I read a fascinating interview with Peter Ruis, CEO of Jigsaw in the last issue of the Mail on Sunday – courtesy of @NeilCraven – outlining his corporate culture strategy for the year ahead. He feels “creating a sense of belonging” and ensuring staff are “given ownership of the company” and are “able to share in the fruits of any success” are critical to victory. Peter’s plans are based upon his previous experience at British high-street stalwart John Lewis. You can read the full-length piece here.
I certainly believe that an inclusive and transparent operational strategy, whereby all staff were given shares in the business, has helped it to weather the recession. Naturally employees are more inclined to work towards the overall success of an employer when they know they will directly benefit from their efforts. However, I don’t think that handing out company shares is the only way this sense of inclusion and motivation can be achieved.
Something a simple as engaging staff in collaborative conversation and idea generation about the future of their department and/or the company as a whole can prove just as fruitful. As a report by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services shows, 71% of people rank employee engagement as very important to achieving overall organizational success; whilst Research by Gallup, the American research-based, global performance-management consulting company, describes engaged employees as being psychologically committed to a job, and likely to be making positive contributions to an organisation.
Some retailers are already doing this successfully, Shop Direct for one. As Chris Finnegan, CX Engagement Manager at Shop Direct explains here in this video – the company is using Idea Spotlight to break down silos, engage employees and source great ideas to improve the customer experience.
Encouraging employee engagement which can be measured and quantified in a platform like Idea Spotlight also allows employers to instantly identify the most innovative, engaged and creative staff; and then reward them appropriately for their efforts. Not only does this motivate employees, but it also helps to unearth the best talent within the organisation, and then harness this to drive the business forward.
I certainly think that Jigsaw could benefit from bringing these pieces of the puzzle together when Ruis starts to ‘mark out his ‘big bets’ for the future’.