There are two conflicting forces shaping American businesses right now. Many of our clients – and Red Thinking itself – are part of the movement.
For the first time since before the pandemic, small and mid-sized companies, which represent 90 percent of all businesses in the U.S., are planning to increase their headcount.
At the same time, the war for talent means that companies must work harder to hire and to keep the talent they have. Employees have more power than ever before, so companies need to be deliberate and thoughtful about retention. Retention is about more than competitive salaries, comprehensive benefits, and employee perks (though all are important!). The most important factor in employee retention is the employee experience.
At Red Thinking, we prioritize creating an environment in which people want to work, and, if all goes according to plan, employees truly thrive. So, how do we do it?
Crafting a top employee experience is based on three entirely controllable pillars: culture, workplace, and boss. Here’s what ours look like:
Culture is not an afterthought for Red Thinking. Nor is it something to be checked off a to-do list. From the top down, our culture unifies our team and gives purpose to our work. Shay, our President and Owner, has been very clear about communicating what makes us different and how to do things the Red Thinking way. She cultivates a genuinely supportive environment with inherent mutual respect. We don’t just hire anyone to join our team – we’re picky about hiring true subject matter expertise and then giving these pros autonomy and room to spread their wings.
We enjoy an authentic culture grounded in values (read about them here) that support our people, remind us of what’s important, and encourage us to go the extra mile for our clients and each other. These values were written (and rewritten!) with team input. We revisit, review and self-assess our “performance” against these values on a routine basis, incorporating them into our strategy meetings, review processes, and ongoing conversations. They aren’t just for show. We live and breathe this stuff because it’s part of our company’s DNA.
Long before the pandemic forced other businesses to work from home, Red Thinking had perfected processes to allow all team members to work remotely, doing so both effectively and creatively. With no physical workspace, we place an even stronger focus on team dynamic and relationships which are the true framework of our “workplace” environment without four walls to literally bring us together. The flexibility of a virtual workplace allows each team member to determine how – and where – they work best.
As we continue to grow and evolve our virtual workplace, we invest in tools and technology to foster continued collaboration, ensure top-notch organization in our systems, and improve our efficiencies. Clients and prospects notice how well our “workplace” functions, how details are managed, the strength of our team’s relationships, and, ultimately, the exceptional customer service we provide.
Leaders can make the employee experience magical or miserable. At Red Thinking our big boss sets high standards and an incredibly positive example. Shay leads without managing, functioning with a “we” not a “me” mentality. Her example is emulated by our team members, whether they are guiding a client’s project, coordinating schedules, or creating content.
We believe in continuous personal and professional development, encouraging our team members to find unique ways to challenge themselves. We operate with transparency to ensure feedback is clear and all team members know where they stand. We push each team member to identify their next goal or benchmark with an awareness that support is always available to help you along the way. The strongest leaders celebrate their team’s wins as their own wins.
It comes down to this: There is no investment more worthy of your time and energy than your team.
Growth and competition for talent may be trending now, but ultimately employees have a choice to stay or go. Leaders who create a superior employee experience will be more likely to attract and retain top talent, regardless of changing external challenges. Retention driven by employee experience is what enables a business to succeed and sustainably grow.
Plus, it’s just common sense that a positive employee experience simply makes for a more enjoyable day to day for everyone involved. And that’s something to stick around for.