Talk down

Act on employee ideas. The most
important thing that you can
do when employees provide
ideas, suggestions and feedback is act on them as quickly
as you can. If someone gives
me a suggestion, I sit down
and I discuss it with my human
resources department, with my executive committee, and
we try to respond to it as
quickly as we possibly can.

Every Monday, we have a
rally with our entire staff, so it
gives me the opportunity to
talk about some of the ideas
that have been brought forth
by staff members and to either
say, ‘Hey, here is an idea. It
was a great idea; we’re going
to move forward in this direction,’ or, ‘This is something
that needs a little bit more

But acknowledging that we
are acting on these suggestions, ideas and best practices
is really the best way to show
these employees that, hey,
we’re listening, responding,
and we take that interaction
very seriously.

Create the standard for welcoming
When an employee
joins the organization, I send a
letter to their home welcoming
them but also encouraging
them to stop by my office to
share their ideas and thoughts
with me and best practices
from their previous place of

Obviously, the most important
thing for my staff is that they
feel comfortable approaching
me. If I were just to sit in my
office all day with my door
closed and they never saw me,
it would probably be very
intimidating for them.

I send out a good morning e-mail every day that welcomes
them to work. At least twice a
day, I walk the building and
greet every staff member that I
see in a casual way — which
helps them see that I care
about them and what they are
doing and also so that they
know I am here in case there
is anything they would like to

During our weekly staff rallies, I remind our staff that I
have an open-door policy.

And, from an employee’s perspective, whether you’re an
entry-level employee or an
employee that’s been here for
multiple years, you want to be
able to feel that you can effect
change in a company. If an
employee doesn’t feel like they
can effect change or make the
company that they’re working
for better by making suggestions, then it just becomes a job.

If a job becomes a 9-to-5er,
and people come in and they
do their job and leave and they
don’t really feel like they can
impact an organization, then
it’s tough for us not to have
turnover, it’s tough to build
that family feel within an

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