Seven years before she became president of Safe Bridge Solutions, Beth Zuehlke worked for the staffing business as a consultant. That's where she got a taste of its family-first corporate culture. She'd just left her position at Epic Systems Corporation, and with a two-year-old daughter, she was looking for less travel and more work-life balance. Not long after she joined Safe Bridge, life got complicated as life often does (a second child, a seriously ill spouse), and Zuehlke was struck by how genuinely concerned and accommodating her then-bosses were.
"It was fundamental to my wellbeing at that point in time but it also made me stop and think, wow, business can be different," says Zuehlke.
At one point, Zuehlke left to take a full-time job with the client that Safe Bridge paired her with (a common hazard for a business whose main goal is to effectively match the right consultant with the right company). But when she was offered the job of president of Safe Bridge after a change in ownership, Zuehlke didn't hesitate.
"The opportunity to come back to a company that I truly respected, and keep it that way, seemed like a phenomenal opportunity to me," she says.
Safe Bridge distinguishes itself from other staffing companies by engaging with its employees as much as possible. Although the office staff has grown to approximately fifteen, the vast majority of the seventy-five Safe Bridge employees out in the field are the "consultants" (project managers, business analysts, IT developers and the like) working with the companies where they've been placed. By taking the time to get to know consultants' personalities beyond their skill sets—and nurturing that connection with regular calls, visits, cards, coffees, lunches, trainings and other check-ins—Safe Bridge is able to better deliver for its clients, too.
"The company is built on the philosophy of, if our consultant is happy and they're in a good fit, they're going to make our client happy," says Zuehlke. "And we're going to be successful."
THE TAKEAWAY: A family-first corporate culture will attract employees. By truly embodying that credo and asking employees how they're doing and supporting them will result in less stressed employees who will fully focus on the work at hand.
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