Luigi Wewege is the President and CEO of Vivier Group, comprising of companies Vivier Bank, Vivier & Co, Vivier Capital, Vivier Developments, Vivier Investments, Vivier Ventures and launching shortly Vivier Growth Fund. Follow him @luigiwewege.
Recently, YEC spoke with Luigi about his employee management and company culture experience. His best advice is below.
What interview question do you always ask potential hires and why?
“How do you plan on helping the company improve its bottom line?”
More than an academic pedigree, I am looking for lateral thinkers who can develop creative solutions to bolster our current initiatives. Someone who is inherently innovative and can deliver creative solutions is absolutely invaluable for any company.
What makes your company culture unique?
I set company-wide goals for employees in addition to their position-specific ones, which has helped build morale and camaraderie in the company. This came about because I noticed over a period of time that my employees tended to be more receptive to a goal they were responsible for with others, rather than when they were solely accountable. Once this was implemented, it completely transformed my business. Employees became much more self-aware and were focused and willing to put in the extra hours when needed because they realized that their actions impacted not only their fellow employees but also the financial success of the company.
How can you make sure team outings or activities appeal as best they can to all employees?
Having periodic company retreats has been an incredibly enlightening and important initiative for my business. Before scheduling them, I request input from my staff on potential trip locations. Once confirmed, I ask them for possible activity suggestions while there. Asking for their contributions has increased participation even if their location or activity was not selected because they felt like part of the process.
What’s your best tip for keeping a personal touch to onboarding and training as you grow?
It really is as simple as it sounds: get to know your staff outside of work! Although we all communicate daily with each other, often we’re all incredibly busy and don’t have much time for informal discussions. I believe it is absolutely essential in getting to know your employees as not just work colleagues but as people. Meeting with them outside of the office in a relaxed setting will creating the necessary environment to have frank and open discussions about their views on the business and the role they play within it.
What’s one quick, easy way any company at any stage can invest in their company culture?
Celebrating company wins together. Having started my company from the ground up, I can appreciate how important small wins can be — especially when you have felt like you have been swimming against the tide for several months. Setting many incremental goals for my team enables me to find numerous opportunities to acknowledge them for achieving and surpassing their milestones. This has consequently led to a dynamic and high-achieving company culture.