Innovators at Work - Moncef, Head of People at Kricket

We looked at a range of options. What we wanted was a benefit that everyone used on a consistent basis. Not sporadically and used only by a few but a benefit that we felt would be of real value and use to our teams. This led us to Juno.

Moncef, Head of People shares how his team at Kricket grew closer together through the pandemic, and how the team's wellbeing is part of their ethos.

At Kricket, the wellbeing of our teams has always been a huge part of our thought process. This is before the current people shortage. We have kept the majority of our team when we reopened with no one let go during the pandemic. We were thinking of the wellbeing of our teams then and we continue to put energy into this vital aspect of our business now. We do it because it’s right and is part of our ethos, not because it’s fashionable. We consistently communicated with our teams during our closure, whether that was a monthly update from Rik or our much loved curry tutorials where we cooked over zoom with Will. This helped bond us as a team and made us closer in my eyes.

We have always had a great benefits package and one that we are always aiming to improve. Just recently we did our first people survey which resulted in us looking into adding more such as gym membership and health care. We feel our package is competitive and one that the team deserve.

From the beginning of my time at Kricket, the impetus has been on staff motivation and dates to look forward to. Whether that is our bi-annual staff party or staff trips to suppliers such as HG Walter, Neals Yard Dairy and London Beer Factory. Having dates to look forward to is a huge positive for good staff wellbeing and also a great way for our teams to bond.

For example, our annual wild garlic picking day every Spring! Spending the day in gorgeous Suffolk is a date we all look forward to on the calendar. It’s a brilliant trip that initially began with 9 people in 2017 and has now grown to 30 today! Courtesy of our co-founders generous neighbour - we get to ride boats on a man made lake, have pizza and beer with our colleagues and pick lots and lots of wild garlic that will be used back in our restaurants. For our chefs, they want to cook with the best and learn as much as they can. We have two annual events which really helps with this aspect of their development and engagement. One such event is the Meatopia festival (2019 it was Dublin and this year London) where we select chefs from different locations to take part alongside co-owner Will Bowlby.

The big one is our annual guest chef series in September in aid of the Apne Aap Women’s Collective. Each chef collaborates with Will Bowlby for one night only, with all profits going to AAWC. This year we had the great Michel Roux Jr and last year the legendary Pierre Koffmann took part!

We thought long and hard about adding a benefit that wasn’t your usual benefit no one used. We looked at a range of options. What we wanted was a benefit that everyone used on a consistent basis. Not sporadically and used only by a few but a benefit that we felt would be of real value and use to our teams. This led us to Juno, an exciting new wellbeing platform. The idea is simple. You get an allocated amount of credits to use at your disposal every month on a wide range of products and classes. Basically a wellbeing platform that is unique to the individual and their wellbeing needs. What will start as a manager benefit will hopefully be a benefit for the whole team in the future.

Our grub club is another date that staff get excited for. From each site we take one member of staff from the kitchen and floor and take them to a successful restaurant in London to eat lots of delicious food and drink as well as learn what others do well to be used as inspiration back in Kricket. It is also a great reward scheme for employees and just as important, get to know other employees from other Kricket sites.

Lastly, alongside the much valued EAP from hospitality action we decided to have our entire management team trained to be mental health aware by Kelly’s Cause. We feel this is a valuable asset to both the senior team and team below them. With knowledge comes empathy and understanding that contributes to our great staff retention and brilliant culture.

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