Power to the people

Editor’s Blog Posted 15/07/15
Why a leading local business person's approach to staff is food for thought

If you’re lucky, you might never experience working for a bad boss. Unfortunately, most people will probably be able to look back on their career and recall an employer or senior who was not very good at people management.

The flip side of this, is that many business people will have their own horror stories about lacklustre staff who’ve failed to live up to their job description. In an ideal world, bosses and workers would always fulfil their side of the bargain in exemplary fashion, allowing us all to exist in a perpetual state of blissful harmony and synergy.

So this world isn’t ideal, but I’m coming across more and more businesses who genuinely see their staff as more than numbers - many are really going out of their way to make their employees feel valued and respected.

All this was brought to mind this week when I met Jan Post, managing director of Kent-based RIFT Group, which provides tax and accountancy services. RIFT is a significant employer in the Ashford area and it was easy to see why so many local people are keen to secure work there. During our very interesting chat, the importance of high quality staff and the investment she makes in them was one of the first things Jan mentioned. Training is taken seriously, with every new employee being given their own programme; in addition, Jan is clearly proud of the way that staff encourage friends and relatives to apply for employment there, generating a real ‘family feel’.

Naturally, there is a strong element of self-interest in making the workforce feel good, but when such a mutually agreeable solution to staff retention works, why not embrace it? Or does the risk element make it difficult for small businesses to invest much time and energy in new staff, and if so, what could be done to help? Let us know your views.

You can read more about Jan’s business strategy in the next issue of South East Business.

Tweets from @SEBmagazine