Having a clear vision of what he’s looking for in an employee and taking the time to find the right employee are ways by which Bankhead protects the company culture. “In small businesses, a lot of times we wait until we are desperate, and then if a person can fog a mirror and they have decent hygiene, we hire them,” he says. If you do make a mistake and hire the wrong person, Bankhead says to be sure to dissect what went wrong.
Growing the business so quickly also created a communication problem that hadn’t previously existed. Bankhead needed an easy and efficient way for employees to talk to each other. He began piloting different group messaging platforms. Slack and Basecamp didn’t stick, but then he tried Workplace, Facebook’s platform for offices. “Everyone already knows how to use Facebook,” he says. “The adoption rate has been higher than anything else we’ve done.”
Workplace has increased the communication between the stores, and even if half of what gets posted is made up of memes, Bankhead has found it helpful in decreasing the number of emails that reach his inbox. In fact, most conversations happen without his input at all. “There’s probably only a single digit percentage of stuff that I feel compelled to answer,” he says.
For Springfield Music, the work of crafting a positive culture is ongoing. “I think the process never ends,” Bankhead says. In the beginning, the owner might have to be the one driving the culture, but over time the responsibility can shift to the employees. “Hopefully the employees will believe in that mission and they will carry it forward for you,” he says.