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Case studies:

Fuller’s: Developing Service Capabilities In-House


Employee Development Programme, People Insight
“People Insight stood out: they were able to guide, advise and give us great insights into our business.”

Dawn Browne

Developing an engagement programme ‘Fit For 2020’

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.

measuring how employees felt

An action orientated engagement partner

“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!’

Fullers employee engagement survey

Positive survey results – with clear areas for development

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.”

The sense of being a part of something that is bigger and quintessentially British, something that will have legacy as this place where I work is very important to me so what I do now echoes in the future. My kitchen rocks. It’s fantastic.

Anonymous survey feedback

I strongly feel that below the general manager level we are not being listened to at all.

Anonymous survey feedback

Analytics to link results to business metrics

“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.

impact of Service coaches on pubs

Action planning to really listen to staff

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.

Objectives of the Train the Trainer Action Planning Sessions

  • Understand engagement and why it is important.
  • Be confident using survey data to identify effective action.
  • Explore what you can do as Operations Managers to drive engagement.
  • Identify action specific to your areas.
  • Develop peer to peer support for your own action plans – improving implementation success.
  • Know how to support your Pub/Hotel Managers with local level action plans.

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.”

Fullers action planning toolkit

Leaders give ‘your shout’ high priority

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.”

Key programmes have been launched in response to the feedback

“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.”

tailored learning progress

Staff have reacted positively – and engagement is up

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.”




In personal development from October 2015 to April 2016



In belief that employee views have an impact on decisions made at Fuller’s



In overall engagement score

“I feel like an action plan for my career with Fuller’s has been put in place after as a team we decided we wanted more structure. I am happy with the changes that have occurred since ‘Your Shout’!”

Anonymous survey feedback

“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

What is next for the Fuller’s engagement programme?

“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.”

Overall, what was it like, working with People Insight?

People Insight made the process flexible and stress-free and the expert advice we received from them was invaluable.

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