The academy, which opened at the beginning of 2017, was set up to train the next generation of team members and managers as the organisation expands. It will help upskill staff in Red Mist’s most recent acquisition, the Red Lion - previously known as Next Door - in Odiham, near Hook in Hampshire, which is due to reopen in April. The purchase of this site brings the number of pubs owned by Red Mist up to eight.
Mark Robson, group managing director, tells The Morning Advertiser: “The academy has been designed to recruit, induct, train and develop staff in a more joined up and better way than we previously did.”
All staff will be offered training in customer service, management and other practical skills, including courses on wine and coffee service, first aid and fire marshalling.
New staff will need to complete a certain number of training modules before they start work, and staff at all levels will be encouraged to complete training to progress in their careers. For example, bar tenders can complete management training modules to prepare to move into a more senior role. Robson says: “The academy is part of our succession plan. It helps us identify people who need more training and who can be moved up through the company.”
The system also monitors employee attrition and ensures that all new starters have a 90-day review.
Robson says: “We’ve been doing these things for years but now we are tying it together. In the past we have been guilty of allowing good people to slip through the cracks.”
However, he adds: “Once talent has been attracted into the sector it needs to be nurtured and retained. Our staff are ultimately our biggest and best asset. From the moment they start, we invest time and money into all our staff at all levels and ultimately that shines through. Some people fall away in the first few weeks, but those who stay remain with us for a long time.”
'Start With Why'
The academy initiative was inspired by leadership guru Simon Sinek’s TED talk Start With Why, Robson says. Sinek says it is important for employees to understand the purpose of an organisation and buy into its culture to be engaged and do their best work.
Robson says: “The message is that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. That resonated with me because if people understand and buy into the culture, they don’t treat work as ‘just a bar job’. They understand and buy into our USP and the quirky way we do things. So you end up with a happy, motivated team and that shows to the customers.”