ESS and DIO Colleagues Go Back to the Floor

25 October 2023

ESS and Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) leadership colleagues from the Wales & West Midlands region have spent a week going ‘back to the floor’, supporting ESS’ frontline teams to deliver a variety of foodservice and FM tasks.

The programme saw senior managers shadowing colleagues in a number of roles to learn more about what they do, build relationships and encourage open communication.

Throughout the week, the team undertook a range of tasks including cleaning, serving food in messes, preparing for a VIP dinner event, manning the tills in stores, supporting foodbank donations and good old retail shelf stacking!

The relationship between ESS and DIO is certified to ISO 44001 and is underpinned by a strong collaborative working ethos. This was evident throughout the shifts as ESS and DIO colleagues worked closely together to enhance their working relationships while learning new skills.

The initiative received great feedback from everyone involved.

Karen Walters, DIO RD-AH Cen Area Manager West, commented:

“I’d like to thank the entire ESS team for all their support throughout the day, it was a pleasure and a privilege to meet so many wonderful ESS colleagues. I have no doubt I was a hindrance rather than a help, but I had a wonderful time and was very grateful for the tolerance and kindness shown by everyone I met! The comradery amongst colleagues and diligence in providing excellent customer service was evident in each of the areas visited. I was very grateful for the opportunity, and I hope to be invited back in the future!”

Sharon Baker, ESS Business Director for the Wales & West Midlands region, commented: 

“I started my career with Compass as a part-time cook and have progressed over the past 30 years to my current role. I understand how important it is to stay in touch with our frontline colleagues – they are the face of our business and deliver great services to our customers every day. Taking some time to work with them and learn from them is something I remain personally committed to and encourage in my team – it’s even better when our clients can join us too! The week felt like a positive experience for everyone.”   

 Lynn Machin, ESS Store Assistant, added:

"It was great to have the extra pairs of hands. Both Karen and Sharon were extremely enthusiastic to be working in the shop and made our stock room look empty after moving all the stock to the shop floor. It was interesting to hear about Sharon’s background. Seeing where she is now, with the role she has today, is certainly inspirational and shows that there are great careers to be made in the business over time.”