Head of people, Casna Group
Nominator Nick Appell
Emma Wood has progressed to the role of head of people at Casna in just three short years, having honed her skills with CH&Co before joining the group in November 2018. She is responsible for all things people-related at the company, which has more than 750 staff, including resourcing, on-boarding, ISO accreditation, payroll, HR, communication, marketing and business development. She also implemented a head office restructure that resulted in a £25,000 annual saving, an increased headcount and greater resilience for the operations team.
Wood has introduced an employee referral scheme, reducing recruitment spend by £11,000, a company update that is read by 85% of employees, and an apprentice partnership that has signed up six apprentices so far.
She has worked with Tom Pass on the creation and execution of education-focused caterer Culinera, where she serves as people director, and supported caterer Houston & Hawkes in setting up their key policies and procedures and two TUPE transfers so far.
In view of the recent time spent locked out of hospitality, what did you miss the most?
Without a doubt I missed the luxury of eating out, poring over what to order, changing my mind twice and having some banter with the team. The ambience of my favourite restaurants couldn't be replicated in my home kitchen, nor could the skill of the amazing chefs!
Who is your hospitality hero?
Every single woman who juggles working with all her other demanding commitments. If I had to just pick one person, it would be Sally Beck, general manager of the Royal Lancaster London. She's an inspirational woman who is leading the way in challenging perceptions and turning the hospitality industry into an employer of choice.