Justin Lee – How Do Your Employees Know You Care?


Kevin Price, Host of the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston) recently interviewed Justin Lee.

About the interviewee 

Justin Lee is a co founder and COO of TheSquareFoot.

Tell me about your firm (number of employees, location, type of companies you work with, etc.).  

Our company consists of 9 people (3 founders + 6 employees).  TheSquareFoot is a venture-backed commercial real estate company for the 21st century that provides interactive online search and concierge services to businesses looking to relocate, expand, or open a new location.

Tell us how you show your employees that you care?

We show our employees we care in a few ways.  For one, company culture is a really big deal for us so we make sure that every hire we make is in line with the culture we are cultivating.  Because we like to joke around and have fun while we work, it honestly feels like we’re all friends and not just employers.  That feeling lends to us naturally caring about our folks.  We obviously go all out for birthdays with cake, bday lunch, and happy hours.  We try to have team lunches as often as possible to so our folks don’t feel like they’re working for “The man”.

What mistake do businesses when it comes to cultivating a strong relationship with your employees?

Aside from not putting forth the effort to cultivate a strong relationship with their employees, mistakes business owners and operators typically make include not recognizing employee birthdays or special occasions, not organizing enough break or “fun” activities that help bring out individual personalities, now allowing any leeway with regards to things like dress code or other company protocol.  Honestly, just not recognizing and promoting each employee’s identity and personality is the worst thing a company can do.

Why is it important for your firm to make employees feel valued?

It’s important because 99.9% of the time, if an employee doesn’t feel valued, they will lose motivation, be difficult to work with, and eventually leave – which in turn hurts the company.  Because we are very selective when it comes to who we hire, we typically recruit them away from very good situations so we want to make sure we hold up our end of the bargain and ensure their happiness.

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