London Company Celebrate Winning National Training Programme Award

by: Mary-Anne Bowring

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London Company Celebrate Winning National Training Programme Award

National Awards Ceremony 

Event Details Date: Friday 30th September 2011 Time: 4pm onwards Venue: The Oxford, 256 Kentish Town Road, London, NW5 2AA The Ringley Group, who are looking forward to tomorrow's National Awards Ceremony for the National Training Awards (where they could be named as overall UK winner from across all regions), celebrated being awarded a Regional (London) National Training Programme Award by Investors In People on Friday 30th September 2011. The company, based in London, beat off competition from a number of other companies to be recognised for their training programmed entitled, a belief system to support a money back guarantee, in London.

The company were presented with the award by Jozefa Fawlett (National Training Awards Team). Also in attendance were two members of the judging panel, Councillor Jenny Headlam-Wells (Chair of Children, Schools and Families Scrutiny Committee) and Annette Helliwell (Business Development at The London Apprenticeship Company). Ringley Group Managing Director, Mary-Anne Bowring, said: Winning the National Training Awards as judged by Investors in People is a huge milestone. It's one of those awards that you only enter when you realise that training achieved transformational change and real tangible results.

Good results through Real people

It also shows that at Ringley, we are striving for excellence, not only in the property world, but also as an enviable well managed business that delivers good results through real people who believe in what we do. The training programme designed by Ringley has helped them to win several industry awards which have recognised Ringley in being at the forefront of the Property Management industry. Awards in the last 12 months include Gold Best Block Management Company, Highly Commended Valuation Company of the Year, Individual Valuer of the Year Finalist, Green Champion of the Year & London Property Management Company Of The Year. Ringley has also been shortlisted for four more awards this Autumn, Community Champion, Employer, Innovator & Property Manager, so Ringleys run of success is far from over. In 2008 the organisation recognised that although its reputation in the industry was good, it was experiencing increasing customer dissatisfaction and churn as well as low staff morale.

There was a need to introduce a new culture of personal accountability amongst staff, in order to improve their efficiency and productivity. This would ultimately raise the reputation of the company's brand amongst customers and help to grow the business. Ringley decided to include the whole firm in a training programme that would run for 18 months, up until December 2011, led from the top by Managing Director Mary-Anne Bowring and Operations Manager Jason Karim, working with HR specialist Rachel Block (RBHR), and business coach Michael Heppell. The learning approach centred on a series of workshops and aimed to achieve public group acceptance of what needed to be learned, using peer pressure to make the personal and working-practice alterations that were necessary. Ringley used many innovative methods and techniques, for example, writing workshops that examined the styles of The Sun and The Financial Times; a problem-solving session called Heroes and Spanners; and an exercise where learners described building defects with their eyes closed to demonstrate the need for clarity.

Staff displayed vastly improved motivation and performance.

The Estates team of 20 was involved in all parts of the training, with the other 20 staff involved in 50%; and the programme spanned a total 10,300 personal training hours. Mary-Anne Bowring describes the effect of the training as "profound", as staff displayed vastly improved motivation and performance. As a result of the training, output per employee has risen from £21,000 in 2005 to over £40,000 in 2010, with average annual sick days plummeting from four a year in 2004 to less than one per annum in 2011. In addition, over three quarters of staff now have professional qualifications relevant to their roles, and staff appraisals have shown that morale is growing. "Staff, now more than ever, are valuing Ringley as an employer of choice," says Mary-Anne. As for customer metrics, missed calls fell from 639 in August 2010 to 206 in April 2011, - 11% of total calls to just 5%. Since January 2011, 37 customers rated the firm as 8/10+ for recommendation.

Managing Director Mary-Anne Bowring adds: I simply could not be more delighted for our teams. At Ringley 2011 is officially the year of leaseholder love. Everyone at Ringley knows we are on a journey to deliver a 5 star service, every-time. Our people have truly raised their game to adopt the attitudes and behaviours that 5 star service requires and we shall continue to roll more leaseholder love initiatives, the true reward is the growing recognition and recommendations from our Clients. We like to drive change in the industry. We were the first property company to offer a virtual concierge service, and first to offer a money-back guarantee. We're proud that we've given money back as it means we can learn and specify training to staff in order to improve services we offer. We hold customer focus groups to meet clients so we can take on board their feedback, and every staff member is a mystery shopper, so receives communication we send out to clients.

If you can't change the culture within the company, you can't expect to become coveted by clients externally. Ringley's training is ongoing and particularly rewards self learning and achievement. There are regular training sessions for individuals and groups alongside focused development discussions within appraisals. Finally, pay grades in the property management team have been re-calibrated to encourage further broadening and deepening of professional knowledge, and this is supported by profit-sharing so personnel can have a stake in their own development and that of the company.