Kuoni seeks to drive ‘feedback culture’ at work

Kuoni managing director Mark Duguid is keen to drive a “feedback culture” in the company, saying: “My mantra right now is ‘feedback’.”

Duguid took over as head of Kuoni in late November, moving from luxury tour operator and Der Touristik sister brand Carrier.

He told the Travel Weekly People Summit in London last week: “When I joined Carrier, it was my first managing director position and I realised the symbolism of certain actions I took.

“People are directly looking at you, so the small things you do matter. I had an office locked away from everyone, so one of the first things I did was move my desk out on to the general floor.”

Duguid said: “I found a junior management layer in the organisation who weren’t managing. You work on coaching and development and upskilling, but the gamechanger there was that each manager started to receive manager scorecards. They became directly accountable for the engagement of their employees.”

At Kuoni, he said he had realised the importance of the company dress code, saying: “I’ve learned it matters to our organisation for people to be able to show their individuality.”

Duguid acknowledged: “Being in a larger organisation is more difficult. I’ve gone from [a workforce of] 80 to 300. My call-centre staff are all virtual. I’m dealing with staff in 26 retail stores, dealing with hybrid working,

“I used to know everyone in the Carrier organisation. That is much more difficult with 300. I can only imagine what it’s like in a larger organisation. I wouldn’t say I’ve nailed it yet. I’m still learning.”

At Kuoni, he said: “It’s even more critical that I have the right team beneath me. My focus for the first half of this year was recruiting a new leadership team.

“You’re recruiting very able people at this level, but there are really only ever three questions [at an interview]. Can you do the job? Will you do the job? Will you fit in?

“I turned down candidates who were incredibly able and wanted the job but whom I didn’t think would fit the organisation.”

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