To have a successful business, I have learned three important lessons which I would like to share.
First, hiring the right people is paramount and must not be delegated lightly. Choose the person who knows the company, business, culture, opportunities and challenges best to do the interview. This usually means the business founder or owner.
Second, the character, personality (likeability) and attitude of an individual are just as important, if not more important than the paper qualifications. Avoid pursuing the “best people”. Instead, choose the ones who believe in the company’s mission, share its values and are brand-fit. These traits are essential because everyone in the company is (or should be) a brand ambassador.
Third, employees need to know they are appreciated and valued. And the best way to value them is to invest in them and offer career-growth opportunities. At Healthy Options, all our store managers are promoted internally and are never hired from outside. Growing talent internally has always been a part of our brand culture.
Many companies proudly express their ‘customers first’ policy. But I say Employees First. This means as an employer, if I don’t treat our people well and look after their welfare, I cannot expect them to care and value our customers. If I cannot convince our people of the quality, efficacy and high standards of our natural products, I cannot expect them to offer the products with conviction and honesty. In short, how I treat them will mirror how they treat our customers.
When business conditions get tough, having committed employees who feel appreciated and valued can make all the difference between success and failure.
An example of how we value our people at Healthy Options are the on-going motorbike safety training seminars. We have a Honda motorbike safety expert come to our head office to conduct safety seminars for our employees and agency staff, including those riding Angkas or Joyride. The spouse, boyfriend or relative who drives the motorbike for our employees also attends for free. The objective is to teach them about motorbike driving and riding safety and to instill discipline and courtesy on the road.
As we recognize our employees are a precious resource, expensive to replace and partners in our success, we value them. Hope you do too. Share and email your stories.
Happy New Year!