Deloitte 8-3-2020

14 Deloitte

Best Managed Companies

Business Post March8,2020

Sustainingexcellencein thefaceofnewchallenges

Employersneed to stepuponworkplace wellness initiatives

BY ELAINE O’REGAN T he idea of workplace wellness has risen to prominenceinrecent years as a means for employerstoengage,motivate and, ultimately, care for their employees. As Paul Hall sees it, how- ever, not all employers are equal when it comes to truly embracing the concept. “Unfortunately, many or- ganisations still see wellness programmes as ‘tick the box’ initiatives,” said Hall, who is headof thePursuitsCentreof Excellence (PCoE) atDeloitte Ireland. By failing to fully embrace wellness, however, or to un- derstand what it is that their employees truly want and value, employers risk losing outonavaluableopportunity. “Workplace wellness is aboutprioritisingandcreating balance for an organisation’s peopleand teams,” saidHall. “It’sdevelopingaculture that consistentlyshowsemployees that the organisation genu- inely cares and encourages self-care.” According to Hall, a “well workplace” is one in which people thrive and feel like they“belong”,butmanyem- ployers miss the mark. So, what is it that profes- sionalsinIrelandreallyvalue? According to the Deloitte GlobalHumanCapitalTrends Survey, released last year, 86 percent of employeesvaluea flexible work schedule. Despitethis,just50percent of organisations actually of- fer their employees flexible working. Similarly, the report found that, while 67 per cent of employees value dedicated office space forwellness, just 27 per cent of organisations provide it. “Understanding what

FrankRyanof IDA Ireland, chairmanof theBestManaged CompaniesAwards judging panel, says he is ‘deeply impressed’ by howthewinning companies are preparing for Brexit

companies was their clear commitmenttothelong-term professionalisation of their management structures,” said Mooney. “They are willing to invest in their people andorganisa- tional processes, and to de- velop leadership at all levels of the organisation.” Continuous growth Manyof thisyear’sBestMan- aged Companies are, or have their roots in, family busi- nesses. Some even started out as sole traders. “In all cases, their ambi- tion for continuous growth was evident in their focus on investment for the long term rather than simply concen- tratingonshort-termperfor- mance,” said Mooney. Irish companies are fac- ing political and economic uncertainty, both at home and in some export markets, Mooney said. “In this context, it will be important for our new gov- ernment to recognise that, in the midst of an apparent electoral desire for changeon domestic and social issues, businesses require as much certaintyandstabilityaspos- sible,” he said. “Itwillalsobeimportant,in the context of Brexit, for the new government to ensure that trading with Britain re- mainsas simpleandstraight- forward as possible, and that Irishcompaniesaresupported indevelopinginotherEUand international markets.” For more information on the Best Managed Companies Awards programme, see

Paul Hall, Deloitte Ireland

L aunchedinCana- dain1993,theBest ManagedCompa- nies Awards pro- gramme debuted inIreland12years ago and is the only awards schemehere that considers a business’sperformance from every perspective. Run in association with Bank of Ireland, the awards promoteandrecogniseexcel- lence in indigenous compa- nies in the North and South. Entrants compete for the Best Managed Companies designation through a rigor- ous assessment process led by an expert judging panel chairedbyFrankRyan,chair- man of IDA Ireland. “I have been deeply im- pressedbytheextenttowhich the winning companies are preparing for Brexit,” said Ryan. “Wehave seena strong level of engagement among these companies with cus- tomers inBritain, both exist- ing and potential customers. “They are reviewing the security of the supply chain and discussing their sce- nario-planning and deci- sion-makingwithbanksand advisers. “We have also seen strong engagement with econom- ic development agencies in addressing new export mar- kets.” Also evident among this

employees value should be a consistent priority for em- ployers as individual needs changeandevolve,”saidHall, who spoke in Dublin last Friday at the Best Managed Companies Symposium, in association with the IMI. In his role as head of the PursuitsCentreofExcellence (PCoE) atDeloitte Ireland, he advises the “wellness lifecy- cle”asapractical approachto increasing wellbeing. “The concept is simple. It’s about implementing small changes that can make a big difference,” he said. The six elements of the cycle 1. Lifestyle and behaviour 2. Sleep 3. Hydration “Everything in the cycle is common sense. People gen- erallyknowwhat isgoodand whatisnotsogoodforthem,” said Hall. “People can choose to im- plement none, one or all of thesixrecommendations.It’s really their choice. “What we do is ask key questions, and apply some practical exercises, to help them fully understand how thesesmallchangescanmake a real difference.” 4. Exercise 5. Nutrition 6. Mindfulness and meditation

year’s Best Managed Com- panies has been a strong fo- cusonupskillingstaffandon research and development. “There is a growing recog- nition that it is people that make thingshappenandthat future success will be based onthecapabilitiesoftheover- all team,” said Ryan. “This year, it has also been heartening to see a sustained commitment to engaging in research and development. “We are seeing growing recognition, among our our Best Managed Companies, that it is from research and development that the inno- vative, market-led products andservicesof the futurewill emerge.” Four categories This year’s cohort of 130 Best Managed Companies span four categories: l NewWinners:These com- paniesmustgothroughatwo- phase application process. l GoldStandard:Thesearethe BestManagedCompaniesthat havesecuredanawardforthe fourth year in a row. l Platinum Standard: These are the Best Managed Com- panies that have received the award for the seventhyear in a row. l Requalifiers: These are the BestManagedCompanies,al- ready intheprogramme, that

Fergal Phillips

Frank Ryan, chairman of IDA Ireland: ‘a strong level of engagement’

toseeiftheyhadindependent non-executivedirectorstoof- fer an external perspective.” Other factors considered by the judges included mar- ket share, efficiency, cost management and customer service. “We found that therewasa lotoffocus,amongapplicants, on the strategic plan for the business and on profitability as a key driver,” said Hynes. “Manyofthethebusinesses wereable toarticulateclearly howtheydifferentiate them- selves in today’s competitive marketplace, including how their businesses compared to their competitors, their approach to innovation, cre- ativity and readiness to seize new opportunities.” Another member of the judging panel in this year’s Best Managed Companies Awards programme was Feargal Mooney, chairman of Erbium (AA Ireland). “Oneofthemostimportant differentiatorsofthewinning

Rose Hynes, Shannon Group Feargal Mooney, Erbium

arenotapplyingforNew,Gold or Platinum status. Companies applying for requalification go through a review process aimed at ensuring that they continue to uphold the Best Managed standard. New, Platinumand Gold Standard winners all undergo a two-phase judg- ing process. RoseHynes, chairof Shan- non Group plc, was one of the judges in this year’s Best ManagedCompaniesAwards

programme. “Welookedatthestructure of the senior management teams, succession planning and also plans for staff de- velopment and retention,” said Hynes. Another key focus for this year’s judgingpanelwas staff attritionand,saidHynes,“the level of focus on the people side of the business and their progression”. Shecontinued: “We looked attheboardsofthecompanies

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