research-report-96-coming-clean-contractual-and-procurement-practices.doc

Airporte and cleana1 the customer service training

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AIRPORTE AND CLEANA1 the customer service training provided by AirportE to all General Assistants consisting of five modules of three hours each. The training programmes seek to embed clear operational guidelines and performance standards, which are perceived as particularly relevant for changing customary practices among TUPE transferred staff. The training aims to help people understand how to cope with change given the many organisational changes at the airport. The Procurement manager of CleanA1 described the challenge when the firm took over the contract from the previous provider. [W]hen people procure these things, they forget even if you are procuring a new company, the staff are transferring so it’s the same people. So really it’s all about that senior level management, operational from a senior level to instil and motivate the staff in different ways and make them feel valued and try and get productivity out of what has been people who have maybe worked there for 10 or 15 years doing the same thing day in, day out. (CleanA1, Procurement manager). HR policies The customer service training was part of a wider approach to improve overall service provision. The airport has defined five brand values, types of behaviour that all staff are expected to adhere to: responsible, cheerful, confident, intelligent and helpful. Each behaviour is defined further; for example, ‘responsible’ means making decisions, working as a team, taking ownership, being consistent, setting high standards, acting with integrity and doing as promised. There was the awareness that those values had to be shared by all employees across the airport, irrespective of their actual employer. [W]hen somebody visits the airport they are not actually worried whether somebody actually works for the airport, they don’t care if somebody works for Service Air or the Border Agency or whatever really, all they see is [AirportE], they aren’t really bothered about the distinction – and why should they be really? (AirportE, HR manager). This awareness has inspired AirportE to introduce a people recognition scheme that is open to all business partners. At the time of interviews, around 30 companies participated and more were expected to join. Staff are invited to nominate a colleague who has demonstrated or gone above and beyond any of the five brand values. Each quarter, winners receive a £250 catalogue voucher, presented by AirportE’s CEO, along with a congratulatory note from AirportE’s Contract manager. There is no particular limit for the number of winners and this will vary but the airport tries to at least have someone directly employed by the Airport and someone from any of the business partners. But there tend to be a handful of winners. According to the Contract managers, the initiative has promoted communication between different companies on site. Moreover, it has coincided with a fall in the number of customer 43
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COMING CLEAN: CONTRACTUAL AND PROCUREMENT PRACTICES complaints. Also, while previous awards tended to recognise relatively basic activities, current nominations are of a much higher standard.
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