Part 2: Ignite your Culture – How to Create a People Centered Business

A happy workforce is good for business. That translates to an environment where employees are inspired – where people WANT to make a difference. In this people-centered paradigm, strategists are looking beyond questions like “how can we be profitable?” Instead, they’re asking questions like “how can we be a great place to work?”

Companies that embrace the great-place-to-work model are at a competitive advantage in the war for talent. The best candidates are seeking those companies out. That’s making it more imperative for other aggressive companies to adopt that model as a key business goal.

What steps can a company take to be a great place to work? It starts with understanding key components of workplace satisfaction.

Employee engagement – companies with top-to-bottom engagement are more productive and perform better financially.  Engagement means staff are passionate and positive about what they do, and feel aligned with the company mission and goals.

Transparency – this came up as the #1 factor in a 2013 survey by Tinypulse. Open communication is key. The more employees feel connected with management, coworkers and work teams, the happier and more engaged they are.

Appreciation – being recognized for their work came out #1 in a huge Boston Consulting Group survey of over 200,000 people from around the world.

Other factors like compensation and company stability ranked high also, but focusing on the 3 above guides us to a key understanding: that a culture with open, positive communication can lead directly to a better workplace.

Better Understanding, Better Tools, Creating Positive Habits

The people-focused approach is rich in engagement, transparency, communication and appreciation. The more a business can systematize these values, making them part of daily interactions and processes, the more they become integrated into company culture. It’s one thing to have a mission statement on the masthead – it’s another thing to live it every day.

How can a company make its core values a daily habit for employees? The process of discovery leads, fundamentally, to conversation. People are social creatures by nature: we need to talk to each other. Open dialogue between people plays a part, and so does transparent information exchange as a business process. Turning values into habits means communicating in regular, ongoing ways, not just during staff meeting and performance reviews.

In business, that includes the tools we use and how we use them. Interactive systems like project management software, teleconferencing, email, calendaring, shared drives and other resources can all be used to open up regular communication. New business software platforms are also emerging, focused on getting to the unity and clarity of purpose that keep employees engaged.

People thrive in a business environment where they understand the value of their contribution. Difference makers can be inspired simply by knowing that they DO make a difference – it creates a feedback loop of confidence. They know where they fit into the big picture. A company with transparent, appreciative culture – plus the tools and practices to keep their goals front-and-center every day – is well on its way to fostering a great working environment. That inspires everyone to step up and say “I can do that,” here’s how it fits, and here’s how it’s going to make a difference to the bottom line.


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Cloning your key staff


Every entrepreneur has at some point wished they could ‘clone’ their best team members. Faced with mounting challenges, they’ve muttered to themselves something along the lines of: “If only I could find someone else like Jane – she just gets it.”

Not literally clone Jane, but mirroring her performance and approach. The ‘chosen few’ are often just that – few. Owners prize employees who are fully engaged with the culture, committed to the mission, delivering against their goals and sharing the journey. Replicating that approach is key to scaling the business. Continue reading “Cloning your key staff”

Managing Millennials – Balancing Control with Autonomy

Managers are bombarded by confusing advice about the wants and needs of millennials. Already the largest working generation, the 54m Americans between 18 and 34 represent tremendous potential for organizations. They tend to be well adapted to change, technologically savvy, and poised to unleash innovation. But as a manager, how do we successfully motivate this group to maximize satisfaction and opportunity for both the individual, manager and business? Millennials want feedback, but how often and how do you know it’s constructive? How do you match a need for control with a desire for autonomy?

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HR: 5 Human Resources Compliance Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

Welcome to the latest Options4Growth blog! We’re your go-to source for all topics related to  HR compliance and so much more.

It’s easy for small and mid-sized organizations to focus so much attention on day-to-day business issues that they forget to keep tabs on an area that could be a serious and costly liability – human resources compliance. Small business owners may not have the resources to properly dedicate to all of the issues involved with human resources compliance, but it doesn’t mean they’re any less liable for them. Let’s have a look at some of the top compliance-related issues companies may face.

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Options4Growth is More Than Just an HR Company

When we (Kirsti Tcherkoyan and Jill Pappenheimer, co-founders) started Options4Growth two years ago, we began with the shared vision to support small to mid-sized companies with their growth thoughtfully, and to build our own great company for career parents to be a part of. In keeping with that vision today, we continue to successfully support starts-up’s and growing organizations with attentive, strategic pursuit of growth. We love the work that we do, the companies and people we are able to support in the process.

Just as important to us, is our desire and aspiration to support women and children through our efforts with non-profit organizations. Kirsti will be traveling to Kenya this week to work with the Ray of Hope Foundation, eMentoring Africa and Youth Banner, to provide training to 50 women on much needed business skills and ensure a small group of children are receiving the best possible education available.

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HR Consulting: Top 5 Human Resources Trends

Welcome to the latest Options4Growth blog! We’re your go-to source for all topics related to HR consulting and so much more.

Despite the rules and regulations that govern the HR industry, Human Resource professionals are constantly finding new ways to better themselves, their companies and the employees they serve. While all HR trends may not suit every company or type of business, it’s important to note how other industry professionals face their day-to-day challenges. We can learn a lot from watching our colleagues, even if we strike down a path of our own. Check out some of the top, current HR trends and see if you’re ready to jump on the bandwagon.

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HR Advice: 5 Best Ways to Attract and Retain Top Employees Through Benefits

Welcome to the latest Options4Growth blog! We’re your go-to source for all topics related to Human Resources.

As a business owner, you want to attract and retain top employees to help manage and run your company. But how do you entice that promising prospect over to your team? Salary is a good starting point, but it’s often not the top (or, certainly, only) consideration a job candidate will have when making his or her decision. The employee services and benefits offered by an organization can make all the difference – not only in enticing new employees, but also in keeping your current ones happy and working hard. Here are some of the best employee services and benefits around, including a few non-traditional ones that may inspire you to get creative with some new benefits of your own:

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HR Services: Top 4 Reasons You Should Incorporate Social Media into Your Business Strategy

Welcome to the latest Options4Growth blog! We’re your go-to source for all topics related to HR services, strategic growth advising and so much more.

Social media has changed the way we communicate. It’s here to stay, and for good reason – when used properly, social media offers a host of benefits to its users. Human Resource professionals and executives are no exception – in fact, they’re the ones who stand to gain the most from social media when applied to the business world. It also comes with its share of challenges, which companies may face whether or not they want to deal with social media. So be proactive and prepare a social media policy for your organization. Here are a few suggestions top recommendations on how to make social media work for you and your organization:

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