How a new development programme helped improve engagement by 5% in 6 short months
Group Development Manager, Fuller's
The seeds of Fullers’ employee engagement strategy were sown 5 years ago when Fuller’s began a strategic change programme called ‘Every Customer Leaves Happy’ tackling recruitment, training, reward/recognition and moving to measuring customer service with the NPS model.
Leadership and Engagement streams were added 18 months later and the team started to look for an engagement partner to help them ask their colleagues how they felt about the changes and what they needed to do next.
Engagement was key across the whole business; the brewing arm of the business was about to go through significant change, making it ‘Fit for 2020’. So it was time for a stake in the ground to measure how people were feeling before the programme started.
“When looking for an engagement partner, we had clear criteria,” says Dawn Browne, Group Development Manager.
“We wanted someone who would share our passion for our business and immerse themselves in our culture. We were interested in a long term partnership with experts who were action oriented, giving us support post survey, not just leaving us with results. People Insight stood out; we could tell from the pitch they would be able to guide, advise, and give us great insights into our business.”
As this was the first time Fuller’s had surveyed their staff, People Insight began with focus groups to involve staff in the project and understand what they thought we should ask about.
Additionally, we knew we’d need an impactful comms programme, to fully engage staff in the process, and reassure them both of confidentiality, and the organisation’s will to make things happen as a result. The programme was named ‘Your Shout!’
Once the results were in, People Insight’s consultants fed back to the 3 boards. Dawn said, “Their context, advice and recommendations were extremely helpful.”
Dawn said, “Overall, it was a positive set of results, and we were really pleased to see engagement is above the external benchmark, heading towards upper quartile.
“What stood out was how people love the culture. There is a great level of belief in customer service, made easier by pride in Fuller’s’ products and the brand itself.
“However, we had some work to do, to address people feeling their views didn’t have an impact on decisions made at Fuller’s. Our people also needed to feel more in control of their development whilst getting more coaching and feedback from their managers.”
“People Insight also went a step further with the data analysis, and linked the survey results to our business performance metrics, “ says Dawn.
“They were able to demonstrate the positive impact that ‘Service Coaches’ have on the staff in the pubs that have them vs. the ones that don’t, thereby reinforcing the importance of their role.”
Using analytics, People Insight demonstrated the impact of Service coaches on pubs.
One of the key steps in the action planning process brought Operations Managers in for Train the Trainer workshops with People Insight. This showed Ops Managers how to support and equip their Pub Managers with toolkits to run action planning sessions in their own sites. These sessions allowed staff in each pub to have their say on what changes they were going to make going forward.
At this pivotal stage in the process, those experienced at implementing employee engagement programmes know that implementation can succeed or fail, depending on the capability of managers to follow through.
Says Dawn “Teams have been really engaged in the process – participation was even higher than in the survey because staff wanted to contribute to the changes”.
Dawn is delighted at the way making change has been prioritised by the business. “Sharing action plans and progress is very high profile within the organisation. At ‘Fuller’s Future’, the annual conference for the most senior 60 employees, ‘Your Shout’ was the first thing on the agenda, with the board, showing what they had heard, and sharing the changes that were being made as a direct result of the survey.”
“There have already been some significant impacts on the business,” Dawn says. “We’ve launched a new PDP process to help people feel more in control of their development, with a video of staff from around the business explaining why it is valuable, to get it established.”
“Managers have taken personal responsibility for their teams’ action plans and good progress has been made on departmental plans alongside the Board level actions.”
Having started the change process, Dawn and the team were keen to see how staff were responding, and whether the interventions would have the desired effect. She explains, “We decided to run a micro pulse survey to ‘check in’ on the progress of our actions, in Fuller’s Inns, where the pace of change means it’s appropriate. We wanted to emphasise to staff that their voices have been heard, and we are doing something promptly.”
“We’re absolutely delighted that in 6 months we’ve seen such an impact on scores” Dawn says.
“Overall, the Pulse survey shows an increase in engagement scores of 5%. What’s more, the things that we have prioritised; personal development and belief that each person’s views have an impact on decisions made at Fuller’s, have seen the greatest rise in scores.”
Overall engagement score
“The Your Shout survey will now become part of our annual calendar,” says Dawn. “We want Fuller’s to be the best place to work in hospitality and feedback from our amazing people is key to this.”