CEO Insights: Rated People’s Adrienne Minster on ‘radical transparency’ and having honest conversations with your employees



When Adrienne Minster took up the role as CEO of Rated People—a Frog Capital portfolio company and the UK’s leading trade service marketplace—she combined her passion for uplifting healthy employee culture and engagement with her everyday responsibilities.

Through facilitating the action-oriented technique “Start Stop Continue,” she made sure that opening up honest and real conversations in the business were practiced. “I would think of it as almost radical transparency, which I think can sound scary but it’s not. It just means that you can have real conversations with anybody in the business and anybody can ask any question at any time to the CEO. There’s no pedestal the CEO is on,” she told Senior Partner Mike Reid in a virtual interview. 

The popular business framework encouraged Rated People’s staff to engage in a dialogue on what they would like to see more of and what they would like to change within the company. This prompted Rated People to establish a “People Team,” which Minster explained is a group of leaders across the business that help govern the company’s formal processes and roadmaps to keep their people experience evolving.

“Before you know what to do, you have to figure out where you are.” Minster shared that the Start Stop Continue framework helped them figure out which areas of improvement they have to prioritise. “We put together a survey that was modeled after the UK’s Best Places to Work survey that allowed our team to score things like leadership and their relationship with their managers.”

She said that creating the baseline survey gave them the data that would enlighten them about the areas in employee engagement which they wanted to amplify or improve on.

Additionally, she highlighted the creation of a separate group called “Culture Club” that is founded on the informal connections made within the company. The employee-led initiative opens up company-wide discussions about social issues that deeply impact the staff including Black Lives Matter and mental health. 

“You have to create the space. If you set out the value by which your business interacts and if they’re truly authentic to your company and you hire people that match those values, and you’re very strict about not having people who don’t subscribe to those values in your business, then you can trust your employees to create that because you know they’re leading with the same integrity and the same mindset because it’s embedded inside the whole business,” she said.

“One really special thing to happen in businesses is when everyone equally owns the experience of the company and the experience for themselves and one another.”

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