Employee Engagement Is Key to a Winning Workplace
Employee Engagement Is Key to a Winning Workplaceback

What’s the secret to increasing revenues and increasing your workforce during hard times? Apparently, it’s having a great relationship with your employees.

Of Inc. Magazine’s and Winning Workplaces’ 2011 Top Small Company Workplaces finalists, 80% had increased revenues during 2010 and 88% of them had increased their workforces over the past three years. That’s job creation, just what the economy needs. And at a much higher rate than small businesses overall.

My favorite is Hopkins Printing which turned a significant loss in 2009 into a profit and a $10,000-per-employee boost in productivity by cross-training employees, allowing them more say in work processes and — I really like this! — letting employees write how-to manuals in their own words. Oh, yes: The company is employee-owned so productivity really matters to everyone.

Of course, there’s Projectline Services as well where an employee panel helps make decisions regarding benefits as well as offering suggestions about operational improvements.

And Namaste solar where every employee’s vote counts the same, from CEO to apprentice installer. The culture is so important that a sweet take-over deal was turned down in favor of staying small and employee-centric.

M & E Painting went from startup in 2004 to $2.1 million in 2010, again with an employee-centric strategy. Year-end sharing of the profits and a philosophy of “taking care of the people who take care of you.”

By the way, all of these companies fit the definition of socially responsible (or values-driven) businesses, even if they don’t use that label. Social responsibility is about just what M & E Painting said, “Taking care of the people who take care of you.”

It’s a tough choice. The finalists are enterprising, successful, and winning places to work no matter what the final vote.

Check them out. It’s the American Idol opportunity for small- to mid-size businesses. Vote for your favorite.

How do you take care of your employees? Have changes in employee engagement affected your bottom line?

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