HR team spends a day in the business

5 years ago

Glendale’s HR team recently spent a day in the business expanding their operational knowledge within the company’s they support.

Claire Neal, Megan Scott, Maria Hartley, Samantha Harper, Rebecca Coombes, Helena O’Keefe and Jane Thomas swapped the office environment for the green environment – and got to grips with some new skills in the process.

Visits were made to Glendale locations including London, Hertfordshire, Weston-super-Mare, Liverpool, Bolton and Gloucestershire.

The HR Team already work closely with staff and managers at every level and spending time shadowing colleagues allowed the team to deepen their understanding of the daily operations.

Here is how they got on:

Claire Neal, HR assistant, based in the south-east, spent a day with Glendale’s grounds maintenance team at Lee Valley Park, Hertfordshire.

Claire worked alongside Julie Grant, one of the grounds maintenance operatives, and team leader Mark Field.  The day was spent pruning and clearing hedges to ensure the car park was ready for a busy summer weekend.

Claire thoroughly enjoyed her day in the business and said: “The team worked very hard during the day and definitely earnt their money.  It was interesting for me to see the operational side of the business which I can then apply to my role.”

Megan Scott, HR assistant at the Preston office, spent a day at Glendale Liverpool, the company’s joint venture with Liverpool City Council.  Megan was given an overview of the unique contract by supervisors Tommy McAndrew, Rob Cox, John Lea and Billy Mottram.  Her day was spent inspecting playgrounds and cemeteries for compliance, and included a visit to Calderstone’s Park and the promenade!

She had a fun and worthwhile time with the Liverpool-based team, commenting: “I really enjoyed my day in the business and it was interesting to see and understand the different aspects of the work that the teams carry out.”

Payroll manager, Maria Hartley, spent a day with the grounds maintenance team delivering services on behalf of social housing provider, Bolton at Home.  Maria worked alongside Kevin Woodall and Anne-Marie Stevens, contract administrator.

She was quickly put to work with the cleansing team, removing weeds and mowing grassed areas.  In the afternoon she got to try her hand at planting as part of a project to rejuvenate shrub beds on the estates.

Maria said: “It was great to spend time with the operational teams, they work very hard.  I was also able to experience first-hand the day-to-day challenges that they face, and the appreciation they get from the residents.”

Samantha Harper, HR manager, spent a day with the infrastructure maintenance team at Glendale’s contract with Lewisham Council.  The team, made up of Steve Payne, Dave Harwood and Lee Beesley, had a series of tasks to carry out across local parks that day and were also on emergency call-out in the borough.

Samantha quickly became a part of the team helping to investigate a damaged wall on a park boundary and inspect the playgrounds.  She was also able to help fix the playground equipment, playground matting, and repair some of the infrastructure in the parks.

Samantha appreciated the chance to fully understand the unique services offered at the Lewisham contract and commented: “The team took time to explain their roles, and the importance of them to the contract and the company.  It’s obvious that they care, not only about their roles but also about the company – it was a fun, enjoyable and worthwhile day.”

Senior HR manager, Rebecca Coombes, spent a day with the grounds maintenance and arboricultural teams at Glendale’s contract with South Tyneside Council.

In the morning, Rebecca shadowed the arborists and helped to remove brash from local resident’s gardens.  In the afternoon she was put to work preparing the flower beds for planting with the local horticulture team.  She said: “I really enjoyed my day in the business, being able to see first-hand the different aspects of work that the teams carry out.”

HR assistant, Helena O’Keefe, who is based at the Worcester office, spent a day at Glendale’s contract in Weston-super-Mare, delivering services on behalf of North Somerset Council.  She was given an overview of the contract and the mobilisation process by contract manager David Buckley.  The supervisors Garry ones, Chris Hazzard and Gary Lewis then explained their roles on the contract, and what a typical working day is comprised of.

Helena was taken on a trip to the area’s famous seafront, shown the sites that Glendale maintains and what is involved in keeping them to the required standard.  The afternoon was spent in the workshop, where Helena was shown the machinery on the contract and how it is used on a daily basis.

Helena was grateful to the team for taking time out of their busy day and said: “Spending the day at the North Somerset contract was really worthwhile for me, especially as I’m quite new to the business.  It gave me a greater understanding of, not only the contract but Glendale as a whole.”

Finally, senior HR manager, Jane Thomas, spend a day with Glendale Horticulture at their nursery in Fretherene in Gloucestershire.  The aim was for Jane to get involved in potting and planting, and generally getting her hands dirty but, due to fairly torrential rain, the finance team took pity on her and set her work doing backlogged credit checks instead!

Jane was shown the ropes by Chris Hickman, financial controller, and Stephanie Daws, finance assistant, and learnt the credit check process before working her way through a large pile of checks that needed completing.  She commented: “The team were very welcoming and helpful.  I enjoyed my day in the business, and it was interesting to see and work within a different part of the business and understand some of their work pressures and priorities.”

Sue McGrath, group HR director, said: “This was a really useful exercise which enabled us to gain an even greater understanding of the daily duties undertaken by the various teams across the businesses.  We already work closely with staff and managers at every level and it was valuable for the team to experience this first hand on site in the role.”

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