Morrisons: Improvement Forums improve communications, relationships and performance

Gordon Snowdon, GM of Stockton on Tees, receiving the Award for his siteGordon Snowdon, GM of Stockton on Tees, receiving the Award for his site

Morrisons Logistics division decided that it needed to involve staff at all sites in the development of plans and activities that would enable each site to identify and resolve issues to improve the working conditions for colleagues.

DevelopChange were asked to provide a facilitator who could work with the group of Logistics Site Controllers to help them become more of a high performing team, to design a structure for the Improvement Forums and to coach the Site Controllers of how to conduct such Forums. Each Site Controller also received some 1:1 feedback and coaching on their performance and how best to achieve the benefits from the ideas generated by their staff on each Forum.

Initially, our facilitator met all Site Controllers and facilitated a Team Day for them which included self awareness, experiential activities, inputs around creative problem solving and effective action planning.

Thereafter, each Site Controller was asked to pull together a team of volunteers from their Site who would represent all staff and be their voice in seeking to make significant changes or improvements.

The Site Controllers created their own Improvement Forum and this new virtual team included managers, Union representatives, and staff from a cross section of their site. The DevelopChange facilitator then ran another Team Building day for this group to help accelerate their progress to being an effective team quickly. The following day, the Site Manager then conducted and facilitated their first Improvement Forum which generated ideas, suggestions and new ways of working, which sat outside the remit of the Joint Consultative Committee, but within the remit of this Forum to deliver.


All outcomes were evaluated and prioritised before members of the Improvement Forums took responsibility for trying to achieve the actions they had been chosen to deliver.

Sites reported the following:

  • Relations are much improved with the Trade Union.
  • The Forum has greatly improved morale and trust with the Union.
  • Direct feedback is that the Improvement Forum has really helped them to believe in the Company's commitment to the "new way of working".
  • Cross site communications have been improved through the Improvement Forum.
  • We now have in place Communication Zones which include daily briefs and visual aids to share depot results.
  • A new Logistics magazine called "The M1" was launched.
  • The Forums have been a great vehicle which we have used to float ideas and generate feedback and discussion, and to gain buy-in and support to some of the activities happening on site.
  • Stockton on Tees was awarded Best Site Award by the M1 magazine

This format of Improvement Forum has since been rolled out into the Supply Chain group within Morrisons.