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The people and development (P&D) department at the Ned is responsible for some 850 team members. With responsibility for so many people, providing a happy working environment is the top priority for this nine-strong team, led by P&D director Surinder Sangha, and it has developed numerous initiatives to ensure staff feel valued and keen to stay.
Taking the temperature of employee sentiment is of great importance to the team, who make sure they have their ear to the ground by working shifts in one of the 10 restaurants, the spa or gym. As a result of this, staff get to know all the teams and feel more comfortable approaching them with questions or issues.
This year the P&D department has focused on staff communication and has implemented feedback sessions, such as monthly F&B and hotel round tables, which include a non-management representative from each department. In August 2017, the team introduced a social media app – the Nedwork – which encourages open communication, enabling staff to post and feedback on work achievements and activities. In January the team launched a monthly staff newsletter, with tips from different departments, recipes and staff offers.
In addition, every fortnight the Ned’s managing director Gareth Banner hosts a ‘Coffee with Gareth’ initiative, where 20 team members meet the boss to ask him questions, with no topic off limits. To increase communication among different teams, a ‘Come Dine with Us’ club offers fully funded meals to four different members of staff a week, providing a chance for them to experience the Ned restaurants first-hand and meet colleagues from other departments.
To improve training and retention, a ‘Club School’ has been established to provide new starters with a month of restaurant or bar-specific training – including technical skills, menu tastings, team skills, drill training and hospitality training. New platforms have also been created to facilitate promotions, including a pre-managers’ bootcamp for line staff who are about to step into their first management role, as well as a middle managers’ programme of courses for the 130 Ned managers.
The Ned has also developed ‘Cookhouse and House Tonic’ programmes. Originally created at Soho House & Co, these monthly training programmes are open to all Ned employees and aim to encourage those passionate about food and drink with inspiring and developmental trips, training and events.
As if that weren’t enough, there are numerous activities to keep staff motivated, including a staff children’s Christmas party, a Christmas meal served by Gareth Banner and the senior management team, Christmas gifts for all staff and a New Year’s party at the Brewery.
In fact, staff are looked after all year round, with access to staff restaurant Neddy’s 20 hours a day, a wellness week in February, monthly ‘TLC’ awards, yoga and gym classes, and regular social events. This really is a team that puts employees at the centre of the business, providing all the conditions for them to thrive.
What the judges said
“The team has put in place an extensive range of initiatives that will continue to have a serious impact on the business, its results and the service it delivers for years to come.”
Zoe Jenkins, general manager, Coworth Park
“It’s a massive achievement to attract, develop and retain the people required in such a diverse and fast-paced operation. The team has excelled in implementing a happy and engaging environment for the team to thrive.”
Jo Harley, managing director, Purple Cubed
Farncombe Estate (Dormy House, Foxhill Manor & the Fish) Broadway, Worcestershire
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park London
The Ned London
St Pancras Renaissance Hotel London
2017 Firmdale Hotels
2016 The London Edition
2015 Red Carnation Hotel Collection
2014 Dorchester Collection
2013 Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5
2012 Dorchester Collection
2011 Royal Garden Hotel London
2010 Jumeirah Hotels
2009 The Berkeley London
2008 The Dorchester London