Feedback: January 2023

by Jayme DeVary, Sarah Jennings, David Shapiro

Q: In retaining your employees, what have you found they value most about your company? Is this the same or different for attracting new employees?

Jayme DeVary

Director of People Operations
Sector: Real Estate

There are many things we do at HomeSmart that results in retention, but one standout item is our culture. We have a culture that we call “Bamily”— our business family. People can feel the team’s support from day one. We are an innovative and collaborative company; we all come together with different backgrounds and experiences to create a winning environment. Recently, we asked HomeSmart employees to provide one word to describe the company. “Awesome,” “inventive” and “exciting” were a few that stood out.

Additionally, we participate in events throughout the year to strengthen the bamily culture. We have a grill-out during March Madness with the games playing on our TVs, lunches catered twice a week, an employee happy hour with karaoke and prizes, and spirit days throughout the year. One of our biggest spirit days is on Halloween, and the display of creativity and teamwork throughout the different departments is nothing short of intense!

A lot of this information is used in attraction of candidates and future employees as well — every ad for an open position has a link to the culture video.

With 20 years of experience in human resources and a background in the hospitality industry, Jayme DeVary knows a thing or two about the people experience. She came to HomeSmart in 2016 after working in the human resources departments at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale, Grand Hyatt San Diego, The Arizona Biltmore, the Westin Kierland and Desert Mountain golf club. As the director of people operations for HomeSmart, she is responsible for maintaining the bamily (business family) culture, employee relations, benefits administration, new-hire onboarding process, and employee recruiting and retention.

Sarah Jennings

Chief Operating Officer
Sector: Services

Employees have definitely been a challenge to hire and retain as of late, but one thing we stress at our company is the entrepreneurial spirit that exists here. We live by the equation of A + P = E (Attitude plus Performance equals Employment). If those two things are in balance, you have a great employee. Specifically in 2021 and 2022, we hired mostly for attitude, as you can’t teach that.

There is also no micromanagement; creativity and empowerment are encouraged. New hires and existing employees find it refreshing from the stifled nature of corporate America. I have also found that having an open space and encouraging two-way communication is key. If employees feel heard, they generally want to work hard for their leader.

As their leader, I am very cautious of my “filter” and refrain from sharing many personal stories and socializing outside of business hours. Obviously, I want to be relatable, but you cannot be their friend and then expect them to take feedback when it is given.

Lastly, hosted birthday lunches are a nice bonus. We sit around our conference table and connect on a more personal level. They usually start talking about what we are having about a week in advance!

My name is Sarah Jennings and I am the chief operating officer of QuickPass, a family-owned and -operated access control company that services gated communities across the United States. I am native to Arizona and the Phoenix area; attended Xavier College Prep and UofA. My father owned a larger residential and commercial security company here in the Valley and sold that in 2014, but kept QuickPass and gave me an opportunity to run that. It has been a wild but fun ride!

David Shapiro

Founder and Attorney
Shapiro Law Team
Sector: Law

Shapiro Law Team understands that company culture is a direct reflection of our company’s values. We pride ourselves on creating a work atmosphere that is unique, fair and enjoyable. We treat and hold each employee to the same Shapiro standard regardless of title or position.

At Shapiro Law Team, we value each employee individually and understand that each person contributes to the success of the firm. We firmly believe in loyalty and building strong and lasting relationships with our staff and clients. We take care of our employees and truly care about them, their well-being and their families.

Our firm, formerly known as David Shapiro Law PLLC, changed our name to Shapiro Law Team in 2022 because Shapiro recognizes the “incredible team behind him; we all fight together as a team for our clients and that’s the way it should be.” This has been the philosophy of the firm since its inception and has been instrumental in Shapiro Law Team’s ability to retain and recruit the top attorneys, management team and support staff.

David Shapiro, founder of Shapiro Law Team, is an accomplished attorney who devoted his career to representing injured people against wrongdoers and irresponsible parties. Licensed to practice in Arizona and New Mexico, he has helped countless injured clients and their families recover substantial verdicts and settlements. Shapiro also volunteers in the community, participates in philanthropic events, and donates to charitable causes that promote positive change.

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