Tesco’s new chief executive Dave Lewis has had his first day on the job under the spotlight because he “took an unusual approach” by asking his employees to email him their ideas to improve the business. (CIPD article http://www.cipd.co.uk/pm/peoplemanagement/b/weblog/archive/2014/09/02/new-tesco-boss-asks-staff-for-advice-to-boost-retailer.aspx)
When every day produces another article or survey citing how vital employee engagement is and how a key part of engaging staff is to involve them, we wonder at dubbing his step “unusual.”
Mr Lewis has sent out a very strong message that he values his people and their opinions, recognising that many of them are on the front line and may well have valuable insight that will help the ailing business. The fact that he has done this on his very first day only strengthens this message.
The latest report from Engage for Success “Nailing the Evidence” http://www.engageforsuccess.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/The-Evidence.pdf suggests that UK businesses could be benefitting from up to a £25.8bn increase in GDP if we could move our engagement levels up to those of the Netherlands for example.
As a start, many senior managers could take a leaf out of Dave Lewis’ book and lead from the front in terms of communicating and involving people in the business. Mr Lewis has pledged that “I will always communicate openly and transparently with you and I’d like to encourage the same from you in return.”
It will, of course, now be critical that he maintains this to really ensure his people see him as authentic and to create long term engagement in the workforce.
One of our favourite quotes is from fellow retailing boss Justin King who commented “When you think you have communicated enough, it is time to start again.”
Stella Chandler and I founded Focal Point on a shared belief that a training course run in isolation doesn't work. We passionately believe there must be support both before and after the training or coaching session itself for it to make a difference. When I am not facilitating sessions with clients or looking at ways to grow the Focal Point business, you will find me in a calming yoga class...