Whether a traveler to Britain is seeking inspiration from the same sheer beauty that compelled John Atkinson Grimshaw’s moon-washed paintings of Yorkshire, or one is seeking refuge within the craggy coves of Devon’s Bovey Castle, there’s a Welcome Break. Of course, one’s entire experience during a British Isles sojourn would be a welcome break, but in this case it’s also the name of the company that serves weary travelers.
Headquartered in Newport Pagnell, Welcome Break is now boasting over 5,000 employees and is a leading provider of services for highway travelers. In the United Kingdom, they provide food, hotel and restroom services.
Each year, there are close to ninety million travelers in Britain and many of those are served by Welcome Break employees. Company branded locations include storefronts for notable brands including Starbucks, KFC and Burger King, all run and maintained by Welcome Break.
However, most travelers have no idea that the staff they met during their adventures wore different hats. One day an employee might be a barista that served Starbucks coffee, and the next day a sandwich artist serving Subway. Additionally, the same employee could have up to five different job titles.
With the complexity of the job roles combined with rapid company growth, Welcome Break also required their own respite of sorts – in this case from silo-based thinking and high employee turnover. The company quickly determined that they needed to empower managers at local sites so they could better help their teams succeed – all while building a distinct corporate culture of employee engagement and recognition across multiple brands.
As a direct result, a strategic decision to implement SAP Success Factors and SAP Jam was made. The move quickly resulted in a 15% increase in employee retention and a remarkable 75% of open positions being filled internally. Employee engagement also increased as employees began to be peer-recognized through the SAP Jam social software platform for customer praise at the moment they do a great job.
SAP Jam Collaboration has had a transformational impact on the business by enabling Welcome Break to provide that recognition. “Recognition, including peer-to-peer recognition, is a massive part of what we promote in HR,” says Welcome Break’s Director of People, Karl Jolly. That can range from an ad hoc ‘thank you’ for helping another colleague to seasonal recognition campaigns that rally the entire company around a common goal. The SAP Jam mobile app lets Welcome Break recognize and reward people the moment they do a great job, not months later. SAP Jam enhances learning and collaboration, allowing staff to tap into the knowledge of more experienced staff easily and share ideas. “We fell in love with SAP Jam. It gave us something the whole business could engage with, and that was cutting edge,” said Jolly.
As a result, internal promotions and retention are rising. “People who have left to work for one of the brands have returned,” remarks Jolly. “What better proof of Welcome Break’s success in creating a wonderful workplace?”
Countless conversations also abound between travelers and the people that are offering them tremendous hospitality. Whether they have fixed plans or not, travelers exploring the Midlands or seek high adventure in the Lake District count on convenience.
Wandering Britain can often offer an introspection not found anywhere else in the world. And thanks to a strategic decision, many employees who have done some wandering of their own, have returned. They are once again proudly wearing the Welcome Break uniform and helping put smiles on the faces of millions of travelers to the beautiful British Isle.