A CATERING TEAM

THE CHALLENGE:

A £6million catering operation with nearly 250 staff, 10 catering outlets and a thriving conference and function business had a traditional organisational structure that was hindering decision making and stifling creativity.  Whilst there were numerous managers, they weren't managing effectively and in spite of focusing heavily on costs the overall the operation was in deficit.  The senior management team were so busy managing the day to day operations that there was little time for creative thinking and long term planning.

OUR APPROACH:

Having supported the team through an initial project to re-brand their catering outlets, we already had an understanding of the issues facing this team.  A large part of our work focused on developing the managers and team leaders so that they could begin to manage effectively.  We created and delivered a bespoke programme of training that covered people, finance and customer service.  

Concurrently we worked with the Head of Catering to implement a more flexible organisational structure and establish an environment to encourage creativity and innovation so that the entire team could begin to drive sales and improve profitability.

THE RESULTS:

This work took place during the height of the recession and whilst many high street operations were closing their doors the team increased sales by 35% and generated a healthy bottom line profit in just eighteen months.  Mike Hoare the Head of Catering says:

“The transformation has been remarkable.  We now have managers that are effectively managing their teams and their operations.  They have a real pride in what they are doing and are committed to improving the success of the operation overall.  Customer satisfaction continues to grow as we have put in place a programme of feedback and improvement to enhance the customer experience.  With a more committed team and happier customers the financial rewards were inevitable.  However the growth in sales has exceeded all our expectations and to finally see the entire operation in profit for the first time ever is a real achievement.  The experience wasn't an easy one - it was hard work but ultimately the team and the operation that we have now is one we can all be immensely proud of.”

A MARKETING DESIGN AGENCY

THE CHALLENGE:

This small, friendly agency has been in business for almost 20 years. Having enjoyed significant growth during the 90s it was hit by the recent recession. The team realised that, despite having been very successful in the design and print arena, their business strategy would need to adapt to new market conditions - a scary proposition for the MD, taking him far outside his comfort zone.

OUR APPROACH:

We ran two initiatives concurrently. Firstly, we provided the MD with 1-2-1 coaching to enable him to better lead his team through this period of change.  We also worked with the leadership team to evaluate the strategic options for growth and ran sessions to identify and articulate the company's values and what they wanted to be known for.  Armed with this knowledge we then worked with the entire agency team to create and implement a plan of action that would achieve the success they wanted.

THE RESULTS:

This project is ongoing but Mark the MD says:

“Whilst this is only the start of the journey with Mel, the transformation in my leadership team, the clear goals we are aiming for, the type of work we want and indeed the type of company we want to become has had an immediate impact. The clarity of thought we all have for our business has filtered down to all our staff resulting in better productivity, more creativity and ultimately happy staff”.

A UNIVERSITY MAINTENANCE TEAM

THE CHALLENGE:

An in-house University Maintenance team was achieving just 18% of its SLAs, and staff morale and customer satisfaction were low. Recent changes in shift patterns, which took nearly three years to negotiate and implement, were meant to improve service levels but had the opposite effect. There was talk about outsourcing the service – the team’s worse nightmare.

OUR APPROACH:

We began with a review of what was really going on with the team.  This involved shadowing the management team, attending meetings and going out with the team on the ground. There were few robust systems in place and performance management was non-existent.  We also uncovered the root cause of all these issues – hardworking but ineffective leadership.

It began with a very honest conversation with Daren, the Head of Maintenance, who took responsibility for the current situation and for leading the change. We coached and mentored Daren and his management team, held workshops with the entire team to rediscover shared goals, revised working patterns, agreed performance indicators for all members of the team and enhanced the IT system to better support these changes.

THE RESULTS:

Six months later, achievement of SLAs had risen to over 75%, team morale had improved and revised working patterns were introduced in just six weeks. Best of all, the customers were noticing the difference. Daren said:

"The journey wasn’t always easy but there were tangible results both on the ground and for me personally.  I certainly learnt a lot and have grown as an individual along the way."

A FRANCHISE OWNER

THE CHALLENGE:

Having been an early adopter of this franchise operation, Charlie had always had a good relationship with the franchise owners. He moved premises in 2014, having built up a sustainable business. Then, what had been an honest and open relationship became something different. Charlie knew that things were changing, but he didn’t know what to do.

OUR APPROACH:

We provided Charlie with 1-2-1 coaching to help him decide what he wanted his future to look like and how he could achieve his goals.

THE RESULTS:

We worked with Charlie for three months. Early in 2015, he took the courageous decision to leave the franchise operation and set up his own business. Charlie said: 

“Right at the start I was told that I had all the answers and no one was going to tell me what to do.  I still can’t believe that asking questions and challenging my thinking could have uncovered so much….deciding what to do was probably the hardest part, but once I had made the decision I knew I had done the right thing. I’m not sure what the future holds, which is scary and exciting in equal measures.  Now it’s a case of watch this space".