Open-Door Leadership: President & CEO JP Perron on leadership’s active role in employee engagement, growth and success



One of an organizational leader’s most important roles is to recognize opportunities for growth. Great people leaders are well attuned to identify and act upon areas where workplace culture and employee development can be bolstered, both of which are major contributors to employee engagement and ultimately organizational success.

At Payworks, we’re consistently inspired by so many skilled people leaders within our own organization. We wanted to sit down with JP Perron, our President and CEO, to understand more about how his almost 25 years of senior management experience and strong community commitment inform his leadership style.

Payworks: In your opinion, what are the most important attributes of a good people leader?

JP Perron: A good leader ensures people work in an environment where they feel safe to be themselves and share their views on new ideas or better ways of doing things. Employees should feel valued, and that’s achieved by providing a space where their input is heard. Good leaders encourage everyone to bring their gifts and talents to the organization and contribute in a way that’s meaningful to both the business’s objectives but also to the themselves.

I’ve always felt that leaders need to care deeply about people. It’s about listening to your employees, being interested in their career aspirations, and supporting them in their pursuit of those goals.

It’s also extremely important for leaders to recognize the importance of celebrating success, recognizing excellence, and getting out of the way. Let people drive the car, as they will create amazing outcomes through their own creativity, skill sets and motivation.

P: What are two key things a people leader should know about growth?

JP: In order for an organization to successfully grow, leaders need to listen to what everyone has to say. Staff closest to our customers and our products play an important role in shaping direction based on client perceptions. But at the same time, everyone in the business has super good insight into internal processes, critical systems, and process improvements. Their voices are just as important in identifying opportunities for growth.

Good leaders also have to embrace change in order for their organization to be successful. That means adapting to different circumstances, which is constant and expected in the world we live in today. Change creates the opportunity for growth in so many ways, and a good leader will welcome it.

P: What do you think people leaders can do to create a positive company culture?

JP: While a good workplace culture is something created and fostered by all, leaders do play a critical role in living the organization’s purpose and setting a positive example. The way all people leaders within a business behave and the values they exhibit need to align with the type of culture you desire.

It’s also the role of leaders to ensure the organization knows its purpose - what the company stands for and why we all get out of bed. I believe people want to work in a place that not only fulfills their personal aspirations but also serves a greater purpose. To this end, I’m very proud of our purpose of “Doing Right by People.” I feel it stands for so many things we can all connect with.

P: What do you do to help employees be successful?

JP: I try to make myself available at all times to discuss their projects, aspirations or challenges. I personally do this by recognizing that all employees have talents and gifts unique to them. It’s my responsibility as a people leader to create and maintain an environment where they can all bring these talents to work and shine.

P: What do you strive to accomplish as a leader at Payworks?

JP: Oh, that’s a big question. There are so many things, but for me the most important thing is to see the company continue down the same path: controlled growth. Ensuring our people have fun and feel valued throughout this period is also very important to me. Lastly, to thrive and grow professionally while collectively working as one team to give back to the communities we live in is super cool as well.

Seeing is believing!

Curious what better Canadian workforce management looks like in action (and how much time you could reclaim in your day-to-day)? Book a pressure-free, get-to-know you demo today.