Companies with Heart


Leonie Cutts

May 12, 2015 5:05 am

How does your company respond when one of your sales people reaches their sales target in the first half of the month?

What about if an employee wants to work from home 3 days a week? Or, they want to work at an office closer to home?

How you respond to these scenarios will depend very much on the values of the organisation. As an owner or director of a business, understanding why you are in business in the first place is critical. In our recent interview,  Michelle Duval shares some insights and strategies for getting to the heart of the values and the impact this has on the success of the business.

Ultimately values drive behaviours in business and dictate the success and happiness of everyone in the company.  Michelle highlighted a couple of great examples of values driven organisations – Zappos and Semco Partners.

Ricardo Semlar, CEO and owner of Semco Partners and author of ‘Maverick’, answers the sales target question with ‘take the rest of the month off!’.  He also allows employees to work at an office that is closest to their home.  He aimed to ‘take away the boarding school aspects of work.’  Another one of the ways he demonstrates this value is to give people back their Wednesdays for 10% of their salary.

Tony Hsieh of Zappos  has found that passion, purpose and profit combined make for a powerful combination in building business and creating a happy work environment. This is a company that puts employee happiness above that of the customer. The rationale is that if the employees are happy, they can’t help but make the customers happy.

How clear are your company values?  Are you confident that your behaviours are in line with the values that the company espouses?