The directors of Bartlett Mitchell have always seen their employees as being the key to success, and this approach clearly paid off recently. At the Springboard Awards for Excellence 2006, the company walked away with Best Employer in Hospitality and Leisure, recognising their commitment to the people who work for them throughout their time at the organisation.
It’s possible to trace an employee’s working life for this highly regarded food service management company through the initiatives that are designed to engender loyalty and reliability: from the Walkabout at induction, which introduces new staff and helps them find their feet; pension schemes are contributed to by the company to help employees to some peace of mind; the Bank of Emotions is a reward scheme to recognise those who have gone beyond the call of duty; Steps and Strides, a management development programme, helps staffers towards HCIMA qualifications, and, perhaps one of the strongest indicators of how Bartlett Mitchell has built its reputation for people-friendliness, they run a confidential counselling hotline that can provide advice on both work-related and personal-issues.
This approach is working for the company, since in their 2006 Staff Survey 69% of employees were very happy with their jobs – an exercise known as Spider’s Web measures how the company is living up to its people objectives and the expectations of individuals working for them. This emphasis shows how bm are willing to be individual, reversing a corporate mentality to ensure that their employees know their opinions are being taken into account.
But these various programmes aren’t in any way evidence of “soft thinking” at the top; they’re based on simple business sense. ‘We need to ensure a constant pool of talent to support growth… We do this by developing and retaining our existing team and attracting new talent into the business on the back of our reputation as a great employer.’ As a company that has grown exponentially since its beginnings seven years ago to employ over 280 people across fifty-two contracts, Bartlett mitchell have become the catering company of choice for a wide range of clients in business and industry.
“At MTV our customers have very individual lifestyles… bartlett mitchell have been able to increase sales a whopping 300% by assisting in a new-look area, creating the right style for us, and offering the perfect quality to match all the customers’ needs.” – Client at a music media company, Camden, London.
“The food is truly great, fresh, and innovative, the team are happy and offer great service. We have a workforce of some 200, very few of whom used the ‘works canteen’ prior to bartlett mitchell; now almost all 200 use the facility on a daily basis.” – Personnel director, security research and manufacturing company, Watford.
“It’s good to see all the units, and make new friends along the way - I feel I am always learning, especially in IT which has never been more important in business. Our new intranet system means that managers can spend even longer out front rather than being desk bound.” – Gary Hawthorne, Relief Chef/Manager.