BrightBox is built on the backs of its employees and its clients. Part of keeping our clients happy is keeping our employees happy. When our employees are having a good day, they perform better for our clients. Business is largely based on the ability of people to connect and perform in a holistic way to create the best, most comprehensive service for anyone on the market or part of a potential market.
BrightBox wants our employees to remain creative and steadfast in their endeavors inside and outside the company:
-Our graphic designers have large, fully-equipped creative spaces in-house.
-Our writers often pound out press releases at local Bohemian coffee-shops.
-We talk to our staff members constantly, and brainstorm continuously throughout the week.
-Our sales staff is kept up to date with the latest communication components.
-Our founders speak to one another consistently about how to better help their employees.
In doing so, we get far better results in service to our customers.
Some of the steps we have taken have been so simple that even the average manager could easily master them. When BrightBox initially launched ShowBox Exhibits, BrightBox CEO Jason Arcemont put up large, awesome-looking posters of the company logo throughout the workspace and changed the energy of the workspace into a more energetic place. ShowBox is now cruising, and it’s in no small part due to this gesture and several others like it.
Great companies understand that employees need room to grow and flourish. Give your artists just a bit of space and they’ll make such spectacular content you’ll need to give them even more space to work with. Keep them shut away and you’ll cramp their style and their output.
Many of the best companies in the world offer that treatment:
-Google tells its engineers to spend 20% of their time on creative projects, lets employees bring dogs to work, has awesome on-site restaurants and covers massages.
-Starbucks offers all employees paid vacation and sick leave, subsidized health benefits, stock options and a 401(k) plan.
-MillerCoors employees in Milwaukee and Chicago both have awesome bars located on site so employees don’t have to go far for a happy hour with the freshest beer in the whole city.
And what do a techie, a barista and a brewer have in common?
They’re all employees with somewhat artistic jobs at awesome, successful companies.
Of course, you probably can’t afford an amusement park and Porsches for everyone from the President to the interns. What you can do is follow a few incredible simple steps to make life easier for everyone in the company.
#1 OFF DAYS
This one will seem obvious to some and absurd to others. We can hear it now:
“You want me to decrease the amount of man hours in my company? In THIS economy?”
Yes. If you are a company that hasn’t had a weekend since 2009, now is the time to take a few days. If you have done your job properly in creating a solid organization, your employees will want to work for you. If they’re overworked and underpaid, you will get what you pay for.
If you have the money and the space, consider getting a gym. If not, consider working out a deal for a discount with a local gym. Get the crew massages. For those that can’t do strenuous physical activity, offer them decent food options rather than a consistent option to run out and grab a to-go order of deep-fried bacon-wrapped shrimp-stuffed bon-bons. Encourage an atmosphere of physical comfort.
#3 GEOGRAPHIC FLEXIBLITY
Artists need to move. Sometimes, staying one place is the source of a creative block. If your salesman is making a one on one call and feels as though it would have a higher chance of success if it were made from a park bench down the street, tell him to go get it. If the artists are bringing home the bacon, play to their quirks and give them perks. Let them do their work where they please even if they can’t always do it when they please.
#4 GET PERSONAL
Well, not too personal. But get a little information about your people. They’re not robots. Humans usually have brothers, sisters, parents, children, friends, hobbies, interests, fears, goals… complex layers of daily occurrences that affect their careers for better or worse. Be there to assist if you can.
What is it that your employees really want? You tell us. You are the one who brought these people aboard and you will be the one who is in charge of keeping them.
If you run a comic book shop, your employees probably love comics and other comic-related gear. Hook them up.
If your employees work in a movie theater, you should give them free movies.
If your employees love sporting events, take them to a game.
Taking an office pool of your employees about what they would like would take as much or less time than it took you to read this blog post.