By Laura Renner
At the end of every quarter, the Freedom Maker Core Team has what we call a “Vision Call.” We discuss what we thought went well during the quarter and what we think we should focus on improving in the next quarter.
It is where all of our initiatives come from and even major breakthroughs, such as one of our guiding principles: Strive for Excellence. We set goals based on what we think we can accomplish during the following quarter around those initiatives.
During our call in June, one of us mentioned how much she enjoyed working at a company like ours, where we actually care about our people. She stated that she hated working at previous companies where all they focused on was how they could make more money by giving less to the employees and contractors that contributed to their overall success.
I was touched by such a tremendous compliment. But more importantly, what validation for the way we are doing things at Freedom Makers.
Many people believe publicly traded companies need to take on short term growth that will drive up shareholder value. But that is a trend that only developed in the 1980s. Prior to that, companies focused on their employees. Yes, that had its flaws too, of course.
But can there be a balance? Can we choose to keep our employees in mind when defining business models? If we honor employees, will the shareholders benefit too? Indeed, would maximizing employee productivity maximize shareholder value?
Even when considering straight up costs, it does not have to be a zero-sum game. Investing in leadership training for managers so that their teams feel engaged can lead to even more profit for shareholders.
I have never set sales goals because we are in the human capital business. If we push someone to work with us who is not ready, that only hurts us in the end. We only accept clients who are ready to have a virtual team member. I have always said that if we do a good job, our revenue and growth will reflect that, no need to push anyone.
What that Core Team member said certainly encouraged us to continue on this path. It also reminded me there are companies out there missing the mark. Focus on your people and your company will soar. Make them feel part of the company’s path forward. Take care of them. Listen to them and invest in them. They notice and they work harder and in the end you cannot lose.