As part of a recent employee survey, Lori Goemans decided to try something new. She got more than she expected – in a remarkable way.
Goemans, who is the human resources manager at The C.A. Lawton Co., was looking for a new way to ask employees how they would describe the company’s culture. So she included an open-ended question on a recent survey, asking employees to do so using three words. She then plotted the results in a colorful “word cloud,” where the most frequently-cited words appear larger, and the less popular ones are smaller.
“Our goal was to identify what our employees value. We also wanted to do a better job of targeting potential new employees who value the same things that we have to offer,” she explains. Top words used by Lawton employees included family, friendly, safe, fun and caring. Other terms within the top ten were quality, growth, honest, changing and exciting.
“Quite often I get asked to describe our culture when I’m doing interviews with candidates. Many of these words align with my response,” she adds. “As a fifth-generation family-owned business, we work hard to maintain that ‘small company family atmosphere.’ It’s one of the things I enjoy most about working here.”
Goemans also emphasized that safety is number one on the minds of Lawton’s top management. She was pleased to see it was one of the top words cited by employees, too. “We strive for an environment that is, above all, safe for our employees. We want them to return to their loved ones just the same as when they left home. Without a culture of safety, none of the other metrics or descriptions of what makes Lawton special would matter,” she points out.
What do the results of this informal survey question say to prospective employees – the people who Goemans is trying to recruit to join the Lawton team?
“We’re a family. It’s fast-paced, demanding work. But we care for our employees and we try to have a little fun along the way. We also strive for a culture that can stand up to the changing times. Not only do we want growth for our company, but we want growth for our people,” she summarizes.
As she seeks to fill open positions at Lawton, Goemans is looking for like-minded candidates. “If you share these top ten values, please contact us about our employment opportunities. We’d love to chat with you about joining the remarkable family at Lawton,” she advises.