What Karren Brady told me


So, if you were on Facebook last week you’ll have seen that on Friday I had the pleasure of hanging out with Karren Brady for the afternoon. Sorry, Baroness Karren Brady. You don’t get the very impressive title of Baroness for no reason so I’m certain this lady knows what she’s talking about.

I’ve been a quiet fan of Karren’s for a while and she is known for being a fantastic ambassador for women in business having become Managing Director of Birmingham City Football Club at the age of 23 and dealing with all the chauvanistic behaviour that football was well known for in the 1980’s!

Having the opportunity, I was keen to ask Karren something that you, my clients, would be able to relate to and to be fair, you’re a very diverse bunch. So, I thought back to one of the key things that has cropped up time and again while I’ve worked in HR and that is how to get your staff engaged with the business to really drive their performance.

Karren told a story about how when she arrived at Birmingham City FC she needed to find a way to get everyone working for the same goal. She had ticket sales staff earning £16k a year and footballers earning £16k a week. She needed a way to get both of those people working to the same goal, even though there was no way they were ever going to have the same perspective.

Karren said she developed 1 philosophy:

“Everyone has to do everything within their power, skills and experience to make the business a success”

And to enable them to be able to do this, and know what success looked like, Karren told me that you must tell the staff 4 things:

  1. Where you’re going.

  2. How you’re going to get there.

  3. What’s their role in helping you to get there.

  4. What’s their reward when you get there.

It’s so simple isn’t it?

And it’s and something that every business can do, but it comes back to what some businesses fail to do at all, communicate.

It’s really tempting for businesses to be very secretive about the numbers; turnover, profit...fearing that if staff think the company is doing well they’ll expect pay rises, bonuses etc. Isn’t it better that your staff know that they’re working for a successful business, to be proud that what they’re doing every day is making a difference?

And, if you achieve the targets that your business wants to, you probably should be rewarding your staff for their efforts in helping you get there. When you start the business planning process and looking at where you want to go, build in those rewards – design the business strategy so that it benefits the team that work hard every day to help you achieve it, and then tell them how they can benefit.

If you need any support in designing a reward strategy in line with your business objectives, or putting in place a communications strategy then please get in touch.

If you are an employer and need assistance with staff and employment matters, talk to Cheryl at PeakHR. We offer competitive rates and cater specifically for small employers.

Please note our blog posts contain general information and are intended as guidance only and should not be taken as an authoritative or current interpretation of the law. Please ensure that you obtain advice tailored to your individual situation before taking action. Due to differences in international employment legislation, most of the advice in these posts apply to the UK only.

#karrenbrady #communication #businessstrategy #employeeengagement #employeereward

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