“No leader can achieve success alone”, acknowledges Jo Draper, Director of QuoLux, sponsor of the Family Business of the Year category in the BristolLive & Bristol Post Business Awards 2019.
“As well as establishing a strong top team, an engaged workforce is crucial and proven to increase productivity.
“While that’s true for firms of any size or shape, when a new generation of leader takes the helm of a family business there’s often a shift in culture, which may be evolution or revolution. Some of the MDs of family firms we work with are third-, fourth- or even fifth-generation, so there’s often ‘family history’ and the weight of expectation on their shoulders.”
More than half the companies who take part on QuoLux’s leadership development programmes are family businesses, such as H Sweet and Sons, based in Nailsea. Managing Director Lewis Sweet took part in LEAD, the 10-month programme designed for leaders of SMEs keen to build their businesses through enhancing their leadership.
Founded in 1974 by Howard Sweet, H Sweet & Sons is now a third-generation family-owned and operated business that has grown to become one of the region’s leading main contractors, operating nationally across all sectors of construction.
“Understanding the importance of engaging his staff, Lewis has embraced culture change as a means of growing the business,” explains Jo. “In a sector that’s experiencing a shortage of skilled people, retaining and motivating staff is business-critical. The great news is that employee engagement can be a low-cost solution that’s quick to implement; the simple act of saying ‘thanks’, recognising people’s efforts and communicating achievements across the business are just some of the changes Lewis started with, significantly shifting the culture towards engagement.
“The momentum has grown from there and it’s supporting Lewis and his team to deliver a solid order book of projects.”
Jo will be sharing leadership insights for family businesses in these pages in the build-up to the Awards on 26 June.
To discover whether LEAD might be your next strategic step for growth, visit www.quolux.co.uk
This blog first appeared in the Bristol Post, June 2019