How do you
create a dedicated and ambitious team to bring success to your business to?
It is one thing to attract the right talent to your company. But how do you cultivate a dedicated and ambitious attitude in your employees to keep them hungry and motivated? Kate Cox, Chief Marketing Officer of Money Penny, Timo Boldt, founder of Gousto, Rachel Carrell, founder of Koru Kids and Chriss Abbass, co-founder of Talentful spoke about how to cultivate work culture and the challenges of remote working on the Talent Regulations panel at Elite Business’ live event on March 9. They discussed exactly how to retain valuable staff and create a driving force to grow your business.
With a rise in technology, many businesses have shifted to outsourcing employees from across the world and many allow their staff to work remotely. Timo, the founder of Gousto, explained how it is far more important to build an engaging company culture and achieve results rather than focusing on who is in the office. “We hire the very best talent that’s out there, we try hard to build the greatest culture as possible,” Timo said. “We have amazing talent. I couldn’t care less where they sit and how they work. Some might have kids and others might look after their parents. In today’s world, it’s all about results and not face time. As long as you build a meritocracy where everyone’s ideas and results matter, it shouldn’t matter where they sit.”
However, Kate from Money Penny explained how working in an office can help create a strong company culture and a bond between colleagues as you can work together in a team and support each other on your journey success. “We do have 700 people in our North Wales office in Wrexham and we have people in Atlanta and Charleston in the US. At the moment, we are mostly office based but we’ve just invested in some very good cloud technology to manage voice calls so we can manage remote working as well…. I think there is a benefit of all being together and working together as a team, so there are some real benefits of working face to face. Building culture, team support.”
With a rise in technology and remote working, Rachel explained how she strategically trains her staff to work remotely to get used to the shift, as her business employs staff from across the country. “We think it’s so important to be able to build up our remote muscle. I think that we all should be building anti-fragile businesses, resilient businesses,” Rachel said. “Being able to recruit from the world and work remotely is a really important part of that. So, we are trying very deliberately to build our remote muscle, I see it as a key strategic pillar of our talent. And in order to force ourselves to do that, if a person is working remotely, we have a remote meeting anyway.”
Instead of just focusing on your employees’ attitudes, it is important to set for founders and managers to set a good example to their staff. Timo explained how business leaders need to understand their shortcomings and delegate tasks accordingly and also focus on their employees’ strengths rather than weaknesses. “My biggest learning personally is managing yourself before you lead other people is crucial,” Timo explained. “I’ve done an executive MBA on the weekends and I’m currently becoming a certified coach through a one-year diploma. It is important to understand your demons and your own shortcomings and how do you hire for strength, not for weakness. How you build a personal board around you, that is super powerful.” As you go from a founder into the CEO of your company, your role changes. You’re pushed into communication and proper leadership away from managing and doing everything by yourself, and no one prepares you for this. And I think it’s your job to be ahead of the curve and lead by example to help others on this journey.”
Chris agreed with Timo and stressed the importance of setting an example as a leader but also employing good leaders to manage your staff. Employees should also have a voice and be given the leverage to help make decisions and recommendations for the company as they will have valuable insight when it comes to daily operations. Employees will also have a greater sense of belonging to the company if they are seen and heard by their superiors. “As a founder, at one point, your business is very much like a family. And then you go through this transition where there are more layers between you and your employees as your business scales up,” Chris said. “And that can become quite uncomfortable for some. I think it’s very important that you delegate and create a very good leadership team. Keep your employees engaged. Also, keep an avenue for people to have a voice. Listen to them, allow them to make recommendations and changes in the business.”
Business leaders should have full trust in their employees to complete their tasks, Kate said, as this helps build morale and a strong work culture amongst staff. “We really focus on trusting our people,” Kate said. “We want our people to have the trust of the businesses they take the calls for. We give them ultimate trust, no scripting, nothing. We want them to make a real relationship with the business owner that they’re working through. And that helps get people in. Because people who are good at the job that we want them to be are ‘people people’. They love talking on the phone, they love answering calls, they love helping. And it’s really building that into our culture.”