Cleaning for one of the UK’s largest shopping mall operators

Overview

We provide cleaning services to one of the UK’s largest shopping mall operators. We take pride in keeping their stores in top shape for their customers.

Actions

  • Daily & Periodic Cleaning
  • Washroom Services
  • High Level Cleaning

Outcomes

  • 83 Sparkle awards given to our staff
  • 297 staff TUPE transferred to Cordant over a 3 month mobilisation period managed by our dedicated mobilisation manager
  • KPI Scores improved from 87% to 94%
  • Centre footfall and washroom footfall is tracked and recorded to build the cleaning schedules for each centre to ensure the correct resources are allocated to each site to meet demand
  • Implementation of our audit and reporting system (MyCordant) which gives real time live data, tracks employees and tracks KPI scores

Project Highlights

  • 3 year partnership
  • 340 employees
  • 8 locations

The Importance of Officer Engagement

What is employee engagement?
Is it just happiness at work?

Not really. You can be happy at work and not be productive. You might spend your working days trawling Twitter or finish early everyday and head to the pub. That might make you really happy but you wouldn’t be the most engaged employee.

Employee engagement is much more than that. It’s about an employee being as committed to their organisation and its goals as they can be.

This is crucial when providing an effective security service. In many manned guarding contracts we are relying on officers being able and willing to deliver exceptional service with minimal direct supervision.

Introducing training and development for our officers is important; though this is for nothing if the officer does not have the motivation to deploy their skills in action. We all know a primary aspect of motivation is engagement.

Many will talk of organisational engagement and culture but I would argue there is a more fundamental element that needs addressing before moving onto these bigger issues.

The most effective way to promote officer engagement is through the relationship between the officer and their direct line manager.

So how do you ensure this relationship is fostered?

Create time.

If a manager is focused on internal matters such as admin there is simply no time for officer engagement.

At Cordant we aim to offload admin heavy tasks such as scheduling and recruitment to central functions. Where admin related tasks remain, we have aimed to streamline through the introduction of iPads and apps.

Ensure management are well trained

Managers need to be confident and capable in interacting with a wide range of individuals. At Cordant we have a number of training initiatives to upskill our management teams, one being Cordant STAMP, a two year intensive development program that teaches advanced management skills.

Give structure and focus

This is to make interactions between the officer and their manager meaningful. It is useful to have a basic structure and content. Of course we need to add space for managers to apply their own personality and prevent this being a simple tick list, but some baseline content ensures a minimum standard.

In Cordant we use apps such that we can dynamically change the content of officer 1-2-1s based on real time events. We gather data on officer feedback and make appropriate changes to keep improving these interactions.

Create an open communication channel
Officers need a place where they can give feedback on their experience working with us. Its important that we get good honest feedback from officers about what they enjoy about the job and what they find challenging.

At Cordant we have started to host Officer Forums around the country were officers are invited to come and speak freely about a range of topics with management teams. These forums give us an insight into what works well and what doesn’t for each officer; directly engaging officers in real, company changing initiatives.

 

Retail Crime is on the Rise

Crime in retail has been on the rise. The recent British Retail Consortium's Annual Crime Survey showed some shocking findings from its members. Probably the most eye catching were:

There are 115 violent incidents against members of staff each and every day Customer theft had increased by 33% costing the retail economy £700m

Tackling retail crime can be a complex problem. Manned security can be one part of the solution, but paying for someone to just stand by the door will have little impact in its own right. A deterrent can only go so far.

For manned security to be effective it needs to be proactive and absolutely fit for purpose. There are a number of qualities a security company needs to get this absolutely right.

So how do you select a company which is going to have the best impact?

Do they have deep industry knowledge?

Lots of security companies claim to undertake retail work, but do they? Who are they dealing with and how long is their relationship with retailers in the same space as you? A long and enduring industry knowledge forms the foundation for much of what follows.

Cordant Security have been working alongside some of our retail clients for over 15 years. The knowledge that has been gathered and analysed over the years has lead to dynamic solutions being implemented such as our Assault Prevention Training videos and Practical best practice with Body Worn Cameras to aid crime and violence prevention. These teach our officers how to handle anti social behaviour and neutralise potentially dangerous situations; protecting them, customers and the employees in their stores.

Have they the scale and operational systems to perform nationally in a consistent manner?

What can be found across many security businesses is that most security managers will be responsible for a lot more admin tasks like scheduling shifts, covering absence and generating reports. This stops what managers should be doing; engaging with the workforce and the clients running the risk of dropped shifts and stores not being covered when needed.

At Cordant Security we have the National Communications Centre (NCC). This acts as our national hub. One of its functions is to take the majority of administration tasks off our managers. This means that any shifts that are at risk of being dropped can be handled by the NCC team leading to an exceptional industry standard in shift coverage.

Does the company in question have the ability to self deliver trained guards in all instances?

Many security companies appear to rely on subcontractors, making a significant weak link in the service provision. When a contract is agreed, the client will expect a certain level of service which is controlled by the security provider. Once subcontractors are involved, a security business loses that control.

At Cordant we make it a point to not use subcontractors. This ensures that our service is always delivered to the standards we expect and that we are in full control of our operations.

Once these service fundamentals are answered then more sophisticated areas need to be addressed.

Officer Training - Are officers training in retail and client specific aspects such that their ability to perform is complementary with the environment they perform within.

Management Support - Are their suitable numbers of well trained managers with the systems to deliver the support needed producing a well motivated and engaged officer.

Constant Contract Development - The BRC survey clearly shows the landscape is changing. Can the security company in question demonstrate an ability to change and adapt in response to this.

Only with all this in place will the manned guarding provision address the challenges being faced in retailing

Risk and Resilience

Risks are a part of everyday life. Each decision you make can increase your risk in a whole host of ways.

  • Are you going to drive to work today?
  • Is moving house a good idea?
  • Should you order dessert or be good and stick to your diet?

Depending on what you do with your time your risk level can increase and decrease.

Some decisions and risks are unavoidable. It’s how you handle those risks that can make a world of difference.

The same goes for businesses. Risk Management is key for our clients and in the security industry. It's more important to prevent risks from occurring than it is to treat the effects. But if the risks are inevitable a contingency plan is absolutely necessary.

To ensure an organisation can operate in a professional manner three aspects must be taken into consideration.

  • Security
  • Freedom of Action
  • The Potential Threat.

It is vital to find the correct balance between the organisations security needs and the operational day to day activities. Putting a whole site on lock down may secure it but if it can’t continue its business activities the security measures are obviously too extreme.

To keep the organisation functioning at an optimal standard we have to employ a system that will identify potential threats and the likely impact of these threats whilst finding workable solutions and control measures.

The implementations need to be clear, concise and fully understood by the Security Staff and Company Employees who are dealing with the threat. Making sure everyone has complete buy in to the solution is key when dealing with any major threat.

The last element of the Risk Control procedure is Contingency Planning. The Contingency Plan should allow flexibility when dealing with a secondary crisis, there has to be a strategy in the areas of communications, security resources and emergency planning. This will allow the organisation to deal effectively with any other developments during an incident.

Ultimately the purpose of Contingency Planning is to resolve any threats that may arise, and to bring the atmosphere back to a normal operational standard as quickly and effectively as possible.

Risk Management Strategy

Within a typical Risk Management Strategy there are three categories: Avoid, Reduce and Share. These strategies will help any organisation reduce threats that they may be confronted with.

Avoid

It’s as simple as the title suggests. Where threats can be avoided with simple solutions they should be. An example of this would be if there was press interest towards a major client who is visiting our building for a high profile meeting. The problem would arise when the client needs to access the building and has requested this visit not to be in the public domain. To facilitate this visit we would plan entry by an alternative access point (rear loading bay entry). Also we would ensure knowledge of this visit is kept to a minimum by briefing only the people involved in the visit.

Reduce

For this strategy we set in place procedures that will reduce any impact to the business by setting protocols for security staff to follow. The use of ID cards and access passes on site would be a good example of this. ID cards and access passes ensure guests and workers are only allowed in areas they should be, reducing the risk to high priority areas that need to be well secured, like a company server room for example.

Share

In this strategy we reduce the threat to an organisation by sharing any potential risk with the organisation and any other stakeholders deemed necessary. An example of this is if an investigative journalist is investigating an organisation which may pose a threat to the business; we would look to reduce the risk to them by sharing information to outside organisations and to the police.

Summary

Remember Risk Management is not an optional extra for any business; it has to be seen as an integral part of your organisation where contingency planning is done in advance of any incident arising.

If you’d like to learn more about the risk management services we offer you can contact us here.

Cordant Cleaning Extends Partnership with Eurotunnel

Cordant Services, part of Cordant Group, has secured a three-year extension to continue providing a full portfolio of cleaning solutions to Eurotunnel. This new contract further strengthens the long-standing relationship between the two organisations, who have worked together since 2008.

Under the terms of the new agreement, Cordant Services will continue to deliver a wide-range of solutions at the Folkestone passenger terminal - otherwise known as the Victor Hugo Building - and additional office space, including general and high-level cleaning, washroom services and window cleaning, plus emergency cleans as required.

Since 2015, Cordant Services has also taken responsibility for scanning passenger passports before sending the information to the Home Office for analysis. The team works to strict scanning targets with a key objective of not causing any delays to passenger journeys.

The contract will continue to be fulfilled by a dedicated team of 35 operatives supported by an on-site management team. Reena Moseley, Property Services at Eurotunnel, said: “Since 2008 Cordant Services has demonstrated its commitment to excellence at every opportunity whilst working at the Victor Hugo Building. We are now excited to further extend this partnership and we are sure that this latest agreement will benefit the 10 million passengers that use Eurotunnel each year.”

Guy Pakenham, Managing Director at Cordant Cleaning, said: “We are extremely proud to extend this successful relationship for at least another three years and I want to thank my team members for their continuing hard work and dedication. A clean and safe environment is a crucial part of delivering an exceptional customer experience and this new contract illustrates our ability to work closely with our clients to ensure they meet their goals.”

Cordant Security Excellence Awards 2018

Cordant Security Excellence Awards - 2018

It’s only one more day until the 2019 Cordant Security Excellence Awards. Let's take a look at last year’s winners and what their colleagues had to say about the work they do. Click on the sections below to see each winner.

Cordant Security Excellence Awards 2019 – Winners! 25/06/2019

Cordant Security Excellence Awards - 2019 Last week saw our second annual Security Excellence Awards where our employees where recognised for the great work they do for us, our clients and the community. Below is a summary of the winners from the day.  

The NCC – Managing a large workforce

There are many challenges that come with running a business in the security industry. Possibly the most significant challenge is the management of the large volume of officers and employees in the business. They need training, instructions, motivation and engaging work.

A huge part of management is the lesser spoken about admin side which includes shift scheduling, holiday cover, recruitment, the list goes on.

The management and scheduling of over 4000 officer shifts on a daily basis is a mammoth task.

The difference between managing and excelling in this area can depend on the approach taken by the security organisation as each method of management has its pros and cons.

Some claim getting local area managers to schedule their own work gives a greater level of ownership. This is true. But it also increases a local managers workload significantly, meaning they can’t man manage their officers or interact with clients as much as they should.

We at Cordant however believe centralised scheduling has far more benefits.

That’s why we have our National Communications Centre (NCC). Manned by approximately 20 employees around the clock the NCC is this is the hub of our activity, managing and scheduling the shifts for our 4000 officers all across the UK. This specialised team at the heart of our business brings great benefits.

Management Can Focus On What Matters

Something that we went into more detail in our Officer Engagement (link) article, we believe field management should be focused on two things only. Customers and colleagues.

Everything else should be removed from their working day to allow this to happen as best as possible. We hire our managers for their people skills as well as their security knowledge. They should be free to interact and motivate our officers as well as converse with our clients.

Taking away the bulk of scheduling and recruitment allows this to happen.

24/7 Ability to React

Security never stops. Shifts start and end throughout the 24 hour period. Any one of these shifts could potentially be dropped by an officer ringing in sick or being unable to attend work. It would be ludicrous to expect our management team to be on call 24 hours a day.

Having a 24/7 central resource means we are always able to react and address any issues that arise meaning minimal service disruption to our clients.

The Management of Health & Safety

Now this might not be an obvious one but the NCC plays a significant role in the management of aspects of our health and safety. Due to their specialist knowledge and robust systems they are better able to manage health and safety issues such as check calls and working time directives.

Officers that work alone or on remote sites need to be monitored to make sure they’re safe and no incidents have occurred. The NCC manages all of our check calls, constantly engaging with our officers that require them.

Dedication Equals Expertise

Because the NCC is solely dedicated to scheduling and shift coverage the team that work there have developed a high level of knowledge and focus that cannot be replicated by a local area manager.

Managers shouldn’t be a ‘jack of all trades’. We want each of our employees to be experts in the fields that they operate in. This is where they bring tremendous value.

These are a few of the benefits that come with investing in our control room.

We can offer and deliver a truly excellent service whilst keeping our shift coverage at industry leading levels

Cordant Cleaning Extend Relationship by 10 Years with c2c

c2c, the train operating company owned by Trenitalia that operates and manages stations and trains from London Fenchurch Street to Southend, has extended its established relationship with Cordant Cleaning with the award of a new deal worth in excess of £3million a year. The contract will run until 2029 when c2c’s train franchise next comes up for renewal.

Under the terms of the new agreement, Cordant Cleaning will provide c2c with a single managed solution with full responsibility for the cleanliness and presentation of its 25 stations, 80 trains and two depots. It builds on a strong partnership which has seen the two companies working together since 2013 where Cordant Cleaning provided cleaning labour to support the in-house team.

A team of 100 will work on the operation with members of the previous in-house team transferring to Cordant Cleaning under TUPE and being fully integrated. Reporting will be done through the company’s industry leading technology platform CAR, which will capture and report on all activities, assessing and monitoring the cleanliness of the trains and premises using real time data.

Commenting on the new deal Guy Pakenham, Managing Director at Cordant Cleaning, said: “The decision to extend our remit with a 10 year agreement is testament to the strong partnership we have. We will continue to review our performance and identify ways of improving and adding value to c2c’s operations, both in our core delivery and further service lines in the future.”

Duncan Wilkins, Engineering Director at c2c, said: “Over the past six years Cordant Cleaning have demonstrated their ability to deliver excellent levels of service across our organisation, using their extensive experience in the sector to deliver value at every touch point. We are also extremely impressed with their commitment to staff welfare and that they are a ‘social business,’ making them a strong partner for us moving forward.”

Cordant Security Extends it’s Run at Shakespeare’s Globe

Cordant Security, part of Cordant Group, has been awarded a two-year contract extension to continue providing a wide range of dedicated security solutions at the iconic Shakespeare’s Globe. The decision to extend the partnership was taken after the supplier was impressed the venue’s management team with its consistently high standards.

Since last year, Cordant has supplied a 24/7 staffed security solution, 365-days a year, at Shakespeare’s Globe, which comprises the Globe Theatre, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, education faculty and exhibition & tour, attracting over a million visitors each year. Cordant’s remit includes search and screening, patrolling, overt and plain clothes security, and access control, including keyholding, deliveries and car park management. Officers will continue to monitor CCTV and report and respond to any incidents. They have been previously equipped with specific customer service training to answer queries from members of the public.

Sandra Lynes Timbrell, Director of Exhibition & Tour and Visitor Experience, said: “Over the past year we have been thoroughly impressed by Cordant Security, whose team remains committed to prioritising the safety of our guests, as well as further enhancing the overall visitor experience. This contract extension is well deserved.”

Brendan Musgrove, Managing Director at Cordant Security, said: “We have taken great pride at being given the opportunity to support one of the UK’s most famous venues – and this has been demonstrated by our exceptional service levels. We are extremely pleased to cement this important relationship and we look forward to the next two years and beyond.