Leading the best employer in the UK
Just last month, Luminus Group, led by Dr Chan Abraham, was honoured with the prestigious Howard Kennedy 'Employer of the Year’ award, in the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards 2016.
Described as “the Oscars of British business”, the National Business Awards recognises and rewards the best in field in the UK. The Employer of the Year award celebrates organisations seeing the best return on an investment in people, and recognises the employee strategy that best attracts, retains and develops talent – and how it contributes to sustainable growth and being an employer of choice.
The judges said of the organisation,
“Luminus is an outstanding example of how people can be fundamentally and enthusiastically engaged in achieving strategic goals and delivering corporate values. The development in the social enterprise of a dedicated, caring, collaborative and ‘can do` culture, supported by a deep investment in employees, has been central to how human and other resources have been continually optimised; ensuring essential, life-changing services have kept being delivered to clients, even during the recent unprecedented pressure on public finances.”
How did Chan do it?
Q: Tell us about your employee engagement strategy - what is at the heart of it?
CA: Our ground-breaking approach seeks to build a team of people who consistently feel engaged and inspired, as much in their personal lives as their daily work. Staff are encouraged to feel part of the “Luminus family”, enjoying shared experiences on many occasions throughout the year, including the ever motivating corporate Conferences, and many social and fundraising events. They are also supported through an extensive range of unique benefits such as childcare vouchers, financial advice, a chaplaincy service, support during difficult times, and our award-winning 'Health & Wholeness Strategy', which includes subsidised personal training sessions in our on-site gym and exercise classes.
Q: Tell us more about what makes the Luminus approach stand out as unique.
CA: One of the unique aspects of the way we do things at Luminus is that every employee, without exception, feels they have a direct channel to me as their Group Chief Executive. They can ask for a “Take it to the Top”, a private appointment with me, and I will see them to hear what they have to say. Our managers and colleagues rally round, so no one needs feel they are facing difficulties alone. Luminus really is a family.
This is the best place to work because there is a clear commitment to developing and supporting all staff. At Luminus you are not just an employee but a person who is nurtured and encouraged to be the very best you can possibly be.
Q: What happens when things go wrong?
CA: We are not perfect, but we strive to be excellent. Like others, mistakes arise, and we seek to reflect, learn, challenge ourselves, make improvements and move on. We want to do everything well, and so it does hit us hard when things don’t go as we expected, intended or hoped. However, I also believe in having a redemptive philosophy. Too often, leaders, managers, the public and, of course, the media, appear to want to blame or chastise. While there are consequences in such cases, we I believe we get much better results from people, in organisations and in relationships generally where we can seek to bring positives out of a negative situation.
Having this approach avoids a blame or fear culture, which dominates many work places, and prevents people finding a sense of peace and harmony in which good work truly flourishes. It also releases people to be their creative best – through the ups and downs, the failures as well as the successes.
Q: How does investing in your staff in this way lead to business success?
CA: Our people are precious to us, because we work in the heart of communities and they are the ones taking forward the Luminus message of excellence, respect and going the extra mile in the work they do. Inspired people really do give inspirational service and that's what leads to excellence in business across the board.
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