“Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.” – Simon Sinek
When you have a company with more than 6,000 employees around the world, keeping culture at the forefront can be difficult. But I have always believed it is our people who make Starkey great. We refer to it as our Starkey family. But talk, and titles, are cheap. People need to see action to show they are appreciated and supported.
Giving back to our employees is perhaps the favorite part of my job as President of Starkey. We recently hosted our annual “Breakfast with Santa” at Starkey HQ in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Employees and their families come out for breakfast and a chance to tell Santa how nice they have been. It’s a time for our Starkey family, and their families, to come together outside of work. It’s a chance for me to talk one-on-one with the people who make Starkey the innovative hearing aid leader it is.
But once a year acts don’t make a strong culture. Everyday, our leadership team is focused on our employees, creating an environment where we are giving back to each other and our community. The Starkey Way is strongly rooted in our social responsibility. For five years now, we have partnered with the Angel Foundation to put up Wish Trees all over the Starkey campus. Our Starkey family grants the wishes of Minnesota families battling cancer. A cancer battle is expensive; families shouldn’t have to worry about choosing between buying groceries and presents. When you have a company built around helping others by giving the gift of hearing, you have employees who are passionate about helping others in any way they can.
As a leader, it is clear to me that giving back to our employees and our community is critical to our ongoing success. If leaders are not investing in company culture, it will be difficult for them to grow and innovate.