RAC drive for leaders reaps rewards in retention and staff satisfaction

All RAC staff are encouraged to think like leaders, according to the road services group’s HR director.

John Harkness told Personnel Today that the policy was part of a wider drive to improve staff retention and satisfaction.

“We made it clear that even if you’re not leading people, you still have a duty to lead for the business,” said Harkness.

“If you don’t know who’s responsible for something, whether it’s a job or a response, then it becomes your responsibility. In this way, we filled the accountability gaps”.

RAC also tried to improve internal communication by telling staff bad news as well as good. This was a major factor in improving staff satisfaction from 80% to 87%, according to Harkness.

“If you just tell them spin, they don’t believe you,” he said. “When you invest trust in employees, and if it’s genuine, I believe they respond very well to that. Even when things are not going well, it’s the equivalent of a call to arms.”

Both Harkness and the RAC’s managing director Debbie Hewitt said HR’s agenda should be the same as the business’s agenda.

The retention and satisfaction improvement plan, entitled ‘No 1 in Roadside’, has seen the company honoured with 25 service awards.

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