Leading facilities management company Arcus has demonstrated the importance of developing a resilient workforce that can support its clients even in the most challenging of circumstances.

Now more than ever its investment in its people across the business ensures it can continue to support clients during the pandemic, many of whom are delivering vital services. This includes the company’s largest client, supermarket giant Sainsbury’s.

From cleaners and helpdesk colleagues to a management function that keeps its operations running efficiently, a commitment to workforce development is at the heart of Arcus’ success.

Developing an agile workforce

The recent Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the importance of having a dedicated and skilled workforce that can respond quickly to significant changes to the way in which Arcus delivers its services. Its helpdesk continues to operate 24/7, with teams working remotely, so clients are able to contact the business as normal. Office-based colleagues have adapted well to working from home and the company’s engineers and cleaning teams have received fantastic feedback from clients for performing outstanding critical on-site work.

Steve Nielsen, Senior Operations Manager at Arcus, said, “We have worked in collaboration with Seetec to find the right candidates for roles in the business, and during these unprecedented times this has proven invaluable to both parties in sustaining a successful and reliable team for our clients whilst building a strong foundation to meet current and future challenges.”

Building the right skills base

Seetec’s skills division, Seetec Outsource, has supported Arcus with training and recruitment since 2018, initially introducing a level 2 customer service apprenticeship programme for new recruits at its contact centre in Redditch.

Seetec Outsource has supported Arcus with the apprenticeship recruitment process, sourcing candidates who are the right fit for the organisation with the skills and attributes needed to succeed in a customer services role. Apprentices then receive comprehensive training built around the organisation’s commitment to exceeding customer expectations and delivering a ‘right first time’ service.

Supporting effective leadership

Seetec Outsource has also helped Arcus to develop managers across the country with the level 3 team leader apprenticeship programme. For employees in a first line management role this programme builds the skills and confidence they need to effectively provide direction and guidance and ensure key business objectives are achieved. It also provides a professional development pathway for colleagues looking to progress within the company.

Lisa Jardim, Learning and Engagement Manager at Arcus said, “Seetec Outsource tutors have supported our Arcus colleagues to gain new knowledge and skills, and put these into practice in their role to the benefit of their team. This has enabled our colleagues to grow in confidence at the same time as gaining a nationally recognised standard.”

Many of the team leaders on the level 3 apprenticeship programme have been supervising colleagues working across Sainsbury’s stores in Greater Manchester and Cheshire during the pandemic. For Arcus employees leading frontline colleagues, these newly acquired management skills have proved invaluable, ensuring the business delivers a well-managed and coordinated service throughout the crisis.

An inclusive approach

As a disability confident employer Arcus recognises the benefits of drawing from the widest possible pool of talent. The organisation’s inclusive approach brings together individuals from diverse backgrounds to fill a wide range of roles within the business. A culture of support and continuous improvement gives all employees the chance to achieve their potential and access progression opportunities.

Seetec’s employability division, Seetec Pluss, has been working with Arcus over the past 18 months to recruit people for its soft services division to fulfil cleaning contracts in Greater Manchester and Cheshire with the company’s largest client Sainsbury’s.

Seetec Pluss supports participants on the Work and Health Programme to overcome barriers and secure meaningful employment; At least 40 programme participants have joined Arcus via the Work and Health Programme over the past 12 months, and the company was awarded ‘Employer of the Year’ at Seetec’s annual Disability Confident event in Crewe in March this year.

Greg Bate, Senior Operational Partnerships Manager at Seetec Pluss said, “Arcus is a shining light when it comes to Disability Confident best practice. Not only is their open-minded and supportive approach to hiring individuals with disabilities and health conditions a breath of fresh air, the support they give those employees once they are in work is second to none.

“They recognise that the work they do in partnership with Seetec Pluss can be life-changing for individuals, but the company also benefits from a loyal employee base committed to its success.” 

Looking ahead

As the country starts to look at rebuilding the economy post-Covid, businesses are recognising the importance of investing in their workforce. And Arcus is already ahead of the curve.

Whether the priority is to mitigate losses, to position for future growth or to seize new and perhaps unexpected opportunities resulting from the current crisis, having the right people with the right skills and attributes is going to be key to recovery.

For more information about apprenticeship training or recruiting through the Work and Health Programme please get in touch.