As the UK’s largest independent parcel carrier, Yodel delivers more than 190 million packages per year. In a competitive market, Yodel’s commitment to its customers is to deliver promises, not just parcels. But across the company, a growing share of employees were feeling disengaged and uninspired, which in turn impacted service performance and customer satisfaction. Through surveys and focus groups, Yodel understood that people wanted to feel more empowered in their roles and more engaged in business operations.
Yodel recognized that to better deliver on promises to its customers, it first had to deliver change for its people—starting with a behavioral shift among its leaders. So, the company turned to Accenture to help introduce a new leadership approach rooted in coaching and cooperation. By distributing people management responsibility more widely across the company, Yodel could create a positive cycle of reinforcement that would fuel continued growth and success.
To initiate this culture shift, the team devised a three-part learning and development program that would permanently embed more agile ways of working into Yodel’s operations.
Firstly, leadership development sessions taught Yodel’s senior operational leadership how to actively support and embed culture change throughout the company. Secondly, manager capability development sessions prepared Yodel’s 400 operational managers to take on more leadership responsibility. Finally, intensive group coaching sessions held across Yodel’s three distribution hubs and 47 service centers helped leadership teams at each site embrace new ways of working.
Sessions were tailored to address the unique challenges faced at each location, and Accenture helped form regional groups to create a sense of community and the ability to share best practices between sites. Establishing peer support—teaching managers how to coach and be coached by one another—was a key focus throughout.
A valuable difference
Unlocking continuous improvement
Accenture and Yodel delivered the program in just four months from inception to deployment, right before the carrier’s peak season. The results surpassed expectations across the board.
The program transformed the way managers thought and operated, and subsequently how the workforce responded and put changes into practice. Managers developed the skills and confidence to have winning conversations, while staffers became empowered to suggest and try new ideas.
Yodel went from loss-making to profitable in two years, and its overall score on the independent employee review website Glassdoor rose from a 2.91 out of 5 to a 3.24. Customers noticed a difference, too, as Yodel’s customer satisfaction score reached a record high of 89.7%.
“We kept things simple, turned managers into agile leaders and got colleagues on board with new ways of working,” said Yodel CEO Mike Hancox. “The difference is incredible.”
"We now help each other a hell of a lot and we have fun, too. We’ve got drivers with smiles on their faces. There is now a feel-good factor across the entire network."