Chief Marketing Officer at ERP Maestro
Culture of Happiness: This Is How We Work
Recently, we kicked off our “How We Work” video series that highlights the culture and the people that make up ERP Maestro, because we believe both are the foundation for doing good work. Our videos were produced in conjunction with the announcement that our amazing company made it to the 2019 Florida Trends Best Companies to Work For list.
Creating a great place to work isn’t always easy. And, of course, it always comes down to people–attracting, engaging with, and retaining the right people who embody the values of the company, and, for us, who also want to play a part in developing a culture of happiness.
From the beginning, we set our sights on the development of our workplace culture in the same way we have sought to develop great products–because we know that a people-centric culture has everything to do with creating award-winning products and providing the best service.
However, what about this culture of happiness? How do you create it to begin with and how do you foster it over time? We embrace these guiding principles:
Attracting Happy, Can Do People
People make or break a culture, so we start from the beginning and look not only for top talent but also happy candidates that overcome barriers with a can do attitude. Happiness may be a subjective measure and not as easy to detect in the bigger quest to check off all of the skill qualification boxes. Here are a few of our tips to help spot happiness:
Have conversations not interviews. It’s not a waste of time to spend the first 10 minutes of an interview in casual conversation much like you were meeting a friend for the first time. This approach will help a candidate relax–and you, too. You can get a better feel for the interviewee’s personality in a relaxed dialogue than if you follow a list of scripted, direct questions. Interestingly, this sets the tone for the entire interview and much of what you want to learn about your applicant’s skills seems to flow effortlessly and more genuinely as you proceed.
Have genuine interest in the candidate’s “story.” What makes up their character? What drives them? A person is made up of the sum total of their past experiences and to understand them, is to understand their story. Starting chronologically, 2 to 3 positions, or 3, 5 or even 10 years back, then working forward chronologically, helps you understand their pains, struggles, lessons learned and overall, their character. We pick from their character the traits that we want to emulate and the ones that match our culture. We have not gotten it right every time, but we have certainly decreased the odds of mutual failure.
Your vibe attracts your tribe. If like attracts like, there’s a good chance happy people attract other happy people. Referrals made by existing happy employees can increase the chances of finding more happy employees.We award employee referrals for candidates who become new hires.
Observe both verbal and non-verbal communication. Smiles are indicative of happiness, but confidence is, too. Confident people are less worried about what people think, are willing to take chances even if they fail, tend to be honest regardless if their truthfulness reveals a flaw, can easily laugh at themselves, exhibit positivity, and won’t shirk looking you in the eye. Candidates who are highly confident are who they are and they ooze authenticity.
Conduct group interviews or working interviews. One way to gauge interaction with teams is through a group meeting on an actual project. A lunch interview with a team is another opportunity to assess people-relationship skills. Happy people tend to work more collaboratively, give praise to teammates generously, display optimism and excitement over ideas that aren’t their own, work with respect and have fun. In short, they have small egos and big hearts.
Keeping Happy People Happy
Retention of employees and maintaining a culture of happiness is much like keeping good customers. First, deliver on your promises. If one of your employer value propositions is a good culture, prove it. Any company can brag about culture but seeing is believing. An award-winning culture is almost tangible. It is certainly something you can see and experience in the way
people interact, treat one another and work together with cheerful energy. While there is a lot of advice for promoting happiness at work, the following are some of our favorites.
Encourage engagement. Make opportunities to engage more –for work and for fun. Use daily stand-ups as not just a way to come together and talk about work projects but also as a way to laugh, increase morale and build team camaraderie. Laughter and experiencing pleasure as a team can release endorphins and create a tighter bond between coworkers. Pure and simple, people like to be around other people who make them feel good.
Celebrate every win. Big or small, every accomplishment is valuable and appreciated. Ring the bell when a sale is made. Applaud and congratulate with emojis on internal communication platforms. Praise and recognition–just the tiniest thank you–goes a long way in protecting a culture of happiness.
Focus on the positive and keep cheering–even in the midst of failure. All companies go through tough times. Not every endeavor is a win. People make mistakes. Our motto is learn from it and keep going and keep growing. That attitude promotes a less stressful environment in which employees are encouraged to innovate, be creative and try new things.
Encourage workplace fun. Enough said. It’s a no-brainer. Create a workplace where people are comfortable laughing as they work. And, deliberately schedule time for pure play.
Not everyone whistles as they work at ERP Maestro, but the strum of a guitar and the tinkle on a piano keyboard during lunch or breaks is a common sound emitted from our culture of happiness. That’s just how we work.