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Be a Team, Not a Family

Brian Adam leads session on employee engagement.




Brian Adam, president and owner of Olympus Group and Big Picture Editorial Advisory Board member, shared tips and tricks on hiring and retaining great employees with attendees of the SGIA Apparel Decorators Brian AdamLuncheon at Printing United in Dallas. Adam was named by Glassdoor as one of the top 25 CEOs to work for in 2017 and grew his business from $12 million in revenue to $35 million in just one year. 

“Hiring employees who care about what they do, care about their company, and enjoy their job will help you stand out and run a better business,” he said after stating that less than 1/3 of employees are engaged in the US. 

Tips to Take Back to Your Business

Engagement tools: Define your culture, including your mission and your core values, and share it on your website and with your company regularly. Have an annual Core Value Awards Program as a way to reiterate values and recognize top employees. 

On-boarding and new employee recognition: Have a set schedule for an employee’s first day that includes arriving a little late, meeting the president, and avoiding a plethora of HR documents, so they go home excited to come back. 

Give employees a voice: Create a suggestion program, do lunch and learns, and have exit interviews with your current employees on a yearly basis.

How to engage millennials: Avoid dumb rules, practice meritocracy, understand the benefits they value, and give praise as well as constructive feedback.


Communication: Teach employees how your business makes money, send a weekly update on the company, post the newsletter in the breakroom, etc.

Appreciation: Show them you care. “Sixty percent of employees say they’re more motivated when they’re appreciated,” said Adam. Plus, it’s typically free.

“We’re a team not a family,” said Adam. He relates this to his children at home who get equal amount of presents at Christmas, despite if one was good and one was bad all year long. His top employees are rewarded for best work, and others strive to obtain the same acknowledgements. 



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