Malissa Taylor-Saks describes “The Heart Programme in Action.”

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The Heart Programme has allowed Thornton’s Budgens to deepen its commitment to being a heartful business. It has ensured much better team engagement, greater employee satisfaction and a dramatic improvement in service. There is no better way to get an understanding of Andrew Thornton’s Heart Programme in action than through the words of the people for whom it has been developed. This week I conducted mini-interviews with three of the team members for a glimpse into the world of an employee who is part of this innovative programme.

Yasmin Subhan is a Post Office Counter Clerk at Thornton’s Budgens. She is studying Mortgage and Finance though the Institute of Financial Services whilst working at the store. She feels that in her two years of employment and under the auspices of The Heart Programme, she has been listened to and taken seriously and is valued team member. Within the Post Office Department, they as a team, came up together with the idea that the service should be available seven days a week. Yasmin was instrumental in implementing the wearing of uniforms by the team members, leaving them feeling proud about the store for which they work.

Her favourite part of working for this friendly, local community store is the great, intense and comprehensive training that they get in-house and from outside institutions, the idea behind which is that the team members are continually improving their lives and therefore the lives of their customers and of their colleagues as well as the community that they aim to serve.

Facilities Manager, Kate Avgarska started at Thornton’s Budgens in 2012 and within a year, she had worked herself up from an administration assistant to Facilities Manager, her role including the maintenance of the store and the middle-person between the store and the contractors. Kate is also a critical part of the finance team.

For Kate, The Heart Programme as a training programme is a brilliant programme on many different levels. Since its implementation, all the team members are “much more open with each other.” Kate says that working with the entire team has left her with a great sense of job satisfaction. She enjoys all aspects of working at Thornton’s Budgens, but most of all, the diversity of everything; the customers, the employees, the suppliers, the food and products and the amazing outside projects that the store is involved with. These include Pennies for Plastic and Food from the Sky. Most important for Kate is the passion of all involved in the store to “care for people and the environment, trusting that profit will indeed follow.”

Parvin Nessa started to work at Thornton’s Budgens in 1995. Whilst at school, she worked part-time, making her way to Customer Services Manager within three to fours years, a position she has cherished every since.

For Parvin, The Heart Programme symbolizes a sense of openness between the team members of the store. Sharing feelings and opening up to each other through the programme as created a community spirit that spills out to the customers also. When people come into the store, both as customers and as workers, there is a great sense of pride and of friendliness, the very ethos that The Heart Programme tries to instil. Parvin is most proud of the Pennies for Plastic Scheme, a Customer Services Department idea encouraging the Thornton’s clientèle to use fewer plastic bags thereby helping our precious planet and creating a better world for both all of us and for future generations.

The Heart Programme was developed to create a work environment that is safe, where people feel cared for and trusted and where they can bring all of their talents to develop the business and create a better world. Based on the words of Yasmin, Kate and Parvin, it is clear that The Heart Programme is having a significant effect on the lives of the Thornton’s Budgens’ team members, creating a business which expresses the fundamental spirit of Heart in Business Limited, that is, “enabling companies to put people and our planet first, trusting that profit will follow.”

If you would like to find out more about The Heart Programme or would like Heart in Business Limited to run a Heart Programme for you please click here.


Malissa Taylor-Saks

Heart in Business Limited

" Even though I hardly knew my colleague, I have just shared something so personal with him - it feels good, I feel closer to him and so much better having just been listened to"

” Even though I hardly knew my colleague, I have just shared something so personal with him – it feels good, I feel closer to him and so much better having just been listened to”

Thornton's Budgens Team at the Heart Programme

Thornton’s Budgens Team at the Heart Programme