HOW TO KEEP EMPLOYEES HAPPY: TAKE A TIP FROM ONE OF THE BEST PLACES TO WORK IN THE BAY AREA
Why has RiseSmart been named one of the Best Places to Work in the Bay Area by the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal and San Francisco Business Times for the past three years? Because as an HR company specializing in outplacement solutions, we understand that success starts with how you treat your people.
Instill company values in employees
Every RiseSmart employee works very hard to contribute to our positive office environment. We want our company culture to be driven by RiseSmart’s values; and as a reminder of that goal, we created the RiseSmart High Five employee recognition program. It’s a peer-based award nomination that allows colleagues to give kudos (as in a High Five) to coworkers who have gone the extra mile on a project or task, depicting the values of the organization. In fact, the company has a cross-functional “employee recognition team” which has developed a quarterly program of activities centered around four pillars – Attitude, Success, Recognition and Fun.
One recent program was “Bring your kids to work” day which was a stellar success and left an undeniable impact on all the kids. It was full of fun and interesting activities with each functional area, picture in the CEO’s chair, popping in at the company leadership staff meeting among other things.
It seems to have paid off. On key parameters of “willing to go the extra mile for the company,” “want to continue in the company for two or more years,” and “I would recommend my company to a friend,” RiseSmart scored an exceptional 6.4 on a 7-point scale.
Each and every one of us at RiseSmart has a passion for this business and bringing innovation to the HR industry. We all come to work with the same eagerness to help displaced employees find their next jobs fast.
Provide structure and guidance
For some, such passion can translate to a disregard for anything but the main goal – running a successful business, no matter what it takes. But for RiseSmart, this has not been an issue. Our senior management provides the necessary structure and guidance to employees while maintaining a nurturing, almost parental approach to running an organization. It helps grow careers and change lives. Many employees have told me they think of the RiseSmart team as a family.
Have some fun
We make a point to take breaks and have a little fun at our office. Following are just a few of the fun initiatives we’ve enacted at RiseSmart:
- Birthday cards – Every employee birthday is recognized via a photo with all in-office employees posting to a theme of interest to that birthday person. Company-wide emails are sent to wish team members a happy birthday and share a little bit about that person. In-office employees receive an office redecoration. An array of their favorite items (sports memorabilia, photos highlighting their favorite hobbies, streamers of their favorite colors, etc.), decorate their workspace.
- Monthly happy hours – RiseSmart hosts monthly happy hours to aid in building team comradery.
- Anniversary gifts – Anniversary gifts are provided based on tenure with the company. Once you hit the one-year mark, you get a jacket. At Year 2 you receive a high-quality pen. After three years you are rewarded with a clock. Four years at RiseSmart warrants a Kindle Fire or a $250 gift card. After five years each employee gets a travel voucher and a commemorative award.
- Annual holiday party– At the end of each year RiseSmart hosts an annual holiday party to celebrate the company’s success and recognize key players who contributed to the growth. In 2012 RiseSmart hosted the soiree in a hotel ballroom, provided a catered meal, cocktails, dancing, internal awards and a raffle of fabulous prizes including an iPad mini, Kindle Fire, Visa gift cards, among others.
Apply to industry awards
RiseSmart’s Best Places to Work in the Bay Area recognition is the latest in a continuing series of awards for RiseSmart. They include the Bersin by Deloitte 2013 WhatWorks Award, Gartner Inc. 2012 Cool Vendor in Human Capital Management, 2012 Best in Biz Awards’ Most Innovative Company of the Year Silver Winner, SiliconIndia’s 2012 si100 and one of 20 HR Companies to Watch in 2012 according to LAROCQUE.
In both 2011 and 2012, RiseSmart was named “Most Innovative Company of the Year” by the American Business Awards and “Innovative Company of the Year” by the Golden Bridge Awards. RiseSmart also received the 2011 Red Herring Global 100, 2011 Red Herring North America 100, Champion of Diversity Award and the 2011 TiE50.
Nothing proves a company’s legitimacy in the marketplace quite like an industry award like any of the above. We feel these awards significantly increase our employee engagement by giving RiseSmarters something to tout about their own company. Investing in an awards program is worth researching if you’re interested in increasing your company’s market share and employee satisfaction.