An independent coffee chain is introducing a ‘dream manager’ to help its staff reach their own dreams.
Bewiched employs more than 60 people at its branches, including in Kettering, Corby, Wellingborough and Rushden Lakes.
But even with eight branches across Northamptonshire and in Peterborough, managing director Matt Fountain wants to do more so he is introducing a ‘dream manager’ role into the business.
Matt said: “One of my genuine aspirations for our business is that we become the place to work in the hospitality sector.
“Now I know we are certainly not there yet and although our employee turnover sits well below the industry average, I know we can become so much better at retaining and motivating the guys that serve our customers.
“We employ over 60 people now and I feel obliged to help them reach their dreams as they help me reach mine.
“The sad fact is that many of us get so caught up in our day-to-day lives that we forget what our dreams once were.
“I have a two-year-old son who already has dreams to be a pilot or a train driver and there is a lot to be said for re-visiting that innocence of youth.”
He has been doing plenty of research, which shows that leading businesses around the world are changing how they engage with their employees.
Matt has also been asking himself some questions, including could they have kept some of the great people that have left in the past seven years of trading, could he be a better leader and could they create a better culture?
And he said: “Beyond that I have also had to ask - is it everyone’s dream to work in a coffee shop?
“And the answer is clearly no, not everyone’s.
“But many people can use an industry and business such as ours as a stepping stone on the way to their dreams.
“Additionally some of our dreams are nearer than others and could be achieved whilst that team member is with us.
“So we are appointing a dream manager, this person’s role will go well beyond a traditional HR function and they will sit down with every one of our 60-plus team members that want to participate and create some structure around their dreams.
“The dreams will be compartmentalised into ones to achieve within a year, within one to three years and within five years.”
Dreams will be looked at under different headings, such as material, character, intellectual and emotional, and a plan will then be put in place with meetings continuing every month.
Matt said: “Myself and Richard, our area manager, have already started listing our dreams and the next process is to get plans in place to achieve said dreams.
“Quite a large part of this process will involve a full financial review with the guys participating to ascertain their understanding of credit scores, financial planning etc.
“There are lots of free resources we can use to help them, but equally if any financial planning individuals or businesses are looking to work with us on this, we would be very interested to hear from them.
“Equally many people dream of running their own business and we already know some of our team have aspirations to do this, we are very well placed to offer advice and guidance on this and are already in early stage business planning for a couple of our guys.”
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