November 2019

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Culture Makes the Difference

I’ve learned from mentors that a good company culture consisting of a foundation based on a sense of belonging, safety, purpose, knowledge and motivation, is the building blocks for longevity in business.

Manny MandrusiakManny Mandrusiak CD.
Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant
Vancouver Island Works Project

SISIP Rehab Services
Lifeworks! Consulting

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There comes a time in every business’s lifecycle where the amount of business per day increases and there are fewer people left to do the work.  That leads a business to make a decision.  Does the business look to outsource services and production, or hire more staff?  It’s a question that gets asked of every business owner as they continue the constant struggle to keep improving their bottom line.

My own business has reached the point where I am now being asked the question of outsourcing versus hiring, and I’ve decided to go with hiring some new employees.  The reason that I chose hiring versus outsourcing services is client retention.  In my experience, I have found that every time I have outsourced work, I run the risk of a contractor trying to poach my client.  The training industry can be extremely competitive, and those that can offer quality training at reasonable prices naturally have an advantage.  By hiring employees, I am hoping that I can inspire loyalty through our company’s culture.

That’s right; the Army veteran is talking about culture, but when I refer to culture what I mean is creating a positive and energetic place where people want to work.  I want to create a culture where employees are happy to come to work because they believe that they are part of something really cool;  a place where they will dig deep and give more because they want to be part of our journey, and believe that they will share in the spoils of a profitable business. 

In my time looking for new employees, I have learned that even though I can’t afford to pay big bucks for salaries, I can make up for it by providing a great culture and as many perks as I can.  I’ve learned from mentors that a good company culture consisting of a foundation based on a sense of belonging, safety, purpose, knowledge and motivation, is the building blocks for longevity in business.

As a small business, I want to ensure that whoever I hire will stick around and not cause me grief with employee turnover.  I have found that there is nothing more frustrating than onboarding a new employee and investing time and money in someone who leaves the company after only a few months. To combat that, I have done some market research about what today’s employees are looking for with regards to employment.  What I have found to my surprise is that money was not as important as I thought.  New employees are looking for independence, flexibility and work autonomy.  Totally blew my mind as I have always been about the money when I negotiate a contract.  The times are changing, and businesses must change with them. Employees now are not always driven by big paycheques; they would rather have a better work / life balance and impactful work where they feel that they made a difference.

Now we can talk about employee perks.  This can be a touchy subject with some business owners as they often do not see the value that they bring to employees, but rather just the monthly cost.  In doing some research for this article by talking with other companies, they agreed that perks could attract new employees over higher pay.  Here is a list of the most common perks and the percentage of new employees that find the perks valuable as part of their contract negotiation.

Popular Employee Perks

During my quest to hire some new employees, I have to say that I learned a lot about what people are looking for when it comes to a job, and I have to say that what I found did surprise me.  I come from a culture of “get the big paycheque” and do whatever you have to make sure that it happens.  There was very little balance as I was chained to my phone during non-working hours, sending emails and quotes.  It was what we did to get the job done and get that paycheque with commissions.  As an employee you were not always appreciated, and to be honest, I really never expected to be.  Today’s culture is completely different and focuses on the value of the employee and empowering them for success.  After all, an appreciated employee is an engaged and productive employee.


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