In 2019 Rubix recorded an employee engagement index score of 66. That is six points above Aon’s European benchmark.

Employee engagement drives customer satisfaction. When your customers are satisfied, your numbers take care of themselves. Our branches with the highest levels of engagement showed strong sales and margins. It’s no surprise that these branches were top performers in our customer survey too.

As a European distribution business, the odds are against us. Typically European engagement scores are lower than in other markets and industrials businesses are often behind other sectors.

When you consider that Rubix was formed by a merger and its growth continues to be driven – in part – by acquisitions, the task of improving engagement becomes more challenging again.

We have done a few simple things to make it work.

Firstly, we started by focussing communications and engagement efforts on the senior leadership team; getting the most senior 125 employees behind the Rubix brand, story and strategy. They are the senior leaders of their markets and functions. Getting them on board was step one. To make sure they support the effort throughout Rubix, they all have a personal goal to improve engagement within their areas of the business.

Secondly, we gave first line managers responsibility for communications and engagement. Every month, they are given a facilitation guide so they can lead a discussion with their teams about something important to our business. That could be digital, own brand, M&A or key account management. These monthly Rubix Team Time meetings are designed to be fun and engaging. Every year, one of these sessions is dedicated to reviewing the results of the engagement survey and agreeing on actions to address the key areas for improvement.

Thirdly, we made it clear that our colleagues are the heroes of our story: ‘Our 8000-strong network of makers and doers comes armed with the technical expertise and deep customer understanding to transform the delivery of industrial products and solutions to keep our clients businesses moving forward.’ We don’t get bored of repeating it. We want our colleagues to know that the future of our business is in their hands.

Fourthly – we are clear on our purpose. We exist to keep the wheels of industry turning. That’s important because those wheels of industry are providing the planes that bring people together, the food that feeds them and the medicines that help them to live healthier and happier lives. We wanted to make sure we were all clear about why we do what we do. That’s a source of motivation. A reason to get up in the morning.

Finally, we make sure our colleagues can share in our success. We gave everyone the chance to invest in our business. The employees who invested reported an improvement in engagement of six points compared to the average improvement of three points; investment is a driver of engagement, not just a sign of it.

In summary, our approach to employee engagement has been about taking simple and pragmatic steps to fulfil a basic human need – to feel like we are contributing to something bigger. The most engaged employees understand how they contribute to the success of their business, and are clear on what they can do to help it grow.

David Morkeberg
Group HR Director