12 July 2015

A few weeks ago, to celebrate the efforts of our most consistent and hardworking sales people, Gail and I thought it would be nice to get a great tailor in to measure them up for some handmade shirts. I haven’t really explained the reasoning behind this decision and why it meant so much to us, but being able to make gestures like this is what makes being in business so much fun.

Custom made solutions

Custom made shirts

Choosing what to wear to work is a really important decision. It impacts how you feel, how you think, and therefore how you react in any given situation. It’s also really important to celebrate success when people have been trying incredibly hard.

Ultimately though, the underlying question is not wear to work, but where to work.

I would urge every individual planning their career to really ask themselves what kind of environment they want to be in. Do you want to be part of a business that prides itself on its performance and doesn’t just say it values you, but actually demonstrates its appreciation?

This is what ‘Wear to Work’ is about. It’s a pat on the back, a way of making people feel special for their efforts. Not only that, but I believe the clothes you wear change the way you feel.

Some of the sales team have been grafting incredibly hard, going above and beyond to deliver for our customers. I wanted to make sure that they didn’t just behave professionally, but actually felt that way as well, both inside and out.

And, whilst I’ve highlighted our sales team in this blog, it’s also worth pointing out that rewards should be accessible for everyone across the entire business. I don’t care what department you’re in, you should have the chance to win something. Whether it’s a trip to glamourous Wales or (not so glamorous) Verbier, or a beer and a burger on Friday to celebrate a great week, rewarding your team is about how you make them feel.

I don’t think demonstrating that you value someone has to be limited to achievements within the workplace either. If an employee – or one of their relatives – has a baby, we like to send them a UKFast babygrow and flowers.

Custom made suits

Custom made solutions

Recently, the sister of one of our account managers got married and I was asked whether the offer to borrow the boss’s car on your wedding day extended to family. I was delighted that they came and asked me, and more than happy to provide the Bentley for their sister’s big day. Congratulations, by the way!

Ultimately, the way we reward our staff is a huge part of our culture. At UKFast we value energy and effort above all else; that extra bit of energy people put in to make our customers smile.

When I see people trying really hard to do this, it reminds me that they are the people we need to emulate. It’s not just about who’s hit a sales target or brought in the most money, and I think companies that only congratulate people for these areas alone are missing a trick.

We need to be rewarding throughout the business, which is why we have a £50 prize for ‘team mate of the month’ as voted for by employees – the ones who know exactly which of their colleagues has helped them out or made them smile most that month. It’s not a huge prize, but it’s enough for a meal out with your partner or a friend. Lots of little things add up to make a big difference.

And if there are any business owners out there saying, “We can’t afford to reward our staff”, I would say, “Fine. OK. What car do you drive? Get a cheaper one!” You can find other ways to save money, but never where your team is concerned. They are absolutely integral to your success as a business and it’s your our job as business owners to keep them happy, healthy and motivated.

The business world is evolving. It’s time to fix up, look sharp and leave the companies refusing to embrace change behind.

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