Corporate Culture was the hot topic at the July 20th Slave Lake Business Support Network meeting.
Doug Babiy of SL Ford spoke to attendees about the ins-and-outs of why it’s important to create a pleasant work environment.
“This is a real passion of mine,” he said. “Your employees usually spend more waking hours in your business than they do at home – making sure you have a good family-like corporate culture is key in having a successful business.”
According to Babiy, who has been in the car dealership business for over two decades, combining strong salesman skills with proper leadership has made for an almost unstoppable team.
“When you walk into a business you can immediately tell if they want to be there and are happy,” he said. “Satisfied employees bring in more prospective customers! You have to be innovative, observant and really try to get to know everyone on your team.”
Babiy added, “It’s not all about throwing money at them either – your workers want to be shown appreciation and they want to know that the job they are doing is worthwhile. I run my business like we are all equal – every action that each worker does is equally as important as the ones I do because they are a reflection of me.”
Another key to success in building a positive corporate culture in your establishment, as Babiy put it, is to lead by example.
“You have to do things differently than your competition does,” he said. “You have to be known in the community because being involved in the community has an incredible spinoff. We always are in the Christmas parade and summer parade – it’s a fun time. We get the staff together with their families and build our floats together. It’s really important not to alienate your staff member’s family from the workplace.”
As owner, Babiy said he’s found that one major way of connecting with his employees is not to make the environment feel like a ‘dictatorship’.
“The number one thing as a manager and owner is you can’t be full of yourself,” he chuckled. “You have to assume some humility and you will find yourself with a core of people you can count on – you need to nurture and culture them because you need something more than prices to draw in customers and a positive work space does that.”