What do companies that are consistently ranked among the best companies to work for do differently? That is a question co-authors Michael O’Malley and Bill Baker of Organizations for People answered in a recent study of 21 businesses that are perennially honored by Inc., Fortune and other publications that compile lists of the best companies to work for. The authors claim there is no one size fits all formula or strategy to make the list, but they did identify the following common themes among the winners.
A lot of businesses either close or slow down during the last week of the year. It's time to spend with family, reflecting on successes and shortcomings and laying plans and goals for the coming year. Matt Plumber writes in an HBR blog post that to make the most of the time off during the last week of the year, it is important to understand your tendencies. Among working professionals, Plumber has found that there are three types of "holiday time misusers."
Affordable luxury is an oxymoron. At least, according to Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH, arguably the world's most prestigious luxury brand whose empire includes Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Dom Perignon, Hennessy, most recently Tiffany, plus 70 others. Arnault does not believe that LVMH's brands should ever be discounted, ascribing to the notion that luxury brands need to have total control of distribution, pricing and how the brand is portrayed.
Delegation is one of the more difficult tasks for showroom owners and managers. However, when you don't delegate effectively, you send negative messages to your team that you don't trust them to perform to your expectations. You also limit your ability to grow because there is only one of you. To delegate more effectively, change the paradigm of how you interact with the team members who report directly to you. Flip the switch.
Almost every kitchen and bath showroom wants to know the secret sauce of becoming the go-to resource for their local design community. 1stdibs has become the trusted online source for all designers tasked with sourcing furniture, antiques, art, rugs and other furnishings for the home. The company's website has more than 800,000 pieces that are individually vetted by a 1stdibs team member. Why has a website selling luxury products captured the attention and support of the design community? One reason is that 1stdibs makes it easy to search and to buy. As one designer notes, "1stdibs has streamlined our process tremendously."
Pauline Brown, former chairperson of North America for LVMH, claims that luxury brands and their leaders need to develop aesthetic intelligence in addition to traditional, artificial and emotional intelligence.
Do your team members, at every level of your organization, take pride in what they do? Do they achieve a sense of professional and personal satisfaction from the work that they perform daily? In a recent article, Fast Company founder Bill Taylor opines that if you want your team to elevate their performance, you have to build up their pride. In his book Why Pride Matters More Than Money, Jon R. Katzenbach defines pride as "the relentless pursuit of worthwhile endeavors…Intrinsic price is institution-building when it prompts the kind of effective, customer-focused behaviors," which become competitive difference makers.
What’s the key to happiness? If you asked Sigmund Freud, it’s the ability to avoid anxiety and not suffer. That's not very positive, and based on new research conducted by psychologist Dr. Martin Seligman, Freud has it all wrong. Seligman believes that happiness is readily achievable and the natural result of building one’s well-being by focusing on five areas.
In his classic work, A Whack on the Side of the Head, Roger Van Och advises that the key to creativity is to look at the same things differently. And when you do, great things happen. There multiple examples. The inventor of Velcro was inspired by examining how the burrs from plants stuck to his clothes. Looking at the plants through a microscope revealed that there were hooks on the end of the burrs that would attach to the looped fibers in clothing. The ah-ha moment was to create a hook and loop alternative to conventional zippers.
At a recent Remodelers Advantage conference, more than 75% of the remodeling company owners in the room indicated that they would be hiring new people within the next six months. This is exciting news because it indicates an optimistic outlook toward the future! Growth! Yes!
The question then is, who to hire? Before you move forward, take a look at your current organizational structure and think about the future. Plan to hire employees that will help you build your bench with an eye to the future.
Bench Strength: The competence and number of employees ready to fill vacant leadership and other positions.