February 6, 2018 in My thoughts

#HRD18 – Getting their Mojo Back: Heathrow’s Journey to Becoming a Great Place to Work

Becky Ivers (People Director – Expansion, Heathrow) started by talking about ‘The magic of mojo’; about how Hetahrow is a complex area (the size of Reading, with a large number of employees and lots of external companies),.

In 2010, employee engagement was at an all-time low, and had been through significant (and protracted) organisational change, In 2010, the airport was closed for 5 days due to snow, which had a big impact on reputation. Not long after, there were changes at CEO and HRD level, and a new strategy was developed, with four distinct themes:

  • mojo (their word for colleague engagement)
  • transform customer service
  • beat the plan
  • sustainable growth

Mojo: they decided to use the Best Companies model to identify the 8 areas that they need to address, and they aim to use these “to make Heathrow a great place to work”. They are working hard on their reward strategy to deliver this. Their reward strategy is based on being competitive yet unique, flexible, valued, fair & trusted, the deal (the give and the get), and celebrating success. Their Heathrow Star scheme (which recognises success, has featured >3,000 people so far.)

The impact of all of their hard work? Colleague engagement is increasing year on year and are amongst the highest in the sector, even during some challenging times. The engagement rates have also translated into stronger business and financial performance and this has flowed through to passenger experiences, where they have won a number of awards. As well as wining a load of awards, that bow gave lower colleague turnover, less absence, and a reduction in tribunals.

Thanks to Becky for sharing Heathrow’s journey as the story is practical, honest, and inspiring.

This was live-blogged during a session at the HRD Summit 2018 – I’ve tried to capture a faithful summary of the highlights for me but my own bias, views – and the odd typo – might well creep in.


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