No man is an island28 Aug 2014
Employers are far more conscious of the value of networks and eco-systems, using Facebook and Linkedin to not only find good people but see the communities they have built around them – which could contain potential clients, partners or employees. Award-winning employers like MITIE have developed social media to help people connect with colleagues across a huge and diverse business – which has helped the FTSE 250 outsourcing firm to sustain an entrepreneurial culture. Winner of last year’s Leadership Diversity Award, MITIE has also proved that this entrepreneurial model brings out the best in talent from all backgrounds and has developed them as leaders to boost growth across the business.
Some employers have created innovation boards and venture funds to invest in corporate entrepreneurs. Telefonica UK, shortlisted for this year’s Corporate Citizenship Award, has been recognised for its support of young people with Think Big but also Wayra, which invests in start-ups from within and outside its organisation and supply chain. This eco-system now includes an academy supporting social enterprises as well – all of which brings ideas and new business connections into Telefonica.
Employees who feel valued, invested in and trusted to make decisions drive innovation because they obsess about customers the way entrepreneurs do – anticipating new needs or co-designing new products and services with them. This was demonstrated by DPD UK which won the Customer Focus Award last year. Judges said: “An excellent example of listening to its customer - full 360 feedback with actions taken to rectify and implement recommended changes - DPD drives an ethos that it is everyone's personal responsibility to deliver the best service money can buy."
OVO Energy, which won our Customer Focus Award back in 2011, launched with the customer at the heart of its disruptive business model in 2009 - providing simple tariffs, easy to understand bills and a Fair Price Pledge to offer the best available deal to both new and existing customers. This empowering model, which has inspired real change in its sector, has also instilled pride in its staff – a key factor in shortlisting its founder Stephen Fitzpatrick for the 2014 Smith & Williamson Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Still seen by some as the ‘soft stuff’, employee engagement and customer service is delivering solid returns for employers. And for those prepared to shout about their achievements through recognition programmes like the National Business Awards, it can help them attract their future growth makers as well.
Winners in all award categories will be announced at the National Business Awards Ceremony on 11th November at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane. To book your place(s) to attend the business event of the year find out more here or call Matt Wilson on 020 7560 4225.