Businesses talk about pandemic recovery

By Alberta Stojkovic - For the Sentinel

Jessica Trainer

Jessica Trainer

MOUNT GILEAD — “Creating and improving your company’s business culture” was Jessica Trainer’s topic at the March Chamber of Commerce meeting. Trainer is the founder of Bright Values Consulting and has worked for several years as human resource for several agencies.

After Trainer presented ideas about improving business culture, chamber members discussed how the pandemic had changed employees’ outlook on work and their workplace.

As more places are hiring, people are evaluating where they want to work and what fits into their lifestyle. Technology allows many employees to work from home.

Trainer pointed out that the ideas she suggests can be applied to any company or business, agency and organization.

“You can’t make people happy, but you can encourage a culture that encourages the right people to work for your company and be happy there,” Trainer said.

Some examples she gave of experiences that can create a good business culture were awards such as the Bravo Awards given to Morrow County Hospital employees. At one place Trainer worked, even something like giving popsicles or an ice cream treat on a hot summer day created good feelings.

Another example came from Morrow County Dental office manager Jody Rowe who said their office makes an effort to share and attend outside office events together and participate in community activities.

Trainer emphasized that there is no quick fix for a company to achieve a culture where people want to work. However, an important ingredient to strive for is consistency.

A first step is examining what it means to work at your company. What are your values, your purpose and mission?

A next step is establishing consistency in a brand, in advertisements and how values connect to services and employees. It’s important to be clear on the company’s mission and values and they should be clearly defined.

Consolidated Cooperative’s Dan Boysel said that it is his experience recently that employees are frequently leaving after just working there a few months. That is a big change for the company.

Trainer said that clarity in defining the company’s culture can help in both recruiting and retention of employees. How values and policies are demonstrated in advertising, recruiting and brand can also attract the kind of people who appreciate and have the company values.

Values can also be reflected in company policies and rewards. Mission and values can also be incorporated in posts in media to reinforce their importance.

Chris Conant of Century 21 Gold Standard commented that Trainer’s remarks would be labeled as “buzz words” five years ago.

“Since the pandemic, we need to look more internally to know how to retain employees,” Conant added. “We also need to look at our values to keep residents in our community.”

Jessica Trainer Trainer

By Alberta Stojkovic

For the Sentinel