The high quality performance of virgin trains

Virgin Trains is known for operating high quality, fast and reliable state-of-the-art trains, capable of speeds of up to 125 miles each hour. Virgin Trains functions the West Coastline rail franchise with trains working along various routes including from Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham to London. The average quest time from Manchester to London today is just over two hours. Virgin Trains currently runs 333 trains and provides more than 62, 000 passengers a day. Until 1993, railways in Britain had been area of the public sector. These were run by an organisation appointed by the government called English Rail. The culture was one where managers passed down instructions and guidelines to employees who taken them out without questioning them. Since 1997, Virgin Trains has been running the West Coast and other lines as an unbiased private sector business. Virgin Trains looks for to distinguish itself from other rail rivals to be able to increase customer satisfaction and create a teach service fit for the twenty-first century. The business is organised on the decentralised regional composition. Each region has a couple of Managers accountable for the top operating areas. These Managers then link up with other local Managers to talk about ideas and expertise. For instance, the framework at Manchester's Piccadilly station links the stop with the train crews: Each region is able to concentrate on the commercial needs of its area. For instance, the Scottish region targets developing services to add the local overall economy and particularly travel and leisure. Each seeks to increase the grade of services to customers, for example, by cutting unneeded costs and waste products.

In 2003, the Chief Executive of the business, Tony Collins, lay out his eye-sight for the business, which has changed its procedures. Virgin Trains' eye-sight will involve the empowerment of staff for taking responsibility and possession of their performance. This eyesight is why is Virgin Trains different. This research study talks about how this eye-sight is changing the culture and performance of Virgin Trains. A eyesight enables an organisation to move frontward with quality. It web links the business' specific targets and targets with the main principles that govern the way the business will operate in order to meet those focuses on. It therefore runs beyond a mission affirmation. A mission assertion sets out the goal of an organisation. For example, for Virgin Trains, this is to run a high quality, reliable and cost-effective rail service. A perspective should go further. It paints an image in clear terms of where the organisation is going, from the behaviours it needs of everybody in the company.

Virgin Trains' eye-sight is: 'To end up being the most safe, reliable, reliable and profitable of the train operating franchises in a weather that respects different views and people need not hesitate to most probably and honest'. This is a very clear vision

1. It models out the beliefs of the company, e. g. safety and dependability.

2. It models out clear commercial focuses on - success.

3. It sets out the partnership between the organisation and its people - respecting different views and pushing openness and integrity.

This vision shows Virgin Trains' forward-thinking style. This might stand the business in good stead in any future franchise bids. Associated closely to eyesight is the organisation's culture. The culture of any organisation is the normal way of working in a organisation as shown by the behaviours of the individuals who work for this. This consists of how approachable professionals are and exactly how they treat subordinates, the care for customers and how formal systems and techniques are. A clear vision permits an organisation to improve organisational culture in an optimistic way. The organisational culture at Virgin Trains is the one that places customers and their experience of travel as the main concern. Virgin Trains' management thinks that this is most beneficial secured by hearing employees. Senior managers at Virgin Trains believe in such a geographically stretched organisation, change needs to be suggested and executed by those at local level because those individuals know very well what changes customers are requesting and need. Virgin Trains thinks employees working straight with customers not only have the technical skills but also the commercial understanding to make a difference. An example of this was the provision of toys in holding out rooms to help keep children happy whilst looking forward to connections. Managers favorably encourage employees to get involved in running the company by requesting questions, challenging ideas and being ready to disagree and suggest better means of working. For example, employees challenged Virgin Trains to increase its determination to ecological development by minimizing its carbon footprint. Virgin Trains now stimulates recycling in all its offices and trains.

Sharing the eye-sight and values

A key purpose for Virgin Trains is usually to be a profit-making organisation. A great way of making a income is to fulfill customers who will use services again and again. To do this objective it is vital that Virgin Trains' staff deliver a first-class service. The company has therefore flipped the traditional perspective of the organisation upside down and put its customers first. The Virgin Trains way of working encourages front-line employees to interact with customers. In doing this, they could improve the customer's experience, whilst at the same time discovering possible means of improving functional performance. The role of managers in this situation is to explain and encourage good behaviours and actively seek ideas from employees to increase the business.


Virgin Trains' people drive its strategy of concentrating on customers. The regional structure permits staffs that are in direct contact with customers to donate to and condition the business' strategies. Regular 'priorities meetings' are performed by groups of staff over the regions to identify best practices, show concerns and discuss the particular priorities should be. Feedback from customers identifiesthe priorities and includes issues such as what menu options should be on trains or what ticket options can be purchased in stations. Managers then take these ideas and support employees to improve the services they offer. This produces good connections and increases worker confidence that professionals will follow up on ideas and responses from front-line employees. Every Virgin Trains staff is inspired to agree with the vision and prices of Virgin Trains by

Offering and receiving constructive feedback

Coping with change and inviting it

Challenging the ideas of others within an appropriate way.

All employees own an opportunity to learn about (and be part of) the eye-sight by attending a voluntary three-day facilitated workshop. The workshops concentrate on how to provide and receive constructive feedback. In addition they help Virgin Trains visitors to see what management looks like at work and exactly how it influences individuals.

The workshop provides a good opportunity to share ideas and also to influence others in a relaxed atmosphere.

Regional groups attend jointly. This brings togetheremployees at different levels (including older managers) and the ones involved in various tasks.

Everyone gets the possibility to explore what change means, what people feel when faced by change and what support individuals need during times of change.

Employees can discuss the way the vision relates to his / her personal ideals and beliefs and how these values fall into line with company objectives.

When people get back to their work assignments they know that they can issue, question and propose ideas of their own. In order to embed a eye-sight into the organisation, it needs to be part of every facet of work. At a practical level, the Virgin Trains eye-sight is recognized by clear Human Learning resource (HR) activities. These HR activities help to shape the culture of the organisation. People-focused initiatives at Virgin Trains recognise and pay back high-performing employees. Team and individual awards are offered at established ceremonies to point out where employees have made a difference. The business motivates new behaviours. Behaviours concentrate not just on what Virgin Trains' people do but also that they do something. By way of example, this might be focusing on the customer, listening to others or taking a positive approach to challenges. As part of the culture change, Virgin Trains also encourages charitable work together with organisations such as CLIC Sargent, which raises money for children with malignancy. The charities are chosen on a countrywide basis by the business; each region then facilitates in its way. The advantage of this behavior is a more caring approach to customers and staff. This enhances client satisfaction and aspire to use Virgin Trains more often. Virgin Trains behaviours are suffering from from the bottom-up procedure of the eye-sight workshops.


The vision also guides Virgin Trains recruitment and development operations

At recruitment the main element skills necessary to deliver the eyesight form part of the person specification. This means Virgin Trains allures people who share the eyesight and behaviours.

At appraisal, employees are assessed on the contribution to the business enterprise, development and customer emphasis. Appraisal interviews take place regularly where employees discuss current performance with the line administrator and identify future personal goals and goals.

For expanding employees, Virgin Trains has generated a Talent Wheel that identifies the sorts of behaviours employees need to show to spotlight their potential for advertising. Those considered suited to campaign will be employees who are currently performing well, want campaign, feel interested in Virgin Trains and are currently developing the abilities and knowledge necessary for a far more advanced post.

Learning and development opportunities add a range of internal and external classes and training opportunities for employees. Examples include developing training skills or stimulating people to understand how to ask questions and take responsibility.

Leadership programs for front-line personnel and managers embody the eyesight.

New rules of working are just effective if they work used. Virgin Trains sees the culture change program as on-going. It's important to review the whole process regularly to be able to ensure that the change in culture is inserted and that it's assisting to meet organisational aims. The culture change programme is not just about engaging with passengers. It is also about meeting all aims (including those for profit) in the most efficient way. Placing Key Performance Indicators helps a small business measure achievements. These measures or goals can show how far a business has moved towards its objectives. KPIs utilized by Virgin Trains include

reducing sickness levels

lowering staff turnover rates

improving customer satisfaction ratings

reducing amounts of complaint letters.

Virgin Trains has advanced in all of the areas. Cost benefits have come as a direct result of implementing the vision. Virgin Trains'employees are prepared to challenge decisions and ideas submit by managers, permitting the company to save lots of and generate income. An example of this is the 'Through ticket to Huddersfield', that your Manchester team developed and implemented. Customers previously got to purchase a new ticket for the next part of the quest on changing trains. Virgin Trains noticed a customer need and were empowered to place the new solution in place. This now generates income.


Virgin Trains has a reputation for high quality service and modern techniques. The business constantly seeks to develop competitive advantages over rivals. An integral way of protecting successful change is to involve employees in decision-making. Employees who work immediately with customers are best positioned to create customer-focused improvement solutions. Virgin Trains' vision provides all employees with clear path, backed by the support and encouragement of managers from the very best down to issue existing techniques and suggest new ideas. This has led to better employee participation, increased customer satisfaction and yielded advanced business results.

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