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Blog - Why the new boss at Tesco is getting engagement right

Why the new boss at Tesco is getting engagement right

Posted by Tracy Powley 08/09/14

TescosTesco’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.”  

Tracy Powley
Tracy Powley

The way we behave towards each other in the workplace has a direct impact on individual wellbeing, team performance and organisational results. This belief has underpinned our work at Focal Point for over 20 years and has never been more relevant. We are privileged to work with a huge variety of organisations wanting to get workplace behaviour and culture right - and to tackle the inappropriate behaviour that may get in the way of this. Supported by our fantastic team of facilitators and coaches, we are able to make a real difference to peoples’ lives as well as organisational performance. Having worked in both large businesses at management level and in 2 start ups at director level, I am able to combine hands on experience of growing and managing teams - and the associated challenges in creating the right culture - with over 20 years in learning and development. I hold the Certificate in Training Practice and am a member of CIPD. When I am not supporting clients or developing the Focal Point business, you will find me in a calming yoga class...

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