BaxterStorey is one of Britain’s leading independent food service providers to the business and industry sector, operating on a national basis and employing several thousand people throughout the UK and Ireland. BaxterStorey provides daily catering facilities to organisations such as Barclays and Standard Chartered Bank, as well as the new BBC Media City in Salford Quays. It is part of WSH (Westfield Street Holdings) and is thus linked with sister companies Caterlink, Holroyd Howe and Benugo.
Client Director, Tim Woodman, worked with BaxterStorey’s L&D Director, Graham Eveleigh, to produce a year-long Leadership Development programme based on our integrated learning approach. The programme consists of around 12 one- and two-day modules on the most critical aspects of the middle manager’s role. Topics include:
Delegates learn through a variety of media and learning options. Typically following some pre-work and reading, they attend a one- or two-day training programme and draw up a SMART action plan outlining how they plan to continue their learning in that area. In addition to the structured learning, delegates are required to carry out a work-based project in groups during the year, which they present back to the project sponsor at the end of the programme. Every delegate has a coach for the duration as well as access to our unique online Learning Institute, which offers learners the opportunity to continue their studies and become accredited by the ILM (Institute of Leadership & Management) or even at Foundation Degree level.
Middle managers may only apply to attend the programme with the sponsorship of their direct line manager. They then attend a one-day Assessment Centre where their current skills and motivation are tested.
Some of the Challenges
As all of the delegates have operational roles within BaxterStorey, it is very difficult for them to juggle their learning journey with the day job. Even though 100% attendance was a condition of acceptance onto the programme, some have found the time commitment extremely demanding, whether this is the monthly courses, project management time, or learning between modules on the Academy. The delegates have learnt as much about time management and self-discipline as they have about leading their people and making presentations.
We are currently running a number of cohorts in parallel as the pace of the training picks up. The nature of the partnership between BaxerStorey and ML&C is such that other projects are being discussed as add-ons for this population and others across the organisation.
Some of the Results
A number of the delegates have been promoted during the training programme or immediately afterwards, which has offered very real recognition of their willingness to step up and increase their value to the organisation. The work-based projects have also been very succesful and a number have been implemented as a direct result of the work carried out during the course. In addition to the tangible outputs, the increase in the networks across different parts of the organisation, thanks to the tight-knit nature of the cohorts, has added immeasurable benefits to BaxterStorey, and this is set to increase as some of the sister companies come on board. As many of the courses are held at BaxterStorey catering facilities, the delegates have opportunities to see a number of venues outside their own.
One thing that is always guaranteed on every course is a great lunch!
Management Learning & Coaching started working with BaxterStorey in 2010 to develop a group of the middle manager population with the potential to take on larger roles and more responsibility. The population are all managers of managers, typically operational managers, overseeing operations at one or more client sites, with ambitions to progress through BaxterStorey.
BaxterStorey runs an enviable and prestigious Chef Academy and a Barista Academy, where delegates can grow their technical skills and achieve accreditation to industry standards. However, before 2010 BaxterStorey did not really have anything in place to develop the management and leadership skills of its managers. Managers tended to be promoted based on technical skills or being in the right place at the right time.
Hence the Leadership Academy was born.