Support Staff Award
This Award is designed to recognise, reward and inspire outstanding contributions to the work of the coach industry by individuals or teams of employees in support roles at coach operating companies and other bodies involved in the industry.
Support roles cover the provision of engineering, administrative, accounting, legal and systems support – a frequently overlooked but vital part of the industry’s work. Though not directly in the front line of operations or customer service, such roles are nevertheless vital and the industry could not function without the work done.
The winner(s) of this award will have really added value to their function by their efficiency, cheerfulness or sheer hard work – above and beyond the call of duty, i.e. beyond the actions required of the nominee(s) under their contract(s) of employment.
Winner, Gold Award: Belle Vue Manchester
From making Belle Vue's vehicles shine, to being a shining example to its young and upcoming workforce, Reece Deakins has come a long way since joining the Stockport based company in 2009 as a school leaver. He originally came to assist washing the coaches, and his determination to succeed was soon evident. With the right opportunities provided to him through Belle Vue's apprenticeship programme, Reece has progressed and developed his skills, and now holds the position of Assistant Maintenance Foreman. It has not been an easy ride for Reece, who has Dyslexia, but this has not stopped him from achieving his goal. He is a charismatic member of the team, always helping others and assisting with the learning of the new apprentices. Reece is always the first to volunteer should the company be a man down or if someone is required last minute. He is truly an inspiration.
The judges agreed that Reece has progressed extremely well and is a great inspiration to other young people. Belle Vue is also a good example of what the coach industry is doing to help young people and create the next generation of workers.
Winner, Silver Award: Greys of Ely
Initially taken on by Greys of Ely as a part time Sales Manager three years ago, Clare Petrou wasted no time in weaving her way into the fabric of the business. Clare began to turn sales into customers by developing relationships that would generate repeat business and to seek out new markets. She realised that in order to really serve her customers and the company to the best of her ability, she needed to understand how the coach industry works. Getting to grips with costs, pricing, driver hours, vehicles and legal compliance was the start of her journey. Very soon Clare had a deep understanding of Greys of Ely's working practices, pricing methods, brand position and customer base. She soon began identifying skill gaps and opportunities to streamline, improve and enhance the performance of the operating systems. Within a year, she became the full time General Manager, her fresh approach, and her understanding of historical practices and how to integrate them, are impressing the Directors.
The judges were very impressed with how someone from outside the industry has taken the time to learn how it works before bringing lots of new ideas and significantly added to the quality of the business to the benefit of its customers and owners.
Winner, Bronze Award: Eastons Holidays
Eastons Support Team - Chris Smith, Alastair Douglas & Carl Sturman
The three staff in Eastons Holidays' operations office in Norfolk not only cover the key responsibilities such as tour management, operations support, customer service and finance, but all the many behind the scenes duties that keep the business moving upwards in the right direction. Effective team working is fundamental, as is flexibility to ensure all tasks are routinely covered. The team of Chris, Alastair and Carl work together tirelessly and efficiently to hold everything together and keep Eastons' customers, suppliers, tour partners, staff and drivers happy and running smoothly through any level of adversity. Between them, they open the business, close the business and ensure everything runs as it should in between.
The judges were impressed with the interchangeable skills between the three members of the team. A classic example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.
Finalist: R S Tyrers
At 24 years old, Daniel Almond is the youngest member of RS Tyrers management team. Joining the company straight from university, Daniel has grown in confidence and ability and undertakes a wide range of tasks as Assistant Operations Manager at the company's Chorley base. He has outstanding customer service skills and is very empathic on the telephone, whether it be a complaint, lost property or praise for outstanding work a driver may have carried out. Daniel always follows every task through from start to finish, ensuring everything is done to the highest standard.
Finalist: Skills Holidays
Hayley Hicks and Charlotte Woolley
Charlotte and Hayley run the Laver Holidays travel shop in Derby, one of the brands run by Skills Holidays. Charlotte is the Branch Manager and is in charge of the day to day running of the branch, and Hayley is a Travel Consultant and supports Charlotte in her role. Both members of staff are customer facing, greeting customers and helping them with their request, whether it's helping to choose a holiday or paying off a balance for one already booked. Charlotte and Hayley consistently work hard to maintain their high levels of customer service and build a good rapport with clients who keep coming back to book in person.
Who could be nominated?
This Award was open to all people employed in the provision of support services in coach companies and associated functions, including but not limited to:
• Administrative jobs
• Accounting and payroll functions
• Computer and technological support
• Engineering functions at supervisory, skilled or semi-skilled grades
Nominees should have been employed in the function for a continuous period of not less than twelve months at 30 September 2017.
… and by whom?
We welcomed nominations from all eligible organisations, both of their own employees and of outstanding staff with whom they work in partnership or as stakeholders. Self-nomination is NOT appropriate for this category. In all cases, the person nominated MUST countersign the entry to confirm their agreement to their name being put forward.
Criteria and Entry Requirements
The award is made on the basis of the quality of the submissions made, which needed to set out:
- The length of service or time worked together (teams)
- The nature and extent of the matters for which the nominee or the team is responsible
- The consistency of the achievement by the team or the individual
- The special nature of the contribution made by the team or individual to their employer’s business