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Published On: April 9th, 2018|0 Comments|3.4 min read|671 words|

Think about all the frustrations that can come with hiring, managing and retaining a group of people (your team members). If frustrations aren’t bad enough, high turnover and inadequate handling of your staff can cost your business in a big way. Case in point: One study found that the average cost of a single hiring error in 2017 was almost $15,000, so you can imagine how that number can quickly snowball and turn into a disastrous amount the more hiring mistakes you make.

On the flip side, plenty of studies have found that employee retention (and therefore job satisfaction) benefits everyone in your business, from your clients to your workforce to your investors and beyond. Gallup Research even reports that employees who are “engaged and thriving” are 59% less likely to look for a job with a different organization in the next 12 months. Keeping your people with you means less money lost, a happier organization and all the intangible perks.

So, how do you keep your team intact, lower attrition and gather some valuable insights you can use to improve your business? We’ve found a very simple way and want to share it with you. Turns out, it’s all about the “pizza.”

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Making the Effort

Our CEO, Arnold Cobbaert, started a tradition 10 years ago. He travels around to each of our different locations and sits down with the teams over pizza for a good, old-fashioned conversation. This might not sound particularly remarkable at first glance, but considering we have seven different sites around the globe (and counting!), it takes a lot of effort, coordination and even expense to make this happen. But Arnold was insistent that gathering, over pizza, was crucial to building a positive relationship with the team, as well as a strong and cohesive culture. And he was right. Our Glassdoor approval rating is 100% for the CEO/management, and 80% of our employees would recommend us to their friends.

Part of the reason this makes such an impact on our team members is because it shows those who don’t work at headquarters that they’re valued, and improves their overall job satisfaction. Just because they’re geographically distant doesn’t mean their opinions matter less or their work is appreciated less. The fact that Arnold (and other members of the management team) show up at every one of our sites on a regular basis speaks volumes in and of itself.

Person-to-Person, Not Boss-to-Subordinate

Arnold chose pizza on purpose because, well, who doesn’t love pizza? But he also wanted to set the tone for these gatherings as casual and social, so this intentional choice was part of our strategy implementation. He wanted to make sure the team members he meets with feel comfortable and are able to connect person-to-person without feeling hierarchical constraints. So they gather, share stories, talk about their personal lives and, yes, discuss work. But the dynamic of meeting as fellow human beings goes a long way in establishing rapport and making it clear how valuable each person is on the team, regardless of title.

Insight into the Little Things (that are really the big things)

One of the biggest benefits of these pizza gatherings that we’ve found is how willing employees are to share feedback with Arnold and other members of the management team. If you want your employees to enjoy coming to work, put forward their best effort for you and stick around for the long haul, you might want to think about how you encourage communication between your executive team and the rest of the team. Whether it’s holding regular pizza lunches like Arnold does, or something totally different, your culture can be profoundly impacted for the better by taking the time (and effort) to connect with your team on a human-to-human level and take their feedback into consideration.

This has helped us create a strong, unified workforce, despite the fact that we’re spread around the globe – and it can help you too. To learn more, please contact us.

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