What better way to spend the end of the week than hanging out with a few thousand middle school students?
Our RiverWild team was honored to participate in JoCo Works, an industry-led event for 8th grade students to inspire what’s possible for the future workforce. This in-person career exploration event was set up at Johnston Community College, where over 3,000 young men and women interacted with various industries.
We had a blast talking about the endless possibilities in a construction career, and the impact of choosing the right community for employment. From equipment testing, to prize wheel spinning, to countless questions answered (if you know, you know!) these students explored it all with our crew.
The excitement of our WILD employees filled the kitchen once again this past week. Smiling ear to ear, everyone gathered together to celebrate our second win at the title for Best Places to Work!
Our company is so proud of this achievement and we wanted to recognize not only the award, but how far our family of brands has evolved over the years. Founder and CEO, Reid Smith, shared a message recognizing and congratulating our team on their hard work and dedication.
“If our mission statement is to impact and develop people, then this is something we’ve got to take pride in. To win and do something like this has more to do with you guys than it does anything else.” – Reid Smith
This award recognizes companies that received high marks in areas such as team effectiveness, trust with co-workers, manager effectiveness and work engagements. The winners were chosen based on an employee-survey process conducted by Quantum Workplace. Once nominated, a company had to meet a threshold in employee participation – a percentage that varies based upon the size of the company – to be eligible to be honored. Companies receive this award because their organization
“As we say a lot, housing and construction is what we do, but it’s not why we do it” said Reid. “This is why we do it. It’s nice to be here and be able to celebrate it and see it come to fruition. This is why we’re here.”
During the month of May, we are celebrating PaperCo’s anniversary. In 2017, we officially moved into this collaborative and innovative workspace. Our employees get to work right in the heart of Clayton, an area that is constantly evolving.
After 5 years, the vision has come true. Our passion for our employees, the PaperCo, and the community are at the top of our priorities every day.
Turning this building into a welcoming space is something to be proud of. We cannot wait to see what the future holds.
“This project will continue the momentum of the revitalization of Clayton, and we’re going to see even more growth in the years to come.” -Reid Smith, 2017
It’s often said that leadership is “top-down.” But what does that mean in terms of practicalities? How does a leader tactfully build the culture they want?
A big piece of it is accountability, which is 360 degrees. The bigger your area of responsibility, the deeper your sense of accountability needs to go in regards to yourself, your team, and the organization as a whole. Holding your direct reports accountable can be tough. But ultimately, the performance of your entire team is a reflection of you as a leader.
For example, have you ever been waiting on your team to finish tasks so you can move on to the next thing? Maybe you’ve even had some thinking creep in that says “it would be easier or faster if I just did this myself.” When you’re in a management role, it’s not about how much work you can do, but how much work you can manage. It takes a lot of time and coaching, but if we – and our teams – are going to grow, we have to learn to hold others accountable for their part. If we jump in and fix it every time, we miss a huge opportunity to develop that person and achieve greater success in the long run.
And on that note, we also have to hold ourselves accountable for the highest and best use of our time as leaders. Many supervisors’ frustrations are rooted in working at a level that is lower than what their title says. Give your team the space, coaching, and ultimately the accountability they need to step up and share the load!
This is what I like to think of as a trickle-up effect. Culture and growth can be built from the ground up just as much like the top-down. If we have great people but are not holding them accountable for their potential, it will stifle our growth as leaders. Ask yourself, “Am I impacting and developing the leaders under me? Or am I watching and not solving the continuation of the trickle-up effect?”
When it comes to developing direct reports to be more self-accountable, here are a few things I’ve learned:
Prioritize things for individuals. Help them understand not only what is important, but why it’s important. We all have tasks we hate. Learn to decipher what tasks your team struggles with and how to help motivate them, which differs from person to person.
Be direct, but show grace. Depending on their personality, communication style, and receptiveness to leadership, you can adapt to your team’s style and needs. The “what” should be direct, but there can be grace and flexibility in “how”they complete tasks.
Be proactive. Communicate quickly and thoroughly, and get ahead of situations where a course correction is needed. But keep it growth-focused. Softening how you react when mistakes are made can open the door to growth rather than crippling disappointment.
Communicate intentionally. Individuals interpret things like tone and word choice differently, but all personality types need clarity. You can still deliver a message that sets clear expectations by including words of encouragement that instill confidence in the individual to complete the task.
Relationships matter. Building relationships with your team outside of work can improve trust and understanding. That camaraderie and care can keep the conversation rooted in a concern for that person’s development rather than just blunt or dry feedback. As the saying goes, “they don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
The more you practice these things, the more comfortable you’ll get, and maybe even find that accountability is kindness when it comes to development. Studies actually show that 65% of employees want more feedback. Providing solutions on how someone can improve will benefit them as an employee and your team overall. Knowing how to change something rather than wondering what can be done differently can increase work ethic.
Here at RiverWild, accountability is so important that it’s one of our core values. We’ve learned that the most growth happens when that feedback is rooted in personal care. As long as you reinforce that you believe in the individual, adapt your communication to how they’ll be able to receive it best, and then hold them accountable to their potential… people are usually grateful that their leader cared enough to coach them.
With proper communication and feedback, you too can help impact and develop others to be accountable leaders.