The Value of Friendship in the Workplace.

Get ready for some Branson

Rob Lyon: BrightHR Customer Service Advisor

“The way you treat your employees, is the way they will treat your clients. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients. It’s that simple” Richard Branson

I remember how this quote immediately stuck a chord when I first read Richard Branson’s bestselling autobiography: Losing My Virginity. His theory was that most businesses adopt a strategy that is completely upside down; that you should focus first on your clients — second on your product — and lastly, your staff. Branson rejected this from the start of his career and instead, focused first on creating an enjoyable and productive atmosphere. This in turn produced a good product and satisfied the client. Since reading this, I always knew that it made good sense, but I had rarely seen, or been involved with any company that adopted his theory. That is, until I joined BrightHR.

For a long time I had been looking for a place to work that gave me a sense of belonging, allowed me to thrive within my skillset, and also be happy. My background is a mix of customer services and online media - two areas that don’t often cross paths. I knew that finding a place that felt right would be a challenge, but I’m rarely interested in doing anything if it isn’t challenging so I kept moving forward, looking for the right place to build my career.

When I got the call from BrightHR to say I’d got the job, I was speechless. I knew at the interview that there was something special, something I couldn’t even describe waiting for me. The reality of working here did not disappoint; it surpassed any hopes I could have had or could even imagine.

To start with, it was a lot of hard work and a lot of nights learning the system at home after hours, but I knew that it would be worth it. I wanted to thrive. I wanted to help our clients, and I wanted to be happy.

The good news is I have always been happy at BrightHR. Since the moment I walked through the revolving doors on the first day, I have seen nothing but people who want to help and make things easier for those around them. People at Bright come to work with a smile on their face. They are ready to do even better than they did the day before, and in my own case these are the people that helped me to settle in and develop.

There were many occasions during the first months of my employment here in which my team would often stop what they were doing and straight away come to my assistance. They were always at hand if there was a new feature to learn, or a question to answer. I was genuinely touched by how much they seemed to care about helping me to fit in and work well as a part of the team. I am so grateful for this and I hope they know that.

I have worked in many jobs where the work day is the work day and that is that. Other organisations that I have experienced would provide designated after-hours activities. These were designed for staff to have fun and get to know each other, but all that really did was further instil and reinforce the idea that work is not where fun and community belongs. After a while that message starts to sink in. A loss of interest in the product, and your work becomes inevitable, and it slowly ends up being just like any other business, any other job.

This was not the case at BrightHR. The culture that has developed here is a constant reminder that you are in this building for 8 hours a day so it BETTER be worth it. All the activities, holiday functions, TGI Friday drinks, hula contests, video games, bean bags, Nerf gun wars, space hoppers (the list could go on forever) all serve to make that 8 hours a day as enjoyable as possible. I know first-hand that it brings everyone here on the 9th floor together as one big team that look out for each other.

This counts during the good times and the bad. Over the summer I lost my mum after a long battle with cancer. I was devastated and needed to go home to be with my family. I couldn’t believe the support and understanding I received from my team mates and my manager. They made me realise that I was living in the kind of business described by Richard Branson, and the quote I had read years before. I felt valued and genuinely part of the team.

Working at BrightHR is sincerely a pleasure. I always look forward to walking to work in the morning and knowing I’m joining a team that all want the same thing. We all want to do well. We all want to better ourselves. We all want to make each other better. Long term this makes our department, and therefore our company, as strong as it can possibly be. We are all on this ship sailing forward so why would we not give 100 percent every day to keep it sailing as well as it possibly can? It’s our ship too and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.