INSIGHT OF THE WEEK
“A real win-win is pushing employees to achieve outside of work and training them holistically in a way that makes them perform better at work and at home.”
-Bob Glazer, Acceleration Partners
A Company Culture that Ups Productivity
Bob Glazer is the Founder and CEO of Acceleration Partners, a performance marketing agency that helps big brands run affiliate programs and form partnerships. Listen as he talks about his award-winning company culture.
In this episode of Resilience Radio, we explore:
- How to leverage affiliate programs and partnerships.
- Whether to outsource employees or grow your current staff.
- A unique company culture that increases productivity.
- Why skills-based training is not enough.
- How to account for cultural differences at work.
Take a Listen!
The Company Culture of Acceleration Partners
Kim: Let’s get into your company culture. I’m really interested in hearing about that. You said you do it differently − tell me about that.
Bob: If something didn’t make sense, we’ve tried to do it differently. We set three really clear core values: own it, embrace relationships and excel and improve. We hire based on those. Everything that is rewarded from a behavior standpoint is based on those. Promotions are based on those. Our end of year awards are based on those. When we make a decision to move on, it’s based on those.
We do really long-term planning, are a fully open book and let people work remotely and from home. We just really defined both the outcomes and the behaviors that we’re looking for, and then gave people the flexibility to achieve those in a way that works for them.
Another thing that we’ve really focused on is capacity building in people. As we grow 30 or 40 percent a year, most talent can’t keep up with that. People have to get better just to stay on. And we found a real win-win is working with employees, finding out their goals and what they like to do outside of work, pushing them to achieve outside of work and training them holistically in a way that makes them better at what they do. We get people performing better at work and they are better husbands, moms, spouses, etc. outside of work.
Kim: Are you saying that if people are happy outside of work, they perform better inside of work? I agree with that, is that what you’re saying?
Bob: It’s beyond that. It’s happiness, but it’s also that they are performing and achieving and growing [outside of work]. I’ve been told by many coaches and mentors that every time your company doubles, you will break half your processes and half your people. We don’t want to break half our people. So the goal is to grow our people to meet our needs. And [we ask them], “What are your personal and life goals and how can we help you meet them as an organization?”
This year, half of the company publicly posted their goals in a Slack channel, and they’re running marathons and triathlons and signing up to do things they haven’t done before and getting out of their comfort zone in their personal lives, and that really has translated into their professional growth.
A Company Culture that Builds Capacity
Kim: When you say “build capacity,” what you’re saying is to build the person. Let’s define capacity. Are you talking about work-related capacity? Are you talking about increasing their productivity, output and efficiency? What do you mean by capacity?
Bob: I break capacity into four buckets: spiritual, intellectual, physical and emotional. Focusing on just making them more productive at work is a linear way to look at it. Someone who is stressed out at home doesn’t walk into work mentally clear. Someone who has problems prioritizing at home doesn’t prioritize at work.
So there are certain life and capacity skills where you improve the ability of the person to process more information, take on more, cope with more, be more physically well and achieve more. It’s not about working harder. We’re really trying to focus on getting better outcomes.
A lot of our leadership training is really focused on the intersection between professional and personal development. Hitting the whip at someone and saying, “Be more productive,” that doesn’t work, but we have people training for events they’ve never done before, and I’ve seen that as their physical stamina and health have improved, they are performing better at work.
Training Your Team More Than Skills
Kim: When you say “leadership training,” do you put them in a room and provide training? Do you hire a sports coach who will help them do the triathlon? What does leadership training look like?
Bob: All of the above. We have internal leadership training that’s very focused on the inner core and personal journey. We did something last year where we created a bunch of wishes and goals. We hired a coach for a lot of people who wanted to do those events and who has been working with all of them.
And then we have video content, we have book clubs, we have all kinds of stuff that we have built up where it is not just about training on what it is that we do in affiliate marketing, it is about training on how to relate with people, how to communicate with people… these are things that improve all aspects.
Kim: I’ve been studying leadership for most of my life, and I discovered something very interesting recently. The United States spends billions of dollars on training soft skills, and yet they aren’t getting the results that they want. I’ve been looking into this, and what you’re telling me is very interesting because it provides a very powerful backdrop. What we see is that we’re putting money into this system of training, and training isn’t working. Typically when we train, we train for skills, but it’s not always a skills issue.
A lot of the time, there are other issues at play. I like to look at how a person thinks about everything; how they think about their health, their family, their productivity, their capacity, their worthiness, all of it. My approach is, instead of focusing on just the “doing,” let’s back up, let’s provide coaching to the whole entire person and really look at what they believe to be true, their perspectives, their values… let’s look at their whole being. And it sounds like you’re very much aligned with that.