• Mark Wilkinson

Juicy morsels from the Engage for Success Conference 22nd March 2018

A selection from my notes taken on the day and especially for those on the Engage for South West mailing list. I hope you find this of value. Download a PDF of this here.

Mark Wilkinson

Francis Goss, CCO of AHC, Employee engagement & Financial Wellbeing

Organisations have responsibility for supporting employees to plan for their financial future, else we risk building a time-bomb, but jargon tends to turn employees off. Nudges to make small savings can make dramatic difference down the line. Avoid jargon and bring alive for employees using creativity and by making it personal eg using tech so employees can visualise themselves being older. LV pensions village where sun comes out for people who have saved is great example of engaging staff to save.

Sir Eric Peacock in conversation with David MacLeod

Make onboarding personal – Sir Eric would send bottle of Champagne and two glasses to new employees with letter asking them they celebrate beginning the journey with their new company. It cut people being poached back to their old company by seventy per cent.

Personal development plans include section on what people do outside work since is about growing individual.

He met Steve jobs who told him he trained all his staff to TL level in how to coach so they could be a better at giving and receiving feedback.

Engaging management & leadership includes having compassion and making time for small acts of kindness – instances where leaders have done this and whole organisation been uplifted when heard the news.

When leaving company, people given red carpet treatment.

Employee voice - Twice a year everyone is asked to fill out seven postcards to feedback what they can do to improve, their team, what they’d recommend the organisation does etc – has resulted in two per cent rise in productivity every year for free.

Chieu Cao – CMO, Perkbox

Millenials – more fluid sense of work and life. Asking for more transparency, purpose. Respond better to perks they can share with family and friends – builds bond to company.

Panel Discussion – What creates a successful working environment?

Neil Carberry, CMD People & Infrastructure, CBI, Tony Danker, CEO Productivity Leadership Group, Dame Carol Black, Principle Newnham College Cambridge.

Small improvements in productivity are nearly always due to employees being engaged in how to drive them up. Therefore important to see employees as part of solution not problem.

Neil – engagement needs to be driven from top and supported by HR, not driven by HR.

Carol – important to equip people to do their job

Tony – good managers and leaders need to engage employees in conversation about how to be productive because jeopardy on horizon in Brexit, which could lead organisations to think this stuff just nice to do; risk employees will get left behind.

It’s why we need to measure the right things.

Paul Vennells CE, Post Office

Helped transform PO from ‘moaning and coping’ to people on front foot and having vision, so generated first operating profit in 2017.

Paula went out and listened and learned – back to floor

Honesty and openness key

Challenged top team not to hide from making difficult decisions and combat assumptions.

Found Insights psychometric tool useful

Implemented changes eg giving supply chain (drivers) more control transformed engagement scores.

Also important to have diversity even some dissonance from people from outside – helps challenge and create better thinking.

Matthew Taylor CE of RSA – The Taylor review of modern working practices

Need new social contract and definition for work since can no longer guarantee income for life.

Need to be anti bad work since bad for you and aim for de minimus eg decent work. Need challenge assumptions that there will always be ‘crap’ jobs. No reason why they can’t offer meaning and fulfilment.

In lobbying Low Pay Commission Matthew persuaded the Government to consult on two of his measures including more voice on boards and higher min wages for people on zero hours contracts.

Kate McSweeney, Head of Mumsnet Work - Why family friendly policies work for people and businesses

Mumsnet 10th largest social network. Pressing for greater flexibility for woman at work. Evidence this is a win-win.

Peter Cheese – Closing Remarks

Moment of opportunity to grow and connect movement providing can engage from top.

David MacLeod – evidence engagement is taken seriously now, so call to embolden ‘creative communities with a cause’

Engage for South your local Engage for Success group with a programme of events helping you make our city and region the best place in the country to work . For more information or to join the mailing list please contact:

Mark Wilkinson (EFSW Chair) at or 07786 638130

Kasha Lozinska on or 07540 665024

There is also more info on my Employee Engagement page.


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