Creating a Team Culture

With Holly Gibbons of Gibbons Business Solutions

Businesses across the country are struggling to reopen or regain prepandemic momentum, as the challenge to fill job openings continues. In many industries, the search for workers has existed for several years, with declining populations in rural communities and the trend for employees to change jobs on a frequent basis. Everyone is asking, “How can we find and keep the people we need?”

Holly Gibbons, owner of Gibbons Business Solutions (GBS), has been growing her business consistently over the last seven years. Upon opening GBS in 2014, she and coowner Linda Henderson had no employees on payroll, as she worked with several contracted workers to fill the positions needed to support her customers here in Venango County and beyond.

Among the services offered by GBS are social media management, digital marketing, graphic design and illustration, video production, and website development and hosting. All services demand that Holly and her team build relationships with their clients. As for her team, they now include six employees on payroll and eight contracted workers, her newest hired just a few months ago.

We asked Holly to share how she is attracting the talent she needs and creating a culture that ensures that employees will stay with GBS.

When you need to grow your team, what are the first steps you take to find the right candidate?
– We hire most people through the network of our own team and within the tri-county area. They often find us and when they are a good candidate, we may be willing to create a position.

Have you observed a change in what employees are looking for when searching for a job?
– Most creative people are looking for the chance to be part of a team, but also want the flexibility to adjust their hours and to decide where to work—in the office or from home. We find times to get the entire team together, especially when it is time to problem solve or to celebrate. It is important to provide opportunities for them to get to know each other and their families.

What are the most important things in creating a good work culture that keep your team running smoothly?
– It is really important to hire the right people, those who know how to problem solve, use the tools we give them, and have strong communication skills. We are able to use technology to meet and connect. Regardless of the size or scope of a project, they are willing to work together to see it through. We are continually looking for ways to support and invest in everyone on the team, employees and contractors, providing training whenever needed.

What do you see in the current business climate that is making it difficult for others to attract and retain employees?
– Some businesses do not offer the same flexibility as we do. This can be a real challenge. But when you trust your employees, you must find ways to allow them to take care of family and personal needs. Those who resist this will continue to find it hard to attract the best employees. Employees want to know and understand where the business is headed so keeping them informed is especially important. Businesses who do not include their employees in their vision will likely struggle with retention.

Do you see your business continuing to add employees in the coming months/years?
– I do intend to see continued growth at GBS. We have been so fortunate to have the right people present themselves as we have grown, and we trust that will continue to happen in the future.

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s June 2021 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

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