When searching for a job, what are the appealing qualities of job advertised on the internet, in the newspaper or plastered in the window in the hope of drawing the perfect candidate?
Some may say an above average pay packet draws them from the warmth and comfort of their abode when the alarm screeches in the early hours. Others may be drawn to working in an industry in which they’re interested, dipping their toes in the waves of their future before comfortably swimming out to the ocean of retirement.
There’s a quality which is very much overlooked in favour of the aforementioned ‘perks’ – the presence of a positive working force can turn a job into something enjoyable. And as the adage goes, “If you enjoy what you do, you never work a day in your life.” The dream, most would agree.
CEO and founder of British luxury men’s fragrance Gruhme Robert Hallmark, believes a happy workforce is a productive workforce. Not alone in this train of thought, a number of start-up brands share this ethos, something which sets them apart from the faceless corporations of the world who find even the slightest element of positivity unproductive and too costly. In a deep discussion with Robert, he informed us that many loved brands, some which, without, the aforementioned corporations simply couldn’t operate without, are startup brands within the last generation. It could be argued a business world without Microsoft or Apple simply couldn’t exist. And the list of life’s greatest questions would find itself increasing by the day, were it not for beloved search engine, Google. Other startup brands in the last generation include Innocent Drinks, Spotify, Amazon, Notonthehighstreet.com and a plethora of daily used websites. It’s a fact that this startup model pays, and it works, providing those who contribute to its success are happy. And this is why a positive workforce is vital in today’s business.
For the past few years, anxiety within the workplace has risen – in the nature of this discussion, we raised the issue with Robert Hallmark, curious as to his opinion on the influx. Robert pauses to muse over the question before responding, “Anxiety is on the rise because people believe they all have to be ‘good’ at something. Instead, we should all be just finding something we enjoy and by default, you will become good at it but meanwhile, there won’t be the same pressure attached.”
From an employer’s point of view, Robert states that he would always choose the person who has a passion to work with him, with the view that this would enable their rate of improvement to surpass everyone else.
So, what’s the secret to the perfect employee?
“The trick is to find passion, potential and ability. When you do, it’s easy to become friends with that person and have them in the team”, the lawyer-turned-perfumer cites. Most would agree these make for infectious qualities, and bring a positive and inspiring nature to the rest of the team. This is very important within a business, something which customers notice. Robert believes the future of retail is in the brand experience, adding “If you do not offer a good experience for your price point, then people will just choose a cheaper brand and save their money”, referencing the current ‘Tesco vs Aldi’ feud as a comparison.
The experience a business offers is far more accessible to today’s customer with the presence of social media. One need only visit the brand they’re shopping from’s Facebook page to get a good idea of the service you can expect. Comments on major brands nearly always focus on the service received, not the product itself. Robert adds, “Consumers are actually far more supportive about product issues than customer service. That is because service is an attitude, and a bad attitude is what upsets your customers the most.”
The response is where faceless corporations fall short – treating the customer as your own is vital in the success of a business. The sense of professionalism and a strict business approach take precedence over human interaction – nobody in the senior levels of a company is prepared to take responsibility for the culture, instead favouring a cold, almost robotic approach. One can imagine it’s seen as “soft” to be encouraging. Such space between client and customer can cause problems such as failing to make pre-promised callbacks, a lack of empathy and formal complaints being ignored. Nobody ‘owns’ the relationship, therefore no progress is made – it’s left in the ether of miscommunication. However, if employees see themselves as a force which pulls together to ensure customer satisfaction, Robert believes “your brand will grow stronger and more sustainably. This makes it a better investment – winwin!”
Robert emphasises that as a brand, he wants each employee under his care to feel that they have a key role within the business, adding “Each role represents part of the whole, including our customers because they are our biggest and most important resource for selling our fragrance – they are the real brand ambassadors.”
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