We asked our clients a simple question: What does a great business look like to you? The responses were fascinating – with no answer the same. Nobody mentioned being ‘the biggest’, the ‘most innovative’, or even the ‘most profitable’. In fact these business owners hardly mentioned finances, beyond wanting the security of strong cash flow and no debt.
By far the most common answer to what makes a great business was ‘people’. Most crucially, the people that work inside the business.
Some of our clients’ answers to what makes a great business:
- “A place where everyone feels happy and involved. Success is rewarded and all staff have clear direction and purpose.”
- “Smiling people, who know what to do, how to do it, and who to go to for help.”
- “A company may have the best product with bad staff but it will not succeed, whereas an average product with good staff will succeed.”
Something else we learned from our survey was the importance of passion in a business. Steve Bosley, from Amorini Australia, is a strong believer in having passion for a business, and that it must come from the top. His own biggest driver for running an international wholesale business is simple: helping his team to grow. He loves helping his team develop and watching them become more capable. For Steve, building a great business is about far more than exceptional quality products and efficient systems. It’s about having brilliant people. And the only way they’ll become brilliant is if the business owner and management team have passion and knowledge they can pass on to their outstanding people.
Top tips for building passion
So…how do you go about creating a more passionate workforce? Some of the most important strategies are below. Start adopting them now, and you’ll soon see the excitement in your business grow.
- Show your own passion for the business. You can’t light a fire with a wet match!
- Just as you try to understand what makes our clients tick, take time to understand what makes your staff tick. People aren’t motivated by the same things, so find out about your own business and its workforce.
- Build passion into the hiring process – for a flying start.
- Recognise and celebrate employees’ acts of passion.
- Empower employees so they get involved in strategy. Show them how their work impacts the organisation, and let them get involved in making a difference in the community
- Create a positive ‘buzz’ in the office – encourage your team to personalise their work environment. Have some fun!
Our Strategy and Culture division work with many of our clients in this area already. Contact us if you’d like a more passionate and engaged workforce, so you can help your business be great.