Embed the “What am I going to do?” not the “What is management going to do?” mind-set into the DNA of your organisation.
While it might be difficult to attribute financial success to a specific people initiative, studies consistently show that organisations with engaged, happy staff, financially outperform those with disengaged employees.
Since introducing An Even Better Place to Work four years ago, Safe-Move (part of Yorkshire Water) has seen its absenteeism and attrition rates improve. There has also been measurable improvement to productivity response times and customer satisfaction levels. In the year 2013-2014 the Safe Move bottom line has over-performed by 73% above target. Yorkshire Water strives for continuing improvement in every area of its business operations; part of which is to ensure they create an even better place to work, where engagement is high, rewards balanced, absenteeism kept to a minimum while tenure and performance are maximised.
After attending a series of training programmes where Shay McConnon was a guest keynote speaker, his enthusiasm and passion motivated us to invite him to our team’s ‘business plan event,’ where the benefits and appropriateness of An Even Better Place to Work were explored and discussed and from there our rewarding journey with the An Even Better Place to Work solution began.
As a management team we understood that ‘you get what you measure’, so, although we were not getting a concerning score in our feedback process, we understand that the world of work is increasingly complex. This complexity is changing the face of leadership, culture and the engagement of people and is going to change more rapidly over the coming 5 to 10 years.
We understood that it will be critical to ‘individualise’ the understanding of our people’s needs and motivations; moving away from the more traditional command and control paradigm of ‘universalising’ needs; which is no longer effective in the new economy.
We also realised that An Even Better Place to Work necessitates strong personal leadership and ownership from everyone; moving away from the culture of ‘it is the management’s responsibility to fix things’, to ‘what am I going to do about it?’ We felt it was important to provide our people the tools to make this shift happen, support collaboration and help build rewarding relationships both inside outside the organisation.
The other element of continual improvement we were keen to address is, shift the focus onto things that are ‘good’ and doing more of those things as a consequence, as opposed to the negative ‘industrial’ approach.
The An Even Better Place to Work approach was seen as a solution that enables us achieve many of these objectives and we decided to run a six month pilot.
We quickly realised the benefits and potential of implementing it across a wider and more diverse audience. The An Even Better Place to Work programme has helped us to be more open and have conversations with our colleagues rather than moan about them.
This has resulted in a happier, more relaxed atmosphere and people taking more ownership for their issues. The management team are spending less time on people and relationships, freeing them to concentrate on more strategic issues.
Not only did the quality of work life improve but so did our productivity resulting in an over achievement on contribution of 73%.