5 Strategies From The Motley Fool


What does it take to become America’s #1 Place to Work? The story behind our consecutive wins began some 22 years ago, when brothers Tom and David Gardner set out to create the most disruptive financial organization in the history of the world. Soon came along The Motley Fool – a company that introduced fresh investing perspectives, funny April Fools’ jokes, and a bright new corporate culture.

Kick off the exciting New Year by embedding five of our best strategies into your workplace practices.

  1. Engagement Is Everything

Our low employee turnover rate is less than 2%, which is downright impressive by industry standards. We’ve had Fools stick around for 10, 12, and even 17 years! The Motley Fool is a fantastic place to work because Fools love what they do. They’re excited about our mission – “To Help The World Invest. Better.” – and the projects that will help us achieve it. Self-awareness is key, but assessments like Myers-Briggs and Les McKeown’s The Synergist are also helpful in allowing us to recognize personality traits.

What if a Fool doesn’t feel engaged or happy? Our coaching program, which assigns coaches to all Fools, was designed to tackle these issues. Coaches schedule regular “Happiness Check-Ins” to dive into a Fool’s work life, no matter if it’s glowing or on the rocks. Informal meetings give Fools the chance to speak up, and our coaches are happy to strategize should there be any issues.

The most important takeaway is that employees must feel like their work matters. Though poor performance can be a red flag, it doesn’t automatically mean that someone is a bad employee. It’s possible that their role simply isn’t allowing them to execute their strengths.

Modifying your annual review process could be one solution to improving your organization’s morale. Encouraging feedback on a more regular basis instead of yearly will decrease anxiety and uncover hidden issues. You should even consider making the process completely optional. We believe that feedback is about development – not control. If employees are forced to give feedback, your system isn’t compelling enough. We ensure that Foolish coaches -not managers – deliver feedback and that results are in no way tied to compensation.

  1. Learn From Top Performers

Hire smart and don’t rush into filling open jobs – trust us, the right Fool (yes, that’s a good thing) will come along! Identify the crème de la crème of your company’s high performers and use superstar examples to envision the ideal candidate. We also recommend including top performers in the interview process to contribute valued perspectives.

After interviewing, it’s essential to reflect on how an applicant would embody your organization’s culture and core values. While your focus should be on the qualifications needed for the position, don’t pass up a fantastic individual because of some minor lack of experience. Some of our best hiring returns vested after new Fools’ skill sets were tailored internally.

Hiring the best people leads to organizational success, and you’ll only lose value by handholding low-performing employees. To keep your company on top of its game, offer as many development opportunities as possible. Fostering a culture of learning inspires employees to heighten performance, plus new knowledge can profit your company. Allow room in your budget for offsite learning experiences and external training opportunities. The Motley Fool hosts a monthly speaker series, which has attracted some of the most talented investors, authors, and career coaches over the past 6 years. Fools from different departments also teach informal classes on subjects like coding, data collection and, of course, investing.

  1. Strive for Total Transparency

Employees are some of the most important stakeholders within your organization. They keep the ins and outs of your business flowing, so it’d be foolish (pun intended) not to treat them with respect. Don’t underestimate how much information employees crave because transparency can build a strong bond of trust among your coworkers and leaders. Regularly sharing company numbers helps many employees understand how they can add value. We host monthly company-wide “huddles” to share our wins, losses, and how we’re thriving as an organization overall.

A feedback system must exist to allow your organization to recognize its flaws and work toward fixing them. You have to know what works – and what doesn’t – to adapt. Leaders need to be supportive and willing to test new strategies for the betterment of the business. At The Motley Fool, we host an annual employee engagement survey to gain perspective on all aspects of our business. From more quiet spaces in the office to learning opportunities about compensation, multiple changes have been made from Fools’ survey feedback. Listening to your employees can move mountains, but the journey starts first with transparency.

  1. Patience Is Key

The recipe to creating a remarkable workplace is ever-changing. Factors that bake into an organization’s success include strong core values, honesty, mindful leadership perspectives, and high employee happiness levels. We’re passionate people who strive to take projects to the next level, but maintaining a healthy work environment takes patience. Fools stay informed so that better decisions can be made should a piece of our puzzle need to shift.

Leaders should take accountability and align their employees around changes they want to make. Revolutions don’t happen overnight, so be prepared to take small steps toward one clear goal. Choose your senior leaders wisely, as the organization’s culture will loudly echo the values that they display.

  1. Don’t Forget to Have Fun

No one said that running a successful company culture was easy, but we’d rather do our hard work while having fun. When you give your employees the freedom to forge their own paths, work suddenly doesn’t feel like work anymore. Though most corporate environments probably don’t support Nerf gun battles, ping-pong tournaments, or March Madness TV breaks, these details aren’t part of the bottom line. Happiness increases morale and, to see improvements in your organization, you’ve got to have a little fun.

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