When motivating employees, some things are more important than money: Mantel Group

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As the labour market tightens and recruitment gets tougher, one of the most common questions companies are asking is how they can develop unique and special benefits to attract and retain the best people.

Mantel Group, the number one company on Australia’s Best Workplaces™ 2021 in the medium category, takes this to a whole new level with its My Deal program.

“It’s about creating an individual connection with our team and tapping into their intrinsic motivators about what’s really driving them to be at work,” Mantel Brand CEO Andre Morgan told the third Great Place to Work® CEO Masterclass.

“It’s striking a customised arrangement that is designed to increase engagement but also create win-win outcomes for both the company and the person.”

Unusually, Mantel Group operates as a house of brands, with seven specialist businesses covering cloud computing, software and data. Morgan heads the business CMD Solutions and is brand CEO of the overall Mantel Group.

“Part of the part of the beauty of the house of brands model is all these specialist companies, but if you didn’t actually integrate or work together, then you know you’d be losing out on a lot of the secret sauce,” he says.

“We have a lot of projects where we’re actually working together to deliver a broader set of specialist services.”

Morgan says the unique My Deal model allows the company and its employees to customise an arrangement that suits individual circumstances.

“They can be simple things such as getting more annual leave,” says Morgan.

“It could be helping with a balance around working parents, it could be with tech solutions people are passionate about or pursuing certain things. It could be attending overseas conferences.”

“It’s a very individual program – it’s not one size fits all, it’s quite the opposite,” he says.

“Everyone’s different and what we want to do want to have individual discussions, on at least an annual basis, to really talk about the deal.”

He says the program has led to unexpected outcomes. One employee asked if they could relocate to Queensland’s Magnetic Island, a move that ultimately ended with the company opening a work hub on the island, allowing others to temporarily relocate.

“They can do a bit of work and also have a bit of a holiday and take advantage of being on the island,” he says.

“We are now also thinking of opening it to our network and clients.”

Central to the program is trusting employees.

“I have found that what really works for people is that they’ve got great ideas about how to do things, so we don’t need to tell people.

“We just need to coach and facilitate people.

“We’re trying to enable and empower people set them up for success and really let people run with things and make their own decisions.

“Ok, sometime things fail, but we have to be prepared to accept failure and move on, make a make a few course corrections,” he says.

Surprisingly, remuneration does not play a core role in the My Deal program.

“Most people would agree that financial reward is not the only form of recognising people,” he says.

“From a salary perspective, we continually review the market and different roles and people’s level of experience, and we have continual coaching conversations.”

And at bonus time?

“We don’t pay any bonuses,” he says.

“We feel that it doesn’t incentivise the right behaviours.

“And also – why should some people get it and not others when, really, everyone in all roles should be trying to do the best they can do regardless of financial incentives.”

Ultimately, Mantel Group’s insight is that best results come from ensuring each individual person is happy in their role.

“We’re going to produce much better results if people are happy,” says Morgan.

This was the third of our four-part CEO Masterclass Series. The first looked at hybrid working with Cisco’s Australian CEO Ben Dawson. The second explored recruitment amid the post–COVID ‘Great Resignation’ with* Geoff Millar, CEO of The Recruitment Company

The 20–minute Masterclass sessions are hosted by Sean Aylmer, one of Australia’s most experienced and respected journalists, interviewing CEOs from the companies that ranked #1 in the Best Workplace™ Australia 2021 Lists in the large, medium, small and micro company categories. These companies truly made it their mission to foster a Purpose Driven, People First approach to workplace culture. All masterclasses are online and free to attend. 

Please register your interest in the form and we will keep you updated so you don’t miss the fourth and final Masterclass for 2021.

Samantha Huddle is the General Manager of Great Place to Work® in Australia and NZ. Sam has more than two decades of experience from the grassroots to the C-suite and helps businesses build high-trust, inclusive cultures that deliver tangible results. With experience across the government, philanthropic and corporate sectors, Sam brings a collaborative, values-driven approach and a passion for achieving social impact through business. Sam publishes a well-read monthly newsletter which can be read **here.**

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To be eligible for the World’s Best Workplaces list, a company must apply and be named to a minimum of 5 national Best Workplaces lists within our current 58 countries, have 5,000 employees or more worldwide, and at least 40% of the company’s workforce (or 5,000 employees) must be based outside of the home country. Extra points are given based on the number of countries where a company surveys employees with the Great Place to Work Trust Index©, and the percentage of a company’s workforce represented by all Great Place to Work surveys globally. Candidates for the 2017 Worlds Best Workplaces list will have appeared on national workplaces lists published in September 2016 through August 2017.