June is going to go down as one of the best months in Parker’s history – this month two Seattle publications recognized Parker Staffing Services as a Best Workplace. Earlier this month, the Puget Sound Business Journal included us in their list of Washington’s Best Workplaces for the fourth consecutive year. Then last Thursday, we were named one of the Top 100 Best Companies to Work For in Washington by Seattle Business Magazine. To say we are all ecstatic is an understatement!
In recognition of this great honor, I thought I would share just a little bit about how Parker’s own journey led us to becoming a Best Workplace.
Staffing can be a tough industry – there’s high demand coming from both job seekers as well as clients, and frankly, there aren’t many more stressful things in life than job hunting. In fact, according to the American Staffing Association, most staffing companies can expect 24% of their employees to turn over year to year. Faced with this reality, five years ago Parker dedicated itself to changing how we run our business and the results have been nothing short of astounding: after just a few short years of work, our turnover rate is 8% – among the lowest in the industry!
There were a hundred steps we took, but like they say, all journeys begin with that first step. For us, it was the act of defining our values. We threw away the traditional mission statement and worked to create a set of values unique to our company and our culture. This wasn’t a simple exercise – it began with an intensive week-long experience where executive team members had frank conversations about their concerns and vision for where we were going. A few different themes slowly coalesced into ideas and from that, our Culture Compass was born.
Behind the idea of a culture compass is the acknowledgement that the traditional mission statement (or statement of values) listed by many companies has become thread-worn and commonplace, so much so that many organizations end up forgetting about them completely. What we found was that it wasn’t enough to just list one’s values; successful businesses needed to be directed by them. A compass does just that.
Our Culture Compass accomplishes three things: first, it visualizes the values that each one of us holds in high regard. At a glance, the observer understands what we are about. Second, as a compass it guides our decision making process and helps us make the right decision. In times of crisis, it helps guide us to the right decision and in times of stress, reminds us of what the ultimate goal is. Finally, at the center of the compass is a reminder of why each one of us comes to our job every day (using ‘each’ here again sounded a little repetitive). It’s an admission that a great culture isn’t about a rooftop deck or a pet-friendly workplace. It’s more about a recognition that the true purpose of our business as a staffing company and what each individual working here seeks are the same thing: fulfillment.
Let us know if we can help define the values of what makes your business a Best Place to Work.