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Sir Richard Branson: 'Treat your staff how you would like to be treated'

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Talent Management Training & Development

In 1970, a young Richard Branson launched a mail-order record business, which would evolve into Virgin Records (later Virgin Megastores). Over the coming decades his Virgin brand would grow to encompass a wide variety of industries including entertainment, travel, telecommunications and more.

Today, Virgin Group is often singled out for having high levels of employee engagement and an excellent corporate culture. Richard Branson himself has been known to set the tone, creating a culture that emphasizes employee wellbeing.

Satisfied Employees Produce Great Work

A central tenet across Virgin Group is that employees who are provided with the tools and environment to succeed will, in turn, do great work. This is particularly evident in front-line positions, in which satisfied employees go on to provide top-notch customer service. A recent Forbes article explained how employees at the Virgin-owned Kasbah Tamadot hotel in Morroco receive intensive training, English lessons, and a work environment that puts genuine smiles on their faces.

Embrace Flexibility

According to Branson, employers must work to see their employees as individuals with lives that extend beyond the workplace. Flexibility to attend to personal or family matters goes a long way toward boosting employee morale. Branson recommends embracing each employee’s individual needs, rather than attempting to apply a one-size-fits-all solution.

Provide Praise

Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool, and is encouraged within Virgin Group. “Be kind, praise more than criticise and you might change somebody’s life and make a huge positive difference to your business too,” Branson tweeted in 2018. Indeed, employees who receive praise for good work often feel more engaged in their work, and enjoy a morale boost as well. Employees generally want to perform quality work, and to be appreciated for it. Praise nurtures those needs.

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