Talent, Culture and Team Building are key to your Company’s Success in 2015
For many of us, this time of year is a time that we use to reflect on the state of our company or law firm. This is the time that we review the year’s performance, set new goals, identify emerging challenges and complete any other planning that will allow for success in the coming year.
We are busy thinking about budgets, resources and strategies, there is one important factor that should not be ignored: talent. After all, there is no success without the right talent.
At Bellefield, and pretty much at any tech (or non-tech) company, we rely heavily on the talent of the people we currently have, want or need in order to meet company goals. Talent and people are at the center of the company’s strategic planning, so if we just treat them well and pay them generously, we’ll be set, right? Not really…
A common struggle we are all facing in the market right now is the ability to find (and keep!) amazing talent. In her article “Business Alert: #1 Way Top Talent Will Be Stolen From Your Company in 2015,” JT O’Donnell pointed to the transient nature of today’s employees “Here's something all employers need to know right now: according to an extensive talent trend survey in 2014, 75% of the talent out there are "passive" job seekers. They are actively employed and relatively happy in their jobs.” While many employees may not be actively pounding the pavement looking for new opportunities, they are always thinking about their next move and where that might take them. Smart companies, regardless of size, are realizing that the best talent and candidates are not looking to job boards for new opportunities, but yet to their network where company culture is messaged and broadcasted by its current employees.
The trend, known as employment branding, seems to be how companies like Zappos, Amazon, Google and Facebook, are innovating in the areas of recruiting and talent searching. Although, we cannot ignore the reality: our nation is facing a scarcity of talent (aka “skills gap”). In August, the Department of Labor data showed about 9.6 million people were out of work, while about 4.8 million jobs went unfilled.
It is predicted that by 2018, there could be 2.4 million unfilled STEM jobs. While jobs overall are expected to grow just shy of 10 percent by 2018, STEM jobs are predicted to grow by 17 percent. More than half of this growth will be made up of computer careers, and more than a quarter will be engineers and technicians.
Some argue that the root of the issue is education and that we are not encouraging more people to go for STEM careers. However, there is more to it than that: only ten percent of students who earn a Bachelor’s Degree within a STEM major actually go on to work in STEM after college.
Let’s Create an Environment Where People Want to Work
We cannot talk about attracting and retaining talent without talking about the “Culture” in the workplace. At Bellefield, we believe that creating and sustaining a great culture is the key to keeping the talent that we have, as well as bringing on new team members. Our focus on culture allows us to in turn create great products and offer stellar service, which ultimately builds a great company.
Culture is not built overnight, but instead by living and breathing the following principles over time:
- Work with a purpose: what you do makes a difference.
- Take ownership and responsibility.
- Think independently.
- Take controlled risks. Making mistakes is ok.
- Provide constructive and motivating feedback.
- Believe in leadership.
- Have fun!
Principles in Action: Our Holiday Party
This year, we decided to break away from the “classic” company holiday party. It’s safe to say that our significant others weren’t upset that we didn’t drag them out to a club or restaurant to make awkward small talk with people they don’t know, so we scored some extra points at home.
Instead, we decided to do something that we all would (genuinely) enjoy, that would also build bonds and closeness outside of the standard workplace setting. For these reasons, we decided to surprise all our employees with a limo ride to a prestigious cooking school in Pittsburgh!
Warming up with a glass of champagne, we were divided into teams. Each team was provided with a kitchen and list of ingredients, to prepare several dishes for one Bellefield dinner.
We rocked green Bellefield aprons and pretended to be food channel stars (we all need our moment, don’t we?). Working together as teams, we coordinated the preparation of all our dishes – showing our true colors in the kitchen.
It was one of the best work experiences, and above all, we were happy having fun and enjoyed our holiday celebration together as a team.
Walk the Walk, Don’t Just Talk the Talk
The point here is that building a culture where the best talent wants to work is more than pulling a dusty management book off the shelf or bringing a foosball table into the conference room. It’s about sincerely creating an environment where people want to work, based on the principles above. Once you master this, the rest falls into place.
We want to hear from you. How do you define a great company culture?