Improving Business Performance Through People

It’s commonly agreed that the most valuable asset of any business is its people. Without them, you would be unable to make your product, delivery your service or give your customers a great service. Have you thought about how they feel at work? Do they love your brand and company or are they there because they have to be? When your workforce really cares about your business, your results will transform. Creating this level of engagement is tough and today we consider some ideas on how you can create this.

If you were listening to the Jeremy Vine show on BBC2 this week, you will have heard a fantastic interview with John Timpson,  the founder of Timpson’s, a major UK employer with a huge network of brands and stores. John talked passionately about how important his team is and here are some of the key points we took away from this:

  • Timpson’s refer to their teams as colleagues, they do not use the terms ‘staff’ or ’employees’ as they feel this creates more of a team led environment rather than a hierarchical one.
  • They minimise rules, they are clear that they expect their teams to ‘look the part’ and ‘put the money in the till’ but other than that they are free to do what is best for their customers. How do you empower your teams?
  • Every colleague is given their birthday off (above their holiday allowance) so they can enjoy it.
  • They focus on being as fair and flexible as possible with their colleagues.
  • They recruit for best fit and look to marginalised groups such as ex-offenders to help them get back on their feet. Interestingly this was not started as a way to increase performance but genuinely to support communities however they have noticed a better level of performance from these people with more loyalty.
  • You might think they are quite relaxed and easy to work for but in fact, they are really tough on making sure they have the right people and well if they don’t they look for another role that might fit them better or face the reality that this might not be the right business for that person. How well do you manage people when the fit isn’t right?

This week the Living Wage Foundation has published information that the REAL  living wage is now £9 per hour. This is a voluntary initiative in which companies can choose to pay this rate in order that their people can have a decent standard of living. There are many organisations who, working with the Living Wage Foundation, have opted to pay this rate and the recent findings show:

  • 93% of businesses who opted in reported that they benefited as a result
  • 86% had an increase in reputation
  • 75% reported an increase in motivation and retention
  • 64% said it allowed them to differentiate themselves from other employers in their industry
  • 58% said it improved relationships between management and staff.

You can read more about this HERE including reading case studies from employers who are benefiting including


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