The BUSINESS CASE for being a GREAT EMPLOYER - the How To Guide Part One


You’ve got some great people working in your business. Having spoken to a number of local business leaders over the past months, the challenge is how do you retain them and attract more great people as you grow?  We’ve heard a lot that employee engagement and trust, and that being a great place to work make a difference in today’s tough business world. But do they really? A few facts…

  • Engaged employees outperform disengaged employees by 20-28% (The Conference Board,)
  • 80% of employees with a high degree of trust in management are committed to the organisation, compared with 25% of employees with low trust (Centre for Creative Leadership)
  • Highly engaged employees have less absence days – on average 3.5 days (Gallup Germany)
  • Almost two-thirds of all employees are 33% as productive as they could be because they don’t understand what they are being asked to do (The Conference Board)

Businesses grow when employees engage and grow. So how do you grow your employees?  Here’s seven ways to start:

  1. Share information about your company and its strategy
  2. Promote decision-making and autonomy
  3. Create a more human culture and encourage positive relationships
  4. Value diversity and an inclusive atmosphere
  5. Offer regular performance feedback
  6. Provide a sense of purpose and meaning
  7. Developing well-being and life balance

I’ll write about each over the coming months and how you can shape your culture and grow as a great place, where people want to work and give their best.

Why start?  Your business is successful. Orders are coming in. Growing as a great place to work is about taking it to the next level. It’s about how promoting strengths and capabilities leads to increased levels of engagement, productivity, satisfaction and retention.

We’re used to hearing about– connecting employees to the business so that they give that bit extra each day. Today, in our diverse, demanding workplace, it’s more than ‘going the extra mile’. It’s about putting your people first – above you, above your customers.

Let’s get started.

  1. Share Information About the Organisation and Its Strategy

Employees contribute more effectively when they understand how their own work fits with their company’s goals and strategy. Knowing helps them to respond faster to problems, make good decisions and coordinate their actions. Sharing builds trust and breaks down any ‘us and them’.

Google for example, shares its company goals with all its employees. They focus on a few priorities, identify metrics that measure progress toward those goals and quantify the impact of that progress. They have shown that sharing goals has increased employees’ alignment and has been key to its success.

More locally, and on a smaller scale, an Oxfordshire-based manufacturing company defined its values, then held meetings to give every member of staff the opportunity to talk about what those values meant to them, and why they were important. The business recently came through a difficult period because the employees and management team rallied together, basing their joint business decisions on those same values.

Another Oxford company develops base-line metrics for each and every activity and has team members actively engaged in measuring their own hour-by-hour progress against their daily, weekly and monthly targets.

Southwest Airlines in the States sends daily news updates via its intranet, and the CEO delivers a weekly telephone message to all employees. The airline provides detailed information about quarterly earnings, referred to as “Knowing the Score,” and holds regular town-hall-style meetings involving every member of staff.

The founder-CEO of The Mighty, a digital media organization dedicated to improving the lives of people facing disease and disability, sends all employees the same e-mails he shares with investors and the board of directors.

Businesses across the UK hold daily and weekly ‘huddles’ to share sales and productivity data and news about what is happening in the company with their employees, who use the information to work more effectively, make the right decisions and deliver improvements every day.

Knowledge has always been power but today, knowledge is everywhere. Just ask Google.

Sharing and co-working are the new power.

Our next blog will expand on decision-making discretion and autonomy. See you then.