Ian Jackson, CAP Awards, shares his thoughts on how important it is to recognize the achievements of staff in housekeeping and catering environment

IT’S our mission at the CAP Awards to help our clients continually strive to be the best they can be in their housekeeping and catering departments.Often these teams can be the unsung heroes of the organisation and yet people would soon notice, and complain, if they weren’t performing at the best of their ability. That’s why at the CAP Awards we believe staff motivation and satisfaction is the key to ensuring the success of housekeeping and catering functions.

When judging the day to day operations of these departments our inspectors are looking for signs and indications that best practices and systems are in place to ensure quality food is on the menu, facilities are spotless and budgets are being used efficiently. None of these are possible if the people employed to deliver it are not valued, and that’s why staff motivation is at the heart of what we do. Staff in these teams often work in challenging environments, from hot kitchens to dirty bathrooms, yet sometimes recognition from senior management is slow to trickle down. Having an award scheme that actually recognises this daily effort, while showing people how to improve what they do, is a great way to prove that these teams really are valued. The department has a moment to shine when it gets it’s very own housekeeping or catering ‘Oscar’. What’s more, sharing this good news with key stakeholders and the wider public, including the local media, creates a sense of pride among the staff. This has a knock on effect of boosting staff retention and creating a culture of recognising, respecting and rewarding, that attracts the ‘right’ kind of employees going forwards.

“Staff motivation is key to quality!”

I can still remember clearly an inspection I carried out myself eight years ago that didn’t end to well for a lovely lady called Iulia Moldovan. Iulia, who now works at Maryfield, admitted herself that the critical inspection was ‘the worst day of her life’ but that it also changed her life for the better. Iulia explains: “My inspection showed me that my housekeeping team was coming up short and it was not a nice feeling, I felt ashamed and embarrassed. But it also made me determined that that would never happen again and from that day forward I ensured that the work of my team was of the very highest standard. The turnaround boosted my morale and gave me huge pride in my work.Eight years on I’ve just passed another CAP inspection with flying colours and that feeling of motivation has never left me.”

Of course at the CAP Awards we’re not simply here to identify people’s shortcomings in their working practices, but crucially to show them how they can improve. Iulia’s story proves that if handled in the right way signing up to an award scheme, such as the CAP Awards, can drive up standards and create a lasting culture of self motivated staff, and that’s good for everyone.

April 2019

By Ian Jackson, Managing Director, CAP Awards www.capaward.co.uk