Don’t let bad people management ruin your business

Entrepreneur and co-founder of employee engagement platform Perkbox, Chieu Cao, explains why in an increasingly competitive business environment, incentivisation and good people management is critical

Engaged workforce? It's time roll out the incentives
Chieu Cao
On 12 January 2018 12:01

Staying on the right side of economic shifts and technological advancements while meeting employee expectations is a feat that requires proactivity and foresight. A single disengaged worker costs a business over £3K annually in sick leave, lost productivity, training and recruitment.

Whilst remuneration might instantly gratify and sway potential employees into accepting a job offer, it’s the non-financial factors that come with reward and recognition that engage and retain workers in the long run.

What can we do to change this and what are the returns?

Enhancing the right leadership skills

Good managers are essential to any successful organisation. But as the world of work continues to change, so will the qualities and characteristics required for effective management.

The key is to build a relationship with your team that’s based on trust, commitment and engagement.

This aligns efforts, helping organisational goals to be achieved with enthusiasm, energy and efficiency. 

Here are a few cultural ‘must haves’ for success:

Listen - a no-brainer for some, but attentiveness is often overlooked. It’s a particularly important trait for managers in times of conflict and change.

Feedback - not just for millennials learning the ropes, but also the most experienced of employees – regular feedback and constructive criticism are crucial to successful management.

Coach - paint the bigger picture and make it clear exactly how an employee’s role fits into it.

Autonomy - avoid micromanagement at all costs. At one point or another, we’ve all experienced how restrictive overbearing managers can be.

Employee experience, not employee engagement

Employees’ individuality is invaluable when winning ideas are at a premium. Engagement will always be crucial, but employee experience is arguably the next level, focusing on inspiring our teams to bring their best selves to work, and making a personal impact on the business.

We launched a study that found only 15% of UK employees feel they have a fun and creative working culture, while 69% believe theirs to be ‘traditional’.

So how do you make the shift?

The options are myriad. Think flexible working and rewards programmes, incentivisation and the internal sharing of information, working environments and open communication. UK managers have to work harder to give their people a voice, and then to act on what they learn.

I truly believe the lack of employee engagement is behind the UK’s disproportionately high employee absence and low retention rates.

The returns pay off

They do, trust me.

They pay off not only in terms of keeping your current staff happy and engaged but also in differentiating and protecting yourself from competition; their appeal to your employees and potential future staff.

According to Gartner, over 90% of businesses currently compete primarily on the basis of customer experience (CX).

Clearly CX alone is no longer enough: all signs suggest the next competitive frontier and business priority is employee experience (EX).

Many are already calling 2018 ‘The Year of Employee Experience’.

So what are you waiting for?


Chieu Cao is Co-founder and CMO at Perkbox

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