Page 3: HR strategy
In modern service organisations, employees are a key resource because it is they who deal directly with customers, usually on a face-to-face basis. In a fast moving business world, firms need to be able to rely on their human resources to take the initiative to manage ongoing changes. Sodexho’s human resource strategy is therefore concerned with providing its workforce with the capabilities necessary to deliver organic growth. A key part of this strategy involves providing managers with commercial skills. Many of Sodexho’s managers ‘on the ground’ are chefs or cooks. For profit targets to be met, the units that they oversee need to be managed on a commercial basis. A host organisation such as a hospital, naval base, or university provides the space for the commercial operation. The relevant Sodexho manager must then generate turnover and profit from that space.
Until recently, chefs and cooks were specialists only in providing high quality catering coupled with service. Today that is not enough. They need to be able to generate adequate profit, and so must have the necessary commercial skills to manage their units effectively. As a result Sodexho has changed its thinking in a number of areas including:
- Recruitment - Seek out managers/pot-ential managers with the right sorts of qualities for commercial management.
- Training - Provide appropriate training to improve managers’ commercial skills.
Incentives - Create performance incentives: rewards to managers and other employees who achieve profit targets.
- Performance culture - Establish company practices that lead to high levels of commercial performance in addition to profit.