We are now remote.  And we are learning so much about what it takes to keep your people engaged and productive. The balance between communication and micromanagement is often the Biggest challenge. 


Here’s what we’ve learned: Consistent communication with ultra flexibility is working. Encouragement to take care of yourself first: ie: a walk, bike ride or step away is increasing productivity. Virtual happy hours are helping to forge team comradery. 


Our guests today: Michael Houlihan & Bonnie Harvey, Founders of the world's top wine brand, Barefoot Wines


Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. Michael & Bonnie pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and as a result were acquired by E&J GalloToday, they offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) & Shelf Smarts courses to help consumer product brand builders achieve success by maximizing the value of their human resources. 


Today we are discussing:

  • Virtual challenges today
  • How to build company culture to an off premise workforce

Off Premise challenge today?

  • Disengagement
  • Not routine
  • Physical commitment
  • Daily encouragement

Why is this important to the company?

Two biggest hidden costs in every business! 

  • Reduce turnover
  • Increase engagement

Good people transform to great people through growth

  • Improve skill sets & relationships
  • Allow people to do the work they like to do and not do. Allow them to create their own roles. 

Rick’s Nuggets

  • Accountability & Productivity
  • Remote causes you to really put your business under the microscope
  • Cost of a Bad hire is 30% of individuals earnings (US Dept of Labor)
    • Does not include Morale & Productivity loss costs

How do we do it?

Find good people & build great people *****

  • Keep people from being isolated (Team based)
  • Culture of permission - make mistakes right. Don't hide mistakes.

Hiring tactics?


Overkilling Orientation

  • Over educate
  • Money map
    • About understanding how the money flows to get to your paycheck
  • 2 division company
    • Getting into the cause & effect of the business
    • Sales & Sales support

Include people in the solutions

  • Everyone asked to contribute their ideas

    • Footsteps to the wine in stores from the receptionist! (recognition)
  • Throw problems out on the table and allow people to contribute
  • Promote the idea that everyone has a voice

Rick’s Nuggets

  • Finding good people requires work & a lot of conversations
  • Creative ways to encourage engagement 
    • Virtual happy hour

Key Takeaways:

  • You have a responsibility to improve your hires. Find their talents and expand upon them
  • All companies have 2 divisions- sales & sales support
  • All salaries start from the community not from the company!

Find Bonnie & Michael here:

Business Audio Theatre Linkedin 

Websites: www.thebarefootspirit.com & www.consumerbrandbuilders.com

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