Tag Archives: Front of House

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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Barry Dawson joins Wilson James to head up expanded Southern Region

Security solutions provider Wilson James has amalgamated its City of London and Southern business regions to create a £65 million operational ‘powerhouse’ spearheading a targeted expansion of its specialist security services.

The move signals the company’s increasing focus on offering clients a high level range of technology, cyber and intelligence-led security solutions to complement its industry-leading security guarding offer.

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Barry Dawson

The new Southern Region will be led by Barry Dawson, who joins the business with 30 years’ experience in the security industry encompassing Board level roles at VSG and Advance Security. Dawson is joined by risk management expert Gavin Wilson, tech expert Don McCann and Marc Bannister, working with Crawford Boyce to create and deliver ‘strategic journeys’ for each client in the region.

“The strategic journey is a tailored approach that allows us to offer clients a range of services including not just excellent security guarding, but also Front of House, counter-terrorism, intelligence reporting, global travel risk and social media monitoring,” commented Dawson.

Reporting directly to Dawson are Allison Fraser, Mark Jones and Shai Zach who become strategic account directors, all of them pivotal within the region to ensure Wilson James continues to lead the security sector and deliver service excellence.

Managing director Gemma Quirke observed: “This hugely experienced team means we can offer even better bespoke services to all our clients in this region. It’s an approach that will power the expansion of our security services across all of our operations.”

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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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Showsec cements “strong working relationship” with ‘The Bloodstock Family’

Crowd management and event security specialist Showsec has been praised for the customer-focused approach which has contributed to the success of Bloodstock, one of the UK’s largest dedicated heavy metal festivals which is staged each summer in the Derbyshire countryside.

Founded and organised by the Gregory family, Bloodstock Open Air attracts almost 15,000 heavy metal fans to the grounds of Catton Hall where this year’s line-up featured headline acts Twisted Sister, Mastodon and Slayer over the three days of the event.

The festival is enjoyed as much by Showsec’s team as it is by the audience, such is the atmosphere which has been generated by the biggest independent event of its kind.

“Bloodstock is like a big family gathering each year, and Showsec has certainly added to that great sense of togetherness,” said Adam Gregory, one of the festival’s directors. “Front-of-House contact can define your event because it transmits the feel and the atmosphere. Showsec works well with what we’re trying to achieve in terms of the customer experience, and that helps to enhance a real family vibe right across the whole event. We can engage with Showsec at all management levels. We’re listened to and they deliver.”

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Joe Milner of Showsec (second from right) pictured at Bloodstock with festival directors Vicky Greenfield, Adam Gregory and Rachael Greenfield

Bloodstock is now well established on the heavy metal scene, and Showsec has been instrumental in developing its special atmosphere for the past seven years. Fellow Bloodstock director Rachael Greenfield added: “The relationship has grown much stronger in the time that we’ve engaged Showsec’s services for the festival. They understand our family brilliantly, and the familiar faces which we see within the team makes a big difference in terms of building trust with all parties. The fans feel like they’re coming to see their friends once a year, and I know that many would include members of the Showsec staff among them.”

That was clearly evident from the numerous messages posted on social media after Bloodstock had once again lived up to expectations. “Just nothing but praise for the Bloodstock security,” wrote Stewart Lucas on the festival’s Facebook page. “There are no power trips or egos. They just do their jobs with utter professionalism and total respect for us paying punters.”

Alex Fynney stated: “The best security ever. Good seeing familiar faces each year.” Jo Dark added: “Great work. They are so friendly.”

Many of the Showsec staff on duty at Catton Park have worked there on a number of occasions, some of them regularly travelling across from Wales. “We all look forward to Bloodstock each year,” said Joe Milner, Showsec’s area manager for the East Midlands. “It isn’t just a festival. It’s a community of people who enjoy listening to their favourite music and the other attractions of this event. We’ve all worked together for some time now, and the strength of that relationship is reflected in the festival experience we deliver for the thousands of metal fans who are so loyal to the event and look forward to their time at Catton Park each year.”

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Smarter protection on Savile Row thanks to Trigion Security Services

Trigion Security Services has signed a tailor-made contract with a prestigious London managing agent to provide security at its properties in Savile Row, Berkley Street and Duke of York Street in London.

The contract for the tenanted office buildings will include security officers providing Front of House/concierge services. Trigion offers ‘Hostmanship’ training to all of its officers such that they have high levels of competence and confidence in offering customer care.

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Trigion’s popular ‘People Plus’ option means that clients receive manned and electronic solutions from a single supplier. The business provides technical security remotely from its Security Operations Centre so that there’s always protection in place.

Neil Barham, operations director for security guarding at Trigion, told Risk UK: “The work we’ve done on our existing contract for the client’s Park Lane property has shown our ability to provide quality security services to their clients. They can also see that we provide quality team members thanks to our investment in training and development and the fact that we’re London Living Wage employers.”

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