Why looking after your team should be your highest priority in business
Despite money.co.uk's HQ being based in a castle, founder Chris Morling believes there's more to creating a great place to work than "fancy pants offices"
Our office has become famous in the press this year because we work in a Victorian castle and we’ve done some seriously cool stuff to it recently with a cinema, arcade, library and chalet all included, but for me it’s only a small piece of a larger jigsaw.
In fact, it's far more important to make sure your team enjoy their work and to create a supportive culture for them.
If your team enjoy their work, feel empowered and get rewarded, it doesn’t matter if you don’t have fancy pants offices. That said, I strive to deliver both at money.co.uk.
It's my belief that there are four key elements that contribute towards creating a happy, engaged team; the right culture, challenging (and fun) work tasks, a working environment that’s fit for purpose and rewards for great work – all of which I've explained below…
Happy staff are less likely to leave
I look forward to coming into work each day and collaborating with my team. They are my most valuable asset and I know the business would not have been as successful if I didn’t have them on board.
By creating an environment where every member of your team loves coming into work, everyone wins. Your team will enjoy life more and your business will benefit tremendously. A happy and engaged team is more productive, creative and innovative and less likely to take sick leave.
If staff are happy they are far less likely to leave which builds invaluable knowledge within the business and reduces time and money spent on recruitment.
Why you should reward your team
Not every staff benefit has to cost money – flexible working hours, working from home, generous annual leave and time off to volunteer are some of the most sought after benefits and there’s no direct cost.
If your company is profitable it’s reasonable that the team who put in the effort to make it happen should share in your success. That’s the philosophy behind many of the benefits at money.co.uk, which include:
- 10% of all profits going to charity
- Staff given £5,000 each to donate to a charity of their choice
- Three days off a year to volunteer for charitable causes
- All expenses paid annual 5* trip abroad
- Cinema for personal use including a popcorn machine and beer fridge
- Above average generous annual bonus
- Early finish on a Friday with free beer & wine
- Onsite weights room and cardio gym
- PlayStation, Xbox, Pool table, arcade machine and table football
- A week a year to use for personal development
- Monthly all expenses paid team social events
- Bupa healthcare
- Cycle to work scheme
- Football, basketball, squash and badminton club fees paid
- Generous annual leave which increases with loyalty
- Monthly all expenses paid team lunches
- Freshly ground beans in the coffee machine
- Free breakfast
While some of these benefits are obvious, benefits like free football and basketball can be so much more than a simple perk. They can help build relationships and bond a team, not to mention helping them to balance the time that can be spent sat at a desk.
Invest in your team and your business will prosper
Investing in your team is worth every single penny. If you create an environment where your team are treated like kings and queens, how do you think they’ll treat your customers? They are the heartbeat of your business and you should treat your people like you’d like to be treated in return.
Treat everyone you meet in business with courtesy and respect – whether they are part of your team, a business partner or a customer.
Providing a brilliant working environment will help you to attract new talent, especially if you’re not based in the heart of a large city. Creative spaces shouldn’t be left at the doors of the media agencies and tech firms. Every working environment should provide stimulus to help your staff fire on all cylinders.
Never underestimate the importance of being good with people. The relationship you have with your team will form the successful foundations of your business.
Remember that you can’t do everything on your own – you must put faith in the people you employ. Letting go is never easy, so surround yourself with people that believe in what you’re trying to achieve to help keep you focused and driven. Recruit people with the same values and ethics as you and you’ll be set.
Choosing the right people is key and that’s why I am still involved in interviewing every single person we employ. It’s really important to me that anyone we recruit fits in and works well with the existing team.
Treating your team well and investing in them is a smart business move, but even if that weren’t the case I still believe it's the right thing to do – simply because they’re people.
Chris Morling is the entrepreneur and managing director behind comparison website money.co.uk. He founded the company in 2008, achieving year on year growth and profit. The Sunday Times ranked money.co.uk as the second fastest growing business in the UK in 2015 and it was recently voted one of the best places to work in the country.