John Bernatovicz

What is So Special About Willory’s Culture?

For the third year in a row Willory has been awarded a spot on the NorthCoast 99, which recognizes workplaces in Northeast Ohio dedicated to developing top talent. This year Willory was awarded the “challenging and meaningful work” category winner. We are honored and humbled to receive this award again and it is with that humility that we present a series examining how Willory has created an award-winning culture.

When my daughter was a newborn, I envisioned a future where I could be both successful in business and in-tune with my family’s daily needs. It was important for me to find a way to support my family in every way possible, on a reliably consistent basis.

As I started developing my vision for Willory seven years ago, I knew it would be (and had to be) different in order to help me achieve my business and home life goals. Beyond serving a unique niche that desperately needed attention, Willory in concept would be a virtual work environment. On an altruistic and employee-perk level, I wanted to cultivate work-life balance for employees, but pragmatically it also meant not being tied into an expensive lease during the recession. Our virtual environment allows employees to establish and maintain a balance that is mutually beneficial to the employee and their family as well as the company. By working virtually, Willory employees are empowered to navigate a professional career with a modern approach and old-fashioned family values.

Willory’s dedication to a unique culture comes as a result of two main factors: our completely virtual work environment and our emphasis on hiring for cultural fit. A standout culture could be created by either of these alone, but when combined we’ve established a culture that is both results-oriented and focused on the overall successes of the entire team.

Our culture has been shaped organically as we grow and strategically through twice-per-week team calls, regular in-person team trainings every 6-8 weeks, group participation in professional association meetings, and social-focused team events. Each week personal successes are celebrated on team calls allowing team members to better understand what is going on with co-workers and motivating achievement. Team trainings are important for our growth as we analyze several different aspects of the company including providing opportunities to be together in-person. Last year as a reward for completing an in-depth and efficiency-focused project, the team participated in a group pub crawl. After successfully completing a critical project, it was a day of camaraderie and celebration.

Working in a virtual environment isn’t for everyone – and in fact we ask all applicants to truly consider if they would be happy working remotely before getting too far in the interview process. However, this does allow us to hire people who may not be otherwise available – our team has been brought together by cultural fit – not purely by geography. We even have someone on our team in Colorado.

While all the positions we hire for have basic requirements that must be met, we look to cultural fit as a key component of our decision. We analyze the balance between skills that can be taught, how the candidate interacts during the interview process, soft skills the candidate would bring to the team, and the education/experience they should have to be successful in the position. We look for candidates who will understand and meld well with our team, but these same people should be able to positively challenge our team to create a more successful organization.

Willory thrives because of its people. As we recognize our internal talent, we are in the process of augmenting that with new talent that is strategic and culturally-aligned. Not only will this allow us to achieve more, but will give our current staff new opportunities in management and collaboration.

Finally, a focus on family is not only part of our mission, but also how we view our culture. In the last several years, we’ve become a family – one that emphatically celebrates successes, shares a sense of humor, supports each other in tough times, and thinks about the future strategically together. This is what makes Willory’s culture so special. It’s each and every one of our employees – whether they’re a consultant, temporary employee, or direct hire – that creates who we are and continues to drive Willory forward.

Are you concerned about your company’s culture? Willory’s assessment services can help ascertain areas of improvement and provide a road map to ensure compliance and attract top talent. Fill out the form below to learn more about our HR operations consulting services.

 

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