In these recessionary times, what is the most valuable asset in your business? I still believe it is the staff.
I suppose that one could be tempted to take staff for granted, what with unemployment levels heading to three million and a regular flow of jobseekers through the door.
However, I take the opposite view, as come the upturn staff loyalty will once again be essential and people will remember how they were treated in the bad times.
So I am making even more of an effort to treat staff well, giving a good reward where it has been earned and providing opportunities for promotion and learning on the job. It is not just money that makes people feel valued though; paying attention to them, taking time to speak to them as individuals and making sure the company has a good social life are
With this in mind, I recently organised an evening at the races. This was an excellent night out and included the racing, food, drinks and a live band. It was a relatively modest outlay at £30 a head. I did not win anything on the horses but the rewards to the business far outweighed the cost.
There is an excellent team spirit among the staff, and the week following the event was one of our best of the year so far. Most importantly, we have not lost any of our staff this year. It is so much easier to develop relationships with customers, who like to see the same faces and be remembered by name.
So along with my loyal team I am looking forward to the end of the recession, when all of us will be able to reap the benefits.
- Bashir Mohammed is the owner of independent designer fashion business American Pie