We are one team…and our opinions matter

We’re taking a fresh approach to our employee survey. Here, Area Operations Manager Paul Whiteman explains how he acted on the findings of the last survey.

Paul Whiteman works with a successful string of food destination pubs in the South East. It’s an important part of his philosophy that when teammates ask for positive change, he steps up to the plate.

His managers have poured a lot of passion into building teams where honesty is encouraged. Paul’s people feel valued members of the Marston’s team and can speak openly about how they feel.

Paul sees employee surveys as an important part of the company’s communication mix, and used feedback from the last one to drive real changes in the way his area communicates and rewards success.

“The employee survey showed us that elements of what we were doing were great, while others needed improvement,” said Paul. “Rather than taking small steps in a lot of areas, we decided to focus on two key areas – communication and recognition.

“We found that communication wasn’t always connecting with our pub teammates. We felt we needed to create a stronger ‘one team’ culture, where everyone felt valued and connected.”

A makeover in the way meetings were carried out and the creation of a Facebook page formed part of the solution. “We replaced conventional regional meetings with smaller cluster meetings, which were chaired by general managers (GM) and attended by a broader range of employees,” said Paul. “It was up to each GM to set the agenda based on feedback received both from their team members and senior managers. This inclusive approach saw our people take more ownership of their particular area of the business.”

Employees found plenty to like in the teams’ promotion of social media. “We created a closed Facebook group,” said Paul. “Around 180 teammates from around our pubs now post and share content on there about what’s important to them in their lives and work. It’s created a really strong connection, where people feel they know each other and work together, even though they’ve only ‘met’ on social media.”

Our people are also reaping the rewards of a new approach to recognition. “We’ve shifted our focus, so we’re not only rewarding those who perform the best, but those who are most improved,” said Paul. “If someone runs a marathon in three hours instead of four, they may not have won it, but they deserve credit for their massive improvements.”

Listening to team members and making positive changes have netted impressive results. “In terms of retention of employees, we’ve made a significant step change,” said Paul. “I believe that’s because they feel valued and very much part of one team now. People are telling us they want to work with us, stay with us and progress with us – and that’s a great feeling.”


Everyday teammates from around the business work together as one team. Click below to find out how we’re bringing team work to life.


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