by Christy Heitger-Ewing

The companies who make up Home Artisans of Indiana embrace the concept of “destination employment,” which recognizes that what’s good for employees is equally good for the company and homeowners. Jason Ells, Senior Vice President of Custom Concrete, is passionate about recruiting and retaining employees who are happy, engaged, and eager to come to work. The key, he says, is to create a high-stakes winnable game for each employee.

“They need to know what winning looks like, what their role in winning the game is, how it’s achievable, and that, at the end of the day, you have their back,” says Ells. “If you think of a time in your career when you felt most engaged, I promise you it was when you thought you were winning.”

Employees become apathetic, complacent, disengaged, and disenfranchised when they don’t feel personally invested in their jobs. This is why communication is so vital. Ells suggests employers meet with their personnel weekly or daily rather than monthly or quarterly.

“It’s connecting those dots between what the employee is doing and where the company is going,” says Ells.

Christina Garten, owner of Christina’s Complete Clean, notes that as her company has grown, she has increasingly asked for employee input. For instance, she has learned her staff values flexible scheduling, weekly pay, direct deposit, and electronic assignment notification.

“We have a glass wall where we invited employees to list things they wanted us to continue and discontinue, as well as suggestions for improvement,” says Garten. “They filled up the walls!”

By giving employees a voice and enabling them to take ownership of their careers, workplace morale inevitably improves.

According to Ells, employees engage when they mentally and emotionally understand the purpose, which then manifests itself into productivity that moves the company forward.

Connect with Home Artisans of Indiana online at to learn more.