2019

Natalie O’Dalaigh wins People Development Award at FSM Awards

Natalie O’Dalaigh wins People Development Award at FSM Awards 1890 989 admin

We are thrilled and excited that our Training and Engagement Manager, Natalie O’Dalaigh has won the People Development Award at the FSM awards. She has been pivotal to the success of Learning and Engagement in Rapport.

The annual FSM Awards recognise those outstanding individuals who have made a huge contribution to our industry – the exceptional talent of the hospitality world.

Judged by their peers, the winners were announced at a glittering Gala Dinner held at the prestigious Royal Garden Hotel in London. Winning an FSM Award is a truly a great career achievement.

Also shortlisted in the Area Manager category was Richard O’Keefe for his contribution to managing a national contract for a leading professional services company.

Natalie commented

“I am absolutely delighted to have received the People Development Award.  I believe we are very fortunate to have so many dynamic and engaged Ambassadors at Rapport who love to learn and are keen to develop their skills. Each one to one or classroom training workshop that I deliver to our teams, I find myself learning from their ideas, thoughts and experiences. I am very grateful to be part of a company that invests so much in training and development”.

Many congratulations Natalie on this well-deserved recognition for everything you have done to make Rapport the most amazing company to work for and the huge range of training and development opportunities that you have developed.

Rapport launches in Denmark

Rapport launches in Denmark 1400 874 admin

We are excited to launch Rapport in Denmark, with one operation already mobilised and three others in the pipeline.

Rapport has appointed Katrine Kildetoft to lead our operation in Denmark.

Kat has previously worked for Rapport in the UK where she has already gained experience in two of our larger contracts. When she moved back home to Denmark it was always her dream to help bring Rapport to her native Denmark.

“As the first team of Rapport ambassadors in Denmark, we are proud to be part of such a unique company and such a big global team. Even though we are small for now, we’re part of a big global team with colleagues all over the world”

Kat Kildetoft

She has already enjoyed a familiarisation trip to the UK and a member of the key UK team including managing director Greg Mace have spent time in Denmark. This has helped ensure the local team are embracing the Rapport vision and values and can optimise the support from the team based in the UK, including our global training team.

Our first client is a major oil company with a fantastic office in the beautiful city of Copenhagen and part of the initial support has been providing training workshops for the front of house team at this operation.

Good luck to Kat and all the team in Denmark.

Rapport celebrates National Customer Service week

Rapport celebrates National Customer Service week 1500 854 admin

Every year, Rapport is proud to support National Customer Service Week (NCSW) – an annual event organised by The Institute of Customer Service ‘to raise awareness of customer service and the vital role it plays in successful business practice and the growth of the UK economy’.

The dedicated week took place from Monday 7th October, through to Friday 11th and was a great opportunity for us to celebrate our customer service achievements and keep up to date with all the latest advancements. During National Customer Service Week, each day at Rapport we had a customer service-related theme to aid positive discussion and thought leadership.

Tuesday’s theme centred upon Capability & Skills. The Rapport teams learned how to identify and nurture customer service skills in their organisation.

One site held a “DISC” communication and profiling training session at their site.  This tool assesses behaviour based around personality traits.  This exercise educated the team in different communication styles and how to identify different skills and strengths to make a bigger impact to our customer service and operation.

On Wednesday all of the Rapport ambassadors focused on the theme of recognition, their favourite day! It was a fantastic opportunity for our ambassadors to be celebrated as individuals.  In one of our sites every ambassador received a personalised message (and a doughnut!) from their team leader reminding them of why they were brilliant and how much it meant to have them in their team.

At Rapport, it’s our part of our culture to engage our teams with key events throughout the year and this helps us to implement best practice, promote change and innovate.

On Friday, the teams focused on the value of trust and building brand reputation by delivering on promises. It was a great chance for our teams to have fun at work and break down barriers with people working in other departments or parts of the business.

Rapport Wins Front of House Team of the Year 2019

Rapport Wins Front of House Team of the Year 2019 1200 781 admin

The annual Catey awards, organised by the Caterer and Hotelkeeper Magazine, considered the ‘Oscars’ of the hospitality industry, took place on Friday 11th October 2019 at the Park Plaza, London, and celebrates the individuals, teams and businesses shaping our industry.

We are delighted to have won the ‘Front of House Team of the Year’ at the Cateys 2019, showcasing our team at Broadgate in London. As a specialist provider of exceptional guest services, we manage the reception services across this portfolio of 14 iconic buildings in the heart of the City.

The judges highlighted a commitment to outstanding service, excellent communication skills and a relentless desire to provide a service for their tenants and visitors to the estate that goes ‘above and beyond’.

 

“I took great pride in congratulating our amazing front of house team for winning the Catey award for “front of house team of the year”. To say that I was elated would be an understatement. Internally I was beaming brighter than the stars that our team are. It is a huge accomplishment and it was wonderful to see our team who work so tirelessly to constantly to deliver service excellence, recognised.”
Lee McDonald, Property Manager at Broadgate

“Rapport’s ethos is based on providing an exceptional, personalised service. We enjoy a really collaborative partnership with our Broadgate clients, and this support energises and empowers our team to excel.  I am delighted that their many achievements have been recognised”.

Greg Mace, Managing Director of Rapport Guest Services

World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day 2268 999 admin

WMHD is just one day each year but this important initiative is a good reminder that in Rapport we have an opportunity to start a conversation about mental health and break down the stigma that often surrounds it.

Our mental health is just like our physical health: everybody has it and we need to take care of it. Mental health problems affect around one in four people in any given year. They range from common problems, such as depression and anxiety, to rarer problems such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

We are committed to developing our approach to mental health in the workplace, protecting and improving mental health for our people, whilst supporting those who experience distress.

Our Employee Assistance Programme

Our Employee Assistance Programme at Rapport has been created especially for anyone that is struggling and needs to speak to an expert. The level of support is second to none, helping our people cope with what life throws at them. This can support them to get back to playing a full part in their relationships, workplace and community. Our team can access this service through our dedicated Engagement Portal that everyone in Rapport has access to.

Our Head of HR, Natasha Whitehurst explained “Lots of companies have an assistance programme that they offer, however we ensure this service is promoted and tailored to our Ambassadors needs. We encourage all new managers to call the service and familiarise themselves with the support we offer to ensure they are best placed to advise.”

Mental Health Awareness Training

Good mental health at work and good leadership go hand in hand and there is strong evidence that workplaces with high levels of mental wellbeing are more productive.

We have developed a number of Mental Wellness programmes in association with a leading external consultant and are available to everyone from management through to frontline Ambassadors.

We believe that it’s not just about being comfortable enough to talk about the problems, it’s fundamental that our management plays a crucial role in supporting our people that experience distress and/or mental health problems and are equipped to recognise symptoms and have the tools to support in the right way. At Rapport, we support the development of compassionate and effective line management relationships – providing opportunities for managers and supervisors to attend these dedicated courses for mental wellbeing.

Rapport wins major award at HR in Hospitality Awards

Rapport wins major award at HR in Hospitality Awards 1400 906 admin

We were absolutely delighted to win the award for Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion at last night’s HR in Hospitality Awards ceremony hosted in the spectacular ballroom at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

As the award winner’s details were read out by the presenter and our table awaited the final words “and the winner is…” the nerves on our table were visible to see.

Rapport’s submission focussed on the updated engagement platform MyRapport and the work the teams have done with the LGBT+ community and demonstrating how dedicated they are to co-disrupting the working world.

Taking to the stage to collect the award on behalf of Rapport was Head of HR, Natasha Whitehurst who commented:

“We pride ourselves on the fact Rapport is a very inclusive company and we value everyone’s input. We are incredibly proud to have won this award and we believe that this success is testament to the hard work, passion and dedication that our Ambassadors give to their roles and Rapport daily. We have so many different initiatives there really is something for everyone in Rapport. Our LGBT+ network goes from strength to strength and this year we were delighted to be able to take part in the London Pride march for the first time.”

Supporting local charities – Rapport team at Refinitiv

Supporting local charities – Rapport team at Refinitiv 1200 750 admin

“Behold, I do not give lectures or a little charity, when I give, I give myself”
– Walt Whitman

The Rapport Team at Refinitiv just did that.

Realising that money is not necessarily needed to help and support good causes, the team explored volunteering opportunities in and around London. Once they had shortlisted five activities in the capital they could take part in, the team then voted for two that were close to their hearts: to help the elderly in the city by donating unwanted clothes and goods to AgeUK and to revitalise and clean waterways together with Canal & River Trust, as a part of environmental initiatives around Canary Wharf, where the team are based.

One would think that organising a clothes collection is not a big deal, but if you want to involve a considerable number of people including clients, there is a lot of planning to do. Firstly, the team designed posters, then sought approvals from the client to display these at the receptions in both head office buildings. Part of the project was also to establish a close relationship with Refinitiv’s Social Committee, who supported our initiatives and informed employees about the activity internally. The kick off was organised to coincide with the start of National Customer Service Week and the team managed to collect 8 industrial bin bags of clothes, shoes and other items. The donations were stored in the staff room, until being collected by AgeUK at the end of the week.

The second challenge was to look at how we can help our environment. Although Canary Wharf is a managed development, it does not include the waterways which are maintained by the Canal & River Trust with very limited resources.

What a good opportunity this was to give something back and help with cleaning the canals and waterways. Rapport offers every team member one day a year to volunteer in charity initiatives and soon enough a team of eager volunteers had formed to support the clean-up day.

Our manager Jarkko explains:

“The waterways cleaning took place on the 25th September and the participants lined up in wellies, waterproof jackets and warm clothes to tackle the dripping rain. Once everyone was ready, we first had a 15 minutes’ walk as a warm-up exercise and headed to the south part of the Wharf, where we met the organisers and other volunteers. After a short Health & Safety briefing and obtaining gloves, litter-pickers and buckets, we were taken to the docks where, much to our surprise, we jumped in motorboats and started our journey on the waterways. After a day of fun, hard physical work and some rain, the team proudly inspected all the litter they had picked, over 10 black bin bags of rubbish, which was then processed and taken away.”

Many thanks to all our team at Refinitiv for these excellent initiatives.

Rapport hosts Annual Innovation Expo 2019

Rapport hosts Annual Innovation Expo 2019 1200 858 admin

“Follow the pink trail! Follow the pink trail!”
exclaimed the front of house staff at the bank in Canary Wharf that was hosting our event.

This was not an alternative version of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ taking place on a beautiful autumnal evening but the start of a journey into another kind of wonderment. Traditionally in a bank at 5pm, cashiers would be tallying up their notes and coins and opening the vaults to secure the bank’s prized assets, but tonight the impressive building was revealing a different kind of treasure trove. It was the Rapport Innovation Expo 2019 and the Rapport representatives, resplendent in pink, provided a luminous route to the delights ahead.

Guests were eager to enter the high-tech lifts to discover what was waiting for them on the 13th floor and were given a warm and enthusiastic welcome by the radiant Rapport Ambassadors once the lift doors opened. Before their eyes lay a miscellany of creativity, delicacies, costumes, magicians and technology. But where should they begin their journey with so many of the displays demanding their attention?

A safe, soft and cushioned beginning was offered by Adriana’s marshmallow stand, highlighting the enormous creative depth across the whole room with a colourful and varied display of mouth-watering creatures and characters. Maybe we were off to see the Wizard of Oz after all? If it was an adventure you wanted then Antonia from the Broadgate team could offer you an incredible illustrated adventure book to flick through, tracing how things had evolved in that famous vast development near Liverpool Street station over the past few years.

Attendees were also invited to exercise their physical and mental agility in a variety of games and challenges set by the Rapport teams, based on the historical contexts of their locations. Nestled next to a replica Wells Fargo stagecoach was the team’s fiendishly difficult cultural quiz. If you knew where in the world it was impolite to show the soles of one’s feet or just how firm a handshake should be in the Far East, then this was the place for you. If you loved a board game then you could drop by the Accenture team who had prepared a challenge of adventures and escapades based on the Marvel universe, accompanied by bespoke personal game cards drawn and designed by team member Marius. Everyone from The Black Panther to the Hulk was present. ‘Outdoor’ sport was offered with a golfing challenge set by another team and many people released their inner ‘Tiger’ on the putting green.

As the sun set over a stunning London skyline and the distant Olympic park in the East, everyone was enticed by the aromas drifting across from the end of the room. From Indian specialities to Mexican Burritos or Japanese Sushi there was something for every taste bud. All washed down with fine wines or craft ales served with style and a smile by ‘Restaurant Associates’. Those wishing to ‘offset’ their guilty indulgences could take in an ‘Earth bowl’ with either a vegetable or salmon variety on offer. Pure nutritional goodness has never slipped down so easily and as all appetites were being satiated, a steady bass sound was increasing from the corner of the floor. John the DJ was warming up. It was 7pm and fashion show time!

The white floor was illuminated, the audience full of anticipation. Never before had this collection of individuals stepped on to a catwalk, let alone one surrounded by such a large and adoring audience. The DJ increased the tempo, the lights flashed, and a sea of smartphones were held aloft as the models positively burst on to the stage. They marched, strutted and glided as if nothing was going to stand in their way and were all adorned by some stunning designs. Putting on your office uniform had never been such fun. The applause and cheers were persistent as the models continued to give it their all and reveal the outfits of the five designers chosen for the event. Some of the audience couldn’t contain themselves, and yelled “Tomasso, Tomasso, let down your hair!” Tomasso duly obliged much to the delight of his admirers. The fervour was captured by the irrepressible Ines Weifenbach who, on completing her performance, insisted on a high-five as she disappeared backstage. There was huge pride and pleasure on the face of Rapport Managing Director Greg Mace.  Will he be tempted to brave the catwalk next year?  Hayley and Ruta, the fashion show organisers can be very persuasive!

As the frisson of excitement and energy came to its inevitable end and the Park Lane Champagne corks managed to contain themselves from popping amidst all the glamour, guests could cool down with a refreshing dessert or a Jude’s ice cream tub and take in some more of the attractions. Oliver B the magician worked the room effortlessly with his tricks, leaving people dazed and confused and if it all became too much there was ‘Optimal spine’ on hand to alleviate possible aches and pains caused by the evening’s exertions.

After a spectacular night the various spinning wheels of fortune gradually came to a halt across the stands and final raffle tickets were sold for ‘Action on Hearing Loss’, it was now time to say farewell to Rapport Innovation Expo 2019.

For any stragglers the girls from another city firm were literally riding some Rugby World Cup mascots and were ‘coming for to carry you home’ if the journey back from Canary Wharf was too daunting.

So, with many memories to savour on a night full of smiles and budding fashionistas, the bar is set suitably high for #RIE2020.

Rapport shortlisted for three major awards at the HR in Hospitality Awards for Excellence 2019

Rapport shortlisted for three major awards at the HR in Hospitality Awards for Excellence 2019 1481 939 admin

We are excited to have been shortlisted for three major awards at the HR in Hospitality awards.

The Association provides a forum for Human Resources professionals & other interested parties within the hospitality industry to come together network and share best practice.

This association facilitates members’ professional development through the provision of a programme of speakers & discussions and assists members newly appointed to the HR function.

Firstly, our L&D Team are up for the Excellence in Learning and Development Award. The award was focussed on building capability within the organisation and wanted to know in detail about a learning and development initiative within the last 12 to 24 months and to demonstrate how this had been embedded within the business.

The team will face stiff competition from other shortlisted companies including the Mandarin Oriental, The Dorchester Collection and The Grand Hotel Brighton.

Also shortlisted for Outstanding Leader of the Year is Monika Skrynska, our amazing Guest Services manager at Regent Street Management Direct, where she oversees a portfolio of a dozen high profile buildings. This is a truly special award to be nominated for; the shortlisted manager must embody excellent people management skills and be supported by their manager. Equally they need to celebrate their team’s successes widely and be a manager their people trust and will go that extra mile for. They can demonstrate their effectiveness through tangible results such as staff surveys, retention or other business measures.

Monika is shortlisted alongside senior managers from Park Plaza Hotels, Red Carnation Hotels, The Dorchester Hotel, and Park Plaza Hotels.

Finally, we have been recognised in the Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion category for the way we engage all our teams including our brilliant LGBT+ initiatives, focus on accessibility to enable a diverse workforce and demonstrating the education we have provided to our clients in this area. To win this award the judges are looking for evidence that an organisation is committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce and has taken measures to put some great processes in place to encourage this.

Huge congratulations to everyone and good luck at the ceremony to be hosted at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel later in September.

Rapport shortlisted for major HR Award at Caterer.com People Awards

Rapport shortlisted for major HR Award at Caterer.com People Awards 1600 1200 admin

We are excited to announce that Rapport has been shortlisted for the Rewards, Recognition and Benefits Award at this year’s Caterer.com People Awards, showcasing our amazing Wow! Awards recognition programme.

In the current difficult market and climate reward, recognition and benefits have to be a priority for any business wanting to recruit and retain the very best talent. As we continue to grow, we have to ensure we are innovating in these areas to positively impact and support the diverse workforce we require.

Any business within the hospitality industry can enter these awards across the 18 categories, which applauds and rewards the bravest and best talent initiatives in the UK hospitality industry.

This is the first year we have entered these awards so to have been shortlisted is incredibly exciting and the team look forward to the awards ceremony in October.

Our people team are immensely proud to be recognised by such brilliant awards and Natalie O’Dalaigh from our Learning & Development team said “We are honored to be shortlisted in this category, our focus is always recognising our Rapport Ambassadors and to be shortlisted against such well-known establishments is an achievement in itself.”

Rapport’s shortlisted category is sponsored by the Institute of Hospitality and sees Rapport in stellar company alongside industry heavyweights; The Dorchester Collection, and Soho House and Company.