The Experts

Garry Lu
+ About Gerry Lu

Garry Lu is a Digital Content Executive at Employsure with experience in finance and investing from his time at the financial advisory service, The Motley Fool AU. 

Garry has worked alongside a number of small businesses as a marketing specialist prior to his arrival at Employsure.

How to turn your business into a Fortune 500 company

Friday, June 21, 2019

Believe it or not, there are some adjustments business owners from all walks of life can implement to achieve a good measure of success. And if it’s good enough for a Fortune 500 company, then surely it’s good enough for any other enterprise. Right?

The following lessons have been extracted from key case studies of Fortune 500 companies around the globe:

Lesson 1: Strong company cultures practically pay for themselves

Twitter has one of the most celebrated workplace cultures in the world. And rightly so, given how heavily they have invested into this aspect of working for the company.

Aside from all the free lunches, unlimited annual leave and yoga lessons, Twitter has an open and ongoing dialogue between management and employees. This is how they have fostered a supportive and motivational team-orientated environment. Subsequently, employees love working there because they sincerely believe in the company which leads to positive and productive contributions.

We understand that not every company will have a similar budget at their disposal. Small businesses can still engage staff with team lunches, birthday celebrations, or even getting involved in group activities to build a sense of community and reinforce values.

Lesson 2: If it can be done via email, don’t even think about calling a meeting

Toyota is known for its efficiency through and through, so it’s no surprise that their entire ‘lean’ value has made its way into how the company conducts meetings.

They classify work by a strict dichotomy: it’s either

1.     value-adding


2.     non-value-adding.

With the goal of becoming ‘lean’, Toyota has been fulfilling its objective of adding value by eliminating anything that doesn’t.

In recent times, this has become a more widely adopted approach to time management (and may soon become common practice):

·       Richard Branson famously takes his meetings standing up as a physical metric for how much time is being spent. The logic being your feet will tire way before your mind will.

·       Elon Musk plans his days in five-minute increments.

·       And Mark Cuban apparently never takes a meeting unless someone is writing a cheque.

Keep the Monday morning sit downs minimal, on-topic (preferably one topic per meeting), and focused. If it isn’t absolutely essential, leave it to an email.

Lesson 3: Trust your employees and you’ll never have to manage a day in your life 

Anyone that genuinely considers micromanagement to be effective is setting themselves up for failure. On the other end of the spectrum is the success story of Netflix, which:

·       Has no set schedules.

·       Does not use hours worked as a metric for employee effort.

·       And offers employees unlimited vacation days.

So how hasn’t their entire operation fallen apart? Trust – unwavering and reciprocal. Management is fully transparent about the set expectations and gives workers free reign to hit the desired targets without being hampered down by a corporate babysitter.  

Lesson 4: The right purpose trumps a fancy title any day 

Contrary to the general assumption, a fancy title does not yield as much return as one would think. Purpose and impact are the true commodities of the career game. Incidentally, purpose and impact are deemed essential over at Google where employees care less about their title/level within the company and more about direction.

Google’s staff retention is due in part to being provided the right motivations as well as security, perks, compensation, family benefits, etc. The company’s overall mission imbues individual work with more profound meaning as opposed to the straight-lined blueprint of KPIs.

Lesson 5: Take care of your employees and they will take care of you 

BHP is a company that has actively worked towards improving support for employees’ mental health and wellbeing. Their current mental health framework has been updated on several occasion in order to better accommodate the worker. It is comprised of four pillars:

·       Culture

·       Capacity

·       Prevention

·       Recovery

Between 2017 to 2018, BHP saw a statistically significant improvement in their Wellbeing Index. Naturally, this has had a positive impact on productivity and so forth.

Never forget that the employees that work for you are only human. Humans have limits, they have hopes, dreams, ambitions, flaws, and everything else in between. It simply won’t do to treat them as nothing more than a unit of productivity. Take care of them, and they will take care of you.

Learn more about shaping up your business by downloading the complete version of our FREE e-guide here with bonus case studies:

HR Bootcamp: Shape-ups