Small Business Advice from Richard Reed: How to Build a Strong Team
Want to know how to grow your business and develop your leadership style? Employ like-minded, hardworking staff, and keep them motivated when you follow the advice of Richard Reed, founder of Innocent Drinks.
Start with Values and Skills, Then Experience
“A business is a community of human beings. Communities operate best by everyone signing up to a set of principles by which that community operates. You’ve got to find people that will naturally chime with the things that you care about. They must also have the right skills, and ideally but not necessarily the experience to meet the demands of your business.”
Seek Entrepreneurial Spirit When Hiring Staff
“When you're starting out, you might not find anyone who wants to join you because good people can be nervous about joining a small business.
“Look for people who possess a bit of inner entrepreneur in them. If they’ve got the risk appetite and the energy, and the entrepreneurial sense to want to come and join a small business, then that’s almost a self-selecting recruitment tool.”
Get More Demanding as You Grow
“When you are more established and it's a less of a gamble for people to join, it’s good to be more demanding of your potential employees. Make sure they really fit the values of your business, and complement what's needed in terms of the skills for the role, and for the relevant part of your business.”
Ambition and Altruism Are Important
“At Innocent, we looked for people that were ambitious by asking: do they seem up for taking on risk, challenge, growth, and opportunity? Can they see the bigger picture? Will they get through the problems that are presented? Then we wanted to know are they altruistic in the sense that, do they want to win as a team?
“Having ambition and altruism equally weighted is a powerful thing to have in employees. People who are keen to give it a go and achieve more, without treading on anyone, bring people along for the journey.”
When Managing People, Be Clear on Everyone’s Contribution with Objectives
“We set each employee five staff objectives that they were assessed against every six months. Their objectives were totally unique to them, and they also had a clear connection to the overall mission of Innocent.
“If you were a graphic designer who was responsible for developing the packaging, you could see how your role was connected to the company’s objective to launch a new smoothies range. If you were the HR manager who was responsible for cultural initiatives, you could see exactly how you contributed to the company’s objective about employee engagement.
“As your company gets bigger you can make it so that every single person can see, this is what I’ve got to deliver, and this is how it contributes overall.”
For Happy Employees, Share What Matters
“At Innocent, we invested a lot of time in constant communication – we always shared the good news and the bad. As well as this, we also made everyone shareholders in the business. That way they weren't just expected to do the job, they were willing participants in the enterprise, that had a vested share in the business financially, as well as emotionally.”
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