Are Your Employees Bored? One Local Company May Have The Solution

Written by: Brady Drake

CoreCounts is an online tool imagined and created by local entrepreneurs to help companies with culture growth, performance management and employee engagement. Historically, these things are often overlooked because they are not easy to measure. Slightly shifting your focus toward these three things will help you boost your operating income and earnings growth, while also creating an environment filled with employees who are excited to fulfill your mission.

“I have so many conversations with business people throughout the community and they all have a lot of the same issues,” said Sarah West, Co-Founder of CoreCounts and Founder of Light Consulting & Coaching. “I had lunch with the president of a nonprofit and the next day with a client of Light Consulting. In both conversations, they were talking about the same issues… culture issues. These problems can be easily solved with CoreCounts.

Unlikely Beginnings

The concept from CoreCounts comes from an unlikely place. The gridiron.

Sarah West’s Co-Founder, Matt Baasch, had a problem early on during his tenure as a Quarterback Coach at Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM). They didn’t have much to offer incoming recruits: not much money, a less-than-mediocre record, and no real culture.

“We only had nine scholarships to offer and the max in the conference was 27. We had a pretty crappy grass field, old uniforms, a rundown locker room and things just weren’t that great,” said Baasch.” We basically decided that our selling point had to be who we were as people.”

From there, Baasch and the rest of the MSUM staff set out to create a sustainable culture. The foundation was built by individuals aligning their personal values with developing their athletes beyond the field.

It worked.

The result was a program that maximized individual potential to create the best possible people from the top down, from the coaching staff to every player on the roster.

During Baasch’s first two years, the Dragons went a combined 3-19 . In his final three years with the program, once the culture had begun to take shape, MSUM went a combined 14-19. The program went 6-5 in 2015, enjoying its first winning season in nine years.

“Once we turned the culture around, we started winning more games, getting more scholarship money, and we got
a new turf field and new jerseys,” said Baasch.

That experience showed Baasch the true power of culture and had him thinking about how it could apply to a business setting.

Melissa Marshall and Sarah West
CoreCoach Melissa Marshall (left) and Co-Founder Sarah West (right)

From Concept to Application

After leaving MSUM, Baasch sat on the concept for CoreCounts for a while.

“A few friends and I got together to talk about it, but no development happened,” said Baasch. “It went nowhere.”

The idea was shelved until 2020 when he spoke with Sarah West, his Fractional CFO through Light Consulting & Coaching.

“He told me about the idea and I knew it was something we had to do,” said West. “We brought a development team on board, held focus groups with local organizations to narrow our focus and started the process of creating the tool.”

After just under a year, the CoreCounts product is ready to roll and already has multiple organizations signed on and using the product. West and Baasch both say the tool will be periodically improved to meet and exceed the expectations of users, utilizing the latest market research and findings.

How Does CoreCounts Help?

1. Define Who You Are and Where You Are Going

Clarity is a leadership trait often overlooked. Clearly communicating who you are as an organization and where you are going is paramount, ensuring everybody is moving in the same direction. You cannot stop here, though. The behaviors living beneath the surface of your core values must be defined; clarity is key.

CoreCounts Performance

2. Measure What Matters

So now you have gone through the trouble of plastering your core values and your mission statement all over
the walls, on your marketing materials, on your website… How do you know if your organization is living out the values and mission? Are you sure that your employee out on the floor is having the same experience as the employee sitting in the corporate office? Consistently communicate with team members to reinforce your values and measure what matters.Every member in the organization plays their role in creating eternal results.

3. Hold People Accountable

“Midwest nice” is a way of living around here, meaning we never want to step on peoples’ toes. This can be harmful in organizations because it does not hold people accountable for their actions. When everybody is engaged and involved in setting and reaching goals, you ensure each individual moves forward and succeeds in their roles. People can say they want to do big things but you need to hold them accountable and make sure they “walk the talk”. According to Entrepreneur, a goal is 65% more likely to be achieved if someone else is aware of the goal. Stop being so “Midwest nice” and start helping people get where they want.

4. Do the Necessary Evil

Checking in with each individual in your organization at least once a year has proven to create a more cohesive environment. Your organization will reap the benefits whether you complete reviews annually, quarterly, or more frequently. Think about how different it would be if you had an “easy button” to press before your review, pulling in all relevant data and talking points housed and continually tracked by the system.

Coreboard Report

5. Reward the Behavior you Want

Increase your focus and culture and you will see your revenue increase by 28% and your net operating income increase by 20%, according to the BDC Network. By measuring what matters all year long, you will be able to make quicker decisions backed by data. You will be able to see problems before they blow up as well as see and reward the shining stars in your organization. Keep in mind that with visibility comes responsibility! Now that you know this, what are you going to do with the knowledge?

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Brady is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media in Fargo, ND.