How to Grow an Organization with Quality People

Posted September 12, 2018 by Heather Ullig

What is your ideal company?  If you have ever interviewed for a job, you’ve probably asked yourself this question.  The answer, along with other factors you develop, guides you in your decision-making process.

When growing a business, you need to ask a similar question.  What type of company do high quality candidates, otherwise known as “A Players”, want to work for and are we that type of organization?  Here is our answer…

What drives our focus as an organization is the linkage between our mission, culture, core values, strategy, goals and objectives.  Engagement and, more importantly, execution isn’t possible if we don’t have alignment with all these components that drive our business and ultimately our results.  Creating a solid foundation starts here, so how do we do it?

Core values are what support our mission and vision, shape our culture and reflect what types attitudes and behaviors are essential to our success.  It’s important that our people are aligned with these values to achieve our strategic objectives.  When this happens, people understand one another, everyone does the right things for the right reasons, and this common purpose and understanding helps people build great working relationships.

Finding people who fit this profile starts in the hiring process.  We seek to hire people who fit our organization in terms of competence, chemistry and culture.  We use a combination of channels, starting with employee referrals!  We train our hiring teams on specific interview skills and techniques that allow them to evaluate candidates based on culture fit and job criteria.  We can train people to cover skills gaps and help people gain experience, but it can be quite challenging to get people to change their values. The hiring decision is an important one and ensuring the right match is essential.

Having the right people to get behind your mission, vision and core values is everything!  To keep these A-Players engaged, we spend a lot of time listening to what they have to say… We believe feedback and taking action for continuous improvement are key to our growth and success.  Some of our feedback channels include an employee survey, holding focus groups, Innovation Week and a 24/7 anonymous online suggestion box.  We have implemented many continuous improvement initiatives over the last several years due to specific feedback received through these channels.

Additionally, creating a working environment that fosters community is essential to our success. It is a well-known fact that the more a person is invested in their community the more they will want to take care of the people and in our case, the business. We build our community on trust, respect, honesty, communication, and shared goals and values. It’s important to us to have an organization that works together as one moving unit. Through activities and programs like quarterly celebrations, charitable giving projects, recognition, and professional development opportunities, this has allowed us to build a strong community of people that make our business so successful.

Growth and recognition have been two themes of primary focus to ensure we have a great company.  By offering promotional roles to internal candidates, we foster a sense of loyalty, engagement and long-term satisfaction by allowing growth from within.  Continually developing our people through various training programs such as mentoring and Emerging Leaders generates excitement around being part of the bigger picture.  And our recognition program, Caught Doing Good, allows us to showcase the many achievements of our people and celebrate their successes together as an organization.

To sum it all up, I say this…  It’s impossible to have a great company if you don’t have a great team.  The bigger the dream, the more important the team!

Did I mention we’re hiring? Check out the latest openings here: