Managed pub chain Spirit has established a link between increased profits
and a training scheme that improves middle managers’ people skills.
The company has seen a rise in sales and profits across areas where business
development managers (BDMs) have been given training in people management
skills, leadership and coaching. In the areas where training was carried out,
average sales increased by 5.5 per cent and average profits by 9.6 per cent.
Initially, around 30 managers attended the management development programme
in a bid to improve the performance of staff within their own teams.
HR director Jayne Mee explained that all BDMs in the firm were now required
to take the six month training course.
"It has improved sales and performance, but crucially it’s changed the
behaviour within teams," she said. "It’s taught the BDMs to manage
and develop their own people."
The company is different to many brewery chains as its pubs are run by
16,000 employees, not tenants or leaseholders. This helped HR to assess the
whole company’s training needs.
The course is made up of residential workshops, an interactive exhibition
and a range of tasks outside the company where managers interview other
professionals including accountants and venture capitalists.
Mee said the ability to measure the performance of training and development
in terms of profit is now a crucial aspect of the HR function. "It’s
hugely useful," she said. "If the board can see the actual benefit of
their investment in training they tend to put their weight behind it."
By Ross Wigham