think a strong visionary leader is necessary to be successful. What many don’t realize is vision doesn’t guide the momentum, values do. This is because the values determine the overall direction and the day-to-day operational decisions.
All organizations have a set of values, whether they are clearly communicated or not. Therein lies the danger of values that aren’t communicated effectively. The values need to be clearly communicated and consistently evaluated to ensure they are in line with the decisions being made by the leadership.
Our values are as follows: Diversity, Safety, Innovation, Growth, Health, Happiness.
Keep the Main Thing, the Main Thing
In a boardroom meeting somewhere right now there’s a manager being praised for saving the company money, even though they are decreasing the experience for the customer. Cutting costs doesn’t always mean the company is moving forward or getting ahead.
Our main thing is to be a place where drivers and office employees enjoy working. Therefore, we offer more compensation than our competitors, even in the midst of a trucking recession. We also built a gym and an on-site hotel for our drivers and office employees. Companies that keep the main priorities intact will prevail, regardless of the difficulties along the way. Stay laser focused on ways to move the main thing forward, whatever your main thing is.
One more note on this; if your main thing is to make money, find a new main thing.
Nobody likes a micromanager. There’s a stark contrast between a manager who is too involved, and a leader who communicates effectively. Even leaders who overcommunicate can be invaluable, while managers who need to control everything will soon have nobody to lead.
That’s why Clued-in leaders who know the pulse of their team and regularly communicate are a major asset in connecting employees with the company’s mission and vision. Here are some good self-assessment questions to find out if you are a clued-in leader:
- Do I clearly promote an open-door policy?
- Do I practice active listening?
- Do I ask for input and feedback from everyone that I’m leading, or only a select few?
- How often am I holding one-on-one or small group meetings?
If it’s Rewarded, it’s Repeated
This is known as the cardinal rule of behavior change. Progress is achieved by rewarding the right things and expelling everything else. Benefits and a competitive salary are a good start, but top workplaces don’t stop there.
One way we reward progress for office employees is with a quarterly bonus revolving around key performance indicators (KPIs). These indicators are established by the employees and managers together and reviewed at the end of each quarter. Each quarter we ask, “what do you need to be more efficient?” If an employee asks for something to help their performance, they will get it.
Drivers have a couple of opportunities each month to earn bonuses based on specific metrics made by our safety, fleet, dispatch, and accounting departments. Drivers who follow those KPIs can get a bonus. In addition, we offer our “best drivers of the month.” And lastly, we offer pay increases for drivers who have been with us for specific amounts of time and remain in good standing.
Grow Your People
Empowering employees to reach their full potential is an essential part of retaining employees. People want leaders who help them stay motivated. A top-paying company will eventually lose value-adding employees if they aren’t growing. Companies need to find ways to add value to their employees.
One way we add value to our drivers is with our training. Right now, the dry van market is very poor. A lot of dry van drivers are leaving the industry. We offer trailer change training so drivers can master driving a refrigerated trailer or a flatbed trailer. This increases the driver’s earnings, the company’s earnings, and makes the driver more marketable if they ever want to become an owner-operator or fleet owner.
All in all, everyone wants to be a part of something bigger than themselves. At the end of the day, we just want to make a difference in this life. When companies hold true to a good mission, there is no end to what can be achieved. Being recognized as a Top Workplace is an honor! But the real reward is in knowing that the people who belong to your workplace are happy to be there.
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