What if we really believed in people?

Lisa Meigh believes that engaged people offer the ultimate competitive advantage

Lisa Meigh - HR"In a world where competitive advantage can make or break an organisation, what makes one company more successful than the next?

There’s the obvious contenders; a better service offering, new or improved products, the latest technologies or cheaper prices, but whatever it may be, it’s likely to only be the newest or the cheapest for a finite amount of time – and then what’s your advantage?

What if we believe our people are our competitive advantage? Employees who are emotionally committed to ‘their’ organisation and its goals translates into the loyalty and discretionary effort they exert. It’s the elusive quality referred to as ‘employee engagement’.

Key to achieving this emotional commitment within an organisation is developing a culture that genuinely embraces the worth of being ‘a great place to work’, and key to this culture, is a leader who sees the true merit and worth of its people.

When we think about successful leaders who place people at the heart of their organisation, some big names leap out; Britain’s favourite billionaire, Richard Branson, with his simple philosophy ‘train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to’. Then there’s the Godfather of Analytics, SAS’ Jim Goodnight, who earned his company the title of ‘the World’s best multinational workplace’ with four unique leadership values; Value people above all else; To give is to get; Trust above all things; Ensure employees understand the significance of their work. And there’s the Admiral Insurance founder, Henry Engelhardt, who created a ‘fun place to work’ with an equally simple philosophy ‘if people like what they do they’ll do it better!’ And he even developed a Ministry of Fun to prove it!

Engagement isn’t bought, it’s created. And genuinely engaged people can be the infinite competitive advantage. Employee engagement can be built on a few sound values and principles; inspiring your workforce, creating trust, communicating openly, clearly articulating a vision, having shared values, empowering individuals, rewarding excellence, and celebrating success. If you are committed to your values, and invest time and effort into the slightly harder task of ‘living’ them, you will reap the benefits (although we can’t promise you’ll be the next billionaire!)"

 

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Notes to Editors:

About Covéa Insurance

Covea Insurance Plc is the UK underwriting business of leading French mutual insurance group Covéa, who are number 1 for property and liability insurance in France and served 11.5 million policyholders, generating over 16.4 billion Euros in premiums in 2016.  

Covéa Insurance handles the insurance needs of over 1.3 million policyholders; delivering financial reassurance through its Standard & Poor’s A+ stable rating, as a guaranteed subsidiary of Covéa. 

The company offers motor, household, protection, mid and high net worth insurance and a range of commercial insurance products, designed to meet the needs of most individuals and businesses. Employing over 1500 people, Covéa Insurance has a strong people and service ethos, having Investors In People Gold accreditation and featuring in the 2015 and 2016 Sunday Times Top 100 Mid-sized Best Companies to Work For. It also has World Class service accreditation from the Institute of Customer Service for its Motor Claims, Home Claims and Underwriting Services teams as well as Chartered Insurer status for its Commercial and Mid/High Net Worth business.

In January 2016, Sterling Insurance Company Limited became a fully integrated part of Covea Insurance Plc, following a Part VII transfer under the Financial Services and Markets Act. Sterling Insurance was voted No. 1 in the Commercial and Personal Lines 2015 Insurance Times Broker Service Survey and Covéa Insurance was awarded the Personal Lines Insurer of the Year Award at the 2016 British Insurance Awards.

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