I spent Tuesday evening at the launch of WorkL’s new Employee Experience report.
WorkL is the business set up by Mark (now Lord) Price, who used to run Waitrose. It’s a data-based approach to helping organisations understand and improve their performance in the big areas that drive engagement.
What’s interesting about WorkL is that it uses an App to gather feedback from employees in over 27,000 organisations around the world, but it also provides specific insight and consultancy for individual businesses.
The result is that you get a fascinating big picture view of employee experience trends across different industry sectors, countries and socio-demographic groups. And you also get practical, hands-on stuff you can do to improve your own performance.
If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll know I’m a big fan of Lord Price. When he was at Waitrose, he pioneered a style of leadership based on culture, purpose and empowering individuals.
Those themes are pretty standard in most businesses now but, 15 years ago, they were still groundbreaking in this country (outside HR departments) – and the success of Waitrose and John Lewis played a big part in bringing them into the mainstream.
After the presentation, I asked him what he thought was the most important factor in making employees happier and more productive at work.
‘Without a doubt, the relationship each individual employee has with their manager. The correlation is so strong that, if I only asked one question – do you have a good relationship with your manager? – I could tell you with confidence what their overall engagement score would be, based on that one answer alone.’
It’s a timely reminder that, whatever else we do to engage people and improve their experience of work, the thing that makes the biggest difference will always be the quality and humanity of their manager.
So choose your leaders well, at every level. Your business depends on it.