Assessment and investment cure high staff losses

Welcome Break has reduced its staff turnover rate and improved its service
to customers after introducing a performance management system.

The firm’s HR director Martin Hinchliffe said the company decided to bring
in a method of assessing all employees’ performances in May 2000 alongside a
£120m investment in new and upgraded facilities.

"Previously there was no review at all at any level from people serving
our customers to board directors.

"We felt that performance management was long overdue," said
Hinchliffe.

Welcome Break worked with Leeds-based consultancy CDA at the start of 2000
to develop a performance assessment process that would be suitable for all
members of staff.

A steering group was put together, including a waitress, an assistant
manager, a general manager and a director, to ensure that the new proposals
were workable and relevant.

The scheme was piloted from May to November 2000 using 100 employees at
three different sites and then rolled out across the rest of the company in
January this year.

Welcome Break has trained nearly 500 managers to carry out the performance
management assessments of all 5,000 staff every six months.

Hinchliffe said the scheme helps involve staff with business aims, identify
people’s strengths and weaknesses and set them objectives.

As a result of the performance management programme, staff turnover has
reduced from 70 per cent to just over 50 per cent in the past 18 months, and
mystery guest customer service assessments have shown very positive results.

Next year, performance objectives will be linked to pay for some managers.

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