Written by
Changeboard Team

Published
30 May 2013

Brewing engagement

30 May 2013 • by Changeboard Team

Describe your career journey?

I was keen to progress my career in the hotel and catering industry and took a course with the Hotel and Catering Institutional Management Association. I then did a traineeship with the NHS before joining Toby Restaurants as a divisional training officer, and I travelled the UK opening new restaurants. I was ambitious and enjoyed being challenged academically and practically.

After gaining my CIPD qualification I transferred to a HRM role with Bass Leisure where I was responsible for graduate recruitment/development and HR policy. I was soon promoted to HRM with responsibility for recruitment and training of retail business managers with Bass Taverns.

What are your current responsibilities?

I provide professional HR support to business operations directors who have accountability for their business units including HR and marketing. I am responsible for resourcing and employee relations across the whole business – a team of 26 – and lead a change programme as well as switching the HR software platform from PeopleSoft to SAAS. I need to trust and have confidence in making decisions, with ongoing communication to address issues and share successes.

Why are your people important to you?

We want to create an environment where people love to work and grow with us.

How do you position Mitchells & Butlers as an employer of choice?

We recognise what employees’ value from work and career and endeavour to match their desires with the employment proposition.

How do you develop your people?

We outline pathways on our website, where we also have an employee portal. This is supported by line managers and our training and development programmes, many of which are externally accredited. We have inspiring case studies of people who have progressed through the organisation.

What engagement strategies are in place to ensure high performance among employees across all your brands and locations?

We have employee surveys in place across the organisation to understand the levels of engagement, as well as leaver surveys to establish why people decided to stop working with us. We compare performance across brands and check progress against the HR strategy. Policy changes are discussed and agreed at the HR Executive.

Employee engagement has been proven to positively correlate with good customer service and increased sales performance. The ability to engage employees at all levels of the organisation, to deliver the best possible results for themselves and us, is critical. This has been achieved through recruiting and developing the right people but also by developing inspirational leaders who motivate their teams and ensure competent people are rewarded and recognised through effective performance management.

How do you measure engagement and what challenges have you been faced in engaging the workforce?

Our survey results demonstrate a direct correlation between high levels of engagement, improved sales and reduced employee turnover.

How do you create trust, loyalty and integrity between your people and managers/leaders?

We have introduced 360-degree feedback and coaching as part of a 'courageous leadership' development programme across the organisation. This has produced great results so far.