Company Culture Revisited with Michael Fry

Although a company's culture can be described as a collection of shared values, goals, attitudes, and practices, its complexities go much deeper than that. A company's culture can and usually does make or break a business, from developing your core values to establishing and adhering to best practices.

I recently sat down with Michael Fry from Brown Button Estate Sales to revisit the topic of company culture and how things have shifted over the past few years. Michael has forever been passionate about this point and leads a great team at Brown Button. I wanted to get his insight into how company culture has changed post-pandemic and how organizations can foster a superior climate.

How Has Company Culture Shifted Post-pandemic?

We've heard phrases like "The Great Resignation" and "Quiet Quitting" about how people view their work over the past few years. People had time to reflect on their work environment and relationships in a different light due to the slowdown or, in some instances, a complete absence of work.

Does my workplace value me? Is this job going to take me somewhere? If the answer to those questions was no, the mass exodus started. It's no secret that employees want to be valued and not seen as just another number on a spreadsheet.

An Inspired and Motivated Team Is a Successful Team

Work environments and employees' outlooks on their job aren't the only things that have shifted over the past few years. Michael says that the hiring environment is different now than it's ever been. Surrounding yourself with a team who is just as invested in the business and is as inspired as you can be challenging at times, but Michael has changed a few ways he's bringing in new team members.

Offering bonuses for referrals from current employees and hiring people that are current shoppers are a few of the ways he's ensuring a great team at Brown Button. Michael has also implemented a profit-sharing program for his team but stresses that discussing the levers moving that program is just as valuable as the bonus.

Watch. Shadow. Do.

Michael has a few tactics that have served Brown Button well over the past few years when bringing on new hires. Investing time in new hires, instilling company culture and values, and proper training are keys to success for the latest team members. The "Watch, Shadow, Do" is essentially a 3 stage process of training that involves watching a procedure being done, being shadowed then going out on their own. Another thing he does differently is bringing potential team members in for a two-week, paid trial period to see if it's the right fit for them. Find the right person, not just any person.

Build the Bridge

This interview is about investing in your employees, but how can you do that successfully? Michael approaches purposeful investment in relationships with his team members by metaphorically "building a bridge." How's your week going? How was your weekend? How was the soccer game your kids had? Little things like this strengthen his human connection with his team.

Hit the Pause Button

When you own a business, it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and lose sight of other essential aspects of the company. Feel free to hit pause and spotlight those connections. When you make an opportunity to step back, your business will flourish. Employees become more involved, care more about the company, and show up on time and at their best. They must know that you care about them before they can care about your business.