You need to create an open culture at your company because it’s good for business. You make more money when people are happy. It’s not about creating a touchy-feely atmosphere or putting a table tennis table in the corner of the office. It’s about making sure people know exactly what’s expected of them – and creating a workplace where they feel they can tell you when they think something’s wrong. Every business leader has to motivate people and get them excited about what they’re doing. But they also need to make clear to staff what is expected of them. It’s not easy to get it right. I tend to pick up on mistakes. I’m quite direct, I can be hard on people and I don’t praise people enough. It’s something I’m working on. It’s also important to listen.
Who Makes Your Company?
Every company has ‘A’ players, ‘B’ players and employees who you regard as a ‘C’ or ‘D’. Not everyone can be an ‘A’ player – that’s not how life works – but if someone’s a “C” or a “D”, you’ve got to build them up. Why aren’t they performing? Is it something the company has got wrong? You might have the wrong strategy. Remember that not everyone works long hours. Treat your employees with respect and make sure your managers to do the same. Technology has transformed the workplace over the last decade, but I still can’t remember ever calling any of my employees after 7pm. I will send emails after office hours but I don’t expect a reply until the next day. And if you want to know what people really think about the company they work for make sure you stay sober at the office Christmas party and let everyone sound off about what they really think. Everyone speaks the truth after they’ve had a skinfull.