With both the highest employee happiness scores and the highest rate of peer-to-peer recognition in their industry, it’s safe to say that BlueGrace Logistics knows about employee engagement. President & CEO Bobby Harris talked with us about the organization and how they succeed at making their people happy.
1. Tell us about some of the great things you do in your workplace that keep employees engaged and energized.
Most important to having energized and engaged employees is to hire the right ones and manage out those that snuck in and don’t fit. We have a long list of things we do to make things fun, but much of it centers around freedom and trust. We feel everyone wants purpose and voice, and we have to be systematic and committed to finding ways to hear everyone and using their thoughts to help shape the company.
2. Tell us a little bit about what your company does and why employee engagement is so important to you.
We are a shipping company that helps businesses move their freight via technology. We believe everything we do starts with our employees and goes out from there. If we provide a fun, people-centered culture, our employees will be the best they can be; they create ideas and execute with passion. That gives us a tremendous advantage in the marketplace. Employee engagement via TINYpulse is the outlet that gives us access to the ideas of our employees.
3. How do you think peer-to-peer recognition has improved your employee engagement?
It has been a great help to our organization because it allows everyone to acknowledge the hard work of others. People like to help others, so this is nice because now someone who has been helped or seen an employee go above and beyond can provide a “Cheers” to their fellow employee. It essentially helps fuel the fire to keep the positive attitudes and hard work flowing. This has been one of our most popular features with our employees.
4. What tactics do you leverage to keep your team energized and motivated?
We have a Teammate of the Week that comes from nominations by leadership. They spin a wheel to win money and prizes up to $300 weekly. We have HUGE culture events at least once per month with food, drinks, games, etc. We have FREE BEER FRIDAY every Friday at 3 p.m. that allows everyone to enjoy a drink with their coworkers and wind down the week. We also sometimes put out quarterly goals that are applicable to the entire company. If we hit the goal, everyone receives a bonus. We keep music flowing and encourage guests to visit, which is a daily occurrence, and our people love the new faces.
5. When you think back to your time as a junior-level employee, what’s one of the best pieces of feedback you received from a manager?
Be personal and vulnerable with those you want to have a real relationship with. To this day, I still have almost every personal note written to me by a former boss; they always made an impact. Managers on up can easily be mistaken and are often intimidating to others; showing empathy and personal vulnerability goes a long way in getting great feedback from employees while creating lasting friendships.
Thanks to BlueGrace Logistics and Bobby for sharing their story! Keep an eye out for more interviews with TINYpulse award winners.