Dan Lifshutz | April 22, 2015
I don’t think I’m breaking any new ground as a leader when I say it’s a great feeling to see your company receive an award or be named to an industry “Best of” list. Who wouldn’t want to hear what they’re doing is working and that their organization is moving in the right direction? However, I can’t help but feel even prouder at times like this, when that recognition comes about thanks to the words of our own employees.
Recently Arraya was named as one of the best places to work in the Philadelphia area. We ranked 23rd in the small business category. Making the list and Arraya’s ranking were both based on the results of WorkplaceDynamics’ annual survey, which our team participated in towards the end of last year.
The votes were kept anonymous so employees wouldn’t feel pressured to say one thing or another. It was important for everyone to know they could be candid and forthcoming. That way we’d get a true picture of what it was like to work at Arraya.
Surveys like this one speak directly to Arraya’s core mission. Right from the company’s very beginning, the vision my business partner, David Bakker, and I had was to blend unmatched technical expertise with an emphasis on the customer experience. Many companies excel at one or the other, but few have mastered both.
We knew that no employee was going to be inspired to go the extra mile to deliver that outstanding experience for customers if he or she didn’t truly love coming into work each day. So we sought to create an open and engaging work environment. And we don’t just say it’s open and engaging. We make sure to act on it.
For example, we encourage employees to question how things are done and share their opinions. If they have an idea for a new or potentially better way to solve a customer’s problem, we allow them to explore it further. We want to make sure the answer to “Why do we do things this way?” is never “Because that’s how we’ve always done it.” We recognize the processes we follow and the tools we use can always be improved upon. More times than not, it’s our employees who are most qualified to spearhead those improvements.
Tapping into the creativity of our employees is an incredibly effective motivational tool. It keeps employees feeling challenged and prevents them from getting the impression that they’ve hit a wall or are stagnating in their roles. That’s the kind of environment that breeds the passion necessary for superhero service to thrive. If employees love their jobs, then the groundwork is in place for going above and beyond for customers to become a regular occurrence.
While I’m thrilled that Arraya made this list, I also recognize we can’t sit back on our laurels. There’s definitely more work to be done. I’m confident we can continue to rise up through the ranks and reach that number one spot. As part of the survey, we received lots of anonymous actionable feedback from employees on how to do just that. Taking that feedback and designing a plan to follow through on it will be a top priority for Arraya in the months ahead.
After all, that again fits right into the culture we’ve created here. Getting feedback is one thing. But by acting on it, it shows employees that we really are listening. If they know we’re listening, they’ll be more than happy to continue to provide it time and time again.
Click here to see our full press release on being named as one of Philly’s best places to work.