Rhodes discusses people-centric cultures

LOVELAND — Hire the best people and display your company values proudly and your company will flourish according to Ann Rhoades, one of the morning speakers at Bixpo 2005 at the Budweiser Event Center in Loveland.
Rhoades is president of People Ink, and a member of the board of directors of Jet Blue Airways, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro and Restoration Hardware.
Her history with successful companies who believe in their employees electrified the audience who wanted to learn more about establishing a core set of values and hiring “A” people.
Rhoades said establishing a core set of values is as simple as “focusing on the simple stuff and defining the ideal behaviors of employees.”
She used the example of taking the negative out of your employee handbook, fill it with benefits, and look at negative actions on an individual basis.
She said employers need to ensure they hire employees who believe in the company’s core values and who will reflect these values to customers and other employees. She suggested using behavior interviews to discover how people reacted in the past to a situation as an indicator to future behavior.
On a management level she suggests hiring people who are compassionate and willing to break the rules for employees and customers.
“I have rolled back employment dates to get insurance coverage,” she said.
Rhoades also recommended firing employees who do not emulate company values – “otherwise your values stop existing.”
Rhodes filled her speech with personal stories, including describing the best CEOs she knows to show how successful companies get that way. Encouraging employees and recognizing their importance to company success is the best way to retain them for years.
“A great model to follow is make sure you spend the first half-hour and the last half-hour of your day is walking around complimenting your staff and getting the staff involved in problem solving,” she said. “Mary Kay has it right.”