“Employ smart people who can do a job better than you and you’ll make more money,” c-store veteran David Sands told 70 of the UK’s top retail talents at betterRetailing LIVE two weeks ago.

Having run an estate of 28 stores, it goes without saying he couldn’t have built a multimillion pound business without his staff. But it was the third time in the past fortnight I have heard about the effect great employees can have on a business’s performance.

Earlier this year, my brother-in-law Rob became head chef at a fancy Kent hotel. Despite its restaurant having won a number of high profile awards, he quickly realised the business was in a mess, with demotivated staff, no grip on profitability and a suspect food hygiene score.

Within three months, and having applied the lessons he learnt from a decade working in Canterbury’s best kitchens, he begun to turn the business around. The staff were working as a team, sales and margins went in the right direction and the food hygiene rating increased significantly.

it was the third time in the past fortnight I have heard about the effect great employees can have on a business’s performance

Meanwhile, when I was working in the Budgens in Emmer Green, a staff member credited assistant manager Amanda with turning the business around in 2010, from “a bit of a dump” to somewhere she gladly shopped. Before, it was run by a young guy with a bad attitude who didn’t care, she said. He runs a phone shop in Reading now.

Amanda brought in new ideas and ranges, made the store cleaner, brighter and easier to shop, gave the staff autonomy and put in place processes that support them.

At Newtrade, we test for attitude in interviews and employ people who share our aptitude for excellence over mediocrity. How do you make sure you employ the right people to help your business grow?

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