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Check up on your company culture

November 14, 2019 By    

As the urgency of workforce development grows, propane retailers are thinking creatively about how to find and retain employees.

“You can’t get stuck in the mindset of doing things the way you’ve always done them,” says Nicole Sullivan of Anderson Propane Service Inc.

Taking inventory of how your company culture serves – or fails to serve – an effective recruitment and retention program is a step in the right direction.

“If you want to recruit a certain type of person, then make your company a great place to work for that kind of person,” notes Chip Cargas, founder and board chair of Cargas.

It’s deceptively simple advice: Where do you begin?

The following questions can help you evaluate your company culture and leverage it in a workforce development strategy:

What’s already great about your company or the industry? “Celebrate how you’re helping customers,” for instance, or “you might have flexibility on your hours,” says Cargas. Whatever they may be, make a list of qualities you’re proud of.

How do you deliver that message? A great culture cannot serve you if it’s not top-of-mind for potential recruits. Community outreach is key.

“Presenting yourself with a strong social media presence and a good website” is important for attracting young people to your business, says Sullivan. Other ideas include attending career fairs at schools and partnering with local organizations to connect with individuals who are looking for better wages.

How do you engage employees? Employees who care about the company are more likely to stay for the long term. Engagement can take many forms. At Cargas, for example, employees can pitch their ideas for improving the company at a forum called Ideas Unlimited. A profit-sharing plan and an employee ownership program – where any employee can become a shareholder – adds a financial stake to their efforts if they choose, explains Cargas.

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