Financial Times has a great interview with Frank Appel, the CEO of Deutsche Post DHL the clearly outlines his philosophy for motivating employees: Increasing revenue is a meaningless goal. When company goals are mainly financial, purpose is lost. The best companies are “driven by making the lives of customers easier by highly engaged employees.”
Appel has set up three initiatives for his 522,000 staff:
Go Teach, where DHL staff educate disadvantaged young people
Go Help, where they work with the UN to use the company’s logistics expertise to respond co humanitarian crises
Go Green, where they work to reduce emissions to zero
Appel sums up his message like this:
“We cannot say, listen, ‘Our strategy is to make money and if we have time left then we’ll do something which is good for the society’,” he says.
“Our job is to do something good for the society, and to do that we have to make money, otherwise we can’t continue to invest.”
This is AWESOME. It’s a clear articulation of a philosophy where a company aligns the quest for financial goals with a clear mission to create a better world.
If you look at the numbers, though, this is a fantastic business with high rates of return well suited for long-term investors.
This past quarter, the company continued to grow both the top and bottom lines and showed that it’s doing well at exploiting its most promising growth opportunity.
WD-40 is in a relatively mature market, so it’s remarkable that management continues to find avenues to grow sales and earnings.
At our conference, WD-40’s CEO Garry Ridge will explain the main reason behind this success: They’ve built a culture that is characterized by a sense of belonging, communication, having shared values, and continual learning between elder tribal leaders and younger tribe members.
Yes – they don’t see themselves as a team but a tribe, where employees don’t just work – they belong.
Garry is a truly inspiring speaker and what they’ve achieved at WD-40 is definitely worth learning from.
A couple of years ago, Pret decided to channel the cash we could have spent running loyalty card programmes into a fund for each shop to spend on rewarding its customers. It was as simple as that. We didn’t tell our team members whom they should favour. We let them decide. They could welcome a new customer, cheer up somebody having a bad day or recognise a regular. They could use it to solve a problem. Like everything in Pret, it’s just about lots of individual human relationships, day after day after day.
I love that. Not only is it likely to make customers happy, it will also make employees happier at work because (as research clearly shows) when you do do nice things for others, makes you happier yourself.
As Schlee puts it:
Pret employees tell me that the freedom to give a free coffee is immensely empowering. It injects a random act of kindness into the day. It gives delight and hurts not.