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Fostering Resilience and Unity: The Power of Employee Well-being and Family Culture in Small Businesses

3 Mins read

I’m a firm believer that a company can only be as great as its employees. Right now, the global workforce is dealing with crazy high stress levels, and for leaders facing an uncertain economic future, this stress is a big challenge and can directly impact productivity and performance.

For small business owners like myself, it is clear that surviving tough times isn’t just about financial stability – it’s about taking care of your most valuable asset: your employees. Below are my top learnings for not only steering a successful business through hard times but also keeping your employee culture exciting and the morale high.

Build a Strong Company Culture

A successful small business has a strong company culture – full stop. When your employees feel like they are part of a supportive and cohesive team, you can weather the difficult times together.

Start by creating a positive workplace culture that’s all about open communication, transparency and empathy. We regularly check in with our employees – both individually and as a team – to hear feedback and provide necessary support.

One of the mantras that we live by at Pinnacle Mountain Homes is, “We’re not a company doing business together; we’re a family doing life together.” When people truly enjoy being together and care about one another, work becomes more meaningful, and we find deeper purpose in our relationships.

We’ve also embraced the concept of employee ownership. This means every team member can share in the company’s success and feel a responsibility for the business, strengthening the sense of family within our team.

Show Your Appreciation

At a time when people are jumping ship, it pays to ensure your employees are happy and engaged. It costs an average of six to nine months’ salary to replace a team member – and that doesn’t even cover the time to find a suitable replacement.

We try regularly to show appreciation for our team’s hard work – it’s a simple yet powerful way to boost morale and productivity. Did you know that 69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized? It’s true!

Thoughtful gestures make an impact. We recently launched a rewards program that recognizes outstanding performance, innovative ideas, and amazing teamwork. We remember birthdays, work anniversaries, and personal milestones to show people that we genuinely care. We also regularly organize team-building activities, social hours, and dinners to help maintain that sense of camaraderie. No matter how big or small, these efforts go such a long way in creating a sense of belonging and loyalty to one another.

At Pinnacle Mountain Homes, we’ve taken our appreciation to the next level with our business card rewards. A few years ago, I realized we had accumulated enough Capital One miles to take our employees and spouses on a vacation to Mexico to celebrate our 10th anniversary. That first trip meant so much to my team, we decided then and there that it would be an annual affair. This year, we used our Venture X Business rewards to travel with over 100 Pinnacle Mountain Homes family members. My team’s excitement and gratitude never gets old.

Support Your Community 

While building relationships with your clients and customers is crucial, don’t forget to spread the love to your local community. In tough times, community support can be a lifeline for small businesses.

We get involved in local events, sponsor community initiatives, and team up with local nonprofits. This not only boosts our business’ visibility but also gives us a positive reputation within the community. It’s also a win-win for employees, with studies finding links between volunteerism and fulfillment at work, plus the mental and physical health benefits volunteering brings to us as individuals are just as important.

We’ve always embraced a mindset of generosity and have given back to our community in various ways. In 2017, we launched Pinnacle Gives as an organized effort to fund local efforts. Last year’s budget was $250,000, allowing us to support more than 30 organizations in Colorado. And for 2024, we’re now providing employees with 2 days of paid volunteer time to serve their local nonprofit of choice.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years as a business owner (and talking to many other people in my shoes), it’s that successful small businesses are built by a motivated team. Prioritizing employee well-being isn’t just a nice thing to do; it’s a strategic move that pays dividends in the long run.

Chris Renner is the Founder and CEO of Pinnacle Mountain Homes. A chronic entrepreneur, Chris Renner brings a wide range of experience from management consulting to founding dot-coms and private schools. As Founder & CEO, The Pinnacle Companies has grown to include an array of related businesses in the vacation home industry, including Collective Design Group (Architecture & Interiors), Pinnacle Mountain Homes (luxury home construction), and Pinnacle Lodging (vacation rentals). In short, The Pinnacle Companies designs, builds, furnishes, manages, and rents luxury vacation homes for families in the surrounding area of Breckenridge, Colorado.

Team stock image by Ground Picture/Shutterstock

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