Nando’s — Happy People are the Key

In: BlogDate: Jun 25, 2013By: Henry Stewart

Nando’s is a popular restaurant chain in the UK, specialising in spicy chicken. Some years ago they undertook research to find out what were the key factors that explained why sales at some of their restaurants grew faster than at others.

After detailed analysis they found one factor stood out above all others in explaining the difference. This was how happy the staff were, as measured in the annual staff survey. As a result they changed their managers’ bonuses so that 50% was based solely on those staff survey results.

Nando’s still wanted to maximise growth and profits, of course. However, they believed that the way to achieve that was not to target these elements but instead to target the key factor that creates growth and profits, namely how happy its staff were. They sent a clear message to their managers: ‘Your key focus should be on making your staff happy’.

This was explained by Nando’s’ HR specialist Marcelo Borges in a presentation to the Learning & Skills Council in 2006.

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Henry Stewart, Founder and Chief Happiness Officer

Henry is founder and Chief Happiness Officer of Happy Ltd. Following a fairly disastrous job early on in his career, Henry was determined to discover what enabled a productive and happy workplace. In 1987 Henry set up what was originally called Happy Computers. Inspired by Ricardo Semler’s book Maverick, he built a company with a reputation for some of the best customer service in the country and one of the UK’s best places to work, winning multiple awards for its culture and philosophy. His book, the Happy Manifesto, was published by in 2013.

Outside of work he is a father of three, Chair of Governors at his local comprehensive in Hackney and a keen cyclist.

You can find Henry on LinkedIn and follow @happyhenry on Twitter.

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