Steve Rockey, people director, Home Grown Hotels and Lime Wood Group


Steve Rockey is people director for Hampshire-based Home Grown Hotels and Lime Wood Group – a selection of boutique country house hotels across the south of England

Rockey and his team are responsible for recruitment, training and development, HR and apprenticeships, ensuring that the hotel group can grow through its people.

He joined Home Grown Hotels and Lime Wood Group in January 2017 after launching HR consultancy Esoteric HR, as it was too good an opportunity to turn down. Rockey is already making a significant impact to the two hotel groups by challenging thinking, building closer ties between HR and operations, and creating long-term strategies to build homegrown talent. Results include increasing employee retention to 87%, redesigning management development to achieve 98% retention, a new people approach at ski resort Portetta in Courchevel, leading to EBITDA growth of 11%.

Home Grown Hotels and Lime Wood was the only hotel group to be named in the top 100 apprenticeship providers in the UK in 2018, after winning the regional heats for large employers.

Rockey has a track record within fast-growing entrepreneurial businesses and is known for his views on the role HR has to play within this type of organisation. Starting his HR career in the hospitality sector, and responsible for the launch of food outlets at the Millennium Dome in 2000, he has held senior positions in well-known brands including Pizza Express, Big Easy and Byron. He was instrumental in helping sell Byron for £100 million in 2013, having designed a people strategy that supported growth while retaining a strong culture and engagement.