Tips for Creating a Top-Notch Office Culture

For most business owners, one of the biggest challenges they face is retaining good employees. It’s always a challenge to find the right workers that match your company’s needs, and to offer them the right incentive that persuades them to stay for a long period of time.

Wayne Zielke, CEO of LedgersOnline and superstar QuickBooks® partner, has faced (and overcome) these common challenges. His outsourced bookkeeping agency offers full-service, personalized bookkeeping and accounting services to clients over the web.

Zielke attributes his company’s success in retaining top talent to a work culture that offers employees flexibility. “People have lives,” says Zielke, whose company lets employees telecommute occasionally. “We have some employees that have health issues, which prevents them coming in occasionally, and they’ve told me that they would not be able to continue or keep up their hours if they hadn’t had that option.”

On top of that, LedgersOnline has an open, collaborative environment where employees are free to bounce ideas off one another. If a team member is struggling with a client relationship, the common practice is to reach out to another member of the team and get advice. “Listening to people and their difficulties keeps them from feeling alone,” says Zielke.

“We’re very disciplined with weekly staff meetings, getting everybody involved and getting input,” he says. “We also do a daily huddle on client issues in the day so everybody gets to share some input.”

Treating employees as valued workers also plays an important role in the LedgersOnline work culture. The company celebrates employees’ birthdays, pays a competitive salary with excellent benefits and along with the company mascot, Munchers, it’s not uncommon to find a dog in the office. There are also many opportunities for employees to grow their careers through regular internal lunch and learn meetings.

The most important part of creating the right office culture is finding the right people to join the team, which is done through a careful interview process, says Zielke. “When you hire people, have an eye to the culture that you have since one bad apple spoils a barrel.”

Whenever LedgersOnline recruits new talent, interviews are never conducted alone. The first interview involves two of the staff, followed by a team interview, where employees are given the chance to ask candidates questions and to get to know them better. This also shows that the company values the existing team’s input in the decision-making, he adds.

“The cost of having people turn over is huge,” says Zielke. “The collaborative environment is a large part of retaining employees and picking people that fit with the other people we have on staff.”

What tactics do you use to encourage employees to stay with the company?