Sir Richard Branson, founder and president of Virgin Group, believes in making the customer and employee experience a little magical.
"Everything that Virgin does, we try to do with a bit of panache and style," he told the audience at the SHRM conference in Las Vegas. He believes it's important to get all the details right - in the product and company culture.
"If you can create a business and a culture that people really want to work at and you get all the details right, you make it a really fun company, then it makes the human resources job that much easier," he said.
Employees at Virgin Group are proud of their company namely, he said, because of the importance put on making products - and the overall Virgin experience - exceptional. This breeds cheerful and proud employees.
"It doesn't cost that much extra to make your product sing and dance ... It's self-evolving. If you get that right, you get wonderful people who want to work for you" and satisfied customers, he explained.
Branson also believes it's imperative that a company remain intimate, despite its thousands of employees. Once he felt the music label became too big and bloated, he gave all the company deputies full titles in a new company by splitting the company in two.
He also insists that no more than 100 people coexist in one building. By giving the company a familial flavor, employees know that they are "responsible for the success of company and don't feel like a cog in the wheel."
Number of U.S. holidays 'horrendous'
Branson is also a proponent of job flexibility. Most of the American workforce would like more job flexibility. They would love to take advantage of an unpaid sabbatical, for instance, transition to part-time or participate in a job-sharing situation.
There are only six required holidays in America, and "it's horrendous," he said.Companies should rethink this, he continued, and give people extra holidays or unpaid leave, so they have time for their families and time to reenergize and get healthy.
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