At ServiceMaster Thames Valley HQ, we’re always working with new business aims and targets for the year ahead, for promotions and clients, as well as our more personal targets, including our internal slimming club, and personal progression. As the days are getting longer again, we feel more energetic, and have another year of opportunities ahead of us. A whole summer of holidays, sport, bank holidays, barbeques and festivals reward us for our hard work throughout the year, and act as incentives for those days when life just feels too much. At ServiceMaster Clean, we appreciate the value of maintaining a healthy work/life balance and enjoy our time at work as much as our treasured weekends and holidays. We are lucky to have a great support network of staff across our region, so it’s impossible to feel overwhelmed or burdened for long before someone asks if they can help. It’s this personal relationship that makes the difference between a job for money, and a career for enjoyment. We always strive to make the working environment enjoyable for everyone around us, which is reflected in the way our colleagues start and finish work with a spring in their step.
We have fond memories of the Olympics and Paralympics in London two years ago. For a summer, our public transport ran more efficiently than ever, Union Jacks were flying proudly everywhere you looked, and people were talking about unheard of sports-Slalom, anyone? The opening and closing ceremonies were broadcast on the BBC to record-breaking audience figures, and the crowds died down for a recess before the Paralympics two weeks later. Channel 4 won the rights to broadcast the Paralympics and launched one of the biggest advertising and social media campaigns in history; ‘Meet the superhumans’ an homage to the stars of the show including Ellie Simmonds, Sarah Storey, and David Weir among others, telling the stories of how they got to the games and demonstrating their strengths.
Because of the strong advertising campaign and the momentum it built, the Paralympic coverage was the highest rated show on Channel 4 in 2012. Previous to this, in Beijing and before, the Paralympics were just a blip on the radar of broadcasters and audiences. As well as becoming the most successful Paralympics in history by viewership, the success of the 2012 games has spawned TV shows including The Last Leg featuring comedians with varying disabilities debating weekly topics, and turned some of the paralympians into household names. The Olympic legacy lives on, as we are now facing the Sochi Paralympic winter games, hoping for the first winter Paralympic gold for team GB. Despite controversy surrounding the venue choice, the games will be shown by Channel 4 again, continuing our appreciation of the underdog. The ‘superhuman’ strength and abilities of our sports personalities demonstrates the ability to achieve against all odds, and inspired a nation to try something new, giving us the attitude ‘If they can do it…so can we’ Long may the legacy continue, reminding us that anything is possible if we try hard enough.
As the nights get shorter and we come closer to the clocks changing, the first half-term approaches, along with the daunting task of entertaining children for a week. For most parents, this means taking a week off work, paying out for expensive childcare, relying on family or friends to help out, or if they’re old enough; letting them fend for themselves. This usually involves getting home from a hard day at work, with the kitchen messier than you left it in the morning and children nowhere to be seen, or still where you left them 9 hours ago.
The generations-old dilemma of entertaining young children, often on a budget, has parents worried that the traditional arts & crafts, cooking, and physical activities that they once enjoyed are fading, alongside the attention span of their children. As Mary Poppins famously said: ‘In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun’ which can be applied to employment and housework. By getting younger children involved in messy tasks like painting, sticking and muddy garden work, encouraging them to tidy it away afterwards teaches good habits in clearing up after themselves, keeping a tidy work area, and finding fun in tasks that may seem mundane. We can all learn from our inner child and keep our surroundings tidy, and look for enjoyment in boring tasks.
Since our inception in 1991, we have endeavoured to hold fundraising events for worthwhile causes including Macmillan cancer support, Children in Need, CRY, Movember, staff members, and national campaigns. As well as continuing our support for these deserving charities, we are looking to extend our reach to the local area, and build relationships with groups across the regions we cover. To kick off our new year of giving, we are scrubbing the non-slip floor of the Diamond Tadley Scout Hut, which is home to the local scouting groups, as well as WI meetings, and dance classes. The building was opened with great anticipation in February 2012, and has since been in constant use. As the site received more and more footfall during the year, Tadley Scout Group chairman Brian Spray decided that it was time to get the venue back to its best. After contacting ServiceMaster Clean Newbury, it was agreed that the floor would be cleaned and buffed in January.
“When Chairman Brian Spray contacted ServiceMaster Clean of Newbury for a quotation, we had already begun discussing our involvement in the local community, and were considering ways in which we could help groups in 2014. The timing was perfect, and we waived the fees involved in the clean, as we thought it would be a great start to the year for our own community efforts, and for the scout groups, who would benefit from the clean.” Says ServiceMaster Clean Newbury MD, Nick Dee Shapland.
The clean went to plan from the start, and left chairman Brian Spray delighted with the work undertaken: “We had been considering getting the floor cleaned before the building was finished, as we have about 200 people using the hut in a typical week. We found ServiceMaster Clean in the Newbury Weekly News for the customer service award win, and we’ve had no problems. The service has been great and the results are very noticeable. I’m looking forward to seeing the team for next year’s floor clean”.
As the news has been telling us, we have experienced some of the worst flooding in years, due to heavy rainfall over the festive period. With a matter of days between outbursts, there has been little chance for the country’s drainage systems to keep up with the extra pressure, resulting in inaccessible roads, irreparable damage to homes and property, and destroyed flood defences. So far, cost of the damage is still rising as people do their best to maintain a sense of normality, although across most of the UK, the weather seems to be calming. Once the dirty flood water has receded, homes across the UK are left with dirty, sewage-ridden carpets and furniture, often with sentimental value. The aftermath of the flooding tends to get overlooked, and people can feel overwhelmed with the amount of destruction around them. A good home & contents insurance policy should cover the restoration or replacement of damaged items, but if you discover your policy isn’t up to scratch, our disaster restoration team are highly skilled and sensitive to dealing with flood damaged properties.
2013 had a lot to live up to. We had high expectations for the year after the London Olympics and the Jubilee, so we had to make it pretty special. So far this year, the future king George has arrived to cheering crowds and baby bunting, some of the best-loved American TV shows have given fans controversial endings, and among all that, ServiceMaster Clean has come out on top.
While all the world’s eyes were on the big events, we were quietly getting on with things at HQ, developing our staff with more training and qualifications than ever, and taking on more staff and clients. This wasn’t always easy, as in most cases, we faced our challenges, but we came out the other side better than we started. It takes a challenge to recognise strength, and our strength is our people. Because we recognise and reward our exceptional team, we have a loyal group of full-time and part-time staff who we thank constantly for their efforts, and if they didn’t hear us the last time: THANK YOU.
With an ever-growing fleet of vehicles and a newly refurbished office, as well as a big new warehouse to keep all our stocks and supplies, 2013 has been a year of redevelopment and regeneration. Our personal development programme was rewarded with the Customer Service award from the British Franchise Association for our commitment to giving customers the very best in service and cleaning by continually developing our staff.
At the end of a fantastic year, we look forward to what next year may bring. The World Cup in Rio, the Russian Winter Olympics, and the Scottish independence referendum are already confirmed for 2014, and hopefully a few more award wins and business recognition for the ServiceMaster Clean Team.
Have a happy and prosperous 2014 from all at ServiceMaster Clean!
The tree is up, the kitchen cupboards are full to bursting, and family and friends are vying for your attention. Playing with new toys, arguing over burnt turkey, and falling asleep in front of the Christmas specials make these few days memorable. These moments make up the memories of our loved ones, and it can be easy to forget that not everyone is lucky enough to have their own families around them, so spare a thought for the neighbour that doesn’t have visitors, the homeless man you pass on the way to work, or the grieving colleague, and the thousands others like them who would like Christmas to be a special day. If you are lucky enough to have friends and family around you, enjoy every moment-even the arguments-It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
We’re going to be spending a few days with our own families, so from the whole team at ServiceMaster Clean:
As it’s been a while since our last post, we have some exciting news about the 2013 BFA Franchisee of the Year awards. Not only were we lucky enough to be invited to a glitzy award ceremony in Birmingham after impressing the judges with our personal development policy and customer service standards, we were delighted to hear our names called as winners of the Customer Service award!
After a gruelling pitching process and a nail-biting wait to get to the final, the hard work of the whole team paid off, and we were treated to a black-tie evening where we mixed with other franchise owners from across the UK. It was a great evening to recognise all of the franchisees and their successes around the country, and we aim to constantly improve on our high levels of customer service, and maybe next year we can win the overall UK Franchisee of the Year Award! Here’s hoping for more awards and recognition for our hard work and dedication in 2014.
These awards highlight the outstanding business acumen, passion and achievement offranchise businesses across the UK.
The finalists for the 2013 bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year Awards, supported by Express Newspapers, have been revealed and we are very proud to announce that ServiceMaster Clean of Newbury are amongst them. 17 finalists have been selected across five categories, with the winners competing for the right to be crowned the UK’s overall 2013 Franchisee of the Year.
The finalists reflect the high standards found in ethical franchising in the UK. They have demonstrated exceptional business practice, acting as outstanding ambassadors for their sectors, areas of expertise and for the specific award categories which in our case is the Customer Service Franchisee Award.
The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on the 3rd October. We would like to thank all our staff for contributing to our progress so far in this award and will update you all in October.
We have pleasure in announcing that we passed both our latest external assessments for the ISO 9001 and 14001 for Quality and Environmental accreditations. It was particularly gratifying to read the summary by the assessor which stated:
“Deeland Ltd t/as ServiceMaster continue to provide an excellent service to their clients and are continuing to develop their services. Feedback from a client today was very satisfactory and the company’s staff are continually looking to establish a rapport and offer other services as appropriate.”
We are very proud of our good work and standards and of our staff that has to adhere to our procedures diligently, as this is what we are measured against. If we say we do something, the assessor will be sure to check that we are actually doing it that way, giving our clients the reassurance that we mean what we say. Our next assessment is in November 2011 and we will continue to work hard to keep up our very high standards.