Macphie of Glenbervie is the UK's leading food manufacturer for premium bakery ingredients, bakery supplier and foodservice solutions.

Headquartered on the idyllic Glenbervie Estate in north-east Scotland, they’ve built a reputation for quality, reliability and fresh thinking – for professionalism, with a personal touch.

What we did:

Last year, food ingredients manufacturer Macphie put 12 of its aspiring leaders through the Managing People for Growth programme to boost confidence levels and support a consistent approach to management across the business. Through a series of training sessions with consultant Karen Suplinski, the group undertook a variety of practical activities alongside opportunities for personal reflection to explore and ultimately understand different approaches to management.

Demonstrating a commitment to leadership development across the business, Macphie is rolling out this training to a number of its staff, hosting in-house group training with members from different departments coming together for each session.

One of these participants was Macphie’s finance controller Mick Harper who said this unique approach helped improve his understanding of other areas.

“Going through the training with people from other departments within the company was a real eye opener for me,” he said. “Throughout each session we discussed how our teams approach things like communication or confrontation and it was interesting to find out how different areas tackle issues and reward success. What works for one person or team, doesn’t always work for another so it was good food for thought on how we can communicate more effectively with each other.”

Another trainee, David Easton, who recently moved into a more senior team leader says he’s enjoying taking the time for personal reflection.

“I really didn’t know what to expect from the course but it was really interesting,” he said. “In the first week we looked at different styles of management which I’d never really thought about. We talked through different types of management and worked through some questions to identify our own style which was a really good opportunity for some self-reflection that you don’t usually find time for when you’re cracking on with the day job. As someone who is new to people management, it was reassuring to hear from other people about their experiences and taking the time to consider your strengths was a real confidence boost. Another key takeaway for me was the difference between a group and a team. We looked at what motivates individuals, what brings people together and the role a manger plays on satisfying both to achieve results.”

Macphie’s head of HR Heather Hannam said she’s delighted with the progress the first cohort has made.

“Managing people can be challenging at times,” she said. “It’s important that we give people the time and space, away from the day job, to develop their skills and confidence in the role. It pays back for them and their teams very quickly. Our first group of managers has really embraced the training and have visibly been working hard to implement the tools and strategies outlined throughout the programme. Since the recent outbreak of coronavirus, our business and people have faced a number of challenges. Strong leadership has been critical in reassuring staff amidst incredible uncertainty."



The Managing People for Growth programme has proved to be invaluable as our people continue to manage teams through this crisis – sometimes while working remotely which can pose further challenges. They’ve faced having to enforce stricter guidelines around health and safety to managing workloads when a number of employees were put on furlough and while we operate in extraordinary times, the training has armed them with a toolkit of strategies to cope as best as they can.

Heather Hannam, Head of HR

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