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    Crucial to the development of any organisation is the passion and hunger to evolve and grow – both as a collective and as individuals!

    An example of this would be Jessica Powell, HR & Recruitment Advisor who recently completed her CIPD in People Management, Level 5!

    L-R: Director, David Harker, HR & Recruitment Advisor, Jessica Powell, HR Director, Gaynor Powell and Director, Paul Concannon!

    It has long been our philosophy to encourage all of our employees to be the very best they can be and Jess is a fantastic example of seizing the initiative to go above and beyond within further education to enhance her day to day role at we clean!

    We sat down with Jess herself to discuss her role within our organisation, the modules within a People Management Course and how this will help benefit both Jess and our staff:

    So Jess, tell us about your role?

    In my role as HR & Recruitment Advisor, I work closely with HR Director Gaynor within our HR Department here at Head Office. This is a busy and varied role that entails all aspects of HR and Recruitment – supporting the ever-growing number of frontline cleaning staff within the business, which we are proud to say is now over 600!

    On a day to day basis my role focuses on the whole employee lifecycle, from onboarding and helping new starters, promoting and evolving the company culture and driving our ‘people first ethos’ as well as managing any Employee Relations matters that arise.  

    With such a large frontline cleaning team, there are often queries from staff and I genuinely enjoy resolving these and I do my utmost to make them feel comfortable and supported within we clean.

    From a recruitment perspective, I manage the full whole process, liaising closely with our operational teams to ensure we source the very best candidates for our clients. In recent times due to accelerated growth we can take on anywhere from 10-20 new staff every fortnight so it is essential that we are always working to meet the ever growing demand and ensure that all of these new starters are properly inducted into the business. We are always on the lookout for new talent!

    Congratulations, on passing your CIPD in People Management Level 5, what modules did the course cover and how did you find it?

    This qualification covers all aspects of ‘People Practice’ including:

    • Talent Management and Recruitment
    • Reward & Recognition
    • Organisational Culture
    • Employment Law

    The course has offered me a really good insight into the CIPD’s standards, building to my existing knowledge base to allow me to excel in my role.

    Previously I studied Law at University, specialising in Employment Law. This degree enabled me to start my CIPD qualifications at Level 5 and it was great that I could continue my educational journey – I have significantly benefited from the course and it has given me a great framework for future projects that we are looking to undertake within the HR department and the wider company.

    Participating in the course has given me the confidence to carry out my role to the very best of my ability and continue to support our people function.

    Whilst enrolled on the course I studied outside of we clean at college for one day per week.  This was challenging as I had to balance both my professional career and workload with the course plus along with all of the extra hours spent studying. All the hard work was worth it however, and it has been really rewarding completing the course!

    LHow will the course benefit both you and our frontline staff?

    On the course I was exposed to the workings of other similar companies and it was great to receive insight into the functions that other HR Departments are carrying out from both a staff support perspective and in terms of business culture.

    Within we clean we place great emphasis on supporting our staff, the course weighed heavily in on this facet and that means I now have a whole host of ideas to bring back with me and apply. The course has been so beneficial and I am excited to begin putting it into practice!

    What do you enjoy most about working for we clean and the cleaning industry as a whole?

    It is great to work for an organisation that has a strong ‘people first’ culture and genuinely cares for its staff.  The cleaning industry is typically associated with high staff turnover whereby frontline staff hop from one job to the next but I am proud to be helping our organisation in bucking this trend and helping staff to form long-term futures with we clean!

    Working with an experienced HR Director over the past few years has inspired me to pursue my career within HR and the cleaning industry!  

    I have now been working at we clean for just over 2 years and have enjoyed every second, I would like to thank Directors Paul and David for supporting me in the development of my professional career – I am keen to aim for CIPD Level 7 now and excited by what my immediate future within the business holds!

    Following the recent announcement of our Dee Richards Pride Champion Award winner Nick Jeywright we are now delighted to feature our Pride Award Winners for 2023!

    Nominated by their respective Contract Managers these recipients of our annual Pride Awards have shown wonderful dedication to their role whilst truly epitomizing the we clean company ethos!

    Karen Rutter

    We are immensely proud of our longstanding association with The West Brom Building Society and this contract more than most has encapsulated the ‘partnership approach’ required to deliver a seamless professional cleaning service!  

    This was particularly evident back in 2009 when we clean transferred via TUPE all the in house cleaning staff from the West Brom into our own organisation and one of those transferring staff at the time was Karen Rutter who has now completed a staggering 21 years plus service at the West Brom Building Society Shrewsbury branch.

    At the end of December 2023 Paul Concannon Director and Jane Shields Contract Manager were on hand to present a very special Pride Award to Karen as she had taken the decision to finally hang up her duster for the very last time and move into a well-earned retirement!

    Karen has been exemplary throughout her longstanding cleaning career and has always displayed a great passion and genuine pride in maintaining high standards within this busy branch and the presentation of a Dee Richards Pride award to Karen on her last working day was certainly a fitting end to her time with both we clean and the West Brom!

    Patrick Garrick

    Patrick is a highly valued member of our team at St Francis RC Primary School and Contract Manager Maureen immediately saw his potential from the day he joined the we clean, commenting:

    “Patrick is loyal, courteous, respectful, helpful and a real joy to work with.  He goes above and beyond with his duties and is always there ready to help the other members of team – hence he was the obvious choice to be promoted to the role of Location Manager when the position became available just over 6 months ago”!

    “Patrick is very popular with all the teachers and the building manager on site.  He is willing to help the clients with any work they ask him to do.  He never complains and the one thing I know about Patrick is that he will always have a smile on his face!”

    Althea Gordon

    Up next is Althea Gordon (or Rosie as she is affectionately known amongst her work colleagues), who carries out her cleaning role in the lofty heights of RSM’s brand new, innovative office space in 103 Colmore Row. Rosie is the Location Manager for this Grade A Commercial Office space and is a credit to we clean.

    Debbie Rhodes Contract Manager commented:

    “Rosie will cover for me at very short notice and wherever she goes the clients ask for her to stay, testament to both her personality and the service she provides. Rosie shows compassion when needed and takes pride in every job she does. For me Rosie is a huge asset to the Birmingham City Centre operation and is well respected in many buildings”.

    Rosie is also very much appreciated by our main client contact, Lisa Nash, Office Manager for RSM Birmingham who was delighted to hear of Althea’s award:

    “Rosie is fantastic, nothing is ever too much trouble and she has an excellent eye to detail. We love having her as part of the RSM Team and she is always very polite, working with a smile and generally improving the office atmosphere!”

    Nicole Fitzgerald

    We head to the East Midlands for our next Pride Award Winner – Nicole Fitzgerald!

    Nicole was nominated by Charlene Bowen, East Midlands Contract Manager for her continuous reliability and hard work. Her desire and effectiveness to do the job right is truly outstanding!

    Nicole predominantly operates within Nottingham City Centre working within the managed office space of Alan House looking after tenanted clients Watermans and DBC Training whilst also providing valuable cleaning support to RSM Nottingham based in City Gate East.

    Nicole was one of the first people employed by Charlene almost 10 years ago and Charlene looks back fondly on Nicole’s career and development with our organisation:

    “Nicole is always willing to go the extra mile and is very much liked by the clients in all the buildings in which she works. Each client has expressed how much they appreciate her commitment and reliability which has helped me no end over the past 10 years”!

    “What made this award even more special was presenting it to Nicole with Tom Roden who is the Alan House Building Manager. Tom was over the moon and quite emotional seeing Nicole pick up this award which was so pleasing to see as often the cleaning staff can be forgotten but it was clear that Tom as the client genuinely cares for and appreciates Nicole”.

    Cynthia Brako

    Contract Manager Robb Paton presented Cynthia Brako with her Pride Award at Salts Healthcare Richard Street facility. An immensely enthusiastic individual, Cynthia is bubbly, polite, reliable and very hard working.

    Recognised as the longest established family run business in Birmingham Salts Healthcare has gone from strength to strength over the past 5 years or so and their operations have dramatically increased during this time.  Cynthia has been very much at the fulcrum of these ever-evolving operational demands proving to be a steady constant, carrying out her full time daily cleaning duties with a smile on her face and offering her support when cover or additional cleaning hours are required.

    Michael Fishwick

    Michael joined we clean way back in 2007 after being interviewed at the time by Directors  David and Paul as we began our exciting journey with the world famous Birmingham Hippodrome!

    From the outset ‘Mick’ as he is affectionately known by many within the Theatre showed himself to be a real character, a genuine gem who carries out his daily duties within the auditorium with a beaming smile on his face!

    Michael is fully deserving of his Pride Award as he is always arrives early to start his shift and is typically one of the last to leave, he never thinks twice about going above and beyond or doing that little bit extra to meet the required standards and has a passion and desire to do the job right!

    Director Paul Concannon took particular pleasure in awarding Michael with his Pride Award, commenting:

    Mick has shown tremendous loyalty to both we clean and the Birmingham Hippodrome over so many years displaying unwavering reliability at all times, he is a genuine team player and has that desire to go the extra mile! As a madly passionate Blues supporter, he is never shy in giving me some banter whenever I visit site but we are immensely proud to have him in our team and he is very deserving of this Dee Richards Pride Award! Well done Mick”!

    Sarah Smith and Lee Cox

    Our relationship with West Bromwich Albion Football Club as their preferred ‘Cleaning Partner’ kicked off back in 2018 and it has been a thoroughly rewarding period for the company to be associated with this world-renowned footballing institution!

    By its very nature, the demands of a bustling football stadium and busy training ground fluctuate greatly, with matchdays and conferencing events creating vast footfall. As a result a robust cleaning service is required, and as part of that we rely greatly on hard working Cleaning Operatives who possess great resilience and desire in what can be described as a diverse cleaning role!

    Lee Cox and Sarah Smith have epitomised this consistently over a number of years, coping with the demands that a matchday or pre-season deep clean requires or delivering great attention to detail in Training Ground Physio, Medical & Treatment Room facilities as well as comprehensive gymnasium facility. 

    Both Lee and Sarah are conscientious by nature and are always happy to either cover or put in extra hours to generate the best outcome for both we clean and WBA FC. In addition both Lee and Sarah work within one of our local educational contracts Elm Tree School where again they shown outstanding levels of service!

    Jane Shields Contract Manager commented:

    I cannot thank Lee and Sarah enough they have provided me with wonderful support over the past 12 months particularly – nothing is ever too much trouble and as a ‘duo’ they really do go that extra mile. Our client contact at the Albion Chris Harris is always feeding back so positively to me on the work Lee and Sarah do around the Hawthorns on a daily basis! They very much deserve this recognition”!

    Leigh Parcey

    Last but very much not least is Leigh Parcey, our Pride Winner from our prestigious HORIBA MIRA Contract in Nuneaton.

    Karen Lord, Site Manager and Jean Green, Assistant Manager nominated Leigh for his dedication, proactivity and constant hard work to ensure our service standards on this contract are exemplary!

    Despite the fact that Leigh was moving onto pastures new in early 2024 his exit was a very amicable one and both Karen and Jean wanted to recognise the contribution of Leigh to this business during his time with we clean:  

    We nominated Leigh Parcey for his exceptional dedication and hard work which never went unnoticed. His commitment to go above, and beyond, was truly commendable, and he had a significant impact upon our team. His outstanding performance and willingness to take on additional responsibility was commendable and he consistently delivered exceptional results, showing a remarkable level of dedication and passion for his work. His positive approach and consistent effort have significantly contributed to the success of the team”.

    Leigh is a very deserving recipient of a Dee Richard’s Pride Award and everyone associated with we clean wishes him all the very best for the future!

    Now into its 8th Year the annual Company Pride Awards programme is a lasting memorial to our ‘Dee Richards’ who more than anyone epitomised the unique we clean consistently operating with the utmost professionalism whilst her genuine passion for the cleaning industry filtered through to the numerous cleaning teams that were fortunate to grow under her tutelage.

    Hence to be recognised as a ‘Dee Richards Pride Award Champion’ is the ultimate accolade within our organisation – with the deserving recipient clearly demonstrating that they have gone ‘above and beyond’ in their role, displayed outstanding attributes in line with our unique Company Ethos and provided an exceptional service to our clients over a consistent length of time.

    Over the past 12 month’s no one within the organisation has been more deserving of this recognition than Nicholas Jeywright, our Contract Management Support based in Milton Keynes and we are delighted to announce him as our Dee Richards Pride Award Champion for 2023!

    Nick Jeywright, 2024 Dee Richards Pride Champion

    Nick Joined we clean following a TUPE transfer back in 2019 and initially kicked off his career as Cleaning Location Manager for the Norfolk & Ashton Buildings, a large, tenanted office facility in the centre of Milton Keynes that we service on behalf of property company CEG.

    Nick’s incredible enthusiasm immediately shone through, his style of management was very much to ‘lead by example’ and with his dedication to do the job right,  plus an inherent passion for the cleaning industry, has ensured that he has developed a really ‘effective and committed’ cleaning team within Milton Keynes.

    Operating under Richard Wharton, Operational Business Manager, Nick has continued to excel progressing to the role of a Contract Management Support during the past 12 months where he has provided invaluable support to Richard in evolving our commercial presence within the Milton Keynes area.

    As a result Richard had no hesitation in putting forward what he believed were Nick’s credentials as worthy nominee for this year’s Champion Award, commenting:

    “I couldn’t be prouder of Nick receiving this most prestigious award and I am genuinely delighted for him. Nick has progressed brilliantly over the past 12 months and certainly deserves this formal recognition having displayed consistently the core qualities required of a Dee Richards Pride Award Champion during his time with the business”. For example:   

    • Long term commitment to his role (3 years +) – Nick has worked for we clean since TUPE transferring to us in March 2019 and has taken on the role of Location Manager and more recently Contract Management Support with incredible enthusiasm and passion. Nick and myself have not always seen eye to eye especially in the early days but what I have had with Nick is someone who even when they are ill will still show up for work and give what he can to the role.
    • Immaculate & professional personal presentation  – whenever I go to site at Norfolk + Ashton or Witan Studios Nick is always well turned out and is regularly nagging me for new uniform so that he can present himself in the best light. When Nick presents himself at the Head Office he always ensures he is wearing all his uniform correctly and has a high regard for his own personal presentation.
    • Unfailing Reliability – As stated previously I have every confidence in Nick that although he does suffer with various illnesses from time to time if he can get into work he will do so. He is willing to drop into work at a moment’s notice, with a ‘Client First’ attitude that is required to exceed expectations.
    • Inherent Integrity – what I have found with Nick is that if he feels that something is down to himself for not being done he will hold up his hands and tell me so. I never have to worry about whether Nick is carrying out my requests and with his new responsibility of CMS looking after a number of properties he has risen to the role delivering a stable management structure in Milton Keynes giving me the platform to grow We Clean in Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas.
    • A Team Player – Nick demonstrates his willingness to be a ‘team player’ with his numerous cleaning staff in Milton Keynes and never will Nick ask anyone to carry out any duty that he will not do himself and many times he will take on work for the benefit of the team to allow them to focus on other key areas.
    • Genuinely going the extra mile to support the reputation of our business and proud to work for we clean – Nick has always delivered an excellent service on behalf of we clean for CEG. Various Building Managers have sang Nick’s praises and this has continued with Jasmin Padmore the new Building Manager for CEG at Norfolk + Ashton who recently emailed to express her gratitude in the manner in which Nick dealt with a major flood at 5.30am on a Monday morning a few weeks back within the Buildings bin store. Not phased Nick promptly dealt with the whole incident professionally and efficiently leading to minimal damage to the building fabric after promptly notifying the CEG E Logs Helpline of the problem.

    Paul Concannon Director was quick to echo Richard’s observations of Nicks enduring qualities commenting:  

    “When I first met Nick shortly after his TUPE Transfer into our organisation my first impressions of him were very positive – he clearly had a passion and loyalty to the 3 Buildings he managed down in Milton Keynes and he was keen to continue providing unfailing reliability to our client but with the support of ‘we clean’.

    More importantly, for me Nick over time has shown himself to be someone with immense ‘integrity’ and we have been able to trust him to deliver outstanding levels of professionalism and service standards to this key client within our ever growing portfolio – and this despite him being based 70+ miles from our own Head Office Facility.

    Nick is more than deserving of the Dee Richards Pride Award Champion Trophy, he is a fantastic ambassador for the ‘we clean’ brand displaying consistently the unique attributes that allows our business to set itself apart from the ‘Industry Norms’ and we are very proud to have Nick within our Team!

    Many Congratulations Nick!

    The UK’s biggest regional panto is back in action this Saturday the 16th at the Birmingham Hippodrome as they gear up to welcome thousands of visitors through their doors over the festive period and into January!

    ‘Panto season’ is always an immensely exciting and busy time in the we clean calendar as we ready ourselves to tackle the heightened cleaning challenges for our 17th Panto and as is tradition, we have kicked off preparations with the annual ‘Pre Panto Breakfast’ with our longstanding onsite cleaning team!

    As a Management Team we use this important gathering to thank the team wholeheartedly for all their hard work throughout the year whilst appreciating the specific cleaning challenges the Panto Season presents! Yesterday’s gathering also offered the perfect opportunity to make a number of very special presentations…

    Our Birmingham Hippodrome & Panto Experience

    We have forged a ‘genuine partnership’ with the Birmingham Hippodrome that dates back to 2006 and have have been fortunate to galvanise a vastly experienced team of staff that has progressed each year and overcome the many challenges that providing a cleaning service to this iconic theatre presents.

    The entertainment sector was hit particularly hard during the COVID pandemic and the resilience shown by our Cleaning Team to adapt to these difficult circumstances was immeasurable, from Yvette Meade, Site Cleaning Manager through to all the frontline Cleaning Operatives they grouped together to continue to provide the exemplary service that we pride ourselves upon.

    Fast forward to 2023 and the Hippodrome has certainly bounced back, demand for shows has soared with ‘The Lion King’ ensuring the theatre was sold out for most of July, August and September, 7 days a week. This consumer confidence has continued with the Panto proving to be as popular as ever with ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ rolling into town. The next couple of months are truly gruelling for our front-line team as they manage up to 2 shows a day with very tight turnarounds and a huge footfall of festive theatre-goers!

    Our Specialist Team have helped ensure the Hippodrome is presented immaculately for all visitors!

    Dee Richards Pride Team Award

    The unwavering dedication and commitment displayed by our Hippodrome Cleaning Team has not gone unnoticed and this year they have been chosen as our ‘Dee Richards Pride ‘Team Award’ Winners’ – this most prestigious award within our organisation is testament to the service they have provided not just these last 12 months, but over the last 17 years!

    Our Birmingham Hippodrome Cleaning Team and the new Dee Richards Pride Team Award Winners!

    Now into its third year the ‘Team Award’ recognises the importance that the late Dee Richards placed upon ‘teamwork’ where she clearly understood that as a collective we are able to achieve far greater than as individuals and she impressed this upon all those that she managed.

    Consistency is the bedrock of any successful cleaning regime and this is truly epitomised through the longevity of those within our Hippodrome Cleaning Team. The average service length across all 19 team members is a mind-blowing 10.8 years – almost unheard of within the cleaning industry!

    10 Year Service Award

    And it wasn’t just the Cleaning Team that were presented with an award, Yvette Meade, Site Cleaning Manager was presented with her own we clean 10 Year Service Award! Yvette embodies everything good about ‘we clean and our presence on site where she has developed a keen eye for ‘people management’ and identifying service efficiencies – critical when time is of the essence between a busy afternoon and evening show schedule.

    Yvette Meade receiving her 10 Year Service Award!

    David Holmes, Health & Safety Manager who himself carried out the role of Hippodrome Site Cleaning Manager couldn’t be prouder of Yvette and how she has developed throughout her career with the organisation:

    “Yvette joined the Birmingham Hippodrome not long after myself and has been a vital part of the team ever since, working her way up to the role of Site Cleaning Manager providing outstanding service to ensure the team keep up the high standards of cleanliness that the Hippodrome demands. Yvette carries out her duties professionally at all times and is always immaculately presented. Yvette is an excellent problem solver and has a can do attitude towards getting the job done and nothing is too much trouble. Well done on your 10 Years Yvette – I look forward to watching you develop even further in the years to come!”

    Dee Richards Pride Winner

    Finally on the award front was the announcement of our first 2023 Individual Dee Richards Pride Award recipient – our very own Michael Fishwick who is not just one of the longest serving members of the Hippodrome Cleaning Team – but within the company as a whole!

    Michael Fishwick receiving his Dee Richards Pride Award!

    Michael joined we clean back in 2007 after being interviewed by David and Paul as we began our Hippodrome tenure and from the outset ‘Mick’ as he is affectionately known by many within the Theatre showed himself to be a real character, a genuine gem who carries out his daily duties within the auditorium with a beaming smile on his face!

    Michael is fully deserving of his Pride Award as he is always arrives early to start his shift and is typically one of the last to leave, he never thinks twice about going above and beyond or doing that little bit extra to meet the required standards and has a passion and desire to do the job right!

    Director Paul Concannon took great pleasure in awarding Michael his Pride Award, commenting:

    “Mick has shown tremendous loyalty to both we clean and the Birmingham Hippodrome over so many years displaying unwavering reliability at all times, he is a genuine team player and has that desire to go the extra mile! As a madly passionate Blues supporter, he is never shy in giving me some banter whenever I visit site but we are immensely proud to have him in our team and he is very deserving of this Dee Richards Pride Award! Well done Mick”!

    Our Hippodrome Cleaning Team really do go above and beyond and they are a credit to both the Hippodrome and we clean as we look forward to supporting and serving this iconic and much loved theatre for many more years to come!