Back to the floor

It was back to the floor for Rhona Gunn, our Corporate Director (Environmental Services), when last Monday she spent the day working with her colleagues in the catering service at St Gerardine’s primary school in Lossiemouth.

Back to the Floor - our series of new events - is part of our Employee Engagement programme, and sees our senior management getting ‘hands on' experience of the tasks carried out in delivering each service. At St Gerardine's, it gave the staff the chance to engage openly with Rhona, sharing the experience of their day-to-day, front line role and gave them opportunities to showcase best practice, efficiencies and discuss anything they thought could be done better.

Rhona felt the heat in the kitchen during Monday's shift, saying it was "very busy, and very hot!". She enjoyed meeting the team and pupils - and was particularly relieved when the six trays of sponge cake she made actually rose!

From food preparation, service and washing up, to sweeping the floor, Rhona eagerly rolled up her sleeves and got stuck in with every aspect of the catering team’s daily work, taking time to admire the high standards set for and observed by the team.

Pearl Gray, Catering Officer, said that the team enjoyed Rhona’s company and the chance to let her see what it is like ‘on the coal face’.

What is it?

A senior manager will spend time in a service and where possible undertake a practical role in providing the service.  Where this is not feasible the manager will shadow one or more employees on a typical working day so that they can experience what it’s like to deliver the service.  For example, spend time as a classroom assistant, or with the Access Point giving customer delivery.

The purpose of the activity is to:

  1. allow employees across range of services to engage directly with Senior Managers and share their experience of the role they carry out and show case any best practice, new efficiencies, technology etc
  2. give managers an opportunity to experience first-hand the roles and tasks staff carry out on a day to day basis.

How does it happen?

Approaches need to be made via line management and any particular reasons for the invitation should be noted; for example, is it to share best practice, new initiatives or efficiencies or new technology / systems and included in the back to the floor request.  Requests should be made to HR for co-ordination. Process as follows:

  • Employee or Team lodge a request with their line manager for a Back to the Floor Visit
  • Manager complete and submits a request form
  • HR Liaise with CMT/HOS with regards to assessing and processing the request
  • HR will notify the manager of the progress and outcome  of the request
  • Manager will keep employees informed re: outcome of request

It is important to note that approximately 4 visits will be accommodated each calendar year so therefore when submitting any request the rationale and/or value of the proposed visit should be clear. Where we have a high volume of requests this information will be used to select.

HR can provide assistance to liaise with the relevant section to arrange the back to the floor visit as required.  For example, it will be necessary to consider:

  • if there are any health and safety aspects of the visit that need to be prepared for
  •  is there any training or a briefing required before hand? 
  • Who is going to co-ordinate the visit on the day, meet and greet, logistics, etc

If you would like to have a Senior Manager spend time working with you and your team then please speak with your line manager about it and complete our request form and email it to

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