The past year has been challenging for the economy and for business overall. Despite the downturn, some companies have managed to maintain a positive work environment with innovative programs that boost employee morale.
Apex Systems Inc. is one such company.
Rob Lowry is Executive Vice President of Apex Systems. Apex handles staffing and recruitment solutions for the IT, finance and accounting, engineering, and legal professions.
Monster: Amidst this year's economic challenges, how has your company managed to maintain employee performance and satisfaction?
Rob Lowry: Many of our customers have been impacted by the economic downturn and the majority of our employees are in production roles so they have been affected as well. We have worked to find a balance between staying close to these customers while also putting forth an effort to add new clients in specific industries that are actively hiring. Apex Systems has a very strong culture based on a set of core values and I believe this has been the most important factor in maintaining our employee satisfaction even in a tough economy.
Monster: Have employee recognition programs played a role?
Rob Lowry: Employee recognition programs have always played a very important role in employee performance and satisfaction at Apex. Managers are encouraged to develop short and long term goals to help drive performance and recognize top performing employees.
Monster: Do you have any recommendations on how to initiate employee satisfaction and recognition programs on a limited budget?
Rob Lowry: Set up a program where peers recommend each other for outstanding achievements and then reward them with a small gift certificate, extra paid time off, a nice parking space, etc.
We have had several really good recommendations come from employees. Give them some parameters and then allow them to come up with ideas for a recognition program. It will give you insight into what the employees value and they will appreciate being involved.
Monster: What other efforts have helped your company maintain a positive workplace environment?
Rob Lowry: Communication has been another focus area for us; our executive and management team is constantly working with employees to update them on company performance as well as having open sessions for employees to ask questions, share ideas and give us feedback.
Monster: Are there ways to build camaraderie when times get tough?
Rob Lowry: Absolutely. Employees need to feel like everyone is going through similar challenges, that leadership has a strategy to get the company through and that there is a unified front where everyone is in it together.
Monster: Do you plan to maintain any new initiatives even after the economy recovers?
Rob Lowry: We have not scaled back any of our current reward and recognition programs but will certainly continue to add more in the future.
About the Company
Apex Systems Inc. is a staffing and recruitment solutions firm that connects clients with professionals working in the IT, finance and accounting, engineering, and legal professions. With branch locations across the country, Apex specializes in contract, temp-to-perm, and direct placements for Fortune 500, mid-market and emerging companies and is in the top one percent of all staffing companies.
About the Author
Executive Vice President Rob Lowry has been with Apex since 1996. His current responsibilities include managing Apex's overall recruiting organization and strategy. He also provides leadership for the company's recruiting tools, best practices and technologies, as well as professional development for Apex's recruiters and delivery managers. Rob is a 1995 graduate of Virginia Tech where he earned a BS in Finance.