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Circle Computer Resources - Where Culture Is King

October 09, 2019
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Read time: 4 mins

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Twenty years ago, a company’s culture wasn’t really a thing. Sure, companies wanted employees to be happy and enjoy their jobs but having a thriving culture in place wasn’t on the top of anyone’s to-do list.  Today, a company’s culture (or lack thereof) can make or break an organization when it comes to hiring and retaining top talent.

But more than that, investing in a positive culture is simply the right thing to do. Wanting to have happy and engaged employees benefits every person in the company, and often the bottom line.

Just ask MRA member company Circle Computer Resources (CCR) in Cedar Rapids, IA, where the company’s culture is serious business. 

“The culture at CCR is extremely important and work-life balance is paramount,” says Heidi Hromidko, Director of Human Resources. “When people retire from CCR we want them to know they made a difference in coworkers’ and clients’ lives, that their time here was not “just a job” they had to go to. We really encourage everyone to get to know one another no matter their position or years of service.”

CCR goes about this a few different ways. First, feedback from team members is highly valued and used when making decisions. Frequently, it’s the little decisions where big employee engagement happens. Whether it’s the summer event the company hosts or the onboarding experience, feedback received is taken seriously and acted upon.

This feedback is collected through the Member Experience Excellence Team, known as MEET. It’s a cross-functional team made up of people from every department within the company, led by the CEO and HR. Meetings are held once a month and participants talk about how things are working. Matters like workspace, special projects, technology, and even leadership are discussed. If the feedback isn’t great, processes are adjusted.

Then there’s the chef-prepared free lunch. Every. Day. “Our free lunch encourages people to sit and eat together, strengthening work relationships. Also, it’s one less thing team members have to think about doing in the morning, helping with work-life balance, and it puts a little money back in their pockets,” says Hromidko. “Free lunch has been a part of our culture since the company opened in 1986 and it’s loved by all.”

Turning Full Circle

Another way CCR’s culture stands out is through a companywide meeting called the 360 Update, where everyone takes time as an organization to communicate and to celebrate. “This quarterly Friday meeting is in place to make sure everyone is working hard, taking time to reflect on what team members have achieved and learned along the way,” said Hromidko. “It’s a day to celebrate all that is CCR. And on Monday, we come back recharged ready for another successful quarter.”

360 Update meetings cover:

Tug of war

  • Company performance
  • Customer service
  • Financials
  • Profit sharing
  • The Kudos program—recognizing team members who go above and beyond

The day looks like this:

  • A team CCR breakfast
  • Each department talks about how it is doing, from the CEO down
  • A break with team building fun, like a bags tournament
  • Food trucks roll in for lunch
  • More company communication
  • An afternoon sweet treat
  • The day ends with a happy hour off-site to mingle

What’s in a Number?
A recent engagement survey revealed that an incredible 93 percent of CCR’s workforce said they love working there. (The national average is 36 percent.) The anonymous survey is administered once a year, when team members are asked questions about trust, integrity, credibility, respect, collaboration, equality, relationships, among others. Last year there were only 10 companies in Iowa who made the list.

With these surveys come comments and feedback, giving CCR another opportunity to change the course of an issue that needs attention.

“We’ve done the Great Place to Work survey for eight years and the first two years of the survey didn’t paint the prettiest of pictures for CCR,” said Hromidko. “We had team members in four different buildings, people didn’t feel connected, it was tough to communicate. So, we fixed it. The level of depth we’ve gone to creating our ideal culture has been intense. And it’s been worth every minute.”

“Recently we suffered the tragic loss of a team member who had been at CCR for 10 years,” said Hromidko. “In that moment we had to choose to just keep working at our business or to have the business come second. We chose to live out the values and culture we are striving to create by coming together as a company, celebrating his life and working through it together. Moments like that define our culture.”

CCR is a technology company employing 108 people, delivering business value while providing specialized IT services to clientele around the globe looking for unique solutions.

By Sue Piette, Writer