This week we announced that Prialto made the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the country. We came in near the middle. Considering the list represents the top .07 percent of U.S. businesses, that's pretty cool.
But growing, and growing fast, are not ends in themselves, at least not for me. What excites me most about our growth is what that growth enables for our employees, the clients we support, our families, and our communities. I mean, that's always what it is about. When Prialto grows faster, we can all grow faster in multiple dimensions.
Growth in Many Dimensions
Here's what growth has looked like at Prialto this year:
- We didn't let one employee go due to the pandemic.
- We could pay for one of our managers in Guatemala to pursue an MBA. He graduated in June, juggling an intense work schedule, academic pressure, and life single-parenting a teenager all under pandemic conditions.
- We supported one of our Productivity Assistants with time off to study for medical school, and she will start in the fall.
- In our annual survey, 97 percent of our employees said that the skills they are learning here prepare them for better jobs in the future.
I love that. Don't get me wrong. I also love that some of our employees have long careers and professional development at Prialto. Many have been with us for years and have become team managers and trainers, account managers, and country managers at our offshore sites. But I also love it when their Prialto experience enables them to pursue dreams outside of the company. And it is always amazing to see how their development at or after Prialto empowers not just themselves but also the families and friends in their personal lives.
Of course, I'm also always energized when I know of Prialto members experiencing exceptional service, referring us to their peers, and generating the kind of growth that got us in the Inc. 5000. It is both a leading and lagging indicator of employee growth and empowerment. And, again, what most energizes me is the personal stories of how our member support creates professional and personal opportunities like when:
- One of them built a national Covid testing site locator to help connect people with virus tests and acknowledged our team for supporting them through the effort.
- A business founder established a company that introduces 100 million people to mindfulness and meditation to improve their mental health and then joined our morning huddle to thank our team for "making such a huge difference."
Employee Value and the Great Resignation
The Predictive Index asked 600 executives across 20 industries how much of their companies value they directly attribute to employees. The answer: 72 percent. If three-quarters of a company's value comes from its employees, investing in employees is the best investment a business can make.
Employee happiness is a big deal as managers face the Great Resignation. Up to 50 percent of employees are planning to quit their jobs. "Lack of career growth" is the main reason people are leaving, one study found. And that "lack of growth" is not just "code" for wanting more money.
It's Not About the Perks
High salaries, nap pods, and treadmill desks are all great. But they are not what most sustains work satisfaction. A LinkedIn study found that 94 percent of employees will stay with a company that invests in their growth. Happiness at work guru Shawn Achor found that 90 percent of employees would choose to earn less for greater meaning at work.
We poll our employees every day with this question: "Was Prialto an amazing place to grow today?" We listen to the answers and turn them into an action list, a roadmap to make Prialto an increasingly better place to grow.
Case in point: one employee pointed out that our job titles are not aligned with adjacent local industries and don't set them up to move up in peer companies if that's what they choose to do. Wow. We needed to address that.
Expanding the Growth Platform
I can't speak for everyone in the Inc. 5000. People start businesses for different reasons. I started Prialto after spending extensive time in Asia and Latin America and meeting so many bright minds with whom I knew I could partner to create mutual growth opportunities. At the same time, U.S. executives are bogged down by all the admin work that "productivity" technology has put on their plates.
The win-win is creating opportunities for motivated people globally to work collaboratively with hard-charging executives from whom they can learn. Prialto helps executives grow their businesses, and our employees grow themselves. All parties are positively transformed through the relationships they build with each other. Landing on the Inc. 5000 is exciting because our growth means we'll be able to do more of this.
Becoming a Great Company to be From
Harvard Business School professor Sandra J. Sucher recently wrote an article titled: "Worried About the Great Resignation? Be a Good Company to Come From." When employees are ready to move on, she said, "rather than wave perks and bonuses at them, companies should focus on becoming great places to learn—and eventually leave."
I couldn't agree more! We've been working to be such a company for more than ten years. Our placement on the Inc. 5000 is just one sign that we are well on our way.
Eric Taussig is Prialto's founder/ CEO. He speaks and writes about the future of work, the global workforce, and employee happiness issues. His ideas have been featured on National Public Radio and in places like Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine and Inc. Magazine.