Northern Rail PreviewChallenge

Northern Rail is the largest train operator in the UK, running over 2,500 local and regional train services every weekday in the north of England.

Following a merger between the company and several smaller operators, the newly expanded company needed to update its HR policies, to ensure uniform procedures across the business.


The half-day workshop needed to inject life and real-world relevance into what would otherwise be a rather dry and theoretical exercise. To ensure buy-in and keep costs down it was essential that the workshop be delivered by in-house staff.


Pelican designed a short workshop to familiarise managers with six new HR policies.

Interactive techniques, team activities and quizzes were all carefully devised to engage managers, aid understanding and increase knowledge retention.

Having created the workshop, Pelican then trained a selection of Northern Rail HR partners and trade union representatives in the techniques to deliver it, so that they could roll out the sessions to around 450 managers and other trade union representatives.

This ‘train the trainer’ approach enabled the company to deliver later workshops as and when required.

Brilliant results

The workshops were rolled out across the company over a period of several months, and were very well received by all attendees. They allowed managers across the business to get to grips with new policies, and in turn, cascade this information to their teams. 

Following this resounding success Pelican was asked to deliver further similar projects for the organisation.