Tesco CEO pledges to become a more engaging leader

by | Mar 9, 2012 | News

Nicky Little from Cirrus writes for Human Resources

Following Tesco’s profit warning earlier this year, £5 billion was wiped off its market value, prompting Tescos’s CEO Philip Clarke to announce a huge investment in job creation, learning and development to revitalise the UK operation and “put the love back into our stores”.

These are brave and refreshing words from a major corporate CEO. While many talk about the importance of employees, some are less keen to invest significantly in developing and engaging them. It is also refreshing that Clarke is keen to take responsibility and to co-create a solution with others. He has always said that he inherited a “fantastic legacy” from former CEO Sir Terry Leahy, and hopes that his own legacy will be a more focused and engaged organisation. He also hopes that Tesco, the UK’s largest private sector employer, can contribute more to wider society.

So far, Clarke has taken a positive approach to leading change and engaging others with a new vision. He has communicated openly and honestly, acknowledging where things need to change and highlighting the many positive factors Tesco can build on. He is not trying to be a ‘hero’ leader with all the answers. He is aiming to be a collaborative leader, working in partnership with colleagues – not only on the executive team, but across all levels of the business – to co-create solutions. He is providing resources, such as additional staff and development opportunities, to help colleagues achieve Tesco’s ambitious goals.

Clarke remains focused on Tesco’s bottom line. He realises that its market-leading position will not remain secure through competitive pricing alone. His focus on engaging employees to provide improved levels of customer service should have a very real impact on performance and results – which should please employees, customers and shareholders alike.

Please click here to read Nicky’s article in full on the Human Resources website.

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