Did we lead by example in 2016 and build trust here at Top Banana?

We’ve done a lot of work around Trust in recent years and recognise that it’s absolutely fundamental to a successful business. We also know that listening is crucial to building Trust – especially when it comes to the leadership team – and that authenticity is crucial.

So … how have the board here at Top Banana done in 2016 in terms of building trust?

Listen up!

Our board – Nick, Rich and Jane – work hard to make sure everyone has a voice before responding openly and honestly to any feedback they get. They do this face to face (as live event specialists it would be disappointing to hear otherwise!) through monthly staff meetings and twice yearly conferences where they stand up and ‘face the music’ live in front of all staff.

Putting in place ways for staff to share their thoughts with the board confidentially is something we’ve been doing for some time now. Our team of Banana Buddies provide an informal route for staff wanting to feed back to the board and it’s fair to say it’s been a real success. Several initiatives suggested through the Buddies have already been adopted into the business, including a more streamlined way of reporting figures at staff meetings and a different approach to business-wide announcements.

Authenticity & accountability

We’re all about being authentic … it’s one of our values … and it’s something the board takes seriously. Bad news is shared just as openly and honestly as good, which helps trust to flourish. It’s not always easy to face a close-knit team to explain the reasons why someone’s leaving the business or to stand up and apologise for failing to achieve an objective. This kind of conversation requires bravery and humility.

But the benefits are huge – in an organisation founded on trust, accountability becomes second nature which, in turn, means employees take responsibility for their actions.

This all helps to make Top Banana a business which goes the extra mile for its clients, with employees taking ownership and making things happen … safe in the knowledge they have the full support and backing of their leadership team.

Actions speak louder than words

Asking for feedback and acting on it are two very different things.

Every year, we go out to staff and ask them more formally to share how they’re feeling about working at Top Banana. The board then uses this information to identify resourcing gaps, emotional pinch points and generally to take the temperature of the team so that everyone’s needs are taken into consideration when forging plans for the year ahead.

All in all, the board have done a pretty good job this year. Stress levels are down and staff satisfaction is up. Nick, Rich and Jane have kept us all informed every step of the way and that’s being rewarded through a team of happy Bananas ready to deliver a whole raft of client events in 2017 and beyond.

Nick said: “It’s been a tough year in some ways. Clients were tentative in the run up to Brexit which has impacted the whole year. But 2017 already looks massively busy and we’re taking on some new Bananas. We continue to build on the strong relationships we have with our clients, challenging thinking at the top table and delivering world class events that make a tangible difference.”

Nick concluded: “We’re proud of what we’ve achieved and look forward to another successful year in 2017.”