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.