How to be a great employer.
What does it mean to be a greater employer?
As a leader, nothing matters more than my team. That’s why at Quantum Metric, we put people at the heart of everything we do. This is what informs our technology, our work with customers, but most importantly, it informs how we build and grow our organization.
At Quantum Metric, we have six company objectives. Sure, business goals and revenue targets are important, but what matters the most to me is our first company objective: “Happy People, and Healthy and Diverse Culture.” It’s what guides the investments we choose, our partnerships and our long-term company strategy.
I’m proud to say our investments have helped us to continue to meet that objective. Last week, we received the designation from Forbes as one of America’s Best Startup Employers for 2022.
We earn recognitions like these not just by the goals we set for ourselves and our company culture, but the actions we take. Every company needs to have conversations about benefits and salaries. Here at Quantum Metric, we talk about that too, but we also show up for each other everyday.
But what does that look like for organizations today? What does it mean to be a great employer or a great place to work?
It’s about feeling seen and, yes, loved.
Many of us were taught to completely separate our work and home lives. That the way we relate to our coworkers shouldn’t have the warmth we feel with our friends and family outside of work.
What a terrible proposition. Why would we put that type of restriction on ourselves when we spend the majority of our waking hours each week at work?
I love my family and friends, and I also love my team at Quantum Metric. Sure, they are different types of love, but they all come from the same place. Valuing my team means caring about their well-being, including their lives outside of work. I want my team members to step off a call when their daughter loses her first tooth, or reschedule a meeting to [example]. Watching my team members experience these moments of joy are what matter most.
A company’s culture starts at the top and works its way down. Over the years, I’ve been proud to see these values reflected in my team’s actions.
When an employee lost a close family member a few years back, the whole team was there to help. Without hesitating, everyone on that person’s team pulled extra weight so their grieving team member could jump on an international flight to attend the funeral and not worry about work. She didn’t need to check her emails or respond to questions on Slack. The team took care of it all.
Putting people first is how you build trust within your organization and authentic relationships with your teams.
Focus on creating an environment where employees want to come to work. Where they see their colleagues as friends and their leaders as down-to-earth people who don’t take themselves too seriously. Where love, joy and fun are core parts of the workday.
The world is changing, and we need new solutions to how we approach our work and non-work balance.
The great resignation has changed how many leaders think about work/life balance. No employees should ever work so much to the point that they burn out. In our work lives, we should aspire to “do” what we love, but also have time for rest.
That’s why we’ve introduced the Quantum Recharge Program, which grants employees a sabbatical after 3 years where we make them disconnect for 3 weeks, with no access to email or slack. The only thing I want to see from my team after they return from recharge is pictures showing how much fun they had on their time off.
Here are some other tips for how to be a great employer.
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have all the answers. No one does.
But after watching Quantum Metric triple our headcount in just 2 years, I have learned some lessons on how to be a great employer that I’d love to share.
- Flexibility is key. As a remote-first company, we empower our employees to work from wherever they want to work.
- Create open channels of communication. When your employees feel comfortable being vulnerable, they are more likely to offer helpful feedback.
- Honesty is the best policy. We keep our team up to date on our wins and losses.
- Offer opportunities for employees to learn and grow. Your team should feel empowered to take courses, learn new skills on the job, and test out new ideas.
- Instill a strong sense of accountability in your team. People pursue their passions when they have ownership over their projects.