Guest Column: The ‘HappINKness’ Principle
At Ink we have grown from just 12 employees some seven years ago to now employing just shy of 300. Our core business is publishing inflight magazines for some of the most well-known and successful airlines in the world. Whilst we have many other elements to our business, including research, targeted advertising and conferences, this continued [print] success is critical to our company's overall future success.
As our business has grown, we have been presented with a number of challenges, none more so than to ensure that our people are enthused, energetic, passionate, knowledgeable and driven in what they are trying to achieve on a day-to-day basis. Our staff attrition had been as high as 92 percent and this was a concern, so I wanted to look more closely at our softer side. Our people are key to the success of our business, selling advertising to maintain the financial success of our publications. And when you work in a pressure environment like sales, it is really important to ensure that they each feel special. So how do you create this consistency across four offices and three continents?
Having spent some time studying some of the best sales and culture businesses on the planet and sharing best practices with industry heads, we uncovered the Happiness discipline. This was not to fix a failing business. The business was successful, and on the surface, this was apparent, but when we looked a bit closer, it should have been a buzzing and happy environment, but wasn't.
It was the height of the economic downturn and a tough advertising market. Things, whilst good, were not going as well as they could have been, and being one of the business owners, I felt the responsibility was on us to look at the issues and change things.