The ever-shifting landscape of retailing brings complex challenges to those involved in the industry, not least marketing teams constantly playing catch-up with customer demand.


At the end of 2017 Catalina Marketing, created in 1983 and a global pioneer in the enhancement of customer knowledge, was experiencing challenges with the continuous changes faced and didn’t like the way the business was headed. In addition, there was a 22 percent attrition to contend with.

In March 2018, the Commercial Director realised that in order to deal with the organisational changes and shifting industry, the company needed to transform.

Catalina UK comprises two teams totalling 32 people across Reading and Leeds, working with key retailers such as Sainsbury’s and Morrison’s to increase sales and strengthen customer loyalty. Differing visions and direction caused the team to feel stressed, anxious and less open to change. Seeing this, the UK Leadership Team knew they needed to change the company culture in order to make a positive difference to the business.

In March 2018, the Commercial Director realised that in order to deal with the organisational changes and shifting industry, the company needed to transform. As an organisation that prides itself on customer service and delivering maximum returns for its clients, it was essential that this work delivered significant performance improvement for their team who had experienced numerous organisational changes throughout the previous year.

Catalina brought in PUSH to help define what was affecting the team within those areas. By first understanding the underlying issues, PUSH would be able to focus on what the Catalina team specifically needed to create positive sustainable cultural change.

PUSH ran a culture audit in both Reading and Leeds, speaking to the entire team to get to the heart of what was going on internally.

Four core themes emerged from the data that showed what changes needed to be made to successfully improve creativity, innovation and resilience. These themes were used as the cornerstone for the programme, with each activity focussed within those areas:

  • Bring to life the company vision and unite the team behind it
  • Reignite the Catalina passion and support the team’s energy levels
  • Improve team-integration and company-wide communication
  • Increase the opportunity for reflection, feedback and celebration

The Culture Champions

In April 2018, PUSH delivered a keynote talk to kick off the programme on how to adapt to change. Over the next eight months PUSH delivered a blend of workshops and 1:1 coaching with the Catalina Team. This included three facilitated workshops with the internal Culture Champions to help with on-going culture change; seven personal development workshops around questioning and listening, sales techniques, feedback, awkward conversations, and improv at work; and 1:1 personal development coaching.

These workshops helped the team to understand their culture mindset, develop the vision and values around ways of working, and streamline their internal meeting process. Each person also created a ‘Manual of Me’ to understand how they work on an individual level, as well as how those around them do their best work. Additionally, the Culture Champions created the Catalina UK Manifesto, outlining behaviours, values, goals and aspirations that could be used in all aspects of their work life to help embed the new cultural vision.

The Results

In January 2019, PUSH revisited the team to talk about the 2018 changes, how they felt now and how to continue to help the team grow and thrive together. The second audit was integral in seeing how far the team had come, understanding barriers that had impacted the programme so far, and to recognise potential changes to overcome these.

The 2019 audit showed that while 2018 was all about upskilling, innovation, and team-integration, the next steps had to be about embedding those Manifesto behaviours into the team. This work focussed on four central pillars:

  • Change: Continue to work on living and breathing the Manifesto in order to embed and reinforce the accepted behaviours.
  • Leadership: Increase transparency in the decision-making process and improve communications around those decisions which affect the team directly. 
  • Empowerment: Empower the team to embrace the Manifesto behaviours and to create the change they want and need.
  • Communication: Build more consistent communication across processes, policies and ways of working.

From January 2019 to July 2019, PUSH delivered five talks around building resilience, creativity, mindfulness and productivity; three workshops on building stronger teams, confidence in presenting, and embedding the manifesto; and 1:1 personal development coaching.

Catalina is now saving 9.5 - 17.5 hours per week due to the focus on efficiency.

Prior to working with PUSH, Catalina Marketing’s rigid organisational structure impacted on staff motivation, creativity, ownership and their ability to feel empowered to make decisions, ultimately resulting in high rates of annual staff attrition and high costs of recruitment and training. Due to this, the success of the programme is best shown through improvements in attrition rates, stress related and overall absenteeism, and productivity.

With the primary metric of reducing attrition, team churn decreased from 34.5% in 2018 to 14.8% in 2019. This demonstrated that not only are people much happier in the organisation than ever before, they are committed to working there.

Overall absenteeism in 2018 was calculated at 210.5 days total. In 2019 that number dropped to 152 days. Additionally, in 2018, the total number of working days absent due to stress was 48, while in 2019, there have been 0 stress-related absences to date.  

Lastly, the productivity of the team has dramatically increased, specifically within high-quality campaign delivery. In some instances, taking eight week lead times down to two, while maintaining quality. Catalina Marketing have quantified this saving in hours in one of their teams, and they are now saving c.9.5 – 17.5  hours per week due to the focus on efficiency, which works out at an additional 40-75 hours of available time to do great work for their customers each month.

The results of PUSH’s work with Catalina Marketing are clear to see – by investing in their people, Catalina has improved the culture of its team, and in turn improved their motivation and productivity considerably.

``PUSH Mind and Body have been instrumental in driving positive culture change at Catalina. We embarked on what seemed to be an impossible journey back in Feb ’18, but Cate and her brilliant team broke down the impossible to ‘’POSSIBLE’’ through a structured programme comprising of engaging, honest conversations, market experts sharing best practice and 1:1 coaching. You can feel the difference at Catalina and we are looking forward to working with PUSH to roll out phase 2 of our culture change journey and beyond`` - Premal Patel, General Manager, Catalina Marketing
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