Is treating staff fairly good enough? We don’t think so...
Our lives are becoming increasingly intertwined with where we work. Not only by the number of hours we spend at work but also in the way we view culture at workplaces. The Sustainable Restaurant Association’s Food Made Good campaign’s April theme ‘Treat staff fairly’ got us thinking. Is it enough to just treat staff in hospitality fairly and not think beyond?
As a contract caterer to some of the coolest workplaces in London, we think treating staff fairly is a given. We often find ourselves asking how can we add more fun to our own workplace. Since our business is committed to keeping our clients’ workforces happy, we feel it is important that our own staff feel cared for and valued to be able to deliver that level of happiness and delight. Pic: Easter eggs for the team earlier this year!
Over the years, we have put into place a few formal initiatives for all JH staff members. These are in addition to the benefits that are widely offered at work places such as holidays, workplace pension, Bike to Work schemes, product discounts etc.
Birthday off and child’s first day at school off No one really wants to be at work on their birthday and so we give everyone in the company a paid day off on their birthday (the Friday before or Monday after in case it falls on a weekend). For the past few years we have also been offering ‘Child’s first day at school’ day off for employees with children starting school. It is such a special day and for working parents, we feel it is just so special to be able to take the day off without dipping into holiday entitlement.
‘A day in the life’ All JH staff can shadow a colleague in a different department within the company for one day. As a team sometimes it’s hard to know what it is like in the other’s shoes, their limitations or challenges. Yet we all work towards one common goal. This day helps employees to really understand how each of the little pieces of what we do fit into the bigger picture, make friends with the people they collaborate with and try something new and exciting. We wrote about some experiences of our team members here.
Employee assistance program We work in partnership with Hospitality Action. Being able to offer our employees confidential, professional support 24/7 on a wide range of issues is a huge comfort to us, them and their families.
Voluntary day All JH team members can take a paid day to volunteer at a charity of their choice. This not only helps individuals achieve their personal goals, but also helps us a company to understand various charitable causes and lend our help or expertise where we can. Andre, one of our managers recently spent a day helping the students and teachers at Highshore School, which he found highly fulfilling.
Working for JH comes with a whole set of ‘added value’ benefits and this is what differentiates us. Openness and inclusion is at the heart of all we do and this filters into all the things we do together as a team.
Breakfast bar and lunch at work An obvious perk of working for a catering company - our chefs prepare a fresh meal for the teams in the kitchens & office and on site teams eat with their clients. A fully stocked cold breakfast bar caters to any cereal needs!
Wine tastings / themed internal events We work closely with Ellis of Richmond, one of London’s oldest wine merchants to source wines for all our clients. Earlier this year, they hosted a fun wine tasting evening for all our staff. Access to experts like these, enables us to put together meaningful, informative and fun experiences for our team.
Special celebrations Any celebration is done in style - whether it be baby showers (we have had two in the last 6 months) or sendoffs (not that many at all). Our talented chefs make lovely desserts for our clients everyday and really pull out all the stops for their colleagues on such occasions. Tears are optional.
Work experience / stage days We encourage our team members who like to learn new skills by letting them spend time with experts. So chefs can choose to go to different restaurants, patisseries and chocolatiers to learn new skills to bring back into our food.
Implementing all these initiatives is just our way to ensure people feel valued in the company and part of a family. It shows that we care about them as individuals and not just their wellbeing while at work.
They have helped us evolve as a strong team and also helped get into The Caterer’s Best Places to Work in Hospitality - Top 30 for the third year running in 2017 - a testament to our commitment to our team.
A happy workforce is a productive company!