PJH's Richard George: Investing in our people delivers business gains

InsightFeatures Wed 2nd Nov 2022 by KBBFocus

PJH's Richard George: Investing in our people delivers business gains

PJH's Richard George: Investing in our people delivers business gains

Nurturing a collaborative relationship with our employees and introducing wellbeing initiatives has created a happier and healthier workforce – and that's great for business, says PJH CEO Richard George.

In today’s competitive environment, and certainly in the wake of Covid, it has never been more important to build strong relationships with our employees. For PJH, perhaps the main change has been how the employer/employee association has evolved to become an even more collaborative relationship. Our people are key to continuing the success we have already had, and we are committed to developing them and empowering them to drive our future, but we're also as committed to looking after their personal wellbeing. 

This collaborative view has been long embraced by PJH, reflected by the amount of investment the company has made into its promotion and the belief that ‘together we’re better’. The result is our people are stakeholders in the business, and supported by initiatives that foster their development, everyone throughout the company is aware not only of the goals of the business, but uniquely, how their role is integral to the business achieving them.

Multifaceted, our approach has evolved and supports the good mental health and wellbeing of our people, whilst also having a clear focus on their personal development. We have developed a 4-pillar approach to wellbeing. These 4 pillars are: Physical Wellbeing; Mental & Emotional Wellbeing; Working Environment Wellbeing; and Social Wellbeing and we have numerous initiatives in place to support these. Focus on personal development is also crucial and  ELSA, or ‘Engage, Learn, Support & Achieve’ – our innovative new internal learning and development platform has been designed to make a step change in how we support our people’s development.

ELSA, we believe, also has a huge role to play in promoting and supporting wellbeing, as by giving focus to people’s personal development, which in turn supports their wellbeing, it gives colleagues a sense of purpose and self-worth within the business. ELSA provides the tools to support each person’s own structured career path. It is a flexible learning platform and presents numerous opportunities for personal development, whilst recognising that no two people have the same goals, have the time to learn at the same rate, or are on the same career trajectory.

Empowering colleagues is nothing new, but it so often fails due to a lack of buy-in by colleagues or the initiatives designed to promote it lack the flexibility to meet real-world needs. Empowering people within PJH is part of our overall strategic approach and our culture promotes this. Our ‘Core Values’ remind everyone of what’s important day-to-day, highlighting how we should all view, interact with and service our customers as well as our colleagues internally. We reward our people that have gone that extra mile measured against these Core Values too. Empowering means people feel more engaged in being able to drive the business forward.   

Our collaborative relationship with our people is delivering real measurable business gains. As well as motivated and ‘happy’ staff, we have seen increased productivity; better employee health, with fewer days lost to illness; company loyalty, with reduced staff turnover; increased dedication and commitment to the business, with colleagues self-motivated to ‘go the extra mile’. In fact, this latter benefit is supported through the growing amount of positive customer feedback we receive. They also feel more engaged in driving the business forward.

The jobs market is competitive, and we recognise that our people often have a choice of where they work. It is therefore incumbent upon businesses to make sure they are an attractive place to work, and this means providing more than just a good salary. Business success comes just as much from providing the right environment for people to thrive in as it does in simply finding good people for the job. Of course, it does cost money to support these initiatives, but we think it is important to support people’s mental health and wellbeing, personal development, and their desire to positively influence the business? PJH has seen return on investment from initiatives supporting our people, therefore for any business it has to be money well spent! 

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