Five minutes with...

Shaun Hollinshead and Garry Billings

Shaun Hollinshead and Garry Billings

Time 386 days ago Comments 0 comments

Healthcare sites have introduced engagement champions across the country, to encourage better links between clients, managers and operational teams. We spoke to senior operations manager Shaun Hollinshead and porter Garry Billings – both champions at Royal Stoke Hospital – about how they work closely together to create an open and honest working environment.

Q: How did you become an engagement champion?

Shaun: I was discussing my interests and strengths with my manager, Neal Gisborne, during my performance development review and he thought my ‘open door’ style of management would naturally link me to the role.

Garry: Shaun took on the role and I was happy to support him when he asked me. We have similar personalities and I come from a customer service background, so I like to think I have good interpersonal skills.

Q: Is that one of the qualities you need for the role?

Garry: Definitely, you have to be able to connect with your peers.

Shaun: I think treating people how you would like to be treated is crucial to the role. If you follow that you’ll put people at their ease, and earn their trust.

Q: What are the key responsibilities?

Shaun: I work with other members of the committee to come up with ways to improve engagement in our large team here. We are nearly 1,000 strong, so it’s important to work together.

Garry: As a porter myself, I understand the issues that directly affect people at work every day. It’s then my role to be able to link managers with the ideas and experiences of our employees.

Q: How have you made a positive impact?

Shaun: We improved our engagement score by nine points following the 2017 Pulse survey, up from 42% in 2016 to 51% in 2017. The committee discussed a better way of conducting the survey – we decided to take hand held tablets to the staff and this resulted in a participation rate of 81%.

Garry: Shaun and I decided to set up a forum to improve communication and engagement with our 220 porters. It’s bi-monthly and we invite a different group each time. We share ideas and talk about better ways of doing things. It’s an open forum; an opportunity to air both the good and bad.

Q: What would you say to encourage others to become champions?

Shaun: You’ve got to make time for engagement. It is tough to factor it into your already busy working schedules, so I understand why some people are reluctant to get involved.

Garry: Shaun and the management team do give us the time to devote to the role.

Shaun: You have to do that; otherwise it just doesn’t work and you don’t get the commitment or the results. 

Q: What’s your top tip for employee engagement?

Shaun: Engagement can be very simple. A quick hello every morning, or making sure you know the names of everyone in your team, is a great start.

Garry: Listen. Put together action plans; it’s important to show people that even if you can’t give a positive response to a query, you have investigated it thoroughly and tried to find a solution.


Share this story About sharing

Send to Kindle



Sodexo is proud to #SaluteOurForces

Armed Forces Day in the United Kingdom is an annual event which celebrates people who serve or have served in the British Armed Forces. It’s a chance to show support for people in the Armed Forces community - from active Service personnel to military families, veterans and cadets.

SSAFA Young Achievers Awards

Sponsoring recognition in Cyprus

Sodexo Government & Agencies sponsors the SSAFA Young Achievers Awards in British Forces Cyprus (BFC) paying tribute to 60 children and young adults

Gemma Amor - Craft Guild of Chef Awards 2019

Gemma scoops Craft Guild of Chefs award

Congratulations to Ascot Racecourse Executive chef Gemma Amor who won the Banqueting & Event Chef award at the 2019 Craft Guild of Chefs Awards

IOH Awards 2019

Hospitality in their hearts

Congratulations to executive chef Stephen Chambers and front of house assistant Jacqueline Thompson for winning big at this year’s Institute of Hospitality, Northern Ireland Awards



On Friday 17 May, hundreds of Sodexo people wore purple to show their #SodexoPride and solidarity with their LGBT+ colleagues to celebrate IDAHOBIT (International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia & Transphobia)

Together We Grow

Introducing Sodexo Government & Agencies

In the UK and Ireland, Sodexo’s Defence & Government Services segment has changed its name to Government & Agencies to reflect Sodexo’s clients, consumers and business needs

Mental Health Awareness Week 2019

#BeBodyKind for Mental Health Awareness Week

Body image issues can affect all of us and directly impact our mental health - this Mental Health Awareness Week, take action to improve how we feel about our bodies and #BeBodyKind

TT50 2019

The Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2019

Sodexo has been named as one of The Times Top 50 Employers for Women for the sixth consecutive year!


Spilling the beans on waste

The Stryker Belfast team lifts the lid on winning the 2018 WasteLESS Week trophy