Better Business Bureau: Torch Award Recipients Set the Example for Employee Buy-In
What can a company do to establish itself as a workplace that, through its team members, lives and breathes a shared mission and vision? Recipients of the 2022 Torch Awards for Ethics have answered those questions by empowering their employees. The Better Business Bureau Great West & Pacific recognized AK LEAN Virtual Assistance and Alaska Sleep Clinic as marketplace role models, in part because of the winning company cultures they promote.
Moving the Mission Forward
The best team members need to believe that their performance makes a difference, so the best way to increase that ability is through learning. Anchorage-based Alaska Sleep Clinic (ASC) leverages professional development to enhance its team members.
“ASC believes in developing local talent for Alaska,” says Brent Fisher, president and CEO of Alaska Sleep Clinic. “ASC is the first and only sleep lab to provide formal training of sleep technologists in Alaska. ASC does this both independently and through technical internships in collaboration with college programs. ASC has trained eight sleep technicians so far. Currently one individual just completed her technical internship in Wasilla and we have another who just began her technical training in Fairbanks.”
Serving up acts of appreciation is a way of both satisfying employees’ individual purposes and fueling the shared organizational mission. An important part of positive feedback is helping employees feel they can show up as their authentic selves. Anchorage’s AK Lean Virtual Assistance values finding ways to help its team identify their aspirations and ensuring they have the tools to accomplish their goals.
“AK Lean’s values follow the acronym L.E.A.N. (Loyal, Efficient, Authentic, Noteworthy),” says Megan Sawtelle, owner and CEO of AK Lean Virtual Assistance. “The culture of the company empowers employees to show up as their honest selves, because when people show up authentically, clients notice and feel more supported.”
Model workplaces also proactively alleviate stresses that might harm performance. For example, Alaska Sleep Clinic safeguards their employee’s time attending to the needs of their family, which ultimately results in more productivity.
“Alaska Sleep Clinic’s trust in its employees has been in place for years,” Fisher says. “Over half a decade before COVID-19, ASC allowed employees to work from home when children were ill or a parent needed special assisted care. ASC trusts employees to get the work done and be productive. And they always do.”
Employee buy-in is tethered to belief in the employer’s mission. Organizations that truly walk the walk have a way of building those beliefs at a higher success rate.
“Every six months, ASC gives employees a charitable donation bonus,” says Fisher. “The ASC employee is encouraged to use the money to donate to a good cause in their community, to their charitable organization of choice, or to someone in need.”
Better Business Bureau Torch Awards for Ethics honorees were selected based on their ability to demonstrate a high level of personal character, to ensure that their organization’s practices meet the highest standards of ethics, and to generate trust with customers and the community.