Having opened seven sites in the last two years, Thai Leisure Group (TLG) has stepped up its game with the aim of becoming the biggest brand in Thai cuisine. However, as many operators have experienced, scaling up doesn’t come without its challenges.

Perhaps, one of the biggest difficulties is managing a growing workforce and, in particular, ensuring that new starters grasp company culture and values. As an operator which lives and breathes by its founding principles, Thai Leisure Group is under no illusion, so overcoming this challenge is firmly on the agenda.

In 2016 the York-based operator partnered with CPL Training Group to overhaul its learning and development processes. As part of this working relationship is the development of the ‘Sawasdee’ Induction Programme, an online training module for new employees. Set to be launched in December 2017, Sawasdee aims to give every new starter a chance to embrace Thai Leisure’s core values.

James Hacon, who has been brand strategy director since 2016, said: “Sawasdee is our new online induction module which we hope will make people feel part of our company and set the tone to kick-start a career with us. Our values are absolutely at the centre of our culture, so it’s imperative people joining us understand this straight away. Sawasdee will play a crucial part in achieving this objective and will provide a consistently inspirational welcome to new team members.”

With a vibrant, interactive design, the programme doesn’t just communicate key messages but encapsulates them through a range of dynamic visuals, games and video content. One of which is a custom video filmed in Thailand, featuring some of the company’s most passionate managers, to capture the inspiration for its individual brands.

“It was important to us that the online delivery encapsulated our culture and values, not just in content but also in design and delivery,” said Hacon. “We actually took two of our managers to Thailand to produce the content in the country that inspires us, to not only provide a backdrop that feels like us, but also so that we could show people elements of Thai culture that is central to how we interact with our colleagues and guests.”

One area where Thai Leisure Group has always excelled is providing a customer experience like no other. But what’s most important is that employees are treated the same. From design to video production, the time and effort harnessed to create Sawasdee is a clear demonstration of how much the company values its people. For Thai Leisure, Sawasdee is the beginning of a new internal employee brand – the starting point for new recruits to immerse themselves in the company and realise their future development.

Hacon added: “We make everything guest-facing look amazing, so our team should have the same level of attention. This employee brand will encapsulate all of our welcome materials, our new employee app, training materials and the induction. It is our aim that this will eventually go external to our recruitment too, but right now it’s about making sure our existing people know that we care as much about them as we do our guests.”