Consistency, intentionality and humility foster strong engagement
Established with a purpose of “helping people and organizations improve,” Partners Personnel lives up to that with their internal employees, associates they place and clients alike. Having been in the staffing industry for 30 years, President Mark McComb knew that prioritizing people would set them apart. And after growing from a startup in 2017 to the 14th largest staffing industrial firm with 100 locations nationwide in just over five years, he and the other founders of Partners Personnel have proven they are onto something.
By actively listening to employee feedback, maintaining a hunger for growth and keeping an eye toward the future, Partners Personnel is living out its purpose every day and at every level of the company.
A Catalyst for Positive Change
“The world needs a staffing service that gives equal attention to the client and the associate employee and internal employees,” McComb says. While easy to say, implementing a culture where employee feedback truly changes and advances the company takes consistency, intentionality and a dose of humility with the willingness to adapt and change. Partners Personnel has integrated all of these.
Twice a year, the company conducts a confidential employee engagement survey. Senior executives personally read each survey comment, and while great reviews are celebrated, executives have hard, introspective discussions for items submitted that indicate changes may be needed.
Employees are further engaged through participation in executive committees born out of the feedback submitted through the survey and other methods. For example, April Fair, director of field operations, is currently on a committee to develop a training guide for new branch managers. This was something she recommended as a former branch manager. Senior leadership listened and encouraged her to partner with other leaders to make it happen. “The best ideas come from the branch and corporate department front lines,” McComb says.
Fair’s department also has an operational suggestion form available on the employee intranet. Each month, all ideas are compiled and reviewed by leadership. They follow up on feedback as needed, and employees know that what they suggest is heard and considered.
Foundation for Growth
Another way Partners Personnel values its employees is by encouraging and enabling them to grow in their careers. “We are very much into the growth of our people. We don’t want them to stay where they’re at,” Fair notes. From its “Plus 1” program, which emphasizes incremental change and growth at both the individual and corporate level — the premise being that 1% improvement compounded weekly leads to infinite growth — to the “Partners You” program offering learning paths with courses and certifications to the new DEIU (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Unity) opportunities, employees at Partners Personnel have a variety of ways to connect, be heard and grow.
In a tough labor market, Partners Personnel succeeds as a company by maintaining a priority on the success of its employees. Employees are empowered through effective training and clearly communicated expectations, and internal scoreboards provide information to help them understand how they are performing in their role. They take pride in meeting key performance indicators, where they can see in real time how they are helping others. McComb focuses on the positive: “Catch our people doing great things. Recognize and accentuate that!”
Partners Personnel strives to maintain a culture where employees understand their purpose and want to be part of something bigger and make a difference. What they do matters, and it gives each person a reason to come to work every day. “People are fulfilled working in staffing. The fact they get to put people to work every day … is meaningful,” states Julie Danley, execute vice president of employee and corporate services.
The passion of the staff for their associates and coworkers is what makes Partners Personnel so effective. Partners colleagues derive their own energy and motivation from the success of others. Whether leaders are visiting branch offices, meeting with clients, sending personalized notes in recognition of birthdays and anniversaries, or developing and mentoring their team members, they enjoy watching others grow and thrive, which has an impact across the whole company.
Where Credit Is Due
While the company has a successful business model with a track record of opening high-performing branch offices across the country, their continued focus on relationships will help them continue to flourish into the future. Utilizing technology to make it easier for people to stay engaged and offering low or no cost benefits to employees are a few of the ways they will seek to invest in their people in the coming months and years. And additional opportunities through the DEIU program, the development of employee resource groups and a focus on mentorship are ways leadership at Partners Personnel are striving to provide additional engagement opportunities.
McComb regularly hears from clients about the high quality of the associates placed to work in their companies, and he knows that is directly related to the quality and engagement of Partners’ internal employees. He has immense gratitude for them and how hard they work every day. “I’m the president, but I’m not the relationship that the clients and associates have.” Listening to, developing and meeting the needs of those who do have the relationships with clients and associates will enable Partners Personnel to continue to achieve their purpose and thrive in their industry for years to come.