So, how do you build a world class organization? Well, you start with a great idea and great people to bring that idea to life. And you never stop trying to get better. Forgive me for boasting but this week was a really gratifying one for us at Perspectives, as we won the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility for the 7th straight year.
So, why is it so significant? Well, for two reasons. First, it matters to us that our employees feel valued and supported. Secondly, because helping employers create high functioning workplaces that have at the core the understanding that employees are the key to their success is what we do.
Let me be clear that this has been a journey for me as a business owner. I didn’t always get it. In fact, when I first started Perspectives, I thought the best leadership style was “command & control” where I commanded and I controlled. Luckily, my employees gave me a message and I was able to get beyond my own ego to listen. They told me that they did want me to make decisions but that they also wanted to know that I was listening to their input and actually considering it. Duh!! Of course. That made a lot of sense.
Now, we’re not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. But we are committed to doing everything we can to create an excellent workplace. Here are a few of our secrets:
- Leadership maintains an “open door” policy which encourages employees to come forth with ideas and questions about the services we provide and what we can do to make Perspectives a great place to work.
- Having a flat bureaucracy which enables all employees to have contact with leadership and management.
- Giving employees flexibility to the extent that it is possible and their jobs allow so that they can achieve some sort of worklife balance.
- Creating a transparent organization where all employees know the mission, vision, what we are doing and how well we are accomplishing our goals. We do this by holding Town Hall meetings twice a year and using our intranet to communicate significant information.
- Maintaining a “learning organization” where we provide seminars and educational opportunities so that all of our employees are continually growing for themselves and for Perspectives.
- Focus on outcome v. the time clock. Allowing employees to be responsible for themselves and trusting that they will get the job done and be available when they need to is the key. This is especially true with the gen X and millennials. Believe me, if they are not doing their job, you will know and then can take appropriate remedial action.
As I said earlier, this has been a great week for Perspectives; one in which our whole organization can take pride in the workplace we have all created. While I am certainly hoping we win more of these awards, I am much more focused on the outcome which is a happy, healthy and productive Perspectives.