Tag Archives: Axis Group

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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Axis Group hosts Institute of Customer Service Breakfast Briefing for CEOs

Axis Group hosted an Institute of Customer Service Breakfast Briefing for CEOs during October’s National Customer Service Week, with the event specifically designed to bring UK business leaders together and engage them in the importance of customer service for their organisations.

CEOs attended from sectors ranging from housing and construction through to tourism and the utilities. Themes discussed included how to develop and implement a vision for the UK as a global service leader, how organisations can connect customer service and satisfaction measures to bottom line business performance, what skills and competencies are required in the Boardroom and accountability and reporting.

Challenges faced by the UK’s service industry, such as Brexit, cyber security, Artificial Intelligence, skills shortages and the growing powers of customer review-centric websites were discussed, alongside the growing importance of trust and reputation.

Axis Group joined as a member of The Institute of Customer Service last year and is currently working towards The Institute’s ServiceMark accreditation – the national standard for measuring an organisation’s service levels and commitment to continuous improvement.

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Jo Causon, CEO at The Institute of Customer Service, explained: “A huge Thank You to the Axis Group for hosting our latest CEO Breakfast Briefing event. The debate highlighted the importance of a focus on customer-centricity at Boardroom level and the improvement in business performance this brings. At a time of even greater uncertainty, a sustained approach towards delivering an exceptional customer experience has never been more important.”

Jonathan Levine, Axis Group’s CEO, responded: “The event provided some fascinating insight. We were shown the clear and measurable benefits of investing in customer service in terms of retaining business and customer recommendations, as well as the link between an engaged workforce and excellent customer service. Customer service and focusing on our employees being our greatest asset is key to our business strategy. We must always seek to mitigate the challenges that our industry faces.”

The Institute of Customer Service is the leading independent expert setting and upholding the necessary standards to enable its customers to improve their business performance through service. By supporting members in transforming customer service and professionalism within their organisations, the organisation’s aim is for customer experience to make a positive and sustained impact on individuals, organisations and, indeed, the economic well-being of the UK.

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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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Axis Group sponsors Sage Gateshead

Security solutions specialist Axis Group has become a silver sponsor of Sage Gateshead, a landmark music and entertainment venue exhibiting national, regional and international performances.

Funding from sponsorship helps to support Sage Gateshead’s charitable local initiatives targeted at the region’s most deprived areas. Examples include Music Making for Under Fives, a Talented Young Musician programme and an over-50s Silver Music Class.

The sponsorship package will see Axis Group branding in and around the venue and on its collateral. It will provide access to corporate entertaining space, annual ticket allocation and booking services as well as advanced event information.

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The concourse at Sage Gateshead (Photo by Mark Savage)

Jonathan Levine, Axis Group’s CEO, has stated that, following last year’s successful management buy-out, the Group is now looking for sponsorship opportunities where organisations’ values mirror its own.

“Sage Gateshead has a commendable focus on Corporate Social Responsibility, having made a £300 million contribution to the region in just ten years,” stated Levine. “The sponsorship provides fantastic opportunities for networking, client events and employee benefits.”

Sage Gateshead has been a client of Axis Security since 2011 and, as of 2014, has benefited from a joint security and cleaning contract through Axis Cleaning and Support Services.

Home to the Royal Northern Sinfonia, Sage Gateshead is managed by the North Music Trust and hosts a wide range of entertainment shows, seven days a week, both in the daytime and the evening. It aims to bring about a widespread and long-term enrichment of the musical life of the North East of England.

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Axis Security appoints Chris Wisely to new managing director’s role

Chris Wisely has been promoted from head of operations to the newly-created role of managing director at Axis Security (part of the Axis Group of security, reception management and cleaning and support services companies). Wisely will report to Group CEO Jonathan Levine.

Wisely has worked in the security industry for more than 20 years and joined Axis Security in 2009 as finance director before progressing to the head of operations role in 2012.

In the five years he has been with the business, Wisely has worked with the senior management team in further strengthening the company’s operations, including the launch of its bespoke online portal – Axis e-Connect – giving customers easy access to live reports, documentation and information about their portfolio.

Wisely has also overseen a significant investment in employee training and played a key role in creating specialist teams to manage recruitment, training, compliance, contract mobilisation and Health and Safety.

Chris Wisely: the new managing director at Axis Security

Chris Wisely: the new managing director at Axis Security

Jonathan Levine believes the appointment comes at an exciting time for the business, and reflects how far the company has come in such a comparatively short space of time.

“Axis Security has an enviable reputation in the industry,” said Levine. “With a record Approved Contractor Scheme audit, our track record is one that’s built firmly on quality. We will continue to focus on delivering the finest services to our customers while supporting our employees to be the best they can be in their respective roles.”

As managing director, a key focus for Wisely will be redefining the company’s vision and the business strategy required to deliver that vision. “We want to be viewed as the leading provider of security services in key sectors and geographies, so it’s important that we are known more widely,” urged Wisely.

“We also want to be known as the best employer in the industry and have made great strides in developing a comprehensive training programme for our officers and management staff, in turn allowing us to develop and retain the best people at all levels.”

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