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Are your Luxury Brand employees engaged?

Wayne McMaster

12 June 2014

Having recently attended a seminar led by Alex Morgan of True North on their company's ten years of learnings around employee engagement; we discussed, as a group, the differences between espoused company values and demonstrated/enacted values and how this informs company culture, that in turn can greatly impact company productivity.

Core Values

Core values show the essence of your company and are the foundation of your business's identity. Values help to build the framework for the culture of your company and should support the purpose and mission. They are values that you want your current and future employees to demonstrate. Core values can also be your competitive advantage.

Espoused vs Enacted

Espoused values are stated values and socially accepted behaviours preferred by your company. Demonstrated values are the behaviours that are exhibited by youremployees. Without organisational values, employees will, by default follow their individual values systems.

The Pret secret

One example that was talked of was the secret behind Pret A Manger's 'happy' employees:

Pret wanted the brief time you were in their stores to be filled with smiles, positive energy, and genuine human connection, especially for their repeat customers. Their CEO Clive Schlee called it the 'Pret Buzz', and the company identified a set of 'Pret Behaviors' to create the Buzz and an in-depth training program to instill those behaviors. “The staff manual told staff to ‘use personal phrases that you are comfortable with and treat customers as if they are guests in your own home,’" and the secret behind happy those employees? – they only employ candidates who exhibit that natural happiness and are happy to be themselves." Pret activily seek out employess who already behave in line with their values.

TrueNorth's findings supported by Gallup

Some of Turue North's highlights include:

Productivity increases with engaged teams

Some of the best ideas come from the floor

Happy employees make happy customers

Gallup known for their research accumulated 263 research studies across 192 companies in 49 industries in 34 countries. Their finsing include some of the following improvements:

  • 10% increase in customer loyalty
  • 22% increase in profitability
  • 21% increase in productivity
  • 25% increase in turnover
  • 37% reduction in absenteeism
  • 41% in quality improvements (defects)

The relationship between engagement and performance in business is substantial.

The test of an engaged team

We were left with the set of questions, that over the years, Gallup has refined within their studies on engagement. It makes for a good set of questions when reviewing your own employees, teams and yourselves as managers. How do you and they measure up?

  1. I know what is expected
  2. I have the right materials and equipment
  3. I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day
  4. I regularly recieve recognition or praise
  5. At work, some cares about me
  6. My manager encourgaes my development
  7. My opinions count
  8. I understand my company's purpose and mission
  9. At work, I have someone I can trust
  10. My colleagues are committed to prodcuing quality qork
  11. I have recently talked to my manager about my progress
  12. I have opportunities to learn and grow at work

If you answer YES to them all, you are highly engaged within the business.

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