Being successful in providing customers with information technology solutions and services starts with a family-centered culture based on fun, gratitude and expertise at AE Business Solutions.
“One of our core values is to laugh and have fun,” said John Harris, chief operating officer of the firm, which has 75 Madison-based team members and offices in Milwaukee, Wausau and the Fox Valley. “You can find some really talented people who are real jerks. Who wants to have a lot of success with people you don’t enjoy?”
Harris recruits team members who are expert in their areas and appreciate having fun while serving clients’ needs in an atmosphere based on family.
“In the same way we want to care for employees, we want them to care for their families,” Harris added. “I think it’s important to have a culture that keeps people because it’s a positive place. … A positive culture and success at work feed each other.”
The company’s usual holiday party, which is open to all employees’ family members, features Santa giving pre-arranged, sizeable gifts to staff members’ children. Because of the pandemic, this year’s party was a drive-through in an empty parking garage with several stations set up where employees could participate in activities.
“The kids would see Santa three stations ahead and start yelling ‘He’s here! He’s here!” said Harris. “That was honestly one of my best days.”
AE Business Solutions also encourages employees and managers to express their gratitude at regular meetings for colleagues who have exceeded expectations. “We’re trying to recognize excellence. It doesn’t have to be, ‘We won this opportunity.’ It’s, “Hey, this person really did an excellent job.’”
As part of the company’s family-centered culture, Harris said the firm offers a strong work-life balance component.
“If you have a family situation, we’re not going to ask people to take holiday time or paid time off,” Harris said. “When your family is in crisis, it’s critically important for you to shift your attention and not worry about an official time-off policy.”