Greene King cuts manager turnover

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by Claire Hu Greene King has achieved a 20% drop in pub manager turnover in the past 18 months after driving through a raft of radical measures aimed...

by Claire Hu Greene King has achieved a 20% drop in pub manager turnover in the past 18 months after driving through a raft of radical measures aimed at giving staff increased decision-making powers. The Suffolk-based operator of 600 managed houses has made holding on to its managers a key priority. Measures designed to help managers become more financially independent include allowing them to sort out their own repairs, instead of having to ring head office every time something breaks down. Quarterly question and answer sessions between BDMs and managers have also been launched to hammer out problems. As a result, Greene King has also now changed the accounting week ­ so it ends on Sunday night rather than Saturday ­ after managers complained it was their busiest day and they were forced to stay up until 2am to do the figures. The holiday year has also been extended from 31 December to the end of February after many staff missed out on on a break over the busy Christmas trading period. A monitoring scheme has been launched to "nanny" managers during their first six months in the job ­ when they are most likely to walk out due to stress. It includes a two-week induction programme and regular sessions with the human resources department. Julian Bradwell, human resources director, said: "We are moving towards allowing our managers to do their jobs. They need to be allowed the freedom to make the right decisions for their business at the right time. "The two-week induction programme is a major investment, but we know if we give people time to learn the system before they start it pays off and means they will stay longer." Managers are also being given more freedom to formulate their own food menus. Other incentives include the Premier Manager scheme, which offers profits bonuses over three years, Pub of the Month awards, and Red Letter days when managers are offered a choice of recreational days off. Annie Power, manager of the Golden Fleece in Cheapside, London, has been named Premier Manager and given the freedom to come up with her own tailored food menus. She said: "I came up with a back-to-basics menu aimed at single City workers who often don't eat at night.The great thing about the company is you can come up with ideas and they will encourage you to give it a whirl.

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