HAPPINESS IS NOT A DIRTY WORD
I’d worked for a lot of large corporations, some better than others, before I started my own show.
But there was one common theme when I was an employee… I seemed to leave the ‘real’ me at home. I became this suited-up, serious executive that acted like everyone else around me.
When I started my business – I wanted to work in a place that I wanted to work in, where I could express an opinion and be listened to (Okay so I’m the boss now and people tend to listen – but I wanted everyone to have a say, contribute and be heard.)
I wanted to work in a place where I could wear what suited me and expressed my personality, but most of all I wanted to feel connected, have a laugh and share a smile. To be part of something bigger than myself. I had all the intention as a leader – but it took years of trial and error to achieve the outcome.
The reality is that I knew how I wanted to do business but I did not necessarily have the skills to do so.
So I started the business with the intent of having fun – and five years in, I and those around me were not having fun at all – we had got very serious indeed. When employee turnover reached 64% in 2006 – I had to have a tough conversation with myself – and see clearly I must be the problem.
Very confronting for any leader.
So imagine how proud I feel now six years later to have created a workplace with an employee engagement score of over 90% in the past four years – when the national average in Australia is just 54%.
I did it by getting the right people in the right roles and the first person I hired was an HR professional (known as Employee Experience Manager). There has been a clear and deliverable commercial outcome from creating a great workplace.
But I am daily confronted by people who tell me that it was easy because my business is about encouraging people to experience things that makes them happy.
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