The state of workplace happiness and why it matters – Interview with Lord Mark Price of Engaging Works

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Today’s interview is with Lord Mark Price, who is the founder of engaging.works, an author, speaker, Chair of the Fairtrade organisation, Member of the House of Lords and former Managing Director of Waitrose and Deputy Chairman of The John Lewis Partnership. Mark joins me today to talk about engaging.works, workplace happiness and their The State Of Workplace Happiness Report – 2019.

This interview follows on from my recent interview – Pathfinder customers and employees are demanding more of senior leaders – Interview with Katherine LaVelle of Accenture – and is number 325 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, providing valuable insights, helping businesses innovate and delivering great service and experience to both their customers and their employees.

Here’s the highlights of my chat with Mark:

  • I spoke to Mark before (January 2018) about his book: Fairness For All, the first book to explore the unique and much admired model of the John Lewis Partnership.
  • Mark has built a platform (engaging.works/) to help people have happier, healthier, more successful working lives.
  • One of the key elements of the platform is a workplace happiness survey (https://engaging.works/happiness-survey) that has surveyed tens of thousands of people in 120 countries.
  • Mark and the folks at Engaging Works have just published their 2019 report on Workplace Happiness (link).
  • Headline findings:
    • In the UK, 58% of people classified themselves happy at work.
    • The unhappiest region of the UK its Scotland, they’ve got a happiness rating of 70%.
    • One of the happiest area is the West Midlands with a rating of 81%
    • London scores 76%, which is towards the lower end.
  • If you look internationally, you may be surprised to hear that Romania came out top with a happiness rating of 8.71.
  • Here’s the top 10 table:
    • 1 Romania 8.71
    • 2 Belgium 7.76
    • 3 Italy 7.63
    • 4 Austria 7.59
    • 5 The Netherlands 7.00
    • 6 Germany 6.97
    • 7 France 6.95
    • 8 United Kingdom 6.47
    • 9 Jersey 5.67
    • 10 Ireland 5.45
  • Women rate as being more happy than men.
  • However, if you take managers, male managers are happier than female managers.
  • With regards to millennials, non management millennials are happier than management millennials.
  • This could be explained by the amount of support and mentoring that millennials in management positions receive.
  • The survey splits employees into four groups: apostles, anarchists, martyrs and individualists.
  • The devil is in the detail. Just because your organisation has a good average score does not mean that you don’t have a problem that needs managing. That average might hide a large range.
  • Happiness is not a painted on smile. It’s about being, being part of something and understanding that you’re part of something. It’s also about knowing that the work that you do matters, is recognised and gets supported.
  • I really like organisations who see their role as supporting the people that work for them to be the best they can possibly be. Those organisations perform a lot better.
  • Mark’s Punk CX words: radical and anarchic.
  • Mark’s companies that epitomise a Punk CX ethos: Richer Sounds

About Mark

Lord Mark PriceMark Price lived in Crewe as a child and attended Crewe Grammar School for Boys. He read Archaeology and Ancient History at Lancaster University graduating in 1982. In that year he joined The John Lewis Partnership as a Graduate Trainee and remained with the company for 33 years, eventually retiring in March 2016. Mark was Managing Director of Waitrose for the preceding 9 years, and Deputy Chairman of The John Lewis Partnership for 3 years. From 2010 – 2016 he was the founding Chairman of The Prince’s Countryside Fund for HRH The Prince of Wales. In 2011 Mark was appointed as Chairman of Business in the Community, a position he held for 4 years.

Alongside his responsibility for running Waitrose Mark joined the CHANNEL 4 TV board in 2010 as a Non Executive Director. In 2013 he was appointed Deputy Chairman. He stepped down from the role in April 2016 when he joined the UK Government, at the invitation of the Rt Hon David Cameron PM, as Minister of State for Trade and Investment. He was made a life peer in February 2016 to become The Lord Price CVO and Baron Price of Sturminster Newton. Mark was reappointed by the Rt Hon Teressa May to her post Brexit Government, with specific responsibility for negotiating the UKs future trade deals.

Mark’s first book ‘The Great British Picnic Guide’ was published in 2008. That began Mark writing for pleasure in his spare time. ‘The Food Lover’s Handbook’ was published in 2016 and records what he learned about food and drink during his 17 years on the Waitrose board. His first children’s book ‘The Foolish King’ was also published in 2016. In 2017 he published his first business books: ‘Fairness for all’ and ‘Workplace Fables’.

Do grab a copy of Mark’s book Fairness For All and don’t forget to check out his other books here. Don’t forget to take a look at Engaging.works and the workplace happiness and career tools that he has developed.

Say Hi to him on Twitter @EngagingWorks or @LordMarkPrice and connect with him on LinkedIn here.

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Thanks to Pixabay for the image.

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