Punch Taverns implements company improvements after surveying employees

Punch Taverns, Britain’s biggest pub company, has made employee-driven improvements after surveying around 3,000 head office & field support staff and the licensees of its managed pubs.

Employee engagement and retention specialist TalentDrain developed an opinion and attitude survey which enabled Punch to listen to its employees and focus its action planning.

“We wanted to better understand what our employees felt we were doing well and what they wanted us to improve,” said Jackie Burn, Head of Central HR at Punch Taverns.

“The survey gave us good quality data on which to base interventions and this really helped us to focus our action planning.”

TalentDrain asked employees to rank 12 work-related areas, that are known to influence organisational commitment, and then rate how satisfied they are with each area.

The central and field support staff undertook the survey online and the pub managers completed a paper-based version.

The survey showed that 84% of staff are satisfied with their job and have a positive relationship with their manager; 81% feel their role is interesting, enjoyable and meaningful; 76% believe Punch Taverns has a prosperous future and 70% would recommend Punch as an employer.

As a result of TalentDrain’s analysis, Punch has taken steps to improve employee commitment, align reward to performance, improve prospects for career progression and enhance teamwork, communication and senior management engagement.

The company has reviewed its salary and bonus structure, after benchmarking all salaries externally; changed its performance review process; created an employee recognition scheme, to incentivise strong performance and high levels of customer service; enhanced its training and development opportunities and introduced a senior leadership development programme.

Building on the sense of pride that exists internally, Punch has endeavoured to create a greater sense of involvement and ownership amongst employees.

It has re-launched its corporate values; introduced a group-wide Share Incentive Plan; established forums where employees can discuss areas of concern or ideas for improvement with senior managers; set up career coaching forums and improved the internal communication of career opportunities and job changes across the group.

As part of fostering a friendly and welcoming atmosphere for its customers, Punch believes in building a considerate and supportive internal working environment.

To further facilitate this, it has set up a ‘buddying’ system and introduced departmental open days and new social activities.

“The most important part of any opinion survey is to act on the feedback received,” said Jackie Burn.

“We’ve been honest and transparent in communicating what people said they liked and what they felt could be done better. Now, we need to communicate our progress and share our successes.”

According to Jackie Burn, undertaking the survey has had a very positive impact on Punch Taverns.

“People feel we’ve listened to them and they can see that we’ve implemented a number of initiatives, to improve the company, as a result of their views,” she said.

“This is important because the success of our business depends on the morale and motivation of our employees. We now feel we’re in a strong position to build on the opportunities available to us.”

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