Brilliant webinar with Ronan Dunne (EVP & Group President, Verizon Consumer Group) , Gary Kennedy (Chairman, Greencore Group Plc), Sandra Thorpe and chaired by Bob Casey . The recording is well worth a listen and whilst the focus was on the organisation the practical insight quickly focused on people (internally and externally).
My specific takeaway was the empathsis of focusing on your people who will in turn share the same treatment and approach with your clients to deliver the best in-class service. You can quickly see how this impacts business revenue.
If you are wondering which needs to focus on and in what order, Ronan suggested starting with Maslow's hierarchy of needs (here). The second need within this hierarchy focuses on safety and security which interestingly links directly to what Google has found to be the most important attribute to their highest performing teams - 'psychologically safe' - Can we take risks on this team without feeling insecure or embarrassed?
Ronan explained his 3 step management approach that includes owning the narrative within Verizon rather than being driven externally:
1. Focus on the pastoral and community response first. which from a business perspective has lead to strong brand scores
2. Show up for the customer, the success of this will be through your success in step 1. As Ronan explained if you show your employees that you have their back then they will more likely have the back of your customers.
3. Business as usual, prepare to make a number of the changes permanent as your business transforms.
The topic of mental health was raised by both Gary and Ronan. “Mental health is a huge huge issue. We are operating a huge area of our response of the new normal of mental health”. Coming back to how you can achieve this with your people, research also support Ronan's approach to focusing on basic human requirements such as meaning of work, rewards vs effort, feeling secure, being connected and empowerment.
Finally Ronan shared how he is leading by example which is a key quality of any leader. With your staff likely to be concerned about how they develop their career with less exposure to management he is reaching out to 5 people every day who he wouldn't otherwise talk to to help develop his team.
All of this has been recognised by Forbes (below) who have identified Verizon as the number 1 US public company to be meeting the challenges of coronavirus.
The largest U.S. wireless carrier by subscribers has instituted one of the most expansive sick leave policies of big employers. It also scored top marks for backup dependent care and efforts to help surrounding communities. As of early May, the company had not laid off any of its roughly 135,000 employees. By the end of April, the New York City-based company had committed over $54 million in contributions and donations to nonprofits. "When it comes to our work in the society, helping communities, that's also extremely important right now," said Verizon CEO Hans Erik Vestberg in April. "Large corporations need to take the responsibility."