THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE FOR LEADERS: TRUST YOUR EMPLOYEES
Author: Gabriella Anesio
Webamp spoke with David Furland Ree, Managing Partner at Permild & Rosengreen, about the necessity of leaders being able to have faith in their employees to do their job. Trusting results in less stress, and less stress results in more time for your family and friends — put all of this together and you have the recipe for a successful and thriving company.
Permild & Rosengreen is a poster shop that sells an array of different types of posters, from retro style posters to graphic design posters. Its Managing Partner, David Furland Ree, is also an experienced graphic designer, meaning he’s able to work on both the management side, as well as the creative and artistic side of the company.
David is a firm believer in the policy that if you trust your employees, business can only get better, and your life more stress-free. Despite innumerous customers placing orders at Permild & Rosengreen every week, one of the strongest company values that permeates throughout the business is that of work-life balance.
“I think the work-life balance is very important, and that when people go home after work, they are done with their work. We have some employees that work in the webshop, and they don’t have access to this from home – we did this on purpose. It’s important to work, but when you’re off, you’re off.”
This sentiment is something easily preached, but not often implemented in the world of business. By denying access to the webshop to employees when they’re not in the office, David makes sure he stands by his promise of keeping work within the realms of working hours (which are only 32, as opposed to 37, hours – all in the name of making more time for both family and also for yourself).
You need Zzzzzs to excel
Not only does David firmly believe that it is essential for his employees to be well-rested for themselves, he is also of the opinion that this is actually a measure of success for the company itself.
“Of course money can be an indicator of success, but you don’t need to earn millions to be successful. Success can simply mean employees are doing their job effectively, meaning my employees and I can have more time for family and relaxation. If I’m relaxed when I get home, then I know things are going well because I’m not stressing over a thousand things I didn’t do that day. It’s more important for me to have more time relaxed, whilst earning less, than being stressed and earning (potentially) more.”
It is simple science that getting a certain number of hours of sleep per night and time for relaxation improves health and, thus, efficiency in the workplace, and this is something David stands firmly by. With a big family at home, coming back from the office with work to do in the briefcase is simply not an option – nor is it for his employees – and this is what leads to a company culture premised upon easygoingness.
In addition to being adamant about the necessity of being able to make time for yourself and your family, David is also a firm believer in the autonomy of employees. As already made clear, trust is paramount in his relationship with everyone at Permild & Rosengreen, and that also means he trusts workers to make decisions without his permission 24/7.
In fact, the Managing Partner believes taking ownership of the decisions you make is critical to maintain this cherished, healthy work-life balance. Should employees have to check in with David every time a decision has to be made, not only would the management side be slowed down, but it would render work done by employees ineffective and much more time-consuming than it needs to be.
Bleeping up isn’t all that bad
This is the style of leadership espoused by David, and when asking him what the one piece of advice would be that he would give to other leaders out there, he responded:
“Trust your employees. Simply put, everything just becomes easier when you trust them to do their job and make decisions, because then they also trust you as a leader. No one can ever make a decision that will cost the entire company. The most you can mess up is a sum of money that we can make up for.”
The mantra of one single decision not having the power to make someone’s career, or the company for that matter, crumble is without a doubt a winning formula. There is, however, one price to pay at Permild & Rosengreen for a bad decision made — a price with a very small numerical value, but a great message:
“If somebody makes a mistake, which is completely fine, the price for this mistake is buying croissants for everybody at work. So, the next day we eat the croissants, chat a bit, and simply move on.”
Croissants. That’s right. You mess up, and the price to pay isn’t your job or your pride, but pastries for your colleagues.
The beauty of this little tradition is that when someone makes a mistake, the focus isn’t solely on the person who bleeped up, but on the entire team — because after all, decisions have the power to impact everyone in the company, so buying croissants for everyone in the team is a very subtle reminder that you have a responsibility to make great decisions not just for yourself, but for the team, and when you make potentially bad decisions, it doesn’t only impact you, but everyone around you, too.
A big thank you to David Furland Ree for his comments on managing a team and managing workload in and out of the office. If you’d like to decorate your walls, take a look at Permild & Rosengreen, and if you want to see the man behind it all, find David Furland Ree on LinkedIn.
To read more about leadership and company culture, have a look at Nicolai Vittrup’s blog, and for content related to SEO, PPC, and everything web, check out Webamp. Any comments or thoughts can be left on the contact form on this website, or connect with Nicolai Vittrup on LinkedIn.