Recently, I took the Ptex Team on a surprise outing just a few doors down from our office. We came to a large, empty hall with chairs arranged in a circle. As the team filed in, no one knew what was going on, why they were there, or what we’d be doing.
Then, our moderator explained that we would spend the afternoon competing in “The Food Truck Challenge.” We divided into four teams and each team was tasked to create their own food truck according to their assigned cuisine (Mediterranean, Asian, South American, and desserts), complete with branding and marketing, three dishes plated for 20 people, and of course, the truck itself. Everyone had a blast!
For this edition of People of Ptex, I sat down with branding and marketing maven Elke Taussig, also known around the office as The Brand Whisperer. Elke is one of the longest time members of the Ptex Group family—she’s been around since the early days, when Ptex was still Printex, and has seen the organization grow into what it’s become today. A deep thinker and creative wordsmith, Elke knows how to get to the essential core of, well, pretty much anything. In this interview, Elke and I discuss the meaning of branding, what she loves most about her job at Ptex, and what it’s like to be a religious Jewish woman in the business world.
BROOKLYN, NY—Ptex Group is proud to announce that we’ve been named as one of the “100 Best Places to Work in New York City” by Crain’s New York Business. The annual list recognizes companies with the highest levels of employee satisfaction and engagement based on an employee survey and feedback on the company’s culture, benefits, philosophy, and workplace environment.
Would you hire an employee who has skills you desperately need but doesn’t fit into your company’s culture?
I posted this question a few days ago to on Linkedin, and received several insightful answers. There was a general consensus that hiring an employee who fits your company’s culture is extremely important—perhaps even more than their skill.
But let’s back up a second. What exactly do I mean by culture?
Here’s a scary thought: Try and picture a world without email.
Indeed, it’s hard to fathom our world functioning as we know it without the wonder that is email. It’s cheap, it’s fast, it’s convenient, it’s just… easy. Few words can be as harrowing and bone-chilling for a business as “email is down.”
But for all its immeasurable benefits, there is a dark side to email. One that can eat away at the very core of any business – even the most successful.
Ptex recently received quite a compliment. As of July, we are officially certified as a Great Place to Work® business.
To receive this prestigious accolade, GPW asked our employees to participate in their anonymous survey on their feelings regarding the workplace environment, culture, management, etc. and how it affected – positively or negatively – their job performance. I myself was not allowed to take part in this.
The unanimously positive results of the survey was quite touching.
Now before everyone gets up in arms, I’m certainly not advocating violence in any shape or form. But I do want to bring attention to a fundamental issue that, unfortunately, tends to get skated over a bit.
It’s no secret that company culture is a critical element to success in any business. It’s a huge reason for the success of companies such as Google, Zappos, and Southwest Airlines. Quality employees and valuable clients alike are attracted to a place with a vibrant, positive culture.
Great culture starts at the top. Those in executive and managerial positions have the power to set the tone for the workplace environment. It’s an enormous, far-reaching responsibility, because the environment they create will ultimately determine the quality of the employees and the business they attract. Guess that’s why they’re paid the big bucks.
There is a common denominator that all companies with great culture tend to share: they understand that there is a difference between managing and leading.
I’m always amazed how the greatest business insights can sometimes come from the most unexpected places.
On a recent flight back from Israel, I struck up a conversation with one of the stewards. We made a little small talk, and soon our chat turned to his job. During the course of our discussion, he lamented to me that, although he always tried to be friendly to every passenger, he had no real business incentive to be cordial.
He described the startling lack of employee appreciation. There was no recognition from his superiors for better customer service. No compliment for going the extra mile. Positive feedback was from passengers, not superiors. The only way to get noticed? Publish something foolish on social media. Boy, would that work!
Instead, he explained, the employee growth module of this airline was, essentially, “survival of the fittest.” Been here for 4 years? Congratulations on lasting this long, here’s a raise.
This is a very troubling and flawed model.