Give your best employee the axe!

Why it’s time for you to give the axe to your top performing staff member!

In our latest edition of cool sh^t that business owners can implement into their business (literally tomorrow), we wanted to share with you the power of the axe! And why you should be using it more often.

Your Everest!

You’ve got the vision, you’ve spent years getting the business to where it is now, literally slaved through blood, sweat and tears and you want to continue to build a great team to get your business to the next level (because you sure as hell know you can’t do it yourself).

How do you get your people to willingly (nay enthusiastically) come along for the journey and commit to your vision? Well people, it’s called “culture”! We know it’s an overused and often misunderstood word but it is what it is – there’s no getting around that!

It’s a real axe!

We’re always on the lookout for companies doing things differently, and this is definitely one of them. Instagram’s co-founder and CTO Mike Krieger recently said that they give one employee the ‘axe’ every week as a way to recognise high performers. And by giving them the ‘axe’ we don’t mean they give them the ‘sack’, we mean they actually give them an axe – you know, like a real axe. It’s big, it’s beautiful and it’s an axe…. (better and certainly more interesting than a trophy!).


Crazy impact!

You can check out the full article here, but for those that just want the highlights, the idea came after one of their investors gifted Instagram’s founders with a huge axe. Not knowing what to do with it, they decided to get the whole company together over coffee and donuts on Friday and give the axe to someone who had a ‘crazy impact that week’ and ‘who had done something that was unexpected of them’.

We love the idea!

We love that Instagram gives the axe to their best performing team member, a lot. Why? Because this small, yet remarkable gesture each week, generates surprising benefits:

  • An amazing sign of recognition that shows their performers are special! (Real appreciation, not the fake stuff you see so often)
  • Impute! (see this article) – great things are made by other great companies that we all continue to aspire to be like
  • It’s a unique, totally unexpected and certainly memorable sign of appreciation (we believe the marketing community now call this “Surprise and Delight”).
  • It ultimately drives a culture of performance (main objective).
  • It’s not just any axe, these are beautiful axes!

Creating a great culture

You know what else is great about this? It isn’t just about performance; it genuinely feels good to make other people feel good. It’s a great reciprocal relationship; I recognise you for doing something great, which makes you happy, which in turn makes me ecstatic!

Don’t let your business culture create itself!

We all strive to have a successful business, and culture is at the heart of what we all strive for. And whilst every business is unique, there are also some very common things that can be implemented into all of them that will reap amazing rewards!

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