11Be transparent. Be straight
“I’ll say straight up that you know you’ve let us down and it’s affecting the team. 30% clean up their act, and 70% leave.”
- Steven Cohen,
- Head of Sage One International
- Oversees Africa, Australia, Middle East, Asia and Brazil
“We’re transparent about our profits with the whole company. Our monthly meetings include the entire company, and are used to show turnover figures. We break this down to our profit level.
“Everyone understands that we need to meet targets set by Sage, but it’s also very empowering for them to know how they’re contributing to our profits. It gets everyone engaged, and they can see if their department or team is meeting or exceeding budget targets. If something dips, everyone wants to interrogate why. The more transparent you are, the more engaged your employees will be.
“Transparency is important at a personal level too. I’m honest, I’m one of the guys and I often have after-work drinks with my teams, but if you let me down you’ll know it. Ethics and attitude are the only career-limiting issues in the company. People with great attitudes will learn the job, so we hire based on attitude, particularly our managers, because culture flows down. If you consistently let me down, I’ll take you out for coffee and have an honest chat. I’ll say straight up that you know you’ve let us down and it’s affecting the team. 30% clean up their act, and 70% leave.”
Read more: Learning Along the Way