The labor market is tight and the economy is predicted to tighten. How are you going to strengthen your organization to remain focused on its objectives and have strong, positive outcomes?

It’s not easy. And it’s not easy to recruit and retain the talent that is necessary to make it work, especially in a challenging economy.

Right now, according to a Gallup Poll, the people who are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work is at a record high since 2000, when the poll first launched, at 34%.

Thrive Home Builders CEO Gene Myers
Courtesy Thrive Home Builders Thrive Home Builders CEO Gene Myers

What’s leadership’s role facing these challenges? And, why does it matter?

A highly engaged culture means a better performing company. The Gallup study also pointed out that organizations that have highly engaged employees net out with nearly four times better earnings-per-share growth than their competitors. Also, the organizations with more engaged employees benefit from higher productivity, better retention, fewer accidents, and 21% higher profitability. On top of all that, the engaged workers show better health outcomes.

We spoke with Gene Myers, CEO at Thrive Homes, who has received dozens of awards for progressive sustainable design yet believes his biggest accomplishment is in building a strong team. Watch this short video about how he focused on three central elements in his organization and how he keeps his team focused on them.

Meyers uses the One Pager to guide weekly department meetings so that all employees, managers, and departments are focused on the same overall goals, surrounding three main principles: 1. Above-the-line thinking,
2. Enlightened Decision Making,
3. and Always Doing the Right Thing

Thrive Home management and leadership shared their thoughts on the One Pager:

It is very easy to get caught up in the day to day tasks that are continuously changing and ongoing. I reference the One-Pager to refocus on the big picture; setting goals both personally and with my team that coincide with the company's objectives. David Kendall, construction manager at Thrive Homes

The One Pager has also been a crucial instrument when having discussions with employees, peers and executives as they relate to accountability and current standings for the company and each individual community. It has served as an extremely helpful aid in determining where attention needs to be focused in real time. Elitia Schwaderer, director of sales at Thrive Homes

The Thrive team also submitted testimonials about how Gene Myers is an exceptional, admired leader, and here are the key ways he is celebrated, which can be a strategic part of your future.

Storyteller
Gene owns the story. He is a masterful storyteller who understands how to convey the message in a way that resonates with whomever is listening. Chris Hopwood, executive coordinator, Thrive Homes

Being on a Journey
Gene started out as an engineer for the Peace Corps setting out to do amazing and noble things. There is nothing nobler than to continue to inspire a company, a community, a market, and an industry to do better and yourself with your own authentic mission. Gene is on a journey and I am proud to share to be a part of the journey and Thrive. -- Chris Hopwood, executive coordinator, Thrive Homes

Authenticity
Lastly, I would say that Gene and all of our leadership are authentic. Everyone is honest with one another and do not put up this façade that everything is peachy-keen. We know that there are some things that will hinder us from growing, or being the company that we want to be, but they do not sugar coat that. They are willing to have the tough conversations with their employees and just be real with them. Not many companies will open up the books and go over financials with every employee but Thrive does and it really creates a team environment, because we are all trying to achieve the same goal. -- Dom Munoz, closing coordinator, Thrive Homes

Diversity
When I think about Gene and his leadership, I am reminded of his desire to provide diversity in the workplace with our employees, in the field with our trade partners as well as throughout our product lines and the communities that we build within. Gene focuses on not only racial diversity, but gender diversity and economic diversity. This is rare within the new home industry, as many CEOs surround themselves with people that look like them, think like them and come from similar backgrounds as them. Gene understands that diversity within the workplace increases creativity, productivity and effective collaboration, resulting in improved operational excellence. -- Elitia Schwaderer, director of sales at Thrive Homes

Inspirational
Meeting Gene for the first time was a powerful memory, it was my first day as an employee of Thrive and I truly did not know what to expect from this company nor the people that worked here. I had come from a large company and had never felt like a team member, just an employee that came to work to receive a paycheck.

On my first day at Thrive I was shown around the office and introduced to every “Thriver,” including the leadership team. They called themselves Thrivers and everyone was ridiculously happy, I assumed they just had really good coffee and everyone must be on a caffeine high. Each and every member of our leadership team put aside whatever was in front of them to welcome a new teammate. I was shown into a conference room where a meeting was in progress, I sat in the corner quietly to observe. The meeting seemed pretty standard and the topic was about an upcoming community and the conversation seemed to be wrapping up, the energy changed, however, when a man stood up and started making a heartfelt speech about how proud he is of what we do and we will never stop trying to get better. I could feel how much he cared and wanted to be a part of his company, his vision. This man was Gene Myers. He opened up the discussion and asked for people’s opinions. Everyone was bouncing ideas off of each other, thoughts were being compounded, and there was an infectious energy. Gene had taken a seat, he sat back in his chair and observed. I couldn’t help but watch him and how he focused on everyone with such intent. His words had inspired those around him to dig deeper and focus on how to make the company better in the future. Over a year after this meeting, Downtown Superior is now an active community and thriving because of those ideas and suggestions that were made in that conference room. How inspiring to see one man make a five-minute speech that led those around him collaborate on a project that is now the hottest selling community? Leaders make those around them better and that is what Gene Myers does. -- Morgan Moore, community sales manager, Thrive Homes

Transparent
As Thrive employees we are gifted with knowledge. We are shown how our individual role effects the business and in turn we willingly take on more responsibility. Knowledge is power and so often limited to the leadership team by companies, afraid that their employees wouldn’t know how to react to difficult truths or financial transparency. Thrive’s leadership team believes in the individuals they hire and in turn have a company of passionate employees who go outside of their roles to make a better company. It’s easy to tell an employee how to do their job, but it’s impactful when you show them. I am a field employee, I don’t sit at a desk on the 9th floor of 1875 Lawrence St and yet I don’t feel disconnected from the everyday decisions that are made there. A true leader empowers those around them and encourages honest feedback; positive and negative. I’m grateful to be learning and growing from our amazing leadership team. -- Morgan Moore, community sales manager, Thrive Homes

Legacy
Gene has the tremendous good fortune to have a perfect complement in his son, Stephen Myers, who excels at the myriad of details and connections to make the execution happen. Our COO enhances the impact felt by Gene Myers, his father and CEO of Thrive, while forging his own path to lead Thrive Home Builders successfully year after year. Stephen and Gene demonstrate continuously their respect and love with a delicate and thoughtful dance of support and presence. -- Chris Hopwood, executive coordinator at Thrive Homes