Stuart Fletcher, CEO BUPA

Stuart Fletcher has been CEO of BUPA since 2012. Previously Stuart was President, Diageo International between 2004-2011 where he was recognised for achieving high staff engagement scores through a period of significant structural change with his approach to top-down and ground-up engagement with leaders and staff.

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Stuart’s top engagement tips

  • Everyone owns the purpose: ‘Engaging our people in BUPA is fundamental to what we’re about. We don’t deliver on our purpose without every single person in our organisation owning the delivery of that purpose.’
  • Create a clear vision: ‘The purpose on its own is great, but what we’ve done is create a rich description of what BUPA will look like in 2020… So our people are able to see how it relates to them and what they do.’
  • Be real and accessible: ‘As leaders, the biggest thing is to be real and accessible and to be very clear that we’re all on a growth journey.’
  • Immerse your leaders in your vision and culture: ‘We created ‘BUPA Leaders Are’ which describes what we expect of BUPA leaders… but it is just a statement until it’s brought to life visibly in the leadership in the organisation.’
  • Measure your progress: ‘We don’t just leave it to trust that it’s going to happen… We measure individual leaders, teams and business units. It’s very visible and transparent.’
  • Take a personal approach: ‘I have an email box called askstuart@bupa.com. Sometimes it takes me four or five days, but people know they’ll get a response.’
  • Find ways to connect: ‘We also have a fantastic internal social networking site called BUPA live. There’s rarely a day when I don’t make a comment or respond to something that’s on there.’
  • Feel the difference: I was at a leadership conference and Sumantra Ghoshal who used to teach at London Business School said: ‘When you walk into an organisation, you can tell the culture just by smelling it. It either smells like the Forest of Fontainebleau in spring or it smells like the depths of Calcutta in the heat of summer.’
  • Don’t fake it: ‘Be who you are. People smell leaders who are pretending to be interested and faking knowing it all. Be accountable for how, what you do, what you say, how you say it, and how you do it is actually impacting the people around you.’

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