Whitbread’s frontline staff learn that “all the world’s a stage”

13th December 2017 |   Journal Of Sales Transformation

When Whitbread’s Learning & Development team was looking for a novel approach to enhancing frontline employees’ skillsets they hit on the idea of using theatre directors and performers to communicate key messages.

The owner of the Premier Inn and Costa brands has built a sales university focused on two themes: the art of communication and negotiation.

Head of Sales & Reservations, Ed Fotheringham, who headed up the initiative, was seeking to develop a self-learning culture within the organization by replacing the limitations of traditional communication and training with a geographically diverse approach to working, learning and development. The aim has been to create a powerful and engaging knowledge-sharing culture, he tells the Journal.

Ultimate communicators

“We asked ourselves: who are the ultimate communicators? And we came up with theatre directors, so now our L&D course is delivered through theatre directors and actors. We actually have a great procurement department ourselves and involved them so they get practice buying and we could practice selling.”