‘People innovation’ is a trend that a lot of businesses seem to be taking on recently. I think it’s a great approach because it goes to the centre of business operation. Your staff are your biggest asset ad therefore the happier your staff are, I think it stands to reason that the more successful your business will be. Happy employees mean happy customers and clients – they’ll be willing to work harder for you, which in the end will mean more business, productivity and profit. And it also makes it more likely they will stay with you in the long term.
In the UK – and the US – we have a business culture that expects people to work longer hours, be available on email all the time and where no one can really take a proper holiday. It’s a short-sighted approach and I don’t think it’s a sustainable model.
Reading up on companies that are trying this ‘people innovation’ approach, it seems that putting measures into place that boost staff morale has far more investment potential. Netflix, for example, is one company that offers employees unlimited paid holidays. It also doesn’t keep track of working hours. As long as you get your work done, you can come and go as you please. Other companies offer perks like free laundry services, free bicycle hire, a yoga class for the entire office on Fridays and even encouraging their staff to work abroad for a month each year.
It all sounds very innovative, but the idea that happy staff make for good business has been around for as long as business has, in one way or another. When I first started my business, I thought I knew everything already. A lot of it, I didn’t know. But, I did know that I needed my staff to enjoy work.
We all dream of doing a job that we love, so it doesn’t actually feel like work. But not everyone is lucky enough to be in that position. If more companies started doing things like this I have no doubt everyone would not only be a lot happier, but also a lot happier to be working.