Cultivating Your “Wamily”
Earlier today, I gave a presentation to members of 28 statewide community bank associations at the request of a former client, Katharine Garner, Vice President of Education & Communications at the Virginia Association of Community Banks. As it turns out, Katharine is a long-time reader of the Weekly Report and asked me to speak to her peer group via Zoom on how to keep younger workers engaged.
I am asked to speak on a lot of topics; branding, marketing, public relations, etc. I speak to group, business, and non-profit leaders about these topics monthly. But earlier today, they asked me to speak on a topic I don’t know a lot about. So I turned to the experts – Madison+Main’s President & COO Molly Whitfield and Office Manager Mollie Banks – the architects of our Wamily, or Work Family. Wamily is a term I first heard from our Director of Business & Marketing Leanne Pillow. Of course, in the true spirit of sharing and caring, I was able to take 100% credit for their ideas and present them as my own.
Building a team of efficient and dedicated staff takes work, but retaining them takes A LOT of work. You have to create a positive work environment, make them feel valued, and keep everyone engaged — daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. Here are some ideas:
- Recognize and appreciate their contributions
Recognizing the efforts of employees — especially publicly — is one of the main motivational tools you can use to keep employees engaged.
- Small gestures are a big win
Small gifts that highlight exemplary service, work anniversaries, or special successes are effective ways of recognizing an employee.
- Get your team together!
Get-togethers, celebrations, and group outings such as happy hours (or weekly Zoom meetings) will help improve team cohesion, work climate, and engagement.
- Roll out the welcome mat and prioritize employee onboarding and training
You can’t approach new hires with the attitude of “sink or swim.” Onboarding is the first step to cultivating high-performing teams and a positive work environment. A BambooHR survey identified ineffective onboarding as a major reason why 17% of new hires quit in the first three months.
- Don’t hover, but be sure to conduct regular check-ins with your teams
Not to state the obvious, but people who like showing up to work do better work. Checking in will help employees feel supported but not smothered.
- Focus on the two C’s: collaboration and communication
I always say, my door is open. Or in recent years, my Zoom is always on. As a leader, it’s our responsibility to ensure that employees don’t feel left out or unheard. Simple, straightforward, and honest communication will build your team’s foundation. Making a change in a process? Inform your staff. Updating a company-wide policy? Let your people know. This will create a sense of community that will contribute to the group’s success moving forward.
- School them with learning opportunities
Don’t just focus on what makes a team more productive in the short term. Your employees will thrive (and improve their performance) when the company prioritizes individuals’ professional and personal development.
At Madison+Main, our leadership team has chosen to focus on cultivating a strong workplace culture. Companies with a strong, clearly defined identity see anywhere between 60% and 200% higher returns to shareholders. Why? Because everyone from the bottom up should know and understand the company’s goals — and when they are engaged and informed, they will help your company grow.
SPEAKING OF WAMILY
Last Friday, the team celebrated the end of the week with an impromptu Wamily happy hour at Starr Hill Brewery in Scott’s Addition! They had way too much fun based on the pictures I received…
NEW CLIENT ALERT
On Tuesday, the team celebrated a big win — signing a new client Realo Drugs! Headquartered in New Bern, North Carolina, Realo Drugs has 16 stores throughout the state. These independent pharmacies are dedicated to outstanding customer service with their friendly staff — they truly will treat you like family. We’re hitting the ground running and starting with a deep dive into their brand, culture, and operations.
SCOUTING IN MANASSAS
On Wednesday, Creative Director Art Webb and Account Executives Andrew Simpson and Taylor Peoples went to scout photo locations at Birmingham Green in Manassas, Virginia. We’re doing an upcoming photoshoot for this senior living facility and the Madison+Main-iacs got a great head start with their leadership team, getting a tour of their facilities. We’ll be working with Cade Martin Photography later this month for the shoot and I will be sure to share some pics in a future Weekly Report.
COLORECTAL CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
Hitting Cancer Below the Belt may be a local non-profit, but they are getting national attention. They were recently selected as the Community Service Organization of the Year at The National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable, founded by the American Cancer Society and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HCB2 was honored for its innovative efforts to increase colon cancer screening rates among underserved communities. Congratulations to the entire team at HCB2 and our dear friend, Executive Director Mindy Conklin.
VIRGINIA IS FOR TOURISM
Did you know that the Virginia Tourism Corporation offers several funding programs and grants that assist the Virginia travel industry? If your Virginia company is looking for marketing funds, special event grants, or tourism programs, check out what they have to offer today.
A FEW OF OUR FAVORITE EVENTS
CowanGates’ Memorial Blood Drive
March 15 | 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Ready to donate blood and help save a life? Join the CowanGates crew at their annual blood drive hosted at Salisbury Country Club. Sign up today and give blood!
The Art of Housing: A Benefit for Housing Families First at VMFA
April 28 | 6-9 p.m.
Housing Families First’s seventh annual signature event will highlight talented local artists at the most artistic venue in town- Richmond’s VMFA. Join them for delicious hors d’oeuvres and drinks in a fun and dressy-casual atmosphere. Come ready for a fantastic silent auction that will benefit their programs for families facing homelessness!
“To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.“ — Doug Conant, President and CEO of Campbell Soup Company