I didn’t start a company to pay for people to go to the gym, have reflexology or find inner peace through meditation sessions, boost their wine knowledge or add to their friendship groups. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in maintaining a healthy mind and body and enjoying time with your colleagues.
I started a business because I have a passion for what I do. I spotted an opportunity to make a difference and wanted to create long-term wealth for both me and others I brought into the company.
Now this isn’t a rant against companies who want to promote the social side of their employer brand, or how they look after an individual’s wellbeing…. Far from it – I think that those things are great and we the same here in many ways, but recently it feels as though the objective of a business and indeed that of their employees (current and prospective) seems to have steered (or been steered) increasingly away from any talk of Money (AKA the M word).
Like many companies (especially in the recruitment industry) following the challenge of surviving (and coming out of the pandemic) we formulated a plan to build back lost growth – a big element of that is hiring new team members.
Part of the process for doing this was speaking to other owners, getting advice on how they feel the landscape is shifting and what needs to be done in order to grow the people side of the business, these are a few of the comments that have come up in my discussions with other businesses over the last 12 months when sharing thoughts.
“you have to focus on your employer's advantages over and above a great financial package!”
“professional growth and progression aren’t always the most important points to people when choosing an employer”
“ambitious and meritocratic are words that can concern people”
It seems to be borne out in interviews too (don’t get me wrong… not every-one) with key questions that seem to focus away from “what will / can I earn and how can it help me achieve my life aim” towards “how can I fit work around the lifestyle that I aspire to..”
Again… don’t get me wrong – I think that having an all work no play, or 90’s boiler room style work hard play hard cultures are best consigned to the bin and believe that there's a balance to be struck but am I the only one wondering why we’re not being completely honest.
We go to work (whether as a part of a company, running a company or by yourself) for money… you need it… even more so now but no one seems to want to talk about it!