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of surveyed staff supporting that view. Proof that they are proud of their workplace is under- lined by the fact one 20% of the team have been recruited through referrals from exist- ing employees. But no wonder employees are happy to work here. Among the initiatives rolled out, profes- sionals were brought in to give back and shoul- der massages. Due to its popularity, this was extended to include an informative session on how to combat stress and test body composi- tion, which was also a huge hit. “It’s things like this that set us apart from other hotels and makes us a truly nice place to work,” explains HR manager Bushra Masood. When it comes to training, staff provide feed- back on which courses they are interested in and the HR team “make it happen”. This strat- egy has resulted in a number of internal pro- motions over the past 12 months and 82% of staff surveyed acknowledging everything is in place to do their job well.


REDEFINE BDL HOTELS In a nutshell An independent hotel management company working with

47 hotels under brands such as Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Best Western and Marriott International Location Two UK offices in Glasgow and London and one in Frankfurt Employees 119 Average staff turnover 28% Annual sales turnover £14m Redefine is on track to realise its goal of expanding into Europe with the recent open- ing of an office in Frankfurt, Germany. But that would not have been possible if it hadn’t built up such a strong UK team. About 2,000 hotel workers are managed by the company on behalf of its clients so it needs a strong internal communications strategy to ensure staff are kept informed and involved. Collaboration across HR, IT and marketing has also resulted in provision of a forum for networking and to share best practice. On a more pastoral level, Redefine believes the health and wellbeing of employees is para- mount. To that end it directs energy into its Tree of Life programme, which aims to create a hap-

The Rapport team

pier, healthier workforce and better working environments. Indeed more than 90% of Rede- fine’s employees surveyed say they are happy all or most of the time, with one adding: “The company has integrity, which means a lot.” The programme has four areas – Nutrition,

Active Body, Social and Mindfulness – and each month, there is a focus on one area, such as mental health awareness or simply mak- ing healthier lunch choices. One of the more recent key initiatives was to encourage manag- ers to take part in the company’s Steps Chal- lenge by giving staff Fitbit step counters. This proved popular, with the pilot scheme attract- ing 64% uptake. “The aim is to help all of our employees champion health and wellbeing within the workplace and that process starts with making a difference in their own lives,” explains chief HR officer Susan Bland.


RAPPORT In a nutshell Part of Compass Group, it provides managed, high-quality front

and back of house guest services, including reception, concierge and client meeting rooms Location Clients are large and small companies across the UK Employees 375 Average staff turnover 21% (excludes implications of new contract gains) Annual sales turnover figures Undisclosed

In this competitive age, nothing makes your staff more likely to perform well than the opportunity to progress. At Rapport, employ- ees indicate that access to personal devel- opment is notably above the average, with 83.51% of survey participants showing appre- ciation against a 74.38% benchmark. But the company isn’t just looking at targets.

It wants staff to be happy and comfortable. So in 2016 it recruited a dedicated business coach to work with senior leaders, including those aspiring to move into a leadership role. Feedback from employees who have worked with the coach shows that they are benefiting on a personal level. For example, an opera- tional manager who had previously been wor- ried about presenting at meetings due to a lack

of personal confidence recently commented to a colleague: “Oh don’t worry about me; I’m not nervous. Thanks to my coaching sessions, I am totally ready for this one.” No wonder more than half of employees claim they are happy at work “all the time”.


BENNETT HAY In a nutshell Independently owned company that delivers support

services such as telephony, concierge, catering, events, and housekeeping to blue-chip firms Location Head office in Hammersmith, London Number of Employees 130 Average staff turnover 5% Annual sales turnover £7m

A personalised career path is guaranteed to every team member at Bennett Hay. Employees can also expect to benefit from its Transforma- tion Academy, designed to nurture individual strengths. Staff learn the importance of under- standing themselves, colleagues and guests as well as how to multi-skill to deliver seamless service. It clearly pays off, with 92% claiming they work in a good environment. Bennett Hay helps its staff to find more per- sonal fulfilment, too. It has teamed up with Benefacto, the social enterprise that engages professional people in volunteering across London. Team members can take two days a year out of work to volunteer with a charity. At the other end of the scale is the compa-

ny’s equity ownership scheme. Sharehold- ers can be in any role; to be eligible for the scheme, they simply need to be delivering excellent service and scoring a five in their per- formance review linked to company values. According to one impressed insider, this, in turn, empowers people and boosts productiv- ity because “everyone at the Bennett Hay fam- ily feels part of a bigger cause”.


BUZZWORKS HOLDINGS In a nutshell A family-run portfolio of bars and restaurants

Locations Eight sites across Ayrshire Employees 450 Average staff turnover 30% Annual sales turnover £12.8m

The Blair family launched Buzzworks in 2003 when they opened their first bar-restaurant in Prestwick. More venues have subsequently opened in Ayrshire towns such as Troon, Kil- marnock, Largs and Stewarton, notching up several awards along the way– not least a list- ing in The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For in the UK for the past two years. As one of the biggest hospitality employ-

ers in Scotland, Buzzworks recognised that to attract and retain talent it had to work hard to improve the work-life balance of staff. So, hav- ing consulted their teams, it decided to make a significant financial investment in changing how it operates and in creating real benefits. Initiatives have included changing the work- ing patterns of managers through reducing hours or changing shift patterns. A ‘lifestyle 28 April 2017 | The Caterer | 47

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