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Employee-driven workplace committees ensure small businesses success
Workplace committees often get the bad rap of all work and no play (or no pay) but that’s not the case at Red Door, where our employee-led committees work to improve morale, increase productivity, provide ongoing educational opportunities and a means to give back to our local communities. Currently, there are 5 committees at Red Door: Learning and Growth, Morale, Philanthropy, Operations and Client Experience. The committees at Red Door enhance employees understanding of their own influence on the work environment while providing valuable leadership and development opportunities.
Bob Nelson, author of 1001 Ways to Reward Employees, notes that companies can boost morale by giving employees “increased authority and leeway in handling company resources.” At Red Door, non-managers are encouraged to be committee chairs, which provides the employees at all levels the opportunity to lead and tune into the needs and interests of fellow employees.
”As a small business with big ambitions, we wanted to merge our small-business entrepreneurialism, visibility and agile decision-making with the programs, incentives and social impact of some of the biggest corporations,” said Amy Carr, Red Door’s Director of Human Resources. “While we don’t have the resources of a Fortune 500 that can dedicate a person or a team to things such as maintaining company culture or philanthropy, we still wanted to offer opportunities that provide higher-purpose for the organization. The Red Door committees have done just that."
The eighty percent participation rate in Red Door committees speaks to the value that that employees place in their individual role within the company as well as a desire to participate in defining roles and responsibilities to improve the company overall.
While most committees operate year-long, some committees pop up to address a specific need. For example, last year a group of employees recognized that there were inefficiencies in some of the processes which lowered project profitability. In response, they established a “Project Budget Task Force” with representation from each department. One of the more tangible outputs from the group included “meeting cubes” to place on conference tables to remind people how to efficiently run meetings.
Another output was a set of creative checklists that guided all creative reviews and feedback. The efforts of the task force successful ly helped increase the profitability of projects, and just as importantly, get buy-in across departments for new and improved processes. The group earned a new term of endearment from fellow employees, “The Budget Police”. Below are a few recent committee highlights to showcase what our committees have accomplished.
It’s not all work at Red Door! The Morale Committee established a “Mad Props” section on the company’s intranet to recognize the efforts of employees. Once a quarter the most nominated employee receives an extra paid day off. Another Morale Committee initiative was this past summer when the committee hosted “The RDI Summer Games” at PETCO Park.
Of course, committees are not just about fun and games, the Learning & Growth Committee coordinates monthly brown bag lunches, where employees lead discussions on topics such as mobile marketing, the Tao of project management and SEO 101.
Committees are an important aspect of company culture at Red Door, providing a means for each employee to contribute their time and resources to the benefit of the whole, gain leadership opportunities and make the work environment a more dynamic, fun and profitable place.
(Image: Red Door Feeding Frenzy, hosted by the Morale Committee)