Maintaining Employee Relationships

Maintaining Relationships Employee

I was attending the daily morning meeting at Underground Elephant when an employee was called up for a highlight. Andy had been given a job promotion and was asked to give a speech to inspire the rest of the staff. As he was telling everyone about how hard he had worked to get into his new found position he mentioned something that stood out to me: Andy said, “Working for a company the size of Underground Elephant (65 employees) offered a great opportunity.”

Through this realization Andy was able to build relationships and communicate with not only his equals, but the higher staff. The company culture, and values created a more collaborative work space.

It’s not every day that you have the CEO of your company taking the time to ask you what your interests are, and what career goals you have in mind. – Andrew Johnson

Andrew encouraged his peers through his speech to not only recognize, but take advantage of the opportunity presenting itself. With this advice I was inspired to look into the different ways that a company can encourage its employees to strive for not simply promotions and a raise, but for experience and skills that will take them on the path that will continuously build the career that they truly desire.

In my search I came across two concepts I had never heard of before: hosting exit interviews, versus hosting stay interviews. What’s the difference? An exit interview, according to Aaron Levy, the founder and CEO of Raise the Bar Consulting, is an interview held once an employee has already made the decision to leave. It’s meant to understand the employee’s reason for departure, and to help improve the organization. It’s a problem solving standpoint, but wouldn’t a problem preventing standpoint be a better alternative? Stay interviews on the other hand are meant to get to the root of what makes an employee want to keep working for you. This way you keep your key employees, and understand how they can become not only a better asset to your company, but a greater employee based on their desire to continuously gain the skills they are truly interested in acquiring.

There are plenty of reasons why an employee would want to become a part of a company. Their reason for staying however, is a bigger reflection of both the employee, and company’s values. Underground Elephant may be greatly known for its company culture, such as Thursday night kickball, Monday morning burritos, and the beautiful architecture, but it’s the things that people who don’t work for the company, and don’t see that make it a place worth sticking around. When I was welcomed into the herd I was asked to keep a journal where I would be able to keep track of my daily goals, and discuss areas of my position and training in which could could use some improvement. I was also informed that 60 days after my start date I would have a meeting with the head of human resources in order to discuss my performance, as well as my career goals. With this it was easy to see the time and effort that they were putting into keeping their employees happy and motivated.

Activities Outside the Office Improved My Job Performance

Outside the Workplace Job Performance

Working a 9-5 job can strain your social life, and affect job performance, mainly because for many the job goes far beyond those hours. So why would you want to spend what little free time you have with those same people you see everyday?

One of the initial qualities that drew me to Underground Elephant, is our unique culture. Underground Elephant prides itself for its ability to surpass typical expectations of companies when it comes to motivating employees. An example of this is UE’s sponsorship of fun activities outside the office hours. Besides occasions such as employee catered lunches and happy hours during work hours, we as part of the Underground Elephant herd have the chance to engage in company sponsored activities like Padres games, sports leagues, wine tastings and more.

At first I was skeptical to give up a piece of my weeknight/weekend; I had never worked for a company that has sponsored opportunities like these for their employees and that was a foreign concept. But now, after joining in on these activities, I know there are major benefits to my job performance behind participating (besides the genuine fun that is had).

Here are just three ways I have become a better coworker by attending these events:

I know fellow coworkers beyond a first name basis. If you ever want to get closer to someone, suffer through a 5k run through pits of mud. Plenty of memories to talk about later in the office, which has contributed to a more engaging work environment and more confidence to collaborate in cross department projects, and ultimately better job performance and new friends!

I’ve learned how to be a better team player. Seeing someone in one environment does not allow you to fully grasp how they operate. Put someone in a game like kickball to see their true leadership style reveal itself. Are they in a front and center role like pitcher? Or perhaps they play a more supportive role like left field? Something as simple as kickball has allowed me to better cater my communication with different coworkers.

I have a greater sense of pride for the company. In the 9-5 work environment it’s common to hear employees counting down the hours until the weekend, but here at Underground Elephant, it’s not uncommon to hear employees discussing the next kickball game or suggesting new, future activities to our culture team for employees to take part in. 

Take a chance and forfeit a night of Netflix binging to join in on your company’s weekly sports league, book club, or other social activity. Your company doesn’t have any events like these? Get one started! You too might find yourself benefiting from these events, and might even have a little fun as well.