Making an AMC a ‘Best Place to Work’

Raybourn Group International (RGI) was recently named to the 2022 Best Places to Work list by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce for the second consecutive year. Being named to this exclusive list affirms the dynamic changes we have made for our company, clients and staff. At RGI, we believe in the power of bringing like-minded individuals together to strengthen leaders and associations, and the professions or industries we serve. This success starts with company culture and staffing.

Importance of Work Environment
RGI selected new office space three years ago. The environment in which employees work matters. Even in a great culture, the physical environment of work is a large factor in employee morale and satisfaction. The new space has natural lighting, private offices, an eat-in/meet-in kitchen, multiple collaboration spaces and security.

A year after making the move to our new office, COVID-19 hit the United States. Prior to the pandemic, RGI offered hybrid work options for staff members to accommodate big life changes or unexpected events such as medical appointments, car repairs or family emergencies. RGI already had full-time employees working from home, mostly located out of state. When the office closed, we were ready to immediately accommodate our widespread teams with technology and training. Everything shifted to working from home on a schedule that supported these new lifestyles, including having children at home during the workday. Our goal to create a work environment that matches the flexibility of everyone’s lives became reality.

Building a Collaborative Culture
Creating a workspace where employees feel comfortable and safe is just the beginning. Building a positive culture is the next step. Collaborating and communicating with staff members who don’t work together on a regular basis is critical. RGI’s structure creates regular interactions between, across and outside of client teams.

Our team achieves this through monthly lunches between our marketing, membership, events teams, and executive directors. As everyone does not work together daily, this creates space for team members to share resources and strategies that have worked for them with others working in that specialty area. These sharing sessions have resulted in sparking new ideas across client teams and have become an innovation incubator especially important over the past few years.

Another great RGI staff interaction happens through special meetings. Every Monday morning, one client team hosts a Microsoft Teams call on a topic of their choosing. These can start with watching a YouTube video and discussing or sharing on topics including self-discovery and DEI topics. We also host “Happy Hour” every Thursday afternoon. This 30-minute Teams call closes out the day to play a game together with those in and outside of the office. Both these exchanges provide staff the opportunity to learn more about one another beyond work responsibilities, to share laughs and be human together, even when physically apart. These interactions contributed candor and focus on many important topics over the past few years, including the mental health of our team.

Celebrating Staff Development and Education
Part of building a positive culture is also giving everyone the tools they need to grow and learn. That is why RGI has a strong focus on professional development. Continuing education isn’t just offered and encouraged – it is part of each employee’s annual review. RGI pays for employees to pursue areas in which they want to grow, even if it’s outside of their immediate job focus. The result is tremendous with over 50% of staff holding professional designations in their fields and 40% of staff completing certification courses. The designations and certifications earned throughout RGI reflect the high-level expertise and professional standards that contribute directly to the success of our clients.

Continuing education and successes are celebrated at RGI. We have a Teams channel exclusively dedicated to celebrations. Anytime someone earns a new designation or has a great achievement, we recognize and celebrate them.

Education isn’t the only thing we celebrate. We recognize client teams when they return from a successful conference, create a new resource, hit record membership numbers, etc. We also recognize individuals for personal accomplishments like buying a home, getting engaged or turning one year ‘wiser’.

Initiatives for Change
RGI is an empowering environment, encouraging staff members to lead the change they want to see in the organization. I share these results in RGI’s Core Value of the Week and the accompanying Behavior of the Week that are part of my weekly update emails. We also have an RGI Living Well Committee which promotes healthy habits and activities, and multiple DEI-focused work groups creating resources for staff members and clients alike. RGI supports these groups by providing times during the work week for them to meet and work on their latest projects. RGI also signed the CEO Pledge to demonstrate our commitment to DEI initiatives and education at all levels.

Raybourn Group International became a ‘Best Place to Work’ by putting employees first. From designing a flexible work environment, to creating space for team members to collaborate, to pushing team members to continue learning and lead important initiatives - it is all about people. The benefits for employees liking where they work are obvious, but it is also a benefit to our clients. It is part of our culture to continually learn, innovate and serve clients better. Investing in employees is truly a win-win scenario.

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