Five minutes with: Kate Reilly, Director of People and Organisational Development at PPL

Five minutes with: Kate Reilly, Director of People and Organisational Development at PPL

Kate Reilly, Director of People and Organisational Development at PPL, discusses how employee engagement fits into the bigger picture and the future of employee feedback.

How does your employee engagement strategy link into your larger HR strategy?

PPL is a music licensing company based in London. We employ circa 300 employees. The company licenses the use of recorded music in the UK for broadcast, certain online uses and public performance, on behalf of its 90,000 record company and performer members. The company does not retain any profit for itself and there is no joining fee or administration charge for members. We focus closely on our cost-to-income ratio and therefore, in terms of our larger HR strategy, we wanted to ensure that we were receiving the return on our investment as well as ensure that we have the most cost-effective solution.  

PPL’s working agenda continues to diversify and expand. While we will always have an ambitious annual agenda, it is becoming increasingly important that we choose carefully where to focus our attention. By harnessing talent and ensuring each person understands their contribution and impact to the wider PPL priorities, we can ensure both success and opportunities for growth in the future - individually and for the company. Ultimately PPL wants to be employer of choice that has engaged employees who we retain and are motivated.

What is the future of employee feedback, workforce surveys, and the like?

We live in a world where reviews on clothes, holidays and all things consumer are at your fingertips and, as consumers, we are asked constantly to provide opinions. With the likes of LinkedIn and Glassdoor, I think we can expect to see more reviews on employers, which makes employee feedback ever more important. If Glassdoor becomes the TripAdvisor for potential new employees then it could become the enabler or the blocker in attracting good candidates.

Feedback really is a powerful tool; if you don't know what the issue is, how can you fix it? Sometimes it can be as simple as educating the individual as opposed to fixing something as often issues can arise out of a lack of understanding.

To truly understand how engaged your employees are and how they are feeling carrying out an engagement survey every year or two years is often not enough. Feedback needs to be in the moment on a regular basis and can be informal or formal, be that in one-to-one meetings, exit interviews, turnover stats, absence rates, or complaints. It really is about how you create the right culture to ensure that employees feel that they can provide open and honest feedback and there needs to be a commitment from the organisation to act on that feedback where necessary.

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