Events

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.

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.”

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.

Rapport was proud to take part in the Annual Pride March in London this year

Rapport was proud to take part in the Annual Pride March in London this year 1400 814 admin

We were really excited to secure a space to be part of the annual Pride March in London this year with a group of over 25 of our Rapport Ambassadors enthusiastically marching alongside many other supportive companies.

At Rapport, we’re committed to creating an inclusive workplace where everyone can be themselves, including our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) ambassadors.

Supporting LGBTQ+ inclusion isn’t just the right thing to do. An inclusive workplace enables us to embrace the diverse backgrounds and perspectives of all our people to create better teams and outcomes for our diverse range of clients.

This year’s Pride in London parade was the biggest and most diverse yet, with over 30,000 people from all parts of the LGBTQ+ community marching through the capital to celebrate, protest and stand up for equality.

600 groups – a 25 per cent increase on last year – walked the route from Portland Place down to Whitehall, via Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square. The theme for this year’s Parade was the Pride Jubilee, marking 50 years since the Stonewall Uprising: the moment which sparked the modern Pride movement. Parade groups honoured 50 years of activism, protests and victories that have made Pride what it is today.

Holding our specially designed Rapport banner and T-shirts with a new Rapport logo specially commissioned to support Pride, our team had a brilliant day. Cedric Tomas, one of the Rapport organising committee commented “I could not be prouder to see our Rapport ambassadors taking part in such an amazing event and seeing everyone inspired to be themselves, standing up for their rights, as well as having great fun”

Head of HR for Rapport, Natasha Whitehurst added “We’re working hard to increase the engagement and participation of our LGBTQ+ people, by building and enhancing a culture where everyone feels included”

We look forward to even more of our Rapport Ambassadors joining us for the 2020 march next year!

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Rapport celebrates International Receptionists’ Day on 8th May 2019

Rapport celebrates International Receptionists’ Day on 8th May 2019

Rapport celebrates International Receptionists’ Day on 8th May 2019 2000 741 admin

Rapport celebrates International Receptionists’ Day on 8th May 2019

Once again, we were proud to lead the way in sponsoring International Receptionists’ Day (IRD) this May.

Bigger and better than ever and supported by a growing number of organisations from leading hotels as well as corporate businesses, Receptionists’ Day was first launched in 1991 in the US to celebrate the role of professional receptionists.

The purpose of International Receptionists’ Day is to:

  • Recognise the importance of the receptionist’s role. Usually the first person a guest or client meets when they visit a company or hotel – the receptionist creates that all important first impression and is integral to the guest experience.
  • Promote pride and professionalism amongst receptionists for the essential role they hold within an organisation.
  • Give receptionists an opportunity to share stories and link up with other colleagues. Each year the initiative grows and is celebrated by companies across the globe.

Various competitions were hosted that everyone could take part in. These included ‘The Art of Being a Receptionist’ where the challenge was to create a picture bringing to life all the aspects of the role of a Receptionist, a short story about ‘My most memorable day on reception’, a Reception Rhyme and finally a snap to sum up ‘what IRD means to you’.

Winners were awarded fantastic prizes from a champagne afternoon tea, to a luxury hamper and all winners are listed on the IRD website at www.internationalreceptionistsday.com

At Rapport, all the Directors and head office managers embraced going ‘back to the front’, working as receptionists for the day alongside reception teams across the UK and Ireland, Denmark, USA and Hong Kong.

Greg Mace, Managing Director of Rapport said: “International Receptionists’ Day is the perfect way to celebrate the work of dedicated receptionists all over the world and we’re delighted to be leading the way. Supporting this initiative is an opportunity for us to celebrate the great work receptionists do and to raise their profile within our operations. We hope that every single receptionist who takes part will feel proud – they are truly exceptional people.”

International Receptionists’ Day (IRD
Celebrating our professional telephonists on National Telephonists’ Day

Celebrating our professional telephonists on National Telephonists’ Day

Celebrating our professional telephonists on National Telephonists’ Day 1854 1022 admin

Every March we recognise and raise the profile of professional telephone operators all over the UK and shine a bright light on the fantastic and vital work they do.

This is the sixth year celebrating National Telephonists’ Day and the event marks the anniversary of the first ever telephone call made by Alexander Graham Bell on 10th March 1876.

As in previous years, we have teamed up with ComXo, the switchboard specialists, to inspire organisations to engage their employees and colleagues.

We are delighted by the momentum this event has gained since we launched it in 2013 and this year has been the best yet, with the level of involvement, enthusiasm and commitment from all the teams, bringing the day to life and coming up with innovative activities.

Back to the floor for the day

Once again, our Head Office Management team all headed back to work ‘on the floor’ for the day at some of our prestigious client offices in London, Camberley, Reigate and Leeds. They all spent the day experiencing first-hand what a day in the life of a professional operator looks like, and trying to get to grips with the skills needed.

Lots of different activities and free giveaways

This year, each team came up with their own initiatives and events, which their colleagues participated in with great enthusiasm. These ranged from telephone themed quizzes, bingo and crosswords, to the teams sharing welcome breakfasts and lunches.

The Head office team gave each of our telephonists an ecofriendly, Rapport branded reusable travel cup, and treated teams to a portable neck, back and shoulder massager.

Competitions

The ‘Future of Telephone Communications?’ was a very popular competition, enabling individuals and teams to demonstrate their innovative spirit with some very imaginative entries. The overall prize of afternoon tea went to Diana Rosu and Tommaso Porro at Omnicom.

A Bake Off to create telephone themed cakes showcased amazing levels of skill and creativity. Zsofia Janovics at Société Générale won first place, and a luxury chocolate hamper.

More details about National Telephonists’ Day is can be found on the dedicated website www.nationaltelephonistsday.com.

Celebrating our professional telephonists on National Telephonists’ Day
New Corporate Receptionist of the Year Award Announced

New Corporate Receptionist of the Year Award Announced

New Corporate Receptionist of the Year Award Announced 1364 607 admin

Wow! What a fantastic evening it was. Bigger, better and buzzier than ever before. It all kicked off with a high impact, sixty second film embodying ‘The Spirit of Rapport’. This set the high-octane pace for the next two hours and we were transported into another world, full of positivity and enthusiasm.

As the driving force behind this award he explains that, “this award will enable us to shine a light on the brilliant receptionists working in the corporate front of house sector and showcase the exciting and rewarding career opportunities available.”

The competition is open to any receptionist working in a corporate organisation either directly or through a third-party service provider. The judging team are drawn from leading front of house outsourcing companies in the marketplace and a number of organisations where the service is in house, as well as representatives from the Award’s partner sponsors.

Shortlisted finalists are invited for interviews and role plays during April and the overall winner announced at a special event on Wednesday 8th May 2019 to coincide with International Receptionists’ Day.

Ian Pigeon, Head of Client Services at law firm Addleshaw Goddard LLP, commented “I am very happy to support and judge this award as I feel it is a long overdue way to provide recognition both externally in the customer service market place and also within the corporate environments that the nominees work.”

In addition to being crowned ‘Corporate Receptionist of the Year’, the winner will be given an all-expenses paid opportunity to cross-train at up to three leading corporate offices of their choice in New York or London.

They will also receive the opportunity to attend a two-day Leadership Development Programme, dinner at a Michelin starred restaurant and other prizes donated by the award’s partner sponsors.

New Corporate Receptionist of the Year Award Announced