One of the key parts of bartlett mitchell culture is its huge investment in one of their greatest assets – their people.

Essence is a training course uniquely designed by the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama for bartlett mitchell staff to build confidence, improve communication and to enable one to grow and thereby give great customer service. These sessions consist of exercises and fun interactive tools designed to engage teams with a strong team-building element in mind.

Regardless of whether you work in senior management, the office or you are one of our chefs; all are invited to take part in this course. The sessions range from handling stress to body language, presentation to how to give constructive feedback.

Since Essence training were released in the business early this year, it has already proven to be a successful tool for individuals and teams to build their confident in providing great customer service and as a result the teams have a stronger identity in the workplace.

I caught up with Richard Hodgson, the lead Essence trainer for bartlett mitchell, to learn more on how this has progressed through the year.

In a nutshell, what is Essence?

RH: – Essence is an interactive ongoing training program, which develops both the team and the individual with an aim to build confidence, improve communication; encourage teamwork, presence and professionalism.

Teams have a stronger identity, where they can feel supported by each other, build a positive dynamic energy within the team and resolve conflict and shine as ambassadors’ in their units.

How have teams responded to Essence?

RH: – Team response to Essence has been very positive, even in cases were an individual is reticent to begin with, the relaxed and inclusive nature of Essence, which provides a ‘safe’ non-judgmental environment, allows one to grow as an individual and bond with the team.

Managers often see their teams in a new light, which helps them manage even more effectively whilst they are in a ‘learn together environment’. This has enabled them to observe their team dynamics, understand more about an individual’s strengths and weaknesses so they can provide better support and development.

Have you seen an improvement in sales or service?

RH: – Although Essence is primarily a customer service and team building course, we have noticed that as a by-product, the average spend per head at the ‘Essence – trained locations’ has increased by an average of 12%. There has also been a reduction in customer service related queries being escalated to a managerial level.

Essence is clearly having an effect in the units and has cultured an environment where teams learn how to problem solve and work more closely together. The learning and development department of bartlett mitchell have been so thrilled with the results of Essence that it now forms an integral part of their yearly in house audits for each unit. This program reinforces the value and commitment that bartlett mitchell places on their teams and clients, which will I’m sure, will keep them within the Sunday Times 100 best companies list for many more years to come.

Until next time…

Yuki Solle
Business Development Manager

My earliest food memories are of my mum’s baking; coconut pyramid cakes were my favourite.

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