“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.”
– Steve Jobs (Founder, Apple)
From day one, Leap has been focused on redefining the design process for the combined benefit of people, planet and profit. “People” doesn’t just mean creating work that helps society (either directly or indirectly); it also includes ensuring the ongoing happiness and wellbeing of our amazing and happy team here at our Truro studio.
“To be good, and to do good, is all we have to do.”
– John Adams (Founding Father and Second PotUS)
Creative work is only as good as the people behind it, and Leap’s achievements are the result of the strong team of creative that we’ve built. Making sure that everybody here is happy at work and with the projects that they’re doing is what allows them to do their best work. This year, Leap was recognised for the second year running as Best For The World for Workers by B Corp’s B Lab and was cited as one of the top 100 best companies to escape to in 2019. How have we built and retained such a strong team? Here are our “Happy Team How To’s”:
Recognition and Celebration
Sharing success strengthens teams. Annual appraisals shouldn’t be critiquing events that are feared by workers; they should be opportunities to highlight and shout about achievements as well as opportunities to consider areas for continued development. Entering awards for work projects or as a business, and that are celebrated together, reinforces the unity of a team and its shared purpose.
“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.”
– Phil Jackson (Basketball Coach, Chicago Bulls)
In summer 2019 the Leap team nominated our Senior Eco Designer, Nathan, for inclusion in a B Lab article celebrating “B Corp employees who have shown commitment, compassion and leadership to be the change they wish to see in the world.”
Autonomy and Flexibility
Offering employees greater autonomy has been proven to have positive effects on overall well-being and create higher levels of job satisfaction. If you can offer flexible working hours or start times, and working from home arrangements, then your team members can manage their own time and workload and, in the case of creative industries, schedule their tasks for times when they know they can be most productive.
Create a financial “perks package” for employees, so that they can share in the businesses success. Leap employees receive a “perks package” that includes a profit share scheme, interest-free loans for home computers and travel season tickets, and access to a financial advisor. Offering memberships, subscriptions and access to discounts can enhance employees’ time away from work, or reduce their personal expenditures. We offer a BrewDog beer subscription, and as a B Corp business our team get a discount when buying from other B Corp businesses.
Travel and Leave
On top of generous holiday leave entitlements, offering additional days for long service or “climate perks” (of 1-2 additional days leave to accommodate “slow” travel by rail or ferry instead of flying) gives workers the time away that they need to recharge and come back refreshed and ready to do their best work. Offering access to a cycle to work scheme or similar has the additional benefit of contributing to a team member’s physical and mental wellbeing through exercise, as well as having an obvious environmental benefit.
Learning, Development and Volunteering
Setting aside time and funding for professional development allows team members to keep pace with industry developments, grow within and beyond their roles, and explore skills that could open up new opportunities for your business. Secondary professional up-skilling such as external ‘experiential’ learning
opportunities to build insight into social and environmental change agenda can aid in pursuing purpose in work. If your business is aligned with a particular cause then offering employees a set number of paid volunteering days to engage with that community, or time out to engage with community actions and events are another way of team members developing a sense of purpose and fulfilment outside of their work.
Working Environment and Socialising
Creating a welcoming, light and creative working environment has a huge positive influence upon a person’s happiness and productivity at work. We recently shared our tips and hacks for creating a sustainable studio that includes details of how we created a positive working environment. Feeling part of a team also extends to time outside of the office, and organising regular optional social events provides opportunities for team bonding. This doesn’t mean going paint-balling or doing exercises where one of you has to fall backwards and be caught by everybody else; it means going for dinner or a drink together after work (perhaps as part of celebrating on another’s achievements), Christmas and summer parties, and occasional team away days to festivals or events, or working out of office together. A work five-a-side football team, run crew or climbing club promotes bonding over shared interests beyond those involved with your job roles.
Your team is your company’s greatest asset; they are the foundation of everything that you do. Building a great company culture and a workplace atmosphere that facilitates their creativity and a high degree of engagement is good for them, which in turn is good for your business.