After watching the coolest & most bromantic themed ‘work at’ YouTube video, I asked RevZilla (think Zappos of the Motorcycle world) founder Anthony Bucci to explain to us readers how he measures the ROI of their family-oriented company culture.
But first, get your fist pumps ready, here is their rad video (cue Scarface theme song from ’83):
So let’s get to know Anthony:
Whether you’re a boot-strapped start-up or a Fortune-500 agency, one of the most important aspects of running a successful organization is employee happiness. Those who are on the ground, doing the grunt work, hustling so that your product or service gets out on the market quickly and efficiently are the cogs in your machine, and they need to be well oiled.
Organizational culture is directly related to what your brand represents. Southwest Airlines, Zappos, and Dealer Dot Com are a few examples of top businesses to work for in the USA. Each involves a family oriented culture, with large cookouts in the summer and fun group trips in winter months. It is these types of social rewards that keep employees happy, which results in dedication and hard work. We strive every day to put RevZilla.com right up there with them.
In our vernacular, we express this with Two-Wheel Tuesdays (outdoor eat-outs at a local diner) and other events like Go-Karts and Paintball throughout the year. Finding the pulse of your employees, whether it be by age group, common interests, or local connections, will shed light on what type of events will get them revved up. Go-Karts might not be manageable for a large corporation just like a evening at the orchestra is too passive a choice for us.
Measuring the happiness of your employees can be challenging. First off, it depends on a lot of honesty. There are a multitude of survey websites out there where you sign up and construct your own questionnaire. These can be specifically tailored to your industry, and sent out through the company email. These kinds of surveys are easy to set up, but don’t always result in the best return rate. Surveys can be time consuming, many of your workers might not have the ability to complete one. Some don’t always take the survey seriously, clicking just to get through it and go back to their project or assignment. Then, you need to measure the results, which is time consuming for you or your HR reps.
We see a mixture of soft and hard ROI via continued focus on RevZilla’s culture. Lower turnover directly translates into cost savings surrounding hiring, training and mis-hire replacement. Softer ROI is achieved through increased project ownership at varying employee levels. A consistent undertone of excellence which could be construed as positive peer pressure also affords a return.
The best way to achieve consistent results using an employee survey is by sending out regular (not too often!) and SHORT surveys to employees, perhaps after big news is announced or following a company event. Try for five to six questions at the most, focusing on how they feel an event or announcement was received, and what could be done to make it better. Generally, the shorter the survey, the better the return rate. Don’t be afraid to fire off a single question every now and then! You might be surprised with how much feedback this inspires.
Well not so much an app, but there are more specific ways to see how your employees feel about the values an organization is portraying to the outside world. A lot of people swear by the Net Promoter Score, or NPS. This was designed to measure client recommendations of a product or service to others. NPS research has shown that companies with above average profit growth had customers who consistently responded with high marks to one question: “How likely are you to recommend our product or service to a friend or colleague?”
The NPS method can be altered and used to measure the company culture, as seen in the eyes of your employees. One example is: “On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to recommend working at this company to a family member or friend?”
I have also seen Survey Monkey used effectively. This service allows you to quickly type out a question and send it, including follow ups, via the corporate email. Having one answer per employee makes rating success quite efficient.
At our current size, RevZilla.com is able to measure culture more organically, with open-door policies and constant, direct communication. This is a golden opportunity, but unfortunately won’t last forever, as long as we continue to sell more Arai helmets and leather motorcycle jackets. As we grow, it is important to recognize the need to scale these lines of communication by means of the above tools, or other creative methods.
The best way to improve how your employees feel about coming to work is by listening. People have suggestions, and some will tell them to HR people directly. Others might ask for privacy or anonymity, which you should guarantee up front, whether through one of the surveys or even before a face to face meeting. Pay attention to your employee’s needs and see how you can accommodate a more value-driven business, one that does not just worry about revenue. If your biggest product is profit, then you are likely not spending the time (and money) to lay the foundations for this kind of life-changing culture.
A few times we have found a great person who was not a great culture fit. We sold ourselves on the idea that they could figure it out, but eventually the writing was on the wall – employees either match the family culture or they don’t.
There’s no denying it – happy employees who are excited to be a part of a growing family will continue to produce quality work. Measuring their success is the not-so-secret-sauce that will bring your revenue stream past its goal for years to come.
This article was written by Anthony Bucci, co-founder of www.RevZilla.com, which sells motorcycle apparel, parts and accessories. In addition, RevZilla has a strong focus on educating its customers while maintaining a strong company culture.