ANESCO has seen great success and recognition through their approach to business, including topping the Fast Track 100 in 2014. I recently had the great opportunity to interview Adrian Pike the CEO of ANESCO. ANESCO is a company that has turned business on its head by not focusing on the income of the business, but rather the building of the people within the company. Here is what Adrian Pike had to say.
Q. What inspired you to set up ANESCO with such a focus on the employee environment?
With my 27 years of experience I wanted to do something completely different that was more values driven. We believe great companies are people-led companies, so we’ve created an environment where people can develop, grow, learn, enjoy, meet and beat their personal aspirations. Since day one we‘ve been inspiring our people, with support and resources to be successful in their careers and with a healthy work/life balance. We achieved Investors in People Gold standard at first assessment and within our first year, which was unheard of. This sends a clear message that we want to lock in our people and help them develop. It doesn’t matter how big your company is, engage with all staff and give them a voice and your time.
Q. What have you tried in terms of benefits and policies pertaining to the motivation of employees? What has worked for you and what has not?
We’ve tried just about everything over the years. It’s not just about rewards; we take a more rounded approach. Values based appraisal processes, employee innovation schemes, technical and vocational training, mentoring and open communication (particularly around company performance).
The ones I don’t believe work are flexi-time, or working from home. I think that due to the use of electronic communication, it is critical to have everyone communicating verbally with each other, whether its staff to staff or staff to customers, suppliers and even investors. I believe the art of verbal communication has been lost, so working from home and flex-time don’t work. Electronic communication is great in some aspects of business, but without that human interaction with other employees you can become disconnected.
Simple things can make a big difference too. We have fresh fruit available for snacking around the office. Sickness plans, short-term company loans, and shared ownership plans are very good motivators as well. The bottom line is that people want to believe that the company cares for them and these programs show that the company cares about its employees instead of merely about the profit side of the spectrum. An employee that sees the company as caring for them will, in turn, care for the company.
Q. Have you tried to measure the impact of your way of doing business? Do you have any set stats on turnover or exit strategies that will reassure the business that this strategy works for the motivation of employees?
No, we don’t spend time measuring success, in the same way that I’m not a believer in customer satisfaction surveys. The key stats for me are whether the company is growing from a revenue, gross profit and operating profit point of view and secondly, when it comes to people, the number of people who voluntarily leave the organisation on a monthly/annual basis. I also think the level of sickness in an organisation is a good indication. I look at these numbers on a monthly basis and track the trends, as I believe they are the best indicators.
Q. What’s next for ANESCO?
Maintaining IIP Gold is a core aim and remains top of our agenda. We understand this is not a given, it needs to be worked at and developed.
We continue to grow at a strong rate in both annual profits and employee number, so while recruiting we are developing people to take on bigger roles, with many employees exceeding their own expectations for what they can achieve.
There is a ‘can do’ attitude and internal belief, combined with a motivated team, that’s the envy of our competitors and associated organisations.
In summary, our aim is to keep smashing the business plan, have fun and make a difference. Then, who knows?
Have Your Say…
We love what Adrian Pike and the team are doing at ANESCO. Is it one size fits all though? Does the ANESCO approach suit every business…in terms of the success indicators? What have you tried? What works for you? Share your thoughts below.
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