Blank walls. Utter Silence. Drooling Employees. All the results of a bad work environment. A good CEO knows that one man is only as strong as the army he leads behind him. If the workforce is being brought down and drained by a dull and boring work place, then creativity and productivity are likely to be squandered rather than to flourish.
David Beall, CEO of tech startup Insurance Social Media (whose HQ is back in California but maintains offices in Des Moines) knows this, understands this, and does everything in his power to keep every day fresh and exciting for his employees.
I sat down with David to gain further insight on what it is about his philosophy that makes his company tick.
Creating the Workplace You Envisioned
Q: What do you see as the most important part of a working environment?
A: Creating a fun and stimulating work environment is an important part of what we try to do at my business.
Team members need to have fun or their motivation will drop, and they need to be stimulated to keep pushing new creative limits and to learn new things. Without this work becomes mundane and boring.
Q: What have you implemented into your own workplace to create the environment that you envisioned?
A: Fun colors and trendy furniture helps to bring a lively spirit to the office. We have fun artwork on the walls and we have a full-sized arcade style air hockey game table in the middle of one of our main work spaces.
Team members are routinely encouraged to research new business trends and to contribute new ideas to our business.
[Even in their professional posts Insurance Social Media keeps things as light as possible]
On top of this our employees are encouraged to help create and design work processes, not just execute routine tasks, and we engage with them on suggested improvements to our computer systems.
Open work spaces bring an opportunity for communication without barriers and encourage brainstorming for new ideas.
Leadership and Looking to The Future
Q: What qualities do you see as crucial for a CEO to possess in order to successfully lead a workforce?
A: A CEO must be a leader by: first listening to inside and outside sources, and then sorting through what is being said, finding just that which is critical to improving or moving the business forward.
Then the CEO must effectively assimilate that information and communicate it to fellow team members so they can implement change and progress.
Q: What specifically seems to work, or not work when it comes to your company? Do you see any changes you might implement into your work environment in the future?
A: Small team meetings and video conferences that bring together people from remote and local locations seem to work best. Limited and very focused agendas for those meetings are critical.
Using tools like Slack to communicate in real-time is also important to keep progress moving outside those meetings.
In the future, we will get all of our team members to take better advantage of project management tools, such as Asana, which currently get limited use.
Creating a great workplace can not only inspire employees, but weave together a group of individuals until they are operating as one incredible unit.
There was another slightly successful entrepreneur who once said, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”
His name was Henry Ford and that philosophy worked out okay for him, and seems to be doing the same for David Beall.
To learn more about Insurance Social Media and the work they do visit Insurancesocial.media and try to have a little fun while your at it.