Publican Awards Best Pub Employer (under 500 employees) winner: Barons Pub Company

By The Morning Advertiser

- Last updated on GMT

Publican Awards 2024 Best Pub Employer (under 500 employees) winner

Related tags Events Publican awards Pubco + head office Multi-site pub operators Training

Surrey-based Barons Pub Company sees training as vital to its business and offers up to degree-level qualifications.

Its Barons Training Academy was set up after the pandemic and has become more structured as the years have passed.

Barons has 10 sites, with 210 full-time and 290 part-time employees. Everyone who joins the company has a training day after which a decision is made whether to go on with the member of staff or cut ties – and it doesn’t matter what level an employee comes in at, they must take part in a trial day.

Its supportive structure has proved the system works with 76 people taking internal promotions last year and the retention rate of staff is a whopping 92%.

Online training system evolved

Since winning this Publican Awards category last year, Barons has reviewed and evolved Nimble – its online Learning Management System.

This has led to induction training evolving into ‘Barons Building Blocks’, which has a variety of different subjects for each block, for example: service standards, health and safety, food safety, hospitality and wellbeing.

Nimble used to be a tool to record and monitor training but it has grown to make up a definitive two-way system between staff member and trainer that allows discussions and deep dives on all aspects of learning. This means it is not the learners to simply read by themselves – trainers talk about each section so it’s certainly not just a box ticking exercise.

Plenty of perks

Slick communication makes objectives clear so everyone knows the goals they are aiming for.

The Clive Price-led business also has ‘champions’ for mental health wellbeing, compliance and training so staff also have a way to turn no matter what their issues are.

And there are plenty of perks too, including an offer that began as staff members being allowed 50% off at Barons sites for up to 6 people once a month but has grown to be as often as they want per month.

While staff training with suppliers has involved Asahi brewery cellar days, ‘me’ time, days with Edinburgh Gin, visits to the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin and more.

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