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What does it take to become an Inc. Best Workplace?

May 20, 2022

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Trainual made Inc. magazine's Best Places to Work list for the second year in a row, ranking among the highest-scoring businesses. And while it's an absolute honor to be recognized — it's also a testament to our hard work.

Becoming the best place to work doesn't happen automatically. So our CEO Chris Ronzio invited Chris Gwinn, the founder and CEO of Great Lakes Advisory, to talk about what it takes on the "Organize Chaos" podcast. 

In this episode, they discuss what steps you can take to become the best place to work:

1. Set the goal and be intentional.

According to Ronzio, the first step he took at Trainual was simple. He made “becoming a fantastic workplace” a goal for the business. And he says it's never too early to start aiming high. 

"We had been telling the whole team [for three years] that our goal was to be the number one [workplace]," Ronzio explained. Then, it was just a matter of taking small steps every day that eventually helped them achieve his big-picture goal.

"Once you set the goal [to become the best workplace], it becomes a filter for how you act, what you do, and what you roll out." – Chris Ronzio, CEO at Trainual

This new filter should impact everything you do in your business and how you care for your people. Whether it's providing successful training and onboarding, offering praise when it's due, or ensuring a clear career path for everyone — it's about supporting your people first.

2. Schedule regular check-ins.

Once you have the goal set in place, it takes regular meetings with your employees to understand what's working for them and what's not. "We have regular check-ins with our employees," Gwinn explained. "[During those check-ins we ask] ‘are you happy with everything going on?’"

During these meetings, you need to ask your employees thoughtful questions and encourage open and vulnerable communication. Because without honest feedback, it's challenging to adapt and change your strategies in a meaningful way. 

"[You need to have] open communication about what [employees] like about the role, what they like about everything [the business is] doing, and if there are opportunities to make them a little bit happier." – Chris Gwinn, founder and CEO at Great Lakes Advisory 

Ronzio also suggests asking forward-thinking questions instead of focusing only on what’s happening right now. For example, you might ask:

  • How do you hope your job is different in six months or 12 months? 
  • What do you want to stop doing that you're doing today?
  • What is the next role you think you might have here?
  • What are some areas where you want to grow in the business?

If someone has outgrown your company, don't take it personally. You can still be grateful for their work and even help them find a better fit. That way, they leave feeling supported and share the good news with prospective employees elsewhere. 

3. Follow through on feedback.

Listening to your employees is one thing, but actually following through on their feedback is another. And if you want to become a great place to work, you have to do the latter. "Allow employees to dictate or heavily influence how [the company evolves]," Gwinn explained. 

Otherwise, your initial goal starts looking like all talk and no action. But when you show that you're making progress, you're proving to the team that you mean what you say. And that you genuinely want to create an environment where everyone is happy to work. 

Acting on feedback means you'll have to pour some business profits back into your people. But according to Ronzio, it's a strategy that makes you more successful — in terms of money and morale — in the long run. 

"[Once] you figure out a good business model, [you can] pour your profits back into your people. And it's this amazing flywheel that keeps going." – Chris Ronzio, CEO at Trainual

At the end of the day, landing on the best workplace list isn't sheer luck. It takes intentionality, feedback, and follow-through to make your company the best place to work. But once you take care of your people, the rest of your business will take care of itself.

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Article

What does it take to become an Inc. Best Workplace?

May 20, 2022

Jump to a section
Share it!
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You're all signed up! Look out for the next edition of The Manual Weekly coming Wednesday am!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Trainual made Inc. magazine's Best Places to Work list for the second year in a row, ranking among the highest-scoring businesses. And while it's an absolute honor to be recognized — it's also a testament to our hard work.

Becoming the best place to work doesn't happen automatically. So our CEO Chris Ronzio invited Chris Gwinn, the founder and CEO of Great Lakes Advisory, to talk about what it takes on the "Organize Chaos" podcast. 

In this episode, they discuss what steps you can take to become the best place to work:

1. Set the goal and be intentional.

According to Ronzio, the first step he took at Trainual was simple. He made “becoming a fantastic workplace” a goal for the business. And he says it's never too early to start aiming high. 

"We had been telling the whole team [for three years] that our goal was to be the number one [workplace]," Ronzio explained. Then, it was just a matter of taking small steps every day that eventually helped them achieve his big-picture goal.

"Once you set the goal [to become the best workplace], it becomes a filter for how you act, what you do, and what you roll out." – Chris Ronzio, CEO at Trainual

This new filter should impact everything you do in your business and how you care for your people. Whether it's providing successful training and onboarding, offering praise when it's due, or ensuring a clear career path for everyone — it's about supporting your people first.

2. Schedule regular check-ins.

Once you have the goal set in place, it takes regular meetings with your employees to understand what's working for them and what's not. "We have regular check-ins with our employees," Gwinn explained. "[During those check-ins we ask] ‘are you happy with everything going on?’"

During these meetings, you need to ask your employees thoughtful questions and encourage open and vulnerable communication. Because without honest feedback, it's challenging to adapt and change your strategies in a meaningful way. 

"[You need to have] open communication about what [employees] like about the role, what they like about everything [the business is] doing, and if there are opportunities to make them a little bit happier." – Chris Gwinn, founder and CEO at Great Lakes Advisory 

Ronzio also suggests asking forward-thinking questions instead of focusing only on what’s happening right now. For example, you might ask:

  • How do you hope your job is different in six months or 12 months? 
  • What do you want to stop doing that you're doing today?
  • What is the next role you think you might have here?
  • What are some areas where you want to grow in the business?

If someone has outgrown your company, don't take it personally. You can still be grateful for their work and even help them find a better fit. That way, they leave feeling supported and share the good news with prospective employees elsewhere. 

3. Follow through on feedback.

Listening to your employees is one thing, but actually following through on their feedback is another. And if you want to become a great place to work, you have to do the latter. "Allow employees to dictate or heavily influence how [the company evolves]," Gwinn explained. 

Otherwise, your initial goal starts looking like all talk and no action. But when you show that you're making progress, you're proving to the team that you mean what you say. And that you genuinely want to create an environment where everyone is happy to work. 

Acting on feedback means you'll have to pour some business profits back into your people. But according to Ronzio, it's a strategy that makes you more successful — in terms of money and morale — in the long run. 

"[Once] you figure out a good business model, [you can] pour your profits back into your people. And it's this amazing flywheel that keeps going." – Chris Ronzio, CEO at Trainual

At the end of the day, landing on the best workplace list isn't sheer luck. It takes intentionality, feedback, and follow-through to make your company the best place to work. But once you take care of your people, the rest of your business will take care of itself.

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May 20, 2022

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