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Foodservice Cateys 2016: HR Award

20 October 2016
Foodservice Cateys 2016: HR Award

Sponsored by Contract Options

Gary Acheson and the HR Team, Rapport

The winners of our HR Award category were praised for their clear vision and focus. Part of a business that provides high-quality front- and back-of-house guest services, Rapport's fully managed offer includes reception, concierge, client meeting room management, switchboard and other call services.

The firm's HR team has grown with the business, part of Compass Group UK & Ireland, since it launched in February 2012. Gary Acheson, who leads the HR department, joined Rapport in 2011, several months prior to launch, and now oversees a team of eight dedicated Rapport staff members focusing on all aspects of the employee experience.

Acheson has also built a team of external specialists, key professionals who bring their own unique service training discipline, to enhance the training and development that Rapport offers. These include an actor who specialises in deportment, stage presence and voice coaching; and a beauty consultant who works with the teams on personal appearance and grooming.

Rapport employs around 370 people and most of its clients are London-based, although there are also members of the team in key UK cities, from Aberdeen to Jersey and from Belfast to London.

But regardless of where they are, Rapport claims to put people at the heart of everything it does. Engagement in the business is high. A recent employee engagement survey stated that 91% of the company's Ambassadors said Rapport was focused on achieving excellent service, while 85% said it embraced diversity, and 87% said they received the training needed to do their job safely and well.

The company launched a dedicated website with the Wow! Awards, so that guests, clients and fellow staff can nominate high-performing staff online quickly and easily. The reception team's business cards are printed with QR codes and a website link, and all nominations are assessed by the Wow! Awards committee. Each month, Rapport hosts an event to present the winners with certificates.

Not only that, but all team members have access to a web-based engagement portal called myRapport, enabling everyone to share company news and ideas. For this, and many other initiatives, the judges of this category saw a clear winner in Gary Acheson and the Rapport HR team.

What the judges said

"I was impressed by their values-driven, inspired team and people-focused chief executive. They go above and beyond to develop talent through initiatives such as a well-targeted, tiered development programme, including a graduation ceremony."

Sally Brand, Purple Cubed

"Rapport's HR team was my winner. Their recent achievements demonstrate great HR practices that are sustainable and innovative."

Alison Gilbert, CH&Co Group

"Rapport met all the criteria and it was very much a team effort that has led to their success."

Mark Pearce, (My) HR Director

Past winners

  • 2015 Emma Langford Lexington Catering
  • 2014 Alison Gray Delaware North Companies
  • 2013 Alison Gilbert CH&Co Group

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