Greene King Pub Company has introduced an elite management tier to improve the retention of pub managers.
The company hopes to increase the average stay of its 600 pub managers by five months to three years by putting 80 licence-holders a year through a premier manager's course and offering them a share of profits.
Under the scheme, qualified premier managers will receive a bonus of between 5 and 10 per cent of the profit they create after three years' service.
Julian Bradwell, HR director at Greene King Pub Company, expects the initiative to cut management turnover by 7 per cent to 20 per cent in two years and save the company £20,000 a year in recruitment and training costs.
He believes the scheme will dramatically improve the company's financial performance. "The money we will save will be insignificant compared with the amount a premier manager will make for us," he said.
Managers must pass a three-day training course on people management and retail skills, and then meet sales, performance, standard and HR targets to gain premier status.
The career path created for pub managers will shift the focus away from the institutions to its people, helping the company attract and retain managers.
Bradwell explained: "Culturally, the pub industry has invested millions in buildings and not its people. But a good pub is defined by the quality of its manager - who will develop staff and create a good ambience - and not the bricks and mortar they are sitting in."
The move is part of a wider culture change to give pub managers greater work-life balance. Bradwell said managers living on-site tend to do everything. He is encouraging them to manage and take advantage of living on-site by fitting work around their lives.
By Paul Nelson