This assignment will show that you are able to:
LO1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of leading and managing people in the current and future world of
LO2. Critically evaluate a range of theories in relation to leading and managing people to resolve organisational
LO3. Apply a comprehensive understanding of techniques to develop leaders and managers to address
organisational challenges and drive success.
LO4. Critically evaluate personal performance through the application of reflective practice.
This assessment is based on a case study which provides a realistic business challenge and has four questions of
equal value to answer.
The new leadership team at C&C (case study) have asked for your assistance to conduct thorough analysis of the
challenges that the business is facing. They would like you to provide an evidenced-based essay to help them to
prepare for discussions at the next Board Meeting.
Coffee and Cake (C&C) is a privately owned company that runs an established chain of cafes in sixty locations
around the UK. Most are located on high streets and in shopping centres, but there are also units located in large
railway stations and some airports. The company sells a wide variety of speciality coffees, cakes, sandwiches and
other beverages. It markets itself as a sustainable business with high standards of business ethics, which the
business is committed to.
Throughout the Twentieth Century there was a single C&C coffee house located prominently in Central London.
This was then taken over by a by a company that was keen to profit from the fast growth in the UK’s coffee shop
market. Much money was invested in building the chain and for several years good profits were made. After 2015
though, problems started to arise. Sales began to slump in a number of locations as competition from ambitious
independents and other coffee shop chains became more intense. Issues arose concerning unpaid debts and the
company started to struggle financially. By the time of the Covid pandemic it was in serious financial difficulty and
in danger of becoming insolvent. In 2021 the company was sold to a consortium of four former C&C managers
with finance largely provided by a venture capital fund. In 2022 the aim of the new leadership and management
team is to expand and open more stores nationwide. However, they first need to ensure that C&C meets
stakeholder expectations, reclaims its reputation and returns to profitability in the next two years.
To enable these aims the leadership have made the following commitments to be achieved over the next 3 years:
• Pay greater consideration to diversity and inclusion in everything they do, at all levels of the business and
• Grow and develop employees at all levels and provide opportunities for progression.
• Role model an inclusive work environment in our stores, a place where every employee feels empowered
and consideration of every person’s wellbeing is demonstrated.
• Listen, check in with teams and act on feedback with the key objective of making C&C a more
collaborative, open minded and inspiring place to work.
“A policy or written statement in itself is not enough and we know that engaging with all levels of our business is
absolutely critical if we are to deliver on our promises and have an positive and lasting intrinsic impact on our
teams and employees of the future.”
The leadership team recognise that to achieve their aims, they first need to:
• Assess the current situation and the challenges in the hospitality labour market
• Examine the current approach to leading and managing people and the impact this has had on employees
• Establish a preferred approach to leading and managing people and the benefits this will have
• Identify the learning and development needs to enable the new approach to managing people
To do this, the leaders particularly want to address the poor management of people which has been a major
problem for some time. Their main concerns are that staff turnover was running at over 100% in 2019 and
employee engagement levels have been very poor in several coffee shops for some years. Both ‘employee
turnover’ and ‘employee engagement’ have significant implications for the business which is causing considerable
concern for the leaders, and if not addressed their ambitions for the next 3 years are at risk. Evidence of these
matters is found on the Glassdoor website where hundreds of current and former employees have written
troubling reviews of their experiences working for the company. Overall ratings have been below 3 out of 5, which
is considerably lower than the scores typically achieved by C&C’s major competitors.
The following are a representative sample of some of the recent comments that have been left in the Pros and
Cons section on Glassdoor:
“Lovely regular customers. Met some good friends”
“Friendly and supportive staff who were happy to swap shifts. Tips”
“Staff discount on cakes and food”
“The only good thing was that it was located only three minutes walking from the place that I used to live.”
“You learn basic management tasks and can improve your communication skills. Free lunch and cakes.”
“I guess it pays your bills if you`re single and live in shared accommodation”
“If you want a culture where the quality of the product, the customer, the brand and the staff are key to how the
business works, avoid C&C.”
“Nothing at all was positive”
“No real opportunities for advancement”
“Never put enough staff on shift. Bad at giving breaks, you can work an 8-9 hour shift and not be given a 30-
minute break. Never know when your shift will end.”
“Every unit is understaffed, always.”
“It was soul-destroying, you`re taken advantage of and paid very little and you are spoken to by management like
you’re a child (in front of customers)”
“No gratitude for anything, lazy people get paid the same as hard working employees”
“Payroll is terrible, consistently mess up pay and will throw the blame on each other rather than own their own
Question 1: Construct an evidenced-based discussion to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the
challenges present in the current operating environment for the UK hospitality sector and how approaches to
leading and managing people impact on people and organisational performance within the sector and the case
Question 2: Using your analysis in question 1, critically evaluate the existing and a potentially new approach to
leading and managing people at C&C, the impact on the retention and performance of employees, and as a result
the performance of the business.
Question 3: Using your analysis in question 2, demonstrate your approach to identifying the key learning and
development requirements for the managers at C&C – this should incorporate your perspective on the learning
and development cycle. Then, critically assess a range of learning and development interventions to help leaders
and managers to retain and engage valuable employees and drive business success.
Question 4: Reflecting on your learning and experience throughout this module, and using a reflective model,
critically assess your response which should include the following, this is the template for question 4 of your
(i) Which session was of particular interest to you? How did this session challenge your thinking?
(ii) How did this session and/or any other concept help you to develop the discussion in your assessment?
(iii) Discuss your engagement with study skills support, include the content of the support activity, how you
responded, and how you applied this to your assignment, provide evidence.
(iv) From your reflection and performance in this module, identify what you will do differently in the next
module to continuously develop your academic performance.