1) Appearances and decorum are not what create lasting, valuable relationships
Checking emails twice for perfect grammar, having client letters sit in in-trays for partner reviews, indirect client communication, ensuring shirt and ties/suits for every client meeting – this is what I was used to in a previous life before GS. At GS, interviewed by Bruce Sheppard in cycle shorts (which he turns up in for nearly every meeting), staff judge for themselves how to dress. The person working on a client can correspond directly without having to obtain permission and approach all communication in their own style. And a laugh is had about a misspelled word.
We treat clients and each other as people, just like us – faults, warts and all. No intimidation, no appearances, no pretences. This is me, take me as I am. I do care about the work I do for you, I do care about your business and your life. I will communicate any queries, your financials, and our considered advice openly and honestly. We have put our efforts into thinking about and doing the things that matter.
Our clients stay. We are not only as good or bad as our perfectly grammared emails or letters. We create lasting relationships based on being ‘real’ and not compromising what really matters for appearances or decorum.
2) Trusting our employees builds commitment and loyalty
Flexible time, glide time, remote access and the ability to work from home when required… WHAT!! How can we trust people to be honest? Not take advantage? Our starting position is trust. It works. A mum with a sick child would normally call in sick, but here they work when they can around the child. An employee with a sore back – work from home in a position that’s comfortable. Appointments are able to be had during the day (the only time everything is open), with the ability to make up the time at home or another day. A workplace enabling people to take responsibility for their lives, while being trusted to do so, creates a less stressed, healthier, committed and focussed employee. On reflection, a no brainer.
3) Learn to complement, not compete
At GS, we actively understand and accept every person is different, with a different set of skills. We take time to develop essential skills and knowledge where required, and recruit to complement our skill base. Everyone here has a place, and the freedom to develop. Our work environment is not competitive, rather, we know who to go to, to complement our knowledge. This has enabled the development of our Value Added Services (VAS) team with a diverse, but complementary skill base.
4) People work to live and always have
This is not a new phenomenon. There is probably more recognition of this in recent times as lives become seemingly more hectic and stressful. Flexibility provided to our employees enables this in their lives. The complementary result of this, is we in turn approach the life and work of our clients in the same way. Our focus is in creating enriched lives, not only successful businesses.
5) Laughter really is the best medicine
The result of all of the above is that every person at GS comes to work knowing they will laugh every day, regardless of how we are feeling in the morning. This carries through to client experiences. What could be better than that?
I have been given a better life with Gilligan Sheppard. I have been trusted. I have had the freedom to develop both professionally and personally. It is from this position and perspective I approach the LIVES of our clients.