As the year end approaches, it usually means businesses look to reward the exceptional, say thank you for a year of commitment and look at how best to motivate everyone to do it all again in 2017 with even more enthusiasm.  

Recently I attended a business seminar and was intrigued listening to business leaders as they discussed the subject of which “behaviour in the workplace” was worthy of recognition and reward.

The variation on business views as to what was award winning, or worthy of reward, surprised and in some instances shocked me. One major Corporate bared her soul to the audience and advised that keeping someone in her business for 12 months doing their job to the best of their ability was an achievement and they rewarded this with a bonus; other companies found this outrageous and confessed they try and give as little away to as few as possible.

Amazingly, very few had a true measurement of success in their business beyond the P&L. Even fewer shared their company objectives or vision for the business outside of the board room. I challenged myself to keep quiet as I felt compelled to speak up, but as the conversation fell into an emotional 'my Ebit is bigger than yours' competition, I decided to ask a couple of questions that actually turned out to be very leading questions.  

Due to the impact the questions had and the following conversations I have been able to have within large organisations, I thought it worthwhile sharing them, if only to challenge thinking that clearly exists in some of the largest businesses in the UK. If you work in a business that does nothing but squeeze its employees for more, avoids rewarding its team for success and treats its staff with a lack of respect you may consider leaving, which is the easy option, or you may wish to stay and demonstrate what good looks like in your industry sector. Any CEO worth his salt will want to know if the competition are doing something better, if he or she can improve retention, drive a positive and sustainable programme through their business and by making the people in the business feel valued and wanted drive sales and profitability, doing it the other way round, never works in the long term and always lead to churn, pressure and loss of profitability.

Having alluded to my thought provoking questions you may possibly be waiting for some insight that is unique to the business world, never discussed before. In truth, simplicity is at the heart of most messages in the work place, that rule appliers even more; so it’s time to ask: does your business do the following, and does it do it with a willing heart and a passion that instils a passion in people to want to join your business and work for you?

Here are some key points that I offered up, the conversation took a totally different perspective; it changed from the size of Ebit to discussions about the problems in retention and motivation in the workplace, it opened up an honest track of real problems that exist in most businesses today.

Does your business?

  1. Share the company objectives for the coming year?
  2. Share the strategy behind the plan?
  3. Demonstrate the benefit the above will have to the individuals implementing it? Working environment, enjoyment, fun, collaboration, openness and honesty?
  4. Share updates on the above on a regular basis?
  5. Do you celebrate success?
  6. Do you have a programme that rewards people fairly both inside and outside of the sales department?


Yes, the above is simple, but I know, having listened to some of the leaders within our top businesses, a lot of the above does not happen.

Having spent 27 years in the industry, nearly 20 of them with CI Group, I have been fortunate enough to work with some exceptional people, both in terms of my colleagues and my customers. At CI Group, we do all of the above and amplify it. I appreciate you may think it’s easy for you to say, well it’s not, nothing that delivers excellence is easy, it takes bravery to be different, dedication and lots of hard work, but here’s why it’s worth the pain and commitment, it works.

CI Group believe in what we do, have a team of people that love what they do, own the culture they work within and enjoy sharing success together.

If nothing else, I hope my thoughts help you shape a better work place for you and your colleagues in 2017. 

Merry Christmas and a HAPPY and prosperous New Year.