How to value employees and turn your business from good to great

A lot of companies claim that their employees are ‘great people’ and the heart and soul of the business. You’ll find the boast in marketing, on websites, and in social media posts. In Scotland, there’s even a city with the slogan, ‘People Make Glasgow’. But do companies really know how to value employees – or citizens – effectively?

Drill down a little way, and think about what ‘great people’ means. Is it a cutthroat sales person who goes to any length to get the deal, or is it someone who respects others and gathers useful contacts by being a pleasure to work with? Do companies even know what they mean when they talk about great staff? Every business should think about their company culture and what sort of people they want before they begin the hiring process.

Is hiring people with a natural exuberance and warmth more important than someone who ticks all the qualifications and experience boxes? Is it better to hire someone with the right personal qualities who could be trained? The truth is it varies from place to place. The other truth is that a lot of companies don’t think hard enough about it.

Keeping employees happy

Once a company owner has established how to attract great people, they must consider how to keep these ‘great people’ happy and make them feel valued. Many of us have had lovely bright and breezy job interviews, then arrived in a company to find that things are not as they seemed.

A good boss has a lot of influence over whether those people remain great. Even the greatest of us start flagging if work conditions are miserable. It’s all very well boasting to the outside world that you hire great people and run a happy shop, but in reality, what is being done to shape the work-life balance of those people who you hire? How do you value your employees? Keeping staff positive and hardworking requires management.

One company that strives to value employees and maintain staff happiness – and is well known for it – is John Lewis. The model in which staff become shareholders, or members as they’re called, is admirable. The company has a written constitution, stating key principles. The first states that the company purpose is ‘the happiness of all its members, through their worthwhile and satisfying employment in a successful business.’ It says, ‘Because the Partnership is owned in trust for its members, they share the responsibilities of ownership as well as its rewards – profit, knowledge and power.’ Impressive stuff. This is one successful way of how to value employees, ensuring staff remain ‘great’ and have job satisfaction.

However, not every company can or wants to operate on this model. But treating employees well in other ways can also keep staff ‘great’; motivated and productive. It’s important that the methods management devise to keep staff happy aren’t token – we’re not talking a bowl of jelly babies in the lobby and a dismal Christmas party.

Corporate lifestyle management

One way to show you know how to value employees is to hire an office lifestyle manager; someone whose role is to make workers’ lives easier. This isn’t as indulgent as it may sound at first. In fact, it’s an increasingly common phenomenon. Each company can structure the role of this corporate lifestyle manager, but duties can include helping staff with day-to-day personal admin and enhancing work-life balance, from booking restaurants to arranging staff yoga sessions at lunch, or signing for parcels, or collecting dry cleaning. It can be a wide-ranging role. The important part is that it genuinely helps staff live a better work-life balance.

A recent survey by creative tech company Studio Graphene revealed that many large businesses simply fail to deliver employee satisfaction, with 47% of full-time workers in companies with over 250 employees saying they don’t feel  valued by the company. They weren’t happy with their work-life balance, they felt the companies weren’t developing, and 29% said they were planning on changing jobs in 2019. That’s something that then costs these companies dearly. Smaller companies fared better, but even mid-sized companies (49-250 employees) had 49% of staff unhappy with their work-life balance.

Is your company ahead of the trend? Do you take any action regarding how to value employees? Are those ‘great’ employees in your business actually happy and feeling valued, or are they secretly wanting to change jobs?

By James Roberts


Talk to 14fiftyseven director Susie Osborough about how to value employees, and increase staff satisfaction with a corporate lifestyle manager today. For corporate lifestyle management services – London or beyond, call Susie Osborough +44 (0)208 616 1457 or email to get the ball rolling.

We hire corporate lifestyle managers and executive personal assistants. We also hire household staff including nanniesbutlers, house and estate managers and more. We are a lifestyle management recruitment agency and more.

14fiftyseven. Because we’ve been there.


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