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Fuller’s award winning engagement programme

30 Jan 2017 - Case Studies

Fuller’s, Highly Commended Company of the Year at the Employee Engagement Awards in Association with People Insight


‘Every Customer Leaves Happy’ is the three year, collaborative programme focused on delivering engaging service to customers.  Built entirely on the premise that this needs engaged people to deliver, the programme involves a broad strategic approach to provide the conditions for the best employee engagement possible.

Fuller’s Inns set themselves several big goals:

  1. Revolutionise recruitment with a simple journey attracting people who fit Fullers’ culture.
  1. Demonstrate a clear career path supported by industry leading training and development.
  1. Promote interesting and exciting reward and recognition reflecting the Fuller’s culture.
  1. Provide leadership development and feedback for pub managers to help them engage their teams.
  1. Make measurement of progress visible from both a customer and team member viewpoint.


Setting up ‘Every Customer Leaves Happy’

The steering group included the managing director, people director and programme manager and several project groups. They all had project management training and held regular cross-functional meetings to ensure continued progress. Every internal communication function was used to engage teams, including the annual company conference, the intranet, and a monthly internal pub newsletter.  By the time the project came to implementation, ‘Every Customer Leaves Happy’ was part of the language and culture so all the pub teams understood the goal.



David Hoyle, People Director at Fuller’s said,

“We wanted to recruit for personality and train for skill.  We asked our recent recruits about their experiences, researched the recruitment journeys of businesses we admired and reviewed system suppliers all with the single target of a simple, enjoyable recruitment experience.”  


Training and development

The team discussed with all areas of the business at all levels, what they wanted from training and development centrally, whilst complementing the uniqueness of each of the pubs. They all said the same thing; “We know Fuller’s is a great place to have a career but show us simply and clearly how we do it.”

Fuller’s created bespoke training and development at every level, from junior members of the kitchen to general managers. In the last four years, Fuller’s has moved from delivering 5000 training days to 13,000 training days per year.  They clearly show they believe in a culture of internal progression by rewarding people who develop via recognition programmes. (The reward and recognition project group completed a benchmarking exercise against other retailers and hospitality businesses.)

Everyone on an internal development programme is guaranteed the national living wage, regardless of their age and when they complete that development programme they all receive a 4% pay increase. Moreover, 70% of promotions are now internal.

 “The appraisal and development review with my manager was very positive. I feel invigorated about my future here. I have seen immediate actions with my plan and am already taking on so much more responsibility which I am very happy about.”

Anonymous survey feedback – Fuller’s Inns staff member.




Tracking the programme’s performance can be a challenge with people led projects.

The project groups canvassed opinions, ran focus groups and pub drop in sessions so team members could share their views.  For something more robust, they chose People Insight as a partner to measure employee engagement with the ‘Your Shout’ survey.

“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.”

Dawn Browne, Group Development Manager at the time of the project.

The survey has been used to check progress, action plan and get ideas for future ways to engage people.  For example, whilst people were really engaged with the new career journeys, feedback suggested they wanted a simple structure to have a career and development discussion with their manager.  So Fuller’s launched personal development plans, available to everyone in the Fuller’s family.


Team learnings from the project

  1. Collaboration gets people engaged and excited. Non-experts can provide really interesting insights and ideas. The team spirit was really instrumental in tough times and the relationships we have built have also impacted positively on our day jobs.
  1. Being bold and brave is the way to go. The project aspirations were originally daunting, but the ups and the downs of being part of something so successful has been an enjoyable experience.
  1. Measurement is key to demonstrate success. You can’t start this process too early. Be really clear on what team members really want to see improving so they can be measured first and foremost
  1. Being a leader of a successful programme like this helps individuals develop and take other key roles in the business.


Embedding the programme in Fuller’s

What’s been important is thinking carefully about how to transition the programme into business as usual.  Says David,

“The biggest win here has been every leader understanding that they own the opportunity to ensure that Every Customer Leaves Happy, and that recruiting, developing and recognising their team members plays a huge part in this.”


Find out more about the EE Awards winners here.


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