AWB 2011 Better Workplace Awards
Nominee: BuzzBee Company
Award Category: Job Training/Advancement
An Environment of Opportunity
BuzzBee, a strategic marketing consulting firm, provides job training and advancement options that lead to higher employee morale and well-being, increased productivity, and a unique workplace full of opportunities for growth. Truly focused on creating an environment of opportunity, BuzzBee has taken innovation to new heights by creating exceptional and outside-the-box staff development programs that allow employees to take their careers into their own hands. From involvement in stewardship activities and strategic planning, to creative learning and rewards programs, BuzzBee employees are able to grow their careers in distinct ways to meet their individual needs, while receiving support from the company.
“Watching people throughout the company have this moment of realization and reach out and claim their place at the table is helping us grow as an organization in thrilling and beautiful ways. We’re honing our focus, and leaders are emerging at all levels of the company–we’re one team moving in the same direction, keeping the same strategic vision in front of us, and finding our own unique ways to contribute our individual voices to the whole. Seeing this happen, guiding people along this path, and watching how employees here choose to express themselves as representatives of our brand is among the most rewarding career experiences I’ve ever had.”
Hannah- Director, BuzzBee
BuzzBee has chosen an organizational structure that allows employees to grow their leadership skills and gain business acumen from the moment they join the company. Employees are involved in all aspects of the business—from transparency with the company financials to decision-making when deploying new tools and processes. Because of this, employees not only grow skills specific to their role, but also are mentored and are able to learn the ins-and-outs of running a business. BuzzBee has also involved employees at every level of the organization with the company’s strategic planning, a process traditionally reserved for upper management. In 2010, all level of employees were brought together to plan the company’s 2011 initiatives program, an ongoing, company-wide stewardship project that will be defined, managed, and staffed by the employees themselves.
“Being involved in planning the strategic direction for the company was one of the most empowering experiences I’ve ever had in a workplace. The opportunity to sit in a room with executives, management, and peers, and have my voice heard, was a huge growth experience. In addition to helping drive the direction of the company, I appreciate having full transparency into the strategic direction and financial status of the business, so that I know how I fit in, and where I can continue to make an impact.”
Rose- Senior Associate, BuzzBee
One such initiative is the Learning and Development Initiative, which will kick off in 2011. Employees teamed up to develop the initiative and define the parameters, based on feedback and weigh-in from the entire staff. The team will develop, deploy, and socialize a training program that includes various on-the-job training options and educational opportunities. The goal of the program is for every employee to understand how they can grow in their careers, how their growth supports company goals, and then to actually gain the skills and capabilities needed to succeed.
“More than just having my voice heard, the opportunity to participate in an employee-driven initiative team enables me to take ownership and pride in the direction of our company. For the first time in my career, I am witnessing shared vision produce shared results.”
Nick- Associate, BuzzBee
Promotions and Growth
BuzzBee also innovates on promotions and career growth by allowing employees at every level to define their career paths, and create their own plans and milestones for advancing in the company. Through career-path discussions with upper management, and the use of the BuzzBee Career Continuum (a succession planning tool that lists all of the activities needed to help professionally advance oneself within the organization), employees are equipped to drive their own growth and make BuzzBee a company for which they continually want to work and grow. Employees are also encouraged to stretch the boundaries of their job descriptions, maintaining an alignment between their goals and the organization’s key values, enterprise capabilities, and competencies.
"The lines drawn around my role at BuzzBee are really dotted, and there is room to step outside of my official job description. To advance with the company, I started by looking inward to figure out what I really wanted out of my career, and then I looked at how my growth path fit in with BuzzBee’s strategic direction. I started taking on new challenges nearly every day, waiting for someone to stop me (as is typical at other organizations I’ve worked for in the past). To this day, no one has."
Mandy- Manager, BuzzBee
From the employee-driven Rewards Initiative to the employee of the quarter and monthly spot-bonus program, BuzzBee has found innovative ways to recognize employee achievements and professional success. The entire company has the opportunity to nominate employees—from the operations team to the client-services teams—for monthly spot bonuses. The Rewards Initiative, which is driven by employees, will kick off in 2011. The team will survey the staff to better understand employees’ professional and personal priorities and what motivates them to support strategic objectives and financial goals. Then, consistent criteria will be established to reward employees and create a workplace that fosters positive motivation and morale.
Through innovative staff development practices, employee driven career advancement strategies, and innovative recognition programs, BuzzBee is a progressive workplace with unique and effective opportunities for advancement, growth, and learning, both professionally and personally.