Long-term first line management training and coaching programme


Hovis is a well-known baker with a long heritage of providing high quality foods across the UK. After the takeover by Premier Foods they implemented a company-wide review and investment in their first line managers. This lasted for almost two years as the task grew way beyond the original scope of the project.

Tangram Training offered consultancy expertise in the early stages of the programme. We then delivered multiple training days and ongoing coaching for every FLM across three of the Hovis sites – Forest Gate, Birmingham and Dagenham.

Hovis forest-gate


When Premier Foods took control of Hovis they undertook a review of operating systems and procedures. Part of this review looked at First Line Management and found that the 1000+ personnel in this role had little formal training, limited managerial experience and a huge array of job descriptions and functions. Every FLM was assessed and moved onto a training and coaching programme to bring every manager up to the same level.


TTo create and implement a consistent first line management course to be rolled out across the whole business. This aimed to deliver a consistent level of skills, knowledge and professionalism and pride. The programme consisted of six one-day training modules delivered at monthly intervals. In between each module, every attendee received a workbook and two hours of 1-2-1 coaching to embed the learning and build confidence. They included:

  • Leading and motivating teams
  • Communication and engagement
  • Developing high performance through people
  • Planning, organising and decision making
  • Problem solving and analytical skills
  • Managing the day-to-day


The programme continued beyond phase one and into the second year and phase two. More than 600 FLMs were trained and coached across the country in every bakery and distribution centre. The overall programme was awarded a silver trophy by the CEO of Premier Foods as part of its annual review.


Let me say thank you for the significant and ‘above the call of duty’ role you play in making the programme a success, and the impact you have on every individual you come into contact with.

Nicky Duckham