Throughout the years, Party Reflections has had seasons of growth and seasons of recession. It has had seasons of change and seasons where things remain the same. The single most important piece of Party Reflections’ business model, regardless of the season, is our team of employees. The workforce. The people. “The PR Family.” All businesses have 2 types of clients. There are external clients and internal clients. The external client pays for the goods and services you offer. The internal clients are the people you pay to produce the goods and services you are hired to do. In over 59 years of operation, PR has kept a focus on making sure our external customers’ needs are met so they continue to return. Our goal will always be to maintain a high level of customer service and quality product. If customers don’t return we don’t grow.
With the extreme growth we have seen over the last 4 years, it has become evident that we must make strategic efforts to reach our internal customer. The internal customer is as vital to our success as our external customer. A calculated decision was made in 2016 to dedicate resources and efforts to effectively reach our employee base by minimizing turnover while increasing the overall employee experience. Investing in our team of employees will contribute to the improvement in our external customer experience. There is more documented evidence than ever that increasing engagement in your workforce will have a direct benefit to your customers.
A foundational shift in our thinking came when we began to think differently about our workforce. They are the TALENT of Party Reflections. They are a skilled workforce that is our greatest investment. How best do we reach, manage and grow the Talent at PR? We formed a team of folks who were tasked with developing and growing our people. This team has been named the “Talent Team” and consists of 4 individuals. There is Megan Bailey, PHR, a Human Resource Generalist, Jessica Herrick, a Recruiter, Tony Burris, a Safety Officer and Brian McKnight, a Talent Development Specialist. Under the leadership of the Chief Culture Officer, Maurisa H. Beaver, they have a primary purpose to drive engagement in everything they do. This is no small task when your team of talent reaches 200 people. The strategy by which they do this is through a 3 step approach. Educate. Equip. Empower.
Educate. This involves training folks on specific jobs and roles. They are trained on the culture and customs of our team. We make sure expectations are clearly outlined. This educational process is vital for new hires, but we are also reaching and teaching all employees regardless of tenure.
Equip. We ensure that the proper tools needed to perform the job are provided and trained on. There is a road map for success provided. We have created a standardized system for job performance evaluation and coaching.
Empower. By joining together the tools and the training, each employee should be empowered to own their specific role within the organization.
When an individual is hired, they are simply employed. They are obligated to come to work and we are obligated to pay them. As we turn our focus on educate, equip and empower, we will move people from being merely employed to being fully engaged. When you think of being engaged, it involves commitment, respect and a future. Engaged people are committed to long term success. The last 6 months the Talent Team has focused on the long term success of the Party Reflections staff. They have created training modules for a supervisor certification program. New hire driver training and field certification programs. They have created standardizations for interviewing and skills test prior to employment. They have created training with proficiency testing on many safety classes for best practice and compliance.
We have claimed the “slow season for January and February to no longer be our “slow season.” It is now our training season and we intend on our team being fully empowered to meet all the challenges we face throughout 2017. These initiatives are going to every employee and location that PR has and this will create a foundation that contributes to the long term success and sustainability of the Party Reflections brand both in the marketplace and in the special event industry.
The leader of our Talent Team, Maurisa Beaver has been invited by the American Rental Association to present on this topic at their annual national convention, The Rental Show, for the “Tents and Events” educational portion. She will reach and inspire those attending on the fundamentals of creating success as a manager and reaching your internal customer. This year’s show will be held in Orlando Florida from February 25- March 1, 2017. #PRexperience