How do we help employees to be more productive?


A key thing for me is how we, at Personal Group, can make the power of employee engagement really impact our clients’ businesses, so that they continue to thrive and improve.

How do we help customers to be more productive?

We’ve heard a lot from the government about economic improvements with an increase in employment but not an increase in productivity. For the United Kingdom to be competitive against other economies, productivity here needs to increase.

In my eyes the challenge is twofold.

Firstly: get people engaged in what they are doing.

Secondly: drive up productivity across all sectors.

CEO’s, human resources professionals, managers and employees themselves play a big part by encouraging employee engagement. We need to encourage employees to be the best they can be at work. It is up to an employer to give an employee the best opportunity, and to create the right atmosphere, enabling them to work at the highest level they can.

I have witnessed the power of employee engagement first hand on several occasions. My previous employer improved the value of the business by well over 100% in about 18 months because we won a very large contract with the government.

Everyone plays a role in engagement

We partly won that bid because we had some real geniuses who designed our business processes and automated them. However, we also had someone making tea and ordering the pizza while others worked late into the night. Everybody gave what they could for the better outcome of the whole process. Which, in the end, was a phenomenal success and in the fullness of time we also got many plaudits and accolades for how well we did. So, employee engagement is extremely important both for the staff themselves, and the organisation’s bottom line.

Personal Group’s aim is to help our customers to improve their profitability by improving employee engagement. We have sought to make it as simple and easy as possible for employees to understand the benefits their employer has put in place for them and what they have access to.

To that end we have created a platform called Hapi, which allows the employer to make engagement real for each individual employee. Everything they need is in one place, from payslips to schedules, shopping vouchers to counselling and advisory services. We want people to believe in it and truly see that it adds value to their lives.

We have spent a lot of time over the last few years streamlining our own technology where we have moved everything into a single location. We have engineered our benefits programmes very carefully and have tested every single aspect of it to ensure it is useful and clear whilst also adding maximum value and encourages ongoing participation.

The famous mathematician Blaise Pascal once said, “I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had the time to make it shorter.” At Personal Group we have taken that time to make our benefits programmes more concise yet more effective at driving usage.

The power of face-to-face communication

We have also incorporated the power of face-to-face communication when implementing our benefits platforms. Of course, we also have a strong digital capability and when these two come together it allows us to carry a message out to each of our client’s employees saying: “Your company does care about you, and this programme is designed to help you as an individual with your own unique challenges, needs and preferences.”

One recent example is where we started work with a new customer with just over 30,000 employees who only had 49% of staff registered with their online benefits offering. These were mainly the people who ‘drove a desk’ at work, the rest were distributed across a wide area throughout the UK. The only way to reach them was to go out and meet them face-to-face, one to one – something which most HR departments just don’t have the capacity to do.

Currently those registered and using the benefits now sits at 81% and rising. But this is just the beginning - The real challenge is to remain relevant and to continue to provide benefits that resonate with these employees, thereby increasing morale and engagement and ultimately productivity.

At Personal Group we believe our part in the UK’s productivity challenge is to unlock the discretionary effort of employees as much as we can, to get staff to understand that their employer does care for them and to help ensure staff have access to benefits that make a real impact on both the employee and employer.

Author is Mark Scanlon, chief executive officer of Personal Group.

This article was sponsored by Personal Group.


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