Case Studies

Take a look at some of the projects I've worked on over the years.

Leadership Academy - 3

“I want to thank Sarah for being so amazing, and teaching me so much, not only about myself, but also my colleagues and how I can understand them better. It has been a fantastic journey and I cannot wait to see what the next round brings”

Aleisha Palmer, Bar & Lounge Manager, Bishopstrow Hotel & Spa


“I have loved every part of this course, and I still cannot believe I was chosen to take part, and after working at the hotel for over 10 years this has by far been one of my favourite experiences”

Nicola Winslade, Deputy Reception Manager, Bishopstrow Hotel & Spa

Kaleidoscope Collection – development and launch of their first future leaders programme – The Kaleidoscope Leadership Academy (KLA)

In August 2022 I was contact by Jonathan Walker, MD of Bishopstrow Hotel & Spa, to share my thoughts and ideas about delivering some training & development for their supervisors and managers.

The hotel had been acquired by Jonathan and his partners in 2021 and their intention was to bring it back to its former glory, as well investing in the team who would take them on this journey.  Until then, the team had very little development and had expressed their desire to learn and grow with the hotel. Having worked together many years previously, Jonathan knew that my engaging and collaborative style would work well with his ambitions for Bishopstrow and his plans for the future.

After discussing his objectives and desired outcomes, we developed a tailored programme which would provide his supervisors and department managers with the skills, knowledge and confidence to be able to successfully lead their teams and deliver a great guest experience, as well as supporting their own personal and career development. With 3 hotels in the Kaleidoscope Collection, we decided it was appropriate to open the programme to all hotels, and therefore the KLA was born.

The KLA ran over 10 months, kicking off with an Insights Discovery workshop, providing everyone with greater self-awareness and an understanding of their own preferences and ways of working. Over the duration of the KLA I worked closely with the participants in a series of modular workshops, as well as individuals with a series of 1:1 coaching and development reviews. The programme culminated in team projects whereby they worked in 2 teams, researching real-life business challenges and presenting back their findings and recommendations to the owners. The teams worked extremely well together and their final presentations were a credit to them all. A number of the recommendations they made are currently in the process of being implemented across the collection.

We celebrated the completion of the programme with an awards presentation and dinner at Bishopstrow Hotel, and each of the participants were given personal feedback and were recognised for their contributions and achievements.

The success of the KLA has seen three participants promoted as a result of their growth and development on the programme, and I was delighted to be asked to facilitate the next programme for a new cohort later this year.

Leyland SDM – development and launch of their purpose, vision and values


Leyland SDM is a high street decorator and DIY retailer with 33 stores across London, and employing over 700 people

In 2019 I was asked by Cliff Rendell, HR Director, to review their organisational culture and values. Prior LSDM being acquired by the Grafton Group Plc, it was managed in a very different way, and it became clear following the acquisition that the culture and values were not aligned to the way they wanted to do business going forward.

I was asked to lead the project to develop a new set of values which reflected more closely the business as it was today and which would set them up for greater growth and success in the future. I started by engaging with key stakeholders including the CEO, Commercial Director, Finance Director and Regional Managers, and this was followed by establishing a number of focus groups to engage and involve colleagues from all areas and levels within the business – it was important to both me and LSDM that this was not a “top-down” initiative, but fully inclusive, and mostly driven by the colleagues themselves.

With the outputs from the focus groups reviewed and collated, I created a working party with colleagues from across the business, and working together we refined and developed the purpose, vision and values, before presenting to, and getting approval from, the Executive Team. Working collaboratively we created icons for each value, a consistently branded look & feel, as well as a communication and launch plan. The project itself took around 5 months, and we launched the values across the business in February 2020, with visits to every store, the values jigsaw challenge which was a fun way to bring them to life, and of course, values branded teabags & biscuits!

Almost 4 years on, it is a delight to see and hear these values still being as fundamental to LSDM today as they were when we launched them, and it was a fabulous project to work on.

“Sarah worked tirelessly on this project, collaborating at all levels, pushing it forward with energy and drive, and demonstrated a positive attitude throughout which led to it being very well received across the business.”

Cliff Rendell, HR Director, Leyland SDM

Turnkey IPS – development of their people strategy


Turnkey IPS, based in East Kilbride, is a market-leading insolvency software and business software company. With c.60 employees in 2021 the group was on a trajectory of growth and development. From its origins as a family business in the 1980s, it now operates 3 teams in the UK as well as a small team in Australia.  I was asked by Deborah Baxter, COO, to lead a project to develop their people strategy, which was rather compliance-focussed and ad-hoc until that time.

With the planned growth of the business, there was a clear need to review the HR processes and systems within the business and develop a strategy which will lead and support their forecasted growth. Through consultation and collaboration with the COO, CEO and other members of the senior team we identified and defined the focus areas would include everything from the company vision and values, to recruitment, performance management, reward and talent development.  Inevitably this was going to be an in-depth and long-term project, which I scoped out and planned, along with the COO, and was delivered over a 2 year period.

Key successes of the project included development and launch of new company values, introduction of a new reward mechanism, including a bonus & incentive scheme, development and launch of a tailored performance management strategy and process, along with training for all line managers. Underpinning the people strategy was a focus on individual and team development, and I delivered a series of Insights Discovery workshops for all colleagues across the business, which included face-to-face workshops, virtual sessions with smaller teams, and also 1:1 coaching, meaning every colleagues across Turnkey had their own Insights Profile.

“Sarah’s knowledge, expertise and approachable style worked really well with Turnkey, coupled with great enthusiasm and fun. I would highly recommend Sarah as an HR/People Business Partner, she offers a wealth of experience and is a pleasure to work with.”

Deborah Baxter, Chief Operating Officer, Turnkey IPS

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