Fuller, Smith and Turner has been a brewer and pub owner since 1845, with 4,000 employees, more than 190 premium managed pubs and hotels and over 200 tenanted pubs. In 2011 they came up with the Fit For 2020 employee engagement programme, with the motto “Every customer leaves happy” and it has already had a huge impact on the running of the company.

“We set it up because of the disparate nature of the business: we have lots of small teams in different locations,” says David Hoyle, People Director at Fuller’s. “We wanted to bring people together and make them part of the Fuller’s family.”

 

Four focus areas

 

The programme had four focus areas beginning with service. “We created a framework of service coaches to improve service,” says Hoyle. “They were not necessarily high up in the pub hierarchy, but they were respected people who knew their business. We now have 190 of them and since this started, our MPS rating has risen 16 points.”

The next focus was on reward, with employees given benefits for great service and the third was a careers workscreen. “It shows how careers can progress: someone can start by working behind a bar and rise to become a head chef, general manager or operations manager,” says Hoyle. The fourth focus was on how to measure success.

 

What employees want

 

The company is now embarking on phase two of the project, asking employees what they would actually like in terms of benefits.”We’re being more pragmatic,” says Hoyle. “We’re finding they want help with rent deposits, season ticket loans or subsidised travel.”

The results speak for themselves. Since implementing the programme, the leaving rate of head chefs has halved from 70 to 35 per cent and the company is now paying for people’s permanent residency applications in the wake of Brexit if they have worked for Fuller’s for one year. “Seventy per cent of the eligible people have taken it up,” says Hoyle. The company is now about to launch a social media portal that everyone can access. “We now have much better links with people in the pubs,” says Hoyle.

 

Fuller's were Highly Commended in the 2016 Employee Engagement Awards in association with People Insight.