March 9, 2008

Getting the Best from Your People

Last week I was talking to someone about the perks that leading technology companies offer to their people to get their best. That person was very surprised at the perceived luxury of things such as as free soft drinks and meals, shuttle buses, on site concierges, etc...

I was successful at conveying that delivering these things is a win for the employee. But he didn't get that there's an even bigger hidden win for the employer. He couldn't get past the thinking that the upfront costs to deliver these perks would be too high for meaningful results to be attained.

I don't agree. Employers that offer enlightened perks gain increased job satisfaction and dramatically increased productivity by everyone.

Today on TechMeme I read a post from Jason Calacanis, the founder of Mahalo about this very subject. Jason wrote a piece called: "Startups Must Hire The Right People And Watch Every Penny. Or Fail" on his blog.

In my opinion Jason provides a simple "how to" to enable getting the best from your people so your company or team can win. For example: "Buy cheap tables and expensive chairs. Tables are a complete rip off. We buy stainless steel restaurant tables that are $100 and $600 Areon chairs. Total cost per workstation? $700. Compare that to buying a $500-$1,500 cube/designer workstation. The chair is the only thing that matters... invest in it."

Focusing on your product or service isn't the only way to ensure survival and success of your business...getting the best from your people is another way. Jason's tips, and the perks of enlightened companies enable this, whether you're in an established or early stage company.

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