The Heart Programme


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.

If you go to the store, you can feel the shift in energy, which is something that customers regularly comment on.  Sense that energy shift for yourself by watching the short video below.

And Thornton’s Budgens has seen that energy shift translate directly into better service through the impact on their Mystery Shopper scores. In all eleven studies since the Heart Programme started, they have scored 100% for customer service. This contrasts to historic results that were inconsistent varying from 63% to 100%.


In terms of performance, prior to the Heart Programme, Thornton’s Budgens sales were running 6% down on the previous year due to the incredibly competitive UK grocery market they operate in.

Post the Heart Programme, sales had leveled to -0.6%, meaning a sales growth of more than 5 points.

Currently, the UK grocery market is undergoing the most significant change ever, with major players like Morrison’s (Thornton’s Budgens nearest major supermarket competitor) undertaking to match the prices of the discounters like Aldi and Lidl. In the face of this, the Thornton’s Budgens team have rallied and are drawing back customers who have been tempted by the price driven appeal of others. Sales are currently tracking at -1%, a great result in the current climate.

What is the Heart Programme?

The Heart Programme is a series of facilitated workshops that allows a team to change how they work together. Prior to the workshops, all the participants are interviewed. Post the workshops, the team are given a process that allows them to continue with this approach in their day to day working lives. This avoids a workshop high where everyone feels great, yet 8 weeks later nothing has changed.

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.

The Heart Programme builds on 7 years of developing a heartful business at Thornton’s Budgens. For more about Thornton’s Budgens, click on the image below to visit their website.


A Film of Thornton’s Budgens at the Heart Programme


Testimonials from Thornton’s Budgens Team


 “I am more confident in myself and I now want to do more for the business”.

“Communication as a whole has improved across the team”.

“I feel safe to share”.

“We used to feel intimidated by management and now we are all at the same level.
We are now quite close and not afraid to speak out”.

“The Heart Programme helped us to get to know each other better and
now we communicate better as a team”.

“We now look at each other with different eyes”.

“The Heart Programme has made us a better team and people”.

“My ability to care for my colleagues has grown – we have reached another level of communication.
I am more watchful as though the company is becoming mine”.

“We have more respect for each other in my department due to knowing each other better”

“It has made me feel more settled in my life”.