To coincide with Field Sales Solution’s move into their new larger offices within Oxford House, in Thame, Oxfordshire, CEO; Julian Cordy shares his views on why culture is so important to business…
It’s a great cliché and often heard… “our people are our greatest asset.”
Nice words, easy to say and in most businesses has some ring of truth to it. In a business like ours it really is the absolute truth. Of course, having great systems, processes and policies are key foundations, but when we have the responsibility of representing some of the leading brands in the World and driving their growth by creating key interventions in store, having people who are fully engaged is critical to the mutual success of our brand partners and our own business.
In 2017, there were an estimated 16,000 books published about business and how to do it better as well as endless training courses and consultants developing Vision, Mission, Strategy and Objectives models. I dread to think how many post-its and flipchart pages have been sacrificed in the struggle to find the right words that encapsulate the process that must be followed.
Field Sales Solutions has been a leading player in our business sector for many years and historically had a reputation for being a safe pair of hands and probably had quite a hierarchical approach to management. This was not the ‘culture’ that I wanted and more importantly one that could not work as our business was growing rapidly. I was very aware that we all needed something simple to encompass what we stood for as a business.
Culture is the personality of a business based on the sum total of the values, management style, traditions, stories and beliefs that are shared across the organisation. Culture lives in the minds of employees as perceptions of their experience working to serve customers. Culture, in its most fundamental form, is how employees in a business consistently act when no one is looking.
While many elements of culture are unique from company to company, research indicates high-performance cultures have some common traits. Companies with high-performance cultures are often described as decisive, long-term oriented, proactive, open, transparent, and people-oriented, according to report by Aon Hewitt.
One word kept playing in my mind when I was thinking about this, Pride. We really do work with some amazing brands and have people who are committed to delivering a great service to our clients. I wanted something simple that people whether based in our head office, a permanent contracted field team colleague or one of our many part time team members, could grasp and remember and hopefully take some of the messages into their day to day job.
So, our values are encapsulated in two small words
This has 3 key meanings.
- be Proud of the brands we represent
- be Proud of working for Field Sales Solutions
- be Proud of yourself and your own development
Each of our PROUD values has a meaning
These words and their definitions define what we do and how we behave.
Simply having these is not enough and working hard and finding innovative ways to keep them alive is an ongoing process. So, we have our ‘be Proud’ recognition scheme where colleagues can nominate each other when they have over delivered on our values. We hold our ‘be Proud Oscars’ every year at our Christmas conference and at every opportunity when I am presenting to clients, a new team, a sales conference for our field teams I will always keep reminding people about these values.
The good news is that it is working for us. Our staff satisfaction survey has positive indicators each year and the Values always score in the high 90% as well understood and a clear message. We have just invested in larger modern office & kitchen space to give our team a place to work they can be Proud of and the response has been overwhelming.
The positivity is also reflected in our business growth as we continue to grow clients, revenue and profitability which ultimately is the proof of the pudding.
My learnings from this are:
- Keep it simple
- Back up the words with support and action
- Invest in the values both financially and time
- Keep taking feedback and learning
Hope you have a day that you can be Proud of today.
Julian Cordy, Field Sales Solutions Chief Executive Officer
To learn more about our company values and our organisation as a whole, please visit our website http://www.fieldsalessolutions.com/