One of the primary reasons I was drawn to Nexight Group was the positive energy and dedication I felt from its employees when I visited the office. The casual, fun, and stimulating atmosphere resonated through the workplace, and I wanted to be part of it.
I’m not alone in placing a lot of importance on company culture. Research shows that over 95 percent of job candidates value culture over compensation. However, only one-third of employees are engaged in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work, according to a Gallup poll. Disengagement could be costing the U.S. $450 to $550 billion in lost productivity each year.
At Nexight, workplace culture is built into our brand. We strive to create a place where smart and creative people want to spend a career working on hard and important problems. Here are four ways we nurture our workplace culture and keep employees invested in the company:
- Training: Ross Brindle, Nexight’s Executive Vice President, recently wrote about our new training program Nexight Academy. It focuses on giving each person on Nexight’s staff the technical, business, and people skills needed to become a self-sufficient consulting entrepreneur. As Ross stated, we align our business with Richard Branson’s famous quote: “Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”
- Flexibility: Nexight trusts its employees to balance individual needs with client and team demands, allowing employees to create the work-life balance (see Ross’s blog post) that works best for them. Nexight provides the tools for employees to be productive in a flexible environment, such as laptop computers, webcams, and Internet hotspots. This enables some of our employees to telecommute part time or full time, while others stick to a more traditional schedule.
- Problem Solving: Nexight encourages its employees to creatively solve workplace problems and to increase their involvement with the company in meaningful ways. For example, staff members started compost collection in the kitchen to reduce the company’s waste, and another employee encouraged Nexight to install a light therapy lamp in the winter to boost productivity. These opportunities foster collaboration and help employees build a more personal connection to their workplace.
- Social Activities: Studies have shown that meaningful workplace relationships foster productivity. Our Facebook page is stocked with food photos from Waffle Wednesdays and monthly potlucks, opportunities for our staff to form more personal connections with one another. Informal brown bag lunch meetings allow employees to teach others about their interests outside of work — such as beer brewing and glass blowing — while also strengthening work-related skills such as public speaking and writing. These informal and laid back events facilitate team building and collaboration.
I’m looking forward to seeing how the company’s culture continues to develop, and also to growing professionally in a collaborative and productive environment.