by Mark Lusky
Austin, TX-based SpareFoot, online self-storage marketplace, is an evolving advertisement for how to treat employees-as well as customers, suppliers and other self-storage stakeholders. This year, the Austin Business Journal named SpareFoot one of its 20 finalists in its "Best Place to Work in Austin among Midsize Employers (51-250 employees)" category.
According to a wire distribution press release, the designation criteria included, "team effectiveness, retention risk, alignment with goals, people practices, individual contributions, manager effectiveness, trust in senior leaders, trust with co-workers, feeling valued and work engagement. Each category was measured by employee satisfaction through confidential surveys conducted by Quantum Workplace."
Success stories on the Quantum Workspace website provide an excellent roadmap to self-storage owners wanting to retain good people and enhance revenues along the way. According to the site, "Quantum Workplace delivers smart tools for achieving and recognizing workplace awesomeness...Quantum Workplace partners with organizations nationwide to increase client loyalty and financial success by making work more effective and enjoyable to your most valuable resource-your people."
While self-storage workforces vary from a couple of employees on up to thousands across nationwide chain operators, the principles of success can apply to any size employee group. Here are a few excerpts from companies that have utilized the Quantum Workspace program:
Happy employees are a powerful, proven sales tool. "It's no surprise to Boys and Girls Club that a happy workforce leads to good business. 'We went from a $1.4 million agency to almost tripling our budget and workforce,' said the leader of the nonprofit."
"Employees Come First at ActivEngage, Inc....'If our employees are willing to recommend us and rave about their work environment, that enthusiasm will be recognized by our customers and prospects.' Kelly Holloway, Marketing Manager."
Happy employees help make happy customers. "GlobalSCAPE Knows the Key to Happy Customers is Happy Employees...'We believe that taking care of our employees affects the interactions they have with each and every one of our customers.' Chantelle Allan, HRIS Analyst."
Keeping employees happy and engaged keeps them with you, reinforcing continuity and eliminating the potentially expensive need to rehire and retrain. "Goodwill of Central Arizona...'[Quantum Workplace's detailed reports] gave us the perspective and the momentum we needed to identify actions that align to our core values, as well as our strategies for growth, higher retention, and greater employee engagement.'...Nobu Hara, Senior Vice President of Human Capital."
Empowered, positive employees are critical to successful employee recruitment. "Positive Corporate Culture Leads to Low Turnover and Successful Recruitment for Johanson & Yau [Accountancy Corporation]."
Self-storage owners/operators interested in achieving these results can hire a firm like Quantum to help make it happen and/or follow these simple common-sense steps:
1. Treat employees the way you want to be treated;
2. In order for employees to value you, you have to show that you value them;
3. To achieve loyalty, show loyalty both in your words and actions;
4. Acknowledge employees early and often with everything ranging from simple "thank-you's" to monetary rewards;
5. Provide and encourage fun in the workplace. Joyous people are naturally more productive and positive than downtrodden ones;
6. Establish and encourage a safe, open-door employee policy where employees can share concerns and ideas freely and without fear of punishment.