Employee Engagement

4 Big Ideas: Marks & Spencer’s Keys to Employee Engagement

4 Big Ideas: Marks & Spencer’s Keys to Employee Engagement

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Published In  Employee Engagement

Here are a few snippets on engagement from Tanith Dodge, the HR director for Marks & Spencer

Sold on engagement. If the 25 per cent of Marks & Spencer stores with the lowest engagement scores in staff surveys performed as well in sales terms as the top 25 per cent, M&S would increase its sales by £104m a year.

Defining moments. We must identify "what are the defining moments for our people – what really excites them at work."

M&S 4 Predictors of engagement

1. Focus on opportunity and well-being for the individual employee

2. Pride in the company and the brand

3. Trust

4. Involvement

More time with the well. The company’s occupational health team used to devote 95 per cent of its time to the 5 per cent of staff who were sick. Now, it spends 95 per cent on staff who are well, she said.

Trust me. Polls show that 7 out of 10 employees don't trust their boss or the company they work for.” She continued: "the only way to build trust is for leaders to really demonstrate that they live the values; that they walk, talk and embed the values."

Inclusive employment. An example of M&S's values in action is its long-running scheme to recruit "people who face social barriers to working", including homeless and disabled people, and lone parents. The company recruits 750 people a year through this scheme; some 5,000 in all. Each one has a volunteer buddy, "whose pride in helping people really ripples through the store, and these recruits have the lowest absence and turnover levels, because they’ve been given a second chance."

What’s the big idea. As an example of involvement, she referred to M&S’s policy of regularly asking employees, "what’s your big idea?"

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