Harris tells staff: “I’m listening”

By Juliet Dennis

GOING Places staff are being encouraged to speak out
in a new culture of openness as the travel giant battles to retain staff under
a wave of negative publicity.

Just weeks after up to 400 full-time shop posts were
axed from the retail network, staff have been told they are “free to challenge”
management on issues of concern.

The retail network has been charged with making £20
million worth of savings for next year, most of which have already been made
through the recent redundancy programme. As a result, MyTravel UK distribution
managing director Dave Harris confessed staff retention has now become his
“biggest challenge”. He said: “It is soul destroying for people in the business
when others knock MyTravel and create bad press. It does affect us.”

In a bid to stamp out rumours about MyTravel and keep
staff up-to-date on press coverage, a new e-mail and intranet system has been
launched directly linking every shop to head office.

The group will host the last in a series of 10 UK
roadshows this week. Open employee forums are already run quarterly.

Meanwhile, Harris has introduced conference calls with
his 15 new regional operations managers, monthly calls with new MyTravel bosses
Philip Jansen and Peter McHugh, and has started sending e-mails to alert staff
of press coverage.

The launch comes as the new EasySell holiday search system
is introduced across all shops and the traditional Matchmaker system phased

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