3 minute read. 
 
Times are tough. The economy has taken a massive hit, everyone has been affected in different ways and the strain is clear to everyone. Business is brutal and survival is far from guaranteed, never mind success! 
 
But it is not all doom and gloom. 
 
Want to know how to survive? 
The key to survival (and if you do it well, success) is looking after your team! It really is as simple as that. 
 
It is easy to forget that each member of your team is going through their own version of hell, they have their own fears, problems, concerns, and dam right unease. To not accept that, or worse to dismiss it is the first step towards your failure – without a doubt! 
 
Your team have a direct link to your success. Get it right and you can weather any storm, get it wrong and it will surely sink you into the cold murky depths of despair! 
 
We who are privileged enough to employ or manage people, need to take this very simple fact into account and plan accordingly. With over 15 Years’ experience in managing people at all levels, across the world, in many different situations and scenarios, I have managed to pick up a few things from people that were truly inspiring and I picked up even more from those that were not! 
 
You can read countless books on management styles, on the carrot and the stick, on motivation techniques and on pure manipulation tactics – but ultimately it all must start somewhere very basic… 

Reward and recognition. 

 
Now this subject can divide people like asking for opinions on Boris Johnson’s capability, so I’ll give you my take and if you don’t like it you know what you can do with it 😊 

Simply giving your staff something as a reward is not enough; how you reward them really does matter. 

This is something I strongly believe in and I have felt the huge benefits this has rewarded me over the years. 
 
As with most things it begins with respect and understanding. Appreciating the sacrifice your team members go to and recognising that with them will earn their trust and respect. This can start of small and it does not need to be structured, but it must be personal. A letter, a phone call or even a text from you outlining your thanks and what their dedication means to you and the business. These things cost nothing, but the value is unparalleled. This shows that you see what is happening in your business and you recognise the steps people are taking to help you succeed. Now these things are always good to be done in a “one on one” fashion, however recognising effort on an open format, with their peers also does wonders for your team! On one hand the person being recognised and rewarded will feel singled out (in a nice way) and can be proud of their achievements, but in another way the rest of your team will be spurred on by this and you will find that more people step up and go above and beyond. 
 
The next step is creating a brand scheme within your business. Openly reward people with gifts and recognition when they display key brand idealism's that you want to nurture in your organisation. Show the world what kind of amazing people you have and thus create yourself an amazing marketing platform to sell your people and ultimately your business on. How you reward your team speaks volumes about your business. 
 
Our first ever £1million pound contract came explicitly from the back of marketing our team ethos and reward scheme. How we look after our people stood us out amongst our competitors, which in turn led us to win the work. We were smaller than our competitors, we did not have as much Industry leverage and not as much backing – but we took care of our people and our customer new that our people would take care of them. 
My final tip is this: 
 
Once you have it working well, change it up a little. Send out gifts to your key staff members, “just because”. It is not for anything specific, no particular incident to tie it to, but simply send them something because you are proud to have them with you. These small acts of kindness, unannounced and unexpected really shows that truly care. Now you can get all wishy washy here and the masculine part of me wants to shrug off the word “care”, but that is what it is. Without them you would be nowhere. You could not do it on your own, no matter how often you kid yourself. You are utterly at the mercy of your people. So, treat them with respect. Show them that you care. Reward them. Recognise their effort and reap all the rewards from doing so. 
 
I have met many business owners that truly understand the value in looking after your people, but sometimes putting the practical aspect of this in place can be overwhelming and / or frustrating, especially when it is so important to get right. If you want to get it started with a clear understanding of what is needed, I can absolutely recommend a great contact; Marianne Smith of Doo Marketing who truly gets just how important your team can play in the survival and growth of your business. Marianne is certainly worth reaching out to and I am sure she would be more than happy to give up some of her valuable time to help steer you in the right direction. 
 
As always, I am more than happy to help anyone that wishes to discuss strategy, planning and in particular reward & recognition – so just reach out to me if you need to. 
 
Kind Regards, 
 
Dan Mottram 
Managing Director 
White Star Security Services Ltd 
 
 
Tagged as: #wedofarmore, #whitestar
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