When new hires are onboarded at iCracked, a repair and reselling company that specializes in both Apple and Samsung devices, trainers share the same set of mission-critical instructions multiple times: Managers don’t want to hear, “What do you want me to do next?” but instead, “Hey, can I do this?”
The distinction is subtle; the former enforces hierarchies, while the latter sparks a culture of exploration, experimentation, independence and confidence.
“Our hope is that this philosophy instills in our people a sense of empowerment,” says iCracked co-founder and CEO AJ Forsythe. “We believe people learn through mistakes and decision-making. True fulfillment comes through finding solutions and implementing them.”
The approach certainly resonates with employees. At last count, iCracked, which is based in Redwood City, Calif., had 130 full-time employees spread over five offices on three continents—and a microscopic turnover rate. The company also employs more than 3,000 technicians, a number that continues to grow as iCracked establishes a presence in more cities around the world.
Communication is another key to keeping employees satisfied. Every two weeks, Forsythe runs an all-hands-on-deck meeting during which he and other executives share big-picture strategy and implore the rank and file to share their ideas for the future.
Finally, in hiring, Forsythe says iCracked looks for candidates with curiosity, ethics and drive. “You can’t teach someone to have those traits,” he explains. “But if they possess them, you can teach just about everything else.”