Engage and Empower your Workforce

This month Clare Hayler, Group HR Manager, explores the importance of an engaged workforce and the employer’s role to support young staff in their career development. Read more. 

We recognise the importance of having an engaged workforce; employees will be happier and more productive thus creating a better experience for our customers.  We therefore strive to fully engage staff in working towards our compelling mission - to create active places and healthy people.

Evidence of this success can be found in our employee engagement survey of December 2013; 97% of employees report to be happy in their jobs.  Each of our sites produced an employee engagement improvement plan and over the last few months we have been working hard to ensure that we continually improve and engage with each individual staff member.

Traditionally an attractive industry for school and college leavers, we take pride in our Apprenticeship offering and supporting young staff through their careers. Holding the title Apprenticeship Provider of the Year (2013), alongside our partner Lifetime Training, we train 350 apprentices each year. Connor Daniels is just one example of the young staff whose future has been transformed by this experience.

Connor (25) was a lifeguard at Riverside Leisure Centre, Norwich and since completing his Team Leader (Level 2) qualification he is now working on reception as a trainee Duty Manager. Connor described his journey: “Before I became a lifeguard I was at college juggling a job in demolition to help pay for my Personal Training course but I knew there were other opportunities out there for me. I moved onto lifeguarding and although I enjoyed it I knew that reception would allow me to see first-hand the function of Front of House, offering me better progression routes into management. The Apprenticeship has helped me get there.”

In addition to Apprenticeships, we are looking to roll out Traineeships across the Group – an exciting new government initiative that helps young people take their very first steps into the world of work. With the help of Lifetime Training, we recently ran a highly successful Traineeship in Wandsworth with a number of local young people securing employment at our sites.  Rhys Holder, 20 from Croydon said; “Sport is all I know so the fitness Traineeship made a lot of sense to me. I appreciate it could take 1-2 years to become a Fitness Instructor but I’m prepared to put in the hard work.”   Following his classroom study and practical work placement, Rhys has already started casual gym instructor work at Wandle Leisure Centre. 

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