An engaged team can achieve great things…


By Catherine Allen, Head of Keeping People Happy, Ella’s Kitchen

Ella’s has delivered double-digit growth every year for the last 10 years, achieves a partners score of over 90% and has the highest consumer loyalty in the category.  Our employee net promoter score is improving with the last survey coming in at 68%.

Last year we entered the Best Companies awards coming 25th and certified as a B Corp.

I am convinced that the happiness of our team influences our commercial success. There’s no magic formula to creating a great place to work. But I do have 3 top tips that have worked well at Ella’s.

  1. Give your team a reason to feel engaged and proud. We keep the team close to our mission to ‘Improve children’s lives through developing healthy relationships with food’. A great example of this is employees helping on Ella’s funded school trips to a local farm and market garden.  We also have clear and simple values which live and breathe in everything we do at Ella’s.
  2. Have great leaders and managers. As all HR professionals know, our efforts are useless if leaders and managers are misaligned with the mission and values, or are poor people managers. ‘My manager’ is the most common reason people leave companies, so we help leaders and managers to role model the values via a bespoke management programme and invite 360 feedback on how well they live and encourage the values.
  3. Treat people as individuals. I know this seems easy in a smaller team like Ella’s, but all companies should beware of broad brush initiatives which assume everyone in a demographic group (eg mothers!) has identical needs. Our 2 surveys a year and our Show and Tell (employee forum) help us in understanding the team better, but last year we were early adopters of the Open Blend Method – a tech based coaching approach focused on open communication with leaders. Through leaders understanding their team members better, we’ve seen a measurable increase in the happiness of individuals.

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