Recently, YEC spoke with Brooke Peterson about her employee management and company culture experience. Her best advice is below.
What interview question do you always ask potential hires and why?
Do you read books? If so, what kind? I find that people who read books related to their career or personal development are more likely to be hungry to learn, seek to grow and are more malleable. They want to be better and are more open to receiving feedback.
What makes your company culture unique?
Causely possesses an enormous amount of talent and a plethora of personalities yet we are all led by our mission. In most cases, talent and personalities would be difficult to manage. But our “team first” approach is so ingrained in our culture that the variety works very much in our favor and our team is able to accomplish so much, even if resources haven’t always been abundant.
We poll our employees and offer a wide variety of options, from pub crawls to family night at the ballpark. Even if the event doesn’t necessarily appeal to some employees, they’ll almost always show up just to spend time with team members outside of the office. The team recognizes the value in seeing their co-workers as people and friends, not just someone you work next to. That carries over into the workplace, which makes Monday-Friday that much more enjoyable — because you work with people you care about.
What’s your best tip for keeping a personal touch to onboarding and training as you grow?
Assign a “buddy” to all new hires. In many cases, new employees don’t know anyone at the company, on their first day. Because our team is small, we pair new employees with someone not in the department they’ll be working in. The goal of the buddy is to be a familiar face, answer questions and help new employees fit in with the team and their office space. Because it’s not their manager, they won’t feel uncomfortable asking questions like, “Where is the bathroom?” We’ll intro buddies prior to the new employee’s start date. They’ll set up coffee or lunch (which they are able to expense), usually on the new employee’s first day.
Seek out natural culture champions at every level and empower them to help “own” the culture. This will help keep morale high, allow leadership to have a pulse on the culture at every level, and make everyone feel like they have a voice.