“My Business Is Me”

I wonder how many people would agree with this quote?

Before starting at SK Chase I would have probably not even batted an eyelid on hearing this. However, when I heard someone say this last month it just really seemed to affect me, like a slap to the face with a fish (not that I know what that is like)!

After spending four years at university studying business studies, I spent the summer applying for many different kinds of jobs, before ending up in Boots as a Christmas temp. Once my short contract was over, I was back on the hunt for a full time job. It was through a graduate scheme I had joined the previous summer that I was put forward for an interview for an administrative position at SK Chase, where I was fortunate to get the job!

However, I digress; let’s get back to the quote for now.

I was on a Photoshop course and during the lunch break started chatting with a guy who was also on the course. He happened to mention that he owned his own business in London. ‘How interesting’, I thought, as one day I’d love to have my own business, so asked him more about it. I can’t remember now exactly what it was, but when he told me that he had recently moved back to Scotland, leaving a couple of guys in charge of his business  and that he was now receiving less and less phone calls from them, I replied, “That’s great”, thinking they must be very functional. “No”, he said, “it is not great, my business is me, and they should need me”.

At the time I was quite shocked, mainly because I thought he must have a massive ego. But thinking back there a so many things I feel are wrong with that statement I don’t know where to begin!

Let’s start simply.

I do not agree with this statement and wouldn’t want to work somewhere like that. However, this is probably how a lot of business owners think, a theory that only grows in strength when my friends talk about the businesses they have found themselves in.  I believe that I am very lucky with where I have ended up after my time as a student!

I believe that a business is not a single person but the total of all of its employees and all that they do. Without them there would be no business. For this to work, for the team to feel like part of the business, they need to feel valued.

Valuing a team is about more than rewarding them for a job done well. It is about involving them in the business so that they know why they do what they do, helping them to live the values of the business, supporting them in their role and encouraging them to be the best they can be by giving them access to courses and training. It is also important to understand each member of the team on a more personal level as everyone places value on different things. For example I value the opportunity given to me recently when I started to work from home but not everyone would want to do this or place value on this.

One of the main benefits of valuing the whole team is that they feel happier and more confident at work. This of course leads to the commercial benefits of the team being more reliable and productive. Ultimately a valued team creates more value for the business. If we look at it from the opposite direction, a great quote from a blog on the Harvard Business Review by Tony Schwartz states

“The more we feel de-valued…the more energy we spend defending and restoring our [own] value, and the less energy we have available to create value [for the business].”

Since starting work with SK Chase I have been given many opportunities, extra responsibilities and went through some personal development.  I have had the opportunity to receive business coaching along with the rest of the SK Chase team, which is where I learned a lot about what adding value means to a business.  The main opportunity I have received is being given the chance to step up and take responsibility for a function, becoming service support manager. This is something I never thought I would have the chance to do within the first year of my first job, never mind the first 6 months. And through some personal coaching, I found my personal intent, which not only aids decisions at work but in my personal life as well, which has had a great impact already! This all leads me to want to help to improve our business and therefore create value.

Due to feeling valued, I genuinely feel a part of SK Chase. If ever I do have my own business I hope to never have an ego as a business owner and never believe that ‘my business is me’.

It is clear that SK Chase works on the principle that valued employees create value, I’ve not heard of anyone else who takes their employees for a stay at The Ritz Hotel for being a lovely team – how valued are we?!