Putting Our Employees First
Realizing that engaged employees significantly outperform their counterparts, organizations in the last few years have made culture and employee engagement a central focal point. Products, technologies and strategies can all contribute to a company’s performance, all of which however can easily be mimicked by the competition over time. As Herb Kelleher of Southwest famously stated “Everything in our strategy our competitors could copy tomorrow, but they can't copy the culture”.
According to a study done by Dale Carnegie, 26% of the workforce is disengaged, meaning they hate their jobs, or at best, are not very enthusiastic about their jobs. At Percussion, we want our people to look forward to coming to work and love what they do. What’s the point of coming to work every day unhappy and dreading the day ahead? To really understand how our employees are doing, we collect daily real-time feedback that we can then proactively act on. We listen to our customers every day to improve our product, so why not listen to our employees to help us improve our workplace and culture? Over the last year, we implemented many things to make the work lives of our people better:
Everyone has a career path: Every employee has a short-term and long-term career development plan at Percussion. Our managers work with every employee to create a clear path that allows them to set goals with potential growth. We want our employees to learn something new every day and love to promote employees from within!
Employees understand how their goals fit into the bigger picture: We link our individual goals to our organizational goals using a very transparent goal setting system called Objective and Key Results. We set quarterly goals for the company, departments and individuals that all tie together. This helps us understand what each other’s goals are and develops a sense of shared responsibility so we can help each other out when needed. Also, it’s great to see how much each and everyone’s work makes a difference in the big picture!
We get better with honest and constructive feedback: We got rid of the yearly performance evaluations and instead, our managers check in with us on a quarterly basis. There is no rating, it’s all about the honest feedback and reflecting on what we have accomplished each quarter.
We set our own Core Values: We have 5 core values that were set by the team and are completely engrained within Percussion and each employee: ‘Fun Teams Inspire Commitment and Learning’. We live by them and also recruit new members based on these core values. We are a small team and it is important to us to work with people who share the same values.
Our work environment reflects our communication style: first of all, we got rid of our offices. We all sit out in the open with no cubes. Even our CEO Mike works alongside us, not behind a closed door. We also adopted Slack which most of our communication goes through. Everyone sees what is going on at all times. We celebrate our wins together and help each other when we struggle.
We always try to find ways to improve and make life better here at Percussion. We understand that our people are our biggest investment. We do not consider them as ‘resources’, but as individuals who will make Percussion a success (that’s why we also abandoned the word ‘Human Resources’ and adopted ‘People Strategy’ for our department instead). Company cultures continuously evolve and can change quickly if you don’t pay attention. That’s why we address culture every week in our leadership meeting and it will always be a central focus for us.