From delivering newspapers in all weathers to employee engagement, our very own Phil Chambers, CEO of Peakon, talks to us about the world of work ahead of his upcoming talk at Belong.
Describe your job in 10 words or less…
I drive Peakon forward.
What was your first job? What was one thing you learned from that and took forward with you in your career?
Like many people, my first job was a paper round, where I earned £7 a week, and £4 for the Sunday round. I think the big thing in that is to never give up. When you’re battling through that winter snow, you fall off your bike into a puddle and the vinyl bag fills with water and the papers are ruined, you still have to go out and deliver them. I learned determination from that job.
One of our tracks for this event is Inspiration. Where do you look for inspiration in your work, and how do you seek to inspire others with what you do?
I look for inspiration in the people we hire. We have an incredibly diverse and interesting set of people working at Peakon who inspire me every day, and I’m very glad to have met them.
At Belong, we’ll also be looking at the theme of Insight. What’s the most surprising skill or aspect you’ve learned about yourself or the way you work?
Being a start-up CEO – or probably being any CEO – is a very difficult job because there’s a lot of context-switching. I have been quite surprised at how I’ve managed to switch from one thing to a completely different thing and be able to focus on them. That’s what the job demands.
We’re also going to explore the subject of Inclusion. How did you build a sense of community within what you do?
I think you need to start with a shared purpose. We’ve always had the same mission in Peakon, so it’s about getting everyone aligned around that. There’s no substitute for a great time hanging out. It’s super-important — even on the management team — to spend time where we’re not working, we’re actually doing some fun stuff together.
We’re all ultimately trying to do something very big here, and we’re trying to help our clients build the kind of company they want to work for, which is how we started with our company.
What can people expect to learn from you at Belong?
I’ll be talking about what I’ve learned in the past year about employee engagement, and what’s coming — both at Peakon and in the industry as a whole.