HR heroes: Employee engagement is a full-time job at RS Connect

Andrew Heath · March 1, 2019

An increasing number of businesses are reaping the rewards of employee engagement. So much so, that some companies are employing people to look after employee engagement as their full-time role.

RS Connect is one such business committed to employee engagement. CEO Lea Hodson is a highly motivated and driven entrepreneur, who has taken RS Connect from start-up to a multi-million-pound private equity backed business in just five years.

The business provides insurance telematics and fleet vehicle installation services and solutions to the world’s leading insurers and fleet management companies. As well as being an auto engineer with great vision, Hodson also has a passion for positive culture and understands the importance of employee engagement in the success of the business.

RS Connect, under Hodson’s direction, now employs someone purely to focus on employee well-being and engagement. I caught up with RS Connect’s Employee Engagement Officer, Howard Richards. Here’s what he had to say.

How long have you been at RS Connect?

I have been working at RS Connect for around two and a half years now.

Did you do another role before taking that of EE Officer?

Yes! I worked as a Call Centre Agent at RS Connect. This involved taking bookings, dealing with enquires and inputting all the data correctly.

How did the role of EE Officer come about?

Lea is always working on fresh innovative ideas to help grow and add value to not only RS Connect, but to our personal lives too. Lea was aware of the motivational workshops that I was doing outside of work and created an opportunity to leverage it through RS Connect.

Your LinkedIn profile says you help people unlock potential to help them generate the best version of themselves – how exactly do you go about doing that?

Before working at RS I would spend most weekdays heading into schools to speak with young carers and those being bullied about the importance of speaking up and changing the way they think. My strategy back then was about boosting confidence and being able to feel comfortable in your own shoes. Unlocking potential now is all about identifying what we believe our talents are and placing them in align with our goals.

What does your role involve on a day to day basis?

My role consists of engaging with staff members, conducting internal/external workshops, linking in with management on new ideas, collating information from job satisfaction surveys, and trying to ensure that staff engagement is at a good level.

How do you help ensure that staff at RS Connect are engaged at work? Do you complete employee engagement surveys on a regular basis?

Yes! We regularly send out a ‘Job Satisfaction Survey’ to staff members just to monitor the current level of engagement. With the information received, I then link in with management to create tactical ideas to improve or increase levels of engagement.

What does the term employee engagement mean to you and why does it matter so much?

Employee engagement to me represents caring for people, involving staff members with goals of the company and opening doors to new ideas. What I like the most about engagement is there is no hierarchy. From the cleaner to the MD, engagement is a free for all but you must be willing. Life can be tough at times and for some just coming into work can be difficult. This is why engagement is much more than just sending out surveys.

How does your role fit in with the overall HR strategy?

My role fits in just right with our HR strategy as we share the same core values for wanting to give every employee the best RS experience. Working closely with HR means that I can learn about new policies that have come into effect and align them with new business ideas.

You’re clearly very passionate about employee engagement, what is the most rewarding part of your work at RS Connect?

Employee engagement means the world to me. A few years back we never had these opportunities! The most rewarding part of my work here at RS Connect is being able to talk to people, open and honestly. It’s an unreal feeling to be able to encourage someone that maybe dealing with a tough day!

Thank you Howard! It’s so great to hear about businesses with a real understanding of what employee engagement can achieve both in terms of individual well-being and business success.

HR Manager at RS Connect, Sally Hodson-Sheil, is seeing the benefits of Howard’s work first-hand, Sally comments:

“Howard is HAPPY, and we want our employees to be HAPPY!!!”

“Engaged staff are more enthusiastic, have more energy, and are happier. Employee engagement strategies have been proven to reduce staff turnover and improve productivity and efficiency, which in turn helps develop our culture and our profits rise.  We have Howard here to take a strategic approach to employee engagement, to assist with internal communications and to help the organisation to share and develop its objectives with the workforce.”

Howard and his team at RS Connect.

If you want to know more about how employee engagement can drive a high-performance culture and improve results, get in touch with WeThrive now. Our suite of employee engagement tools and resources for line managers can help you listen, review and take the action required to improve leadership skills and support happy and productive employees.

About WeThrive

Employee Engagement, Evolved

WeThrive is the agile employee engagement platform that uncovers how your people truly feel, enabling managers to create highly effective teams, increase employee retention and employee wellbeing and deliver better business results.

At organisation, team or individual level WeThive’s unique 4cs model leverages the latest psychological understanding to quickly and easily deliver insights, actions and learning content to help your managers become better managers, creating a high performance culture and improving business results. UK based, WeThrive has an average 91% employee engagement survey completion rate and to date has made over 5000 company-wide recommendations.