Dreamplex | Inspiring Employees and Customers

Granger Whitelaw discusses effective strategies for retaining employees with Dan Gray. In this episode he features Dreamplex, who not only does a great ob for their employees, but offers solutions for the members of their Co-Working spaces. Grab your coffee and listen In!

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Granger: Good afternoon. Granger Whitelaw with Friday Notes or should I say good morning I’ve been up since 3:00 AM, it feels like afternoon already. I tend to get up around 4:30 or 5:00 but today was a little earlier meeting. I had a call with the United States. Dan, how are you this morning?

Dan: I’m good. Yeah. Good morning.

Granger: I hope you’ve had your coffee. I haven’t had coffee yet. I need a coffee. I’ve been up for like hours.

Dan: Yeah. I can’t leave the house without two coffees. Yeah, I’m set.

Granger: Are you like a two, three coffee a day guy?

Dan: I actually make one the night before and then microwave it first thing when I get out of bed. That’s the first thing I do.

Granger: Microwave coffee.

Dan: I know it’s probably pretty terrible.

Granger: Really microwave?

Dan: Yeah. I need that caffeine, or I can’t function.

Granger: Oh, my goodness. I like the fresh coffee. You know, I discovered something, and this is how brain dead I am. Right. So, I discovered that I can have Starbucks deliver coffee to me.

Dan: Just what they want to have you.

Granger: I mean, I have everything delivered to me here. Right. But I didn’t even think about, Hey, I can call, grab or use my grab app and I can have them bring me coffee. I discovered that like a week ago.

Dan: And it would probably be quicker than the Vietnamese drip coffee that I do. That’s why the night before it takes about 20 minutes to drip through sometimes. So, yeah.

Granger: Oh boy. Anyway, Cà phê sữa đá. Starbucks, you know, whatever your coffee love is I hope you enjoy it. I hope everyone has one today for our Friday notes. So, Monday we were talking about retaining employees. A big issue here in Southeast Asia, obviously with very low unemployment, high growth expansion everywhere. Trying to keep your employees is an important issue.

Dan: Yeah. Well that for those of you who’ve listened to the profile from Wednesday Warren, he’s got some very interesting ideas that he speaks about.

Granger: Yeah, Warren what a great profile you wrote, by the way. Dan   is the writer of the Warren profile. Thank you.

Dan: You know, it’s easy to make an interesting with his notes. He very interesting guy and his    amazing ideas. So, if you haven’t checked that out already, people should definitely check that out because he’s got some great ideas.

Granger:  Definitely read the Warren profile from Wednesday. Good plug. Yeah, no, he’s a great guy. What a super personality. He has that leaders create leaders. He really is a leader maker and he can help you with your employees, put in some really nice programs and   training exercises to help, you know, kind of unify the teams. It’s really cool what he does. So, I enjoy him.

Dan: Yeah, some great ideas. In creating a positive work environment.  

Granger: So, what can you do to improve the workplace or offers to retain your staff? This is the question we left with Monday. You know, to start off with, I’d like to talk about a couple of things. One responsibility you demonstrate trust that you have for your employees by giving them new responsibilities and areas to grow this is something that, you know, we all like to be rewarded. We all like to be trusted and showing them that you trust them by giving them new things to do, that have meaning is a great thing to do.

Dan: Yeah, and again, from Warren’s profile, he’s saying it’s not necessarily part of the Vietnamese culture. Always to delegate so much. So, it’s something he wants to see more of in this country.

Granger: Education offered them new opportunities to learn new skills, right. Upskilling training. These are great things. It shows that you’re investing in your employees. Certainly, by investing in your employees, you’re investing in yourself as a business.

Dan: Absolutely.

Granger: So, this is a great thing to do. You’re an educator, so you know the value of education. Respect. This is a big one for me. Always say, please and thank you, right. I always say please and thank you. I shouldn’t say, I try to always say please and thank you. I’ve spoken about this in a number of different podcasts. I know because this is a big pet peeve of mine and not something that men or highly placed businessmen are used to doing. Saying, thank you.

Dan: Well, my mom always said, you know, manners cost nothing.

Granger: Manners cost nothing. That’s right. Dan, your mom was a wise lady.

Dan: Yeah. Not always as easy to practice.

Granger: And be respectful of how you speak to people. You know, I’ve been in meetings, I’ve spoken about this before. I just can’t believe how I’ve seen some CEOs and people speak to their employees in front of other people as well. But it doesn’t matter if you’re in front of other people. Speak respectfully to people. People deserve respect. And just because you’re the boss doesn’t mean that you can talk down to people. So, you know, probably a couple of people just hung up on this podcast. I don’t care. This is really something I believe strongly. Recognize people, recognize them, appreciate them, don’t only speak nicely to them and respect them, but recognize them. Privately   and publicly. If   you’re in group meetings and do it. This morning, one of my employees came in, actually he runs my digital marketing and I said to him Hey, I want to tell you thank you for doing X, Y, and Z yesterday. You did a great job. He said, Oh, no problem. I said, no, thank you. And I reached across the table and I shook his hand and literally his eyes lit up. He was shocked. I don’t know why, but you know, I’ve done this before, but I was alone with him and I thanked him. I shook his hand for doing his job.

Dan: Yeah, absolutely.

Granger: But do it right. He deserved a little extra thank you. And boy, I tell you, he’s been in a good mood all day. I always like to profile a company who I think is doing something along the lines of the topic that we’re talking about. As you know. And today I want to talk about Dreamplex. Jonah Levy is the CEO of Dreamplex. Now with Tinh. The staff, they’ve done a great job of building out Dreamplex over the last couple of years. Dream plex was created in 2015. It’s a coworking space. It supports the Vietnam startup and business community. You don’t have to be a startup. A lot of people think, Oh, all these startups going into these coworking spaces like We Work. And, you know, Dreamplex, et cetera. But it’s not true.

Dan: Yeah. I see. They even offer people that just an address, as basic as that could be from big businesses.

Granger: Yes, you need an address and location, but major corporations actually rent that space to put groups that they have doing R and D and other things, especially if they’re not quite here yet. And they need a place. So, it’s really cool no matter what size business. And Dreamplex is encouraging their members to collaborate and provide an inspiring work environments and opportunities for learning and growing. I think it’s a wonderful mantra. I think they say it’s a space for success and they provide an inspiring culture and community for our members. And they really do. I know because I’ve worked over at Dreamplex. They now have five locations, three in Ho Chi Minh City. Two of them are in district one, and then they have the auditorium in Binh Thanh and the other major coworking space in Bin Thanh. I think the one you may know about in Bin Thanh is the Dreamplex where President Obama came and spoke when he was here. They do Ted talks there every year. They do a lot of talks, in that auditorium, so it’s not just a coworking space, but it’s also a place where you can have big, large scale meetings and a really neat infrastructure.  

Granger: But what I like about what they’re doing, what really grabbed me is the benefits they give to their members. Now, not just their employees, but their members and their member companies can enjoy these and here is a company that differentiates themselves by not only saying they do it, but actually doing it. They offer over 250 courses to Dreamplex members. How cool is that?

Dan: Yeah. Amazing.

Granger: Choosing a career path, marketing, SEO, Photoshop, communications, sales training, raising capital, different languages. You can go tutor there, right. You’ve been in the offices, they do yoga. You know all kinds of education that you can take through Dreamplex employees or members. How cool is that, right. This is what we talked about. Benefits, value added benefits. They have business service discounts for their employees and for the members, 2% off interest rates that Shinhan Bank. They have 10% off a law firm, which is amazing if you’re a small company and medium sized company, getting a discount on your legal saves you a lot of money.

Granger: Web development, accounting services, talent recruiting platforms, they have food discounts. They get to 35% off restaurants around the city. How cool is that?

Dan: A lot of bonuses.

Granger: So, you can take these, they actually have 50% of gym memberships, travel discounting and one thing that I thought was really cool is unlimited grab rides. And insurance, health insurance for the members. Here’s a place where you can go, you can take an office, have a year, six months or a year minimum you have to sign up for, but then you can get health insurance for your employees. How cool was that?

Dan: The thing that struck me about the place the most when I visited was this, how vibrant is, you’ve got different people there and working on different projects, having different meetings. You can just feel this energy in the place and yeah, you wouldn’t necessarily get that in your own private office usually. So, I thought it was very impressive.

Granger: But that’s a great point you’ve should. And I think that’s exactly what

Granger: we’re talking about, right. It’s creating a community inside your business where people feel safe, they feel secure, where they can have a cool, enjoyable work environment, right. We always hear the comparison and stuff. Oh, it’s like a Google kind of environment or you know, Facebook where they have, you know, like we have a foosball table here, right. Or you have a sleeping area, or you have these different cool areas like you’re talking about, right. You could do that as a business. Why can’t you do that?

Dan:   Again, another lesson, you can adapt to your own business.

Granger: So, another way to incentivize your employees and keep them around is creating cool community, right. Creating a cool work environment. I think it’s a great point that you make, Dan I think it really is.

Dan: See people even from different businesses now, the shared coffee area, you might not be colleagues with someone, but you sit there and chat about how your day’s going, you know, bounce ideas off each other. You can see there’s a lot of benefit.

Granger: Sure you may work in IT and I may work in legal or I may work in sales and you may work in warehousing but we can meet in this common area and it’s not a white room with you know black tables and round chairs it’s a nice place to sit and work in. And any business can take a little bit of extra time to create these cool little areas where their employees can relax and get to know each other. So, again as we talk about ways to create benefits. The first one is okay, give people bonuses. Well certainly, you can give people bonuses. And you can do different comp plans. Certainly, health insurance or life insurance. Insurance for the grandparents, the ageing parents that’s a big one that you can do. There’s a lot of different comp plans. But here’s a company that not only does really unique things for their employees, but also for the members of their business. And I know that there’s some other businesses, I can’t see who they are but who are rolling out plans for some of their customers to participate in. And as you see these affinity programs rolling out that you can not only give to your employees, but you can give to your customers, boy, that adds benefit everywhere and really makes your business somewhere that people are going to not only    visit , but also work at.

Dan:  Absolutely.

Granger: Okay, well that’s my Dreamplex plug for the day.  I have no special reason to plug them other than I love the guys there. And I think they do a phenomenal job and I’ve met Que and the marketing team so a big shout out to all of them and Joe and Steve and all those guys. Thanks for letting us do a little bit on you today and sharing your cool business model with us and with everybody here at Lotus Talks. Dan, what are you doing this weekend?

Dan:  This weekend I’m hopefully playing in a football competition.  I managed to injure myself hosting around with my students, but I’m hoping to recover.

Granger: Wait I thought you were hurt?

Dan: Well yeah, I’m the kind of on edge.

Granger: What did you do? Did one of your students beat you up?

Dan: Well no, not quite.  I was trying to show off to a bunch of seven-year old’s playing football in the classroom with a big paper ball. The students are playing with they threw it to me, and I tried to kind of kick it through the wall and managed to injure myself, so it’s pretty embarrassing, not my most elegant moment.

Granger: Oh, my goodness. That’s funny.

Dan: Yeah, hopefully I’ll    recover in time.

Granger: Well, I hope you have a great weekend. Everyone listening out there. I hope you have a wonderful, wonderful weekend. It’s Black Friday, so go spend lots of money or hide your credit cards, one or the other, and Monday we will be talking about Cyber Monday. I mean, why not? It’s all consumerism. Have a wonderful weekend. This is Granger Whitelaw and Dan Gray from Lotus Talks.

The Lotus Talks is produced by The Vietnam Group and Hosted by Granger Whitelaw.
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