Attitude ‘essential for employee engagement – not skillset’

Attitude essential for employee engagement - not skills

July 16, 2015

Attitudes rather than skillsets are the key behind creating employee engagement, according to Caffè Nero’s HR boss.

The dramatic rise in ‘coffee shop culture’ has resulted in huge growth for the chain over the past decade.

With a whopping 87 per cent of employees feeling a connection with the brand, Caffè Nero is obviously doing something right.

Steve Carpenter, the firm’s HR director, told HR Magazine there is “no silver bullet” as far as employee engagement is concerned – but concedes a positive attitude is more important than skillset when recruiting.

He said: “There is no secret to good engagement. We just keep a focus on it.

“Our view is that we are a people business serving coffee, not a coffee business serving people and we constantly communicate this with staff.

“Even when times are tough, our people sit high on the boardroom agenda.

“In business, a member of staff who doesn’t fit our culture is more damaging than a low-skilled employee. We can fill capability gaps, but we can’t change attitudes.”

Internal communication plays a key role with a varied mix of traditional and more unorthodox approaches being adopted.

These include:

* Managers invited to hold “bitch and whinge” sessions with board members;
* Area managers tasked with making themselves known to every single employee;
* An employee recognition scheme where colleagues who display best practice are thanked in the firm’s internal magazine.

Engagement is more important than ever. In 2001, the firm had 427 employees. Today, it has more than 3,000 employees.

Mr Carpenter added: “We want to keep a small business feel as we get larger. We are reliant on 3,000 employees to deliver great coffee to our customers every time – and we would lose this if they weren’t engaged.”

To read the full article, visit HR Magazine here….