In Friday’s Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, ESP was once again quoted in the Fast50 Feature. Here’s how Bob Hildreth answered their questions:
1. Please tell us about at least one “best practice” that your company uses that helps set you apart from the competition. What is the one thing that you do over and over again that helps lead to your success?
In the fast-paced IT industry, too often the focus is only on technical skills and past work experience. We know the importance of that when it comes to hiring, but we also see value in understanding a candidate’s interpersonal and soft skills. We’ve made it a best practice to spend a significant amount of time getting to know a candidate. We want to have an in-depth understanding of their career goals, personalities, and work styles to ensure the best fit for their careers and their future employer.
2. Most companies have many “best practices.” Tell us about one that you have that is unique … something that your company developed on its own that was fairly unique when you started it.
For over 20 years, we’ve taken the entire staff off-site for a quarterly meeting where we share all the financial data, company statistics, and accomplishments of the quarter. It helps everyone in the company know how the company is doing and where we’re headed. We spend the other half of the meeting brainstorming new ideas for delivering a better service to our clients. Some of the best ideas come from someone unexpected—a marketing idea from our accountant, for example, or an idea about client development from our office manager. As a result, our employees express that they feel their input is valued, and it is.
3. Tell us about at least one “fun” practice that you do to keep employees engaged and happy in their work.
In our weekly staff meeting, we share the ‘best part of the week’, both personal and professional. The initial goal was to focus on positive successes and provide the opportunity for our staff to learn from their peers’ experiences. It was important to discuss the road blocks and challenges at work, but I felt it was equally important to emphasize what was going well in a down economy. Over time, people began to share more personal highlights as well, which helped the employees get to know one another and bond into a more cohesive team. Now, everyone shares one of each at our Monday morning staff meeting, which means our work week usually starts with a lot of laughter.
We’re always looking for ways to grow and improve our business, so we’re mulling over some of the other Fast50 companies’ good ideas. Check out the full article in the Business Journal by clicking here.