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Empowering Companies to Go the Extra Mile

As simple as it sounds, empowering employees to go the extra mile can be complicated. It takes a lot of work–at least in the beginning. As a company, your priorities need to be straight to get this right.

At CompanyCam, we start empowering employees from their first interview. We take the hiring process very seriously, because hiring the right people is key. Being intentional from the get-go establishes a company-wide belief that everyone matters and is there for a reason. At work, employees need to be viewed as people first, employees second.

Keep in mind that your coworkers and employees have a life outside of work, and they won’t be working at your company forever. Work should not take up all of your energy either. You should still have enough energy to give to your #1 priorities: family and friends. Work, the company culture, and coworkers/managers should add to our lives! For your employees, this added value will fuel their desire to go the extra mile.

Follow along below for our employee empowerment ideas.

Healthy culture

Establishing a healthy work culture inspires employees to go the extra mile. When employees know their personal limits, where they stand in the company, and how coworkers perceive failure, a thriving culture will be a natural result. This environment leads to content employees who will instinctively look for ways to surpass expectations.

An influential component of establishing a healthy culture is the company’s stance on and general awareness of mental health. Keeping mental health at the forefront of company culture makes a lasting impact. We have seen this firsthand here at CompanyCam.

Being open to conversations about mental health positively impacts an employee’s ability to do their best work. There is space for struggling and room for honesty. When leading a team or interacting with coworkers, remember their whole person. They are more than what they do or produce from 9am to 5pm. Acknowledging that can be incredibly impactful to employees.

Company culture is in the hands of individual employees. CompanyCam has tripled in size over the last two years, and we’ve seen culture changes take place because of it. Company culture isn’t static–it moves as the community grows, adapts, and expands. Producing a healthy culture is the responsibility of each employee. The business sets the standards, and the executive team should set the pace. But each team should have a hand in creating positive energy within the workplace.

For example, if the marketing team starts to gossip, what’s to say the sales team won’t chime in? And then the admins, and then the contractors? Toxic work culture and negative energy can spread like wildfire. But when employees are individually motivated to pursue a positive, uplifting, healthy work environment, the toxic flames go out.

Experiencing healthy work culture supports the whole person. Empowering employees to engage in productive conversations, invest in their coworkers as humans, and lift each other up on the daily has a lasting impact on people. Going the extra mile won’t seem like a chore when you’re enthusiastic to give back and participate. Employees are more likely to feel that way if they are active members of a healthy environment.

Although it comes down to one-on-one interactions and relationships, there are practical (and fun) ways to get the company involved in promoting a wholesome culture and empowering them to go the extra mile. And let’s not forget: starting a job during a pandemic has been a struggle. Show double grace to those troopers.

Some things we do at CompanyCam are giving out core value awards, providing a health budget for gym memberships, actively conversing about mental health in our #mental-health slack channel, offering bootcamp (a free bi-monthly workout class), and openly addressing team project failures with dignity and hope.

Rewarding reached goals

Reaching goals is only possible when you’ve set goals–so, setting long-term, short-term, company-wide, and team-based goals is the first step. All goals need to be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. These goals direct departments and teams towards growth and success–be sure your executive team thinks them through thoroughly.

At CompanyCam we strive for truth and transparency in everything we do: our app, culture, hiring process, team meetings, etc. So when it comes to setting and conveying company goals to all employees, being truthful and transparent plays a big role.

Explain and inform employees about the company goals. Why did the exec team pick these goals and not others? How and why those particular numbers? What is the business decision behind the goals? Answer these questions for your employees.

Tell your teams specifically how they impact the goals. Get their input and provide space for them to speak up! Encouraging employees to be actively involved and invested in achieving goals increases their extra-mile mentality.

Once the goals are reached, celebrate! Celebrate religiously. Knowing there is an office party (no matter how big or small) at the end of each quarter because of the goals THEY reached will push them a little harder–in the best way. They’ll have skin in the game. Being involved in setting goals, pursuing them, and celebrating their achievement empowers employees to accomplish more with greater efficiency.

Here’s a few creative, easy, cheap ways to acknowledge and reward employees: set a weekly reminder to write a coworker shout-out in a company-wide communication outlet. Tell the company you are proud of so-and-so because of their hard work on said project. This repeated (and yet still genuine) positive-reinforcement cycle will show employees that hard work does not go unseen, empowering them to own their part of the company goals.

Throw a party, give a raise!

Similar to rewarding achieved goals–don’t forget to celebrate in general, be it personal or professional milestones. Celebrate both new employees and others taking off to their next adventure! And celebrate along the way. Even silly things, like International Boss’s Day or the CEO starting the Keto diet!

Here are a few practical ways to celebrate individuals or the company as a whole:

  1. Offer competitive salaries
  2. Remember to wish employees a ‘Happy Birthday’
  3. Provide a clear growth/career development plans
  4. Give opportunities to try out new roles within the company
  5. Give promotions
  6. Hand out company awards
  7. Order pizza on Friday

Milestones are worth the time to stop, reflect, and acknowledge how far we’ve come. Call out the fact that your company couldn’t do this without everyone. Make sure employees realize that what THEY are contributing to the company is valued and important, no matter their job title.

Provide growth opportunities

Employees are empowered when they understand themselves, feel safe in their work environment, and are inspired to grow. Offer employees opportunities to do just that! Webinars, books, online courses, conferences–there are so many options.

Mentorship and accountability is an area worth your investment, too. Mentorship is an effective (and personal) growth opportunity.

At CompanyCam, management uses the platform OfficeVibe to survey employees. The survey topics range from benefit packages to snack preferences for the office. Employees are able to tell leadership and managers how they really feel anonymously. Don’t assume you know what your employees want! You’ll be surprised.

Gathering those insights and reading the unfiltered options will uncover where your company needs attention and where the growth spots may be. You’ll be able to identify what is actually helpful for your employees and what adjustments need to be made.

CompanyCam also uses Lattice to document employee growth and review opportunities. A biannual employee review is the appropriate environment to inspire and challenge employees to grow outside of their comfort zone. This is direct empowerment that will prove to be fruitful, particularly if your company is encouraging individual growth as a whole.

Check in on each other

As mentioned earlier, one-to-one interactions within a company are essential for a healthy work culture. Checking in on one another frequently is the most practical way of building trust and empowering each other.

Here are a few creative ideas on how to check in and encourage your coworker:

  1. Take them on a quick coffee run
  2. Slack them and ask how they are doing
  3. Set up a brief Zoom meeting

It’s as simple as this: you won’t know how to help if you don’t ask. And it goes both ways: others won’t know how to help you if you are closed off, too. But the company is ultimately responsible for creating a space where it’s safe to ask for help.

The American society celebrates over-working. Businesses need leaders who live out a healthy work-life balance. Every company needs leaders who model this! Turn off your notifications, take a mental health day, go on a vacation! Set an example that work is not everything.

Checking in on each other and being honest when you need a break is important. You’ll have a better gauge on what is achievable in your team and the boundaries you need to set. Companies can achieve a lot even with healthy boundaries!

So, does it work?

From our experience, yes–it works. It works very well. CompanyCam has almost tripled in size over the last two years, all the while maintaining an incredibly low turnover rate– even during a pandemic!

Having a health budget, offering bootcamp, engaging in a mental health channel–all cool things, but ultimately it comes down to one simple concept: treat people like adults.

Your company should be a place where people want to work. Courtney, our Partnership Manager here at CompanyCam says her favorite part of working at CompanyCam is “the work culture is second to none.” And she’s stuck around for three years, so we believe her!

Sulma, our bilingual customer support representative, says “I’ve never worked at a company that validates you as a human/employee. My thoughts and ideas are always welcomed at CompanyCam and it’s so refreshing to be heard.” Listen to your employees! It will pay off, we promise.

If people have a good experience learning, growing, celebrating, and contributing, and they feel appreciated along the way at your company–employee empowerment will be established. And they will willingly go the extra mile.

Company Information

CompanyCam is a photo-based solution created for contractors, by contractors. Users can take unlimited photos– which are location and time-stamped, sent to the cloud, and stored securely. Every photo is organized by project and instantly available to your team, allowing you to see what’s going on anytime, anywhere.

Micki Parks

(author of the blog)-
Micki Parks is CompanyCam’s Content Strategist, Micki spends her time managing CompanyCam’s social media accounts, creating blog content, writing the newsletter, crafting the content strategy, and helping out with customer outreach. She loves her job and feels empowered to go the extra mile every day!