Tag Archives: Acuity

Acuity partners with Growing Talent social mobility employment programme

Acuity, Axis Group’s specialist Front of House division, has partnered with Growing Talent – an initiative run by the Jane James Consultancy (JJC) and focused on furthering social mobility through employment – as part of a programme to offer full-time job opportunities to those people who are struggling to find work.

Acuity is offering regular three-month initiatives, with JJC presenting suitable Front of House candidates. A ‘speed dating’-style meeting is then arranged that Acuity uses to create a shortlist, followed by one-to-one meetings with decision-makers at the participating Acuity site. The applicant is then mentored throughout the training process and, if they successfully complete the programme, the permanent role becomes theirs.

The process includes two off-site weeks where soft skills such as personal finance, fitness, nutrition, art, mental health and well-being are addressed in detail.

Chiara Di Renzo, director of Acuity, said: “The Growing Talent initiative provides a unique opportunity for job seekers and employers. There’s a guaranteed permanent job offer at the end of the process that’s based on an assessment of the candidate’s personality and suitability for the role, rather than their CV and experience. In combination with the training process, this lends itself to both parties feeling confident in the employment offer.”

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Mohammed Ismail

The first employee to have gone through the process is Mohammed Ismail, who had been working in multiple jobs to make up the hours and wages he needed, but didn’t feel he had a future in any of these roles.

Originally employed in Acuity’s SELECT team providing high-quality holiday and sickness cover to Acuity’s suite of high-profile clients, Ismail now has a permanent role as the Acuity corporate receptionist at one of the business’ for whom he provided cover.

Di Renzo commented: “Even without specific Front of House experience, Mohammed had a very well-established understanding of customer service and what a five-star welcome is.” For his part, Ismail stated: “It was the best decision I have ever made for my career progression.”

Jane James, managing director of JJC, concluded: “Without insightful employers like Acuity being willing to recruit in a different way, the untapped talent in our unemployed communities would always remain hidden.”

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Acuity provides Front of House services for Antares Underwriting

Acuity, the Axis Group’s Front of House division, is providing professional reception and meeting room management services at the London headquarters of Antares Underwriting, an independent Managing Agent at Lloyd’s.

Antares Underwriting moved its head office to 21 Lime Street last year and now occupies seven floors of the 32,000 sq ft development adjacent to Leadenhall Market. Acuity provides a reception manager, a receptionist and a Business Lounge manager to manage the meeting areas on the top floor business suite.

Antares outsourced its reception duties prior to the move to its new headquarters. Issues with significant levels of absenteeism from its previous team of directly employed receptionists led head of FM Nigel Cole to look for a better alternative.

“Our reliance on agency staff was disruptive, expensive and didn’t provide our internal and external customers with a Best in Class service,” explained Cole. “We wanted a reception team who could truly support our underwriters and help present an extremely professional face to visitors and callers.”

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Cole chose to outsource and invited discussions with some of the larger providers, but formed the impression he would have to fit into step with how they operated. “Then we spoke with Acuity,” explained Cole, “who seemed to be very focused on delivering a professional service that was tailored to our needs, rather than simply giving us what they could provide.”

Greater insight gained

Working with Antares ahead of the move gave Acuity a greater insight into how the reception, meeting rooms and Business Lounge could best be managed. This included creating visitor journeys to ensure that visitors are seamlessly looked after.

“It’s imperative to use the space we have as best as we can,” continued Cole. “Acuity helped us do that with the Business Lounge. Our Business Lounge manager co-ordinates all the meeting room bookings, receives visitors and also sets up and breaks down meeting rooms to ensure that they are ready for any internal or external guests.”

The Acuity team have all been recruited in collaboration with Cole and his team to ensure the right fit with the business. They wear high quality uniforms and are given regular training to provide them with the skills to deliver a world-class reception service.

All cover staff are trained on site to minimise disruption and maintain consistency of the professional service the team provides. Indeed, Cole commented: “Having a reserve of fully-trained substitute staff already familiar with our business, ready to come in for planned and unplanned absences, is an absolutely key benefit to our business.”

Outperforming the ‘traditional’ approach

Neil Ames, director for Acuity, believes that the company’s outsourced service outperforms the ‘traditional’ approach to directly employing reception personnel. “We know that we can save businesses money by reducing the spend on temporary cover but, through our selection process and professional training, we can also ensure that businesses experience all the benefits of having high-end, five-star reception services with the support of our head office team. Antares Underwriting is proving to be the perfect example of this.”

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Cole agrees that the level of professionalism has increased significantly since working with Acuity. “We now have the five-star service that we expect and a team that takes pride in what it does. The handover from night officers to the reception – and vice-versa – is now much easier without the challenge of absenteeism, while the integration between the two teams is very helpful for the smooth operation of the building.”

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Axis Academy partners with Great Ormond Street Hospital to provide First Aid training

The Axis Academy is working with Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) to deliver First Aid training courses for the latter’s its Young People’s Forum (YPF). 

The YPF was established for patients, ex-patients and siblings of patients who have been looked after at GOSH and a number of other hospitals around the UK, including Birmingham Children’s Hospital. It’s designed for 11 to 25 year olds who want to have fun, meet new people and learn new skills, with one of the skills on offer this year being offered via a First Aid/CPR course delivered by The Axis Academy. The first training course took place on Saturday 14 October.

The First Aid session was developed by the dedicated training team at The Axis Academy. The company also delivers a number of accredited First Aid courses through one of the UK’s leading Awarding Organisations, namely Qualsafe Awards, ensuring both the quality and formal recognition of learning. The First Aid courses are just some of the many regulated courses that are now being offered to Axis Group’s clients and any businesses looking to support staff learning and development.

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Duaine Taylor, head of learning and development at The Axis Academy, is extremely pleased to be supporting GOSH and its YPF. “The YPF aims to further the enjoyment and skills of young people connected to GOSH and many other childrens’ hospitals throughout the UK,” asserted Taylor. “We’re very pleased to have been chosen to help with this worthwhile cause. The day was a great success with approximately 80 children from all over the UK in attendance. It was a jam-packed day of presentations and talks. Attendees were split into smaller groups and divided between the sessions. All participants walked away with a certificate in recognition of their new skills.”

The Axis Academy is already helping to develop the careers of Axis Security, Acuity and Axis Cleaning and Support Services employees by delivering an extensive range of courses. In partnering with GOSH, the business is furthering its goal of offering services to clients, third party providers and private individuals.

In addition to First Aid, other courses provided by The Axis Academy are categorised under the fundamentals of Customer Service, Fire Safety, Health and Safety, Security and Supervisor and Management courses. More sector-specific courses are tailored within each of these categories, for example Control and Restraint and Food Hygiene.

The most recent course added to The Axis Academy’s repertoire is a Citizens Aid First Aid course. The half-day course is new to the industry and provides training for scenarios where there are mass casualties and knife injuries. This course has recently been accredited by Qualsafe Awards.

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Axis Security’s Employee of the Year Awards recognise exemplary members of staff

Axis Security, one of the UK’s leading security service providers, recently celebrated the successful achievements and extraordinary efforts of its employees during the company’s Christmas Luncheon held at the Waldorf Hilton Hotel, London.

Four awards were bestowed at the event: Security Employee of the Year, Acuity Employee of the Year, National Team of the Year and London Team of the Year, in addition to new awards honouring both support staff and management.

The Security Employee of the Year Award was won by Emil Hawryluk, who has been with Axis Security since 2009 and contracted at The British Library since 2011. In his current role as security manager, Hawryluk leads a team of 17 and has been praised for ‘exceptionally high standards’ in what is an extremely busy and constantly changing environment. His recent duties have included helping to facilitate visits from the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Chinese Vice-President.

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Emil Hawryluk picks up the Employee of the Year Award from Axis Security account manager Nick Lowe

Acuity, the Axis Group’s Front of House division, presented its Employee of the Year Award to Ellie Self, who works at Earl Place, which is managed by BNP Paribas Real Estate. Self was commended for her assistance in improving the building’s sustainability credentials, the planning, organisation and execution of numerous successful events, training new employees in compliance and, above all, for her outstanding average monthly Service Level Agreement score of 108% (which is the highest average score attained at any Acuity site).

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Ellie Self: Acuity’s Employee of the Year

The security team at Wythenshawe Hospital scooped the National Team of the Year Award, while the London Team of the Year Award was bestowed upon the team at Ark Data Centre’s Cody Park site.

David Mundell, managing director at Axis Security, believes it’s important to recognise staff achievements that go above and beyond the Call of Duty.

“Our winners have all demonstrated a strong work ethic, clear customer service skills and a thorough commitment to all aspects of their job,” stated Mundell. “They represent Axis Security’s values and are a credit to themselves, our customers and our business.”

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Acuity wins Soft FM Services Award at BNP Paribas Supplier Forum

Acuity, the Axis Group’s Front of House services division, has been awarded the 2016 ‘Highest Net Promoter Score of Soft FM Services Providers’ Award at BNP Paribas Real Estate’s inaugural Supplier Forum dinner.

The awards, which took place in the City of London, were held to celebrate and recognise the performance and achievements of BNP Paribas Real Estate’s service partners and was the culmination of its 2016 supplier relationship management (SRM) programme.

The SRM programme requires all service partners – including Acuity – to engage with BNP Paribas Real Estate in a quarterly satisfaction survey, with the results generating a Net Promoter Score for each company.

Acuity currently provides reception management services at ten properties for BNP Paribas Real Estate, and achieved a Net Promoter Score of 100% during 2016.

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Above (Left to Right): Mark Coupe (head of facilities management and senior director, BNP Paribas Real Estate BNPPRE), Arik Benichou (senior account manager, Acuity), Chiara Di Rienzo (operations director, Acuity), Neil Ames (managing director, Acuity) and Rory Underwood, the record-breaking former English Rugby Union player who presented this year’s awards

Accepting the award, Neil Ames (managing director of Acuity), explained that he’s extremely pleased and proud of the company’s achievements. “Acuity is a relatively young company,” stated Ames, “and to achieve a higher Net Promoter Score than our more established competitors, among them companies from other soft services disciplines, is an incredible achievement.”

Chiara Di Rienzo, Acuity’s operations director, views the award as important recognition of the professionalism, energy and enthusiasm of Acuity’s account managers and reception teams. “Everyone at Acuity has contributed towards this success,” said Di Rienzo. “My sincere thanks go to all for their commitment and for being formidable brand ambassadors for both Acuity and BNP Paribas Real Estate.”

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