Sustaining high growth can take a lot out of your team. Without specific strategies to engage employees on an ongoing basis, you will not be able to achieve your long-term goals. At eCornell, we are committed to finding and supporting those ideas that work, and the proof is in our nearly ten years of double-digit revenue growth with low employee turnover.
1. Be Open
This one is simple; the more people know, the more they can contribute to results. We have no closed-door offices. We hold bi-weekly all-hands company meetings where information from across all functional areas is shared. I share company financials (good or bad) on a monthly basis at our company meetings.
2. Be Connected
About one-third of our company works from home, and many more travel or telecommute part time. This provides a lot of flexibility for people to balance work and life. We’ve turned this potential challenge into an opportunity by investing in keeping people connected. We probably hold dozens of desktop video meetings throughout the day. Everyone can share goals, accomplishments, news, customer complaints, testimonials, and resolutions on Chatter by Salesforce, our internal messaging system. And of course, we live and die by Google Chat. We’ve had employees comment that they sometimes feel more connected when traveling than when in the office.
3. Be Celebrating
I learned long ago two important things: (1) you can never over-celebrate team and individual accomplishments and (2) there are way better people in our company than me to figure out how to do that. We announce all sales wins on Chatter, we celebrate major project milestones, and find ways to accomplish major life events for employees. To make this happen, we have our B.E.E.R team (Building Employee Engagement and Recognition team) that plan major company events through the year so the employees from across the company are deciding when and how to launch an event to help us blow off some steam.
4. Always Be Learning
Dozens of our employees have earned a Cornell Certificate through our employee learning program; so yes, we use our own product! But sometimes, we need to go above and beyond. We encourage all of our managers to set learning goals for each team member so that we are bringing new ideas and skills into the company all the time.
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