We are only human..... | Blog | Foundation East

We are only human.....

It would be difficult, at the moment, to be unaware of general conversations about the Olympics, the Weather or the Fifty Shades trilogy. If you have avoided all of these conversations (regardless of whether you joined in), possibly, you are on Robinson Crusoe’s island with no mobile or Wi-Fi connection!

I wanted to include these matters because of the amount of time being consumed discussing them- not just by me. Consequently, I began writing about ‘word of mouth’, the wealth of your staff and their ‘buy in’ to your company. Then I got to thinking that staff are human beings.

All relationships within your business will ultimately deal with human beings so it follows that this is not just about your staff it could be about customers, your suppliers or any other relationship you have with, your bank manager, your accountant or maybe a networking group. When I discuss staff please think about the other relationships this could relate to.

If you take a look at the P & G Olympics advert you will see how they have cleverly added the human element to this – most Mums will agree I feel.


So, just for a moment, let’s think about how ‘word of mouth’ and the ‘buy in’ concept of your human relationships can influence your business.

When was the last time you asked the opinion of your staff, your customers or your suppliers about your new product or your new advert? If you don’t do this, why don’t you? Is it that you do not trust them or that you feel their opinion is, not suitable, objective enough, relevant (I could continue)? Is it that you think you are the only person with the answers? Okay, enough of the questions I hear you say.

Your staff are a huge resource and so very often an untapped wealth which so many employers do not fully utilise or manage correctly. In Social Enterprises it is sometimes more likely to see ‘buy in’ by the staff from day 1 because of the mission of the company. I feel many people who work for a Social Enterprises do so partly because of the company’s ethics, mission or ethos and many people are volunteers with Social Enterprises for this very reason (me included). They immediately feel part of the company by the very essence of what the company is trying to achieve. These companies have a great wealth – their staff commitment, enthusiasm and drive for whatever service/product the company delivers. What a wonderful advertisement – especially if they talk about the company to their friends and families.

Staff are of course human beings and most are not interested solely in material gain. They care for the well-being of other individuals and value recognition from co-workers. Many employees apply themselves because they find their work challenging and worthwhile. These non material motivations point to better ways to get results from your staff. Staff that ‘buy in’ can be your greatest advertisement and the best advertisement is, of course, ‘word of mouth’. So don’t just think about the job they are hired to do, think of them as ambassadors for you. They can be one of your greatest assets or your worst enemy. If they are worth it, make sure they feel valued. They are, after all, human beings just like you....

So, back to the Olympics and the Weather. I will leave you with a quote about these in the Harvard Business Review by Matt Rogan and Mark de Rond on July 27th.

‘....Whatever the British weather throws at us over the next few weeks, the Games are a commercial success story in a struggling nation.’

I am very pleased to hear that. As for the Fifty Shades trilogy – I don’t feel this is the platform for a book review!

Valerie Jarrett, Business Loans Manager

  • About the Author
    Valerie Jarrett

    Valerie Jarrett

    Business Loans Manager for Norfolk and Suffolk

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