5 ways we grow our business from the inside out

Charles Aris
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Charlie Aris, CEO, explains why he actively drives Tower’s culture of employee development. And how it has helped our business grow from the inside out.

Our company has grown enormously since we began our journey back in 1983. But business growth doesn’t just come from new clients, it starts from the inside. Internal development, finding people that fit our culture, and (most importantly) looking after employees, is vital for sustainable growth.

The number of employees at Tower has grown by nearly 40% in the last 12 months. Considering we’ve been in business for nearly 40 years, this shows the progress we’ve made. I’ve overseen the creation of five separate Tower divisions, and the recruitment of a new Senior Management Team.

Here’s five things we do to help us grow from the inside out. And it starts and ends with employees…

1. FIND PEOPLE THAT FIT

1 People that fit

Like most businesses, we invest in people with experience and expertise. But that’s just one piece of the puzzle. They also need to be the right fit for both the company and the team. Finding the right people is so important for internal company growth and to make sure they feel they belong.

When we find someone that fits in with Tower’s DNA of innovation, partnership, and support, then it becomes a more mutually beneficial relationship. That’s why in interviews we focus less on “what skills do they have to do the job?” and more on “will they fit into the team and the Tower culture?”.

I’ve always said that a good team is greater than the sum of its parts. Skills can be learned, and training can be given, so if they don’t tick every box on the role profile but have the right attitude and will fit in well, then they just might be everything the team needs to grow even more.

Every company culture is different and will look for different characteristics when hiring people. One of the things we look for is someone that is full of ideas and loves to solve problems, because innovation is in our business DNA. And that leads me onto the second way we grow from the inside…

2. ENCOURAGE INNOVATION

2 Encourage innovation

As a business we’re hooked on solutions and developing new ways to solve customer problems. Idea generation is an essential trait at Tower and a key driver of our growth. That’s because innovation focusses on improvement and change, and no-one benefits more from that than our customers.

The more we say “yes” to solving problems and developing solutions, the more partners will want to work with us. As well as finding and developing ‘ideas people’, we also encourage innovation by sharing success stories and case studies and making sure we’ve always got one eye on the future.

As well as driving key improvements in health and safety, innovation is central to progress in sustainability. Keeping sustainability central to the culture of teams and partnering with companies that share our sustainability goals, results in everyone growing together in the right direction.

3. NURTURE SUCCESS

3 nurture success

‘Growing from the inside out’ happens when our people succeed. But that’s doesn’t automatically mean asking them to work their socks off to help reach our company targets. Because when they are given the chance to be honest, we find that everyone’s definition of ‘success’ is different.

Our personal development plans therefore start with a blank sheet of paper. We ask them to paint a picture of what success looks like to them and help them achieve it. Some people are ambitious at work; some are more focussed on home life. There is no ‘better’ definition of success.

Whatever it is they want to do in life we will help them get there. Because if that’s what makes them happy, then knowing they’re supported in it will make them feel good about coming to work. Some businesses might not want to support goals that don’t benefit them, but I have found it works for us.

Seeing people achieve professional and personal goals and find their definition of success, motivates me as a business leader. I take a personal interest in watching people grow and support managers by giving them the tools they need to help their team succeed in life, as well as at work.

4. HAVE A WINNING MENTALITY

4 A winning mentality

Anyone that begins their journey at Tower or visits the office will notice something straight away: we like to celebrate wins. When a customer makes an important order that helps them stay protected and performing at their best, we see it as a win for both us and them.

It might seem a little over the top, but we even have an applause sound effect that plays in the office, which is joined by real applause from the teams. It’s amazing the effect it has on general morale, and everyone gets behind it and often goes over and personally congratulates the team.

This winning mentality really helps our people, and therefore the business, grow. And it’s not always business related either. We have a regular newsletter that everyone can contribute to, which celebrates personal wins such as sports, hobbies, and any achievement that someone is proud of.

I see this culture as a win-win scenario for the business. The more people win and see people winning, the more they will want to play and take part in helping customers and each other achieve goals and develop. Speaking of development, here is my last but equally important way we grow…

5. SUPPORT DEVELOPMENT

5 support development

We’ve all heard the famous quote from Richard Branson: “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to”. This isn’t just a good mantra to have, it’s an essential attitude for growing from the inside out. Employee development fuels internal growth.

I am deeply involved in maintaining development, making sure every manager has budget set aside for courses and training. We want people to look for ideas and find ways we can support them. And every team member is encouraged to take control and help to plan their own development.

When the pandemic struck in 2020, our people were worried that training and development courses would be cancelled. I immediately made it clear that I felt the pandemic was not a reason to stop learning. If anything, I saw it as a time to learn even more, to stay flexible during an uncertain time.

But development comes in many forms. Developing people, not just their skills, is just as important. Taking the time to understand individuals personally and how and when to provide support, will give them the room to grow. Simply put, our business growth is only ever as strong as our people.

As Tower’s CEO, I believe all these approaches to employee development and support have helped us grow. Like other businesses, our targets are based on growth. And as we develop our people from the inside, we have partnered with more clients, manufacturers, and developed more solutions.

Charlie Aris3 TOWER21
Charles Aris
Chief Executive Officer
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