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Inspirational training team honoured

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The ‘Inspire’ team at Abellio Greater Anglia has won the Trainer/ Training Team of the Year Award at the RailStaff Awards.

Jay Thompson, head of safety and environment at Abellio Greater Anglia, is in no doubt as to the value of the team.

‘The Abellio Greater Anglia ‘Inspire’ team introduced and delivered a customer service programme known as ‘Inspire’ to develop and encourage our colleagues to put the customer at the heart of everything that we do as a company.

The aim was to make it clear that no matter what their role, everyone plays an important part in our customer’s journey, as well as inspiring them to deliver a better service to our customers, day in, day out, thereby increasing both customer and employee satisfaction.’

The success of the initial programme meant a second phase of the programme,“Inspire…Continuing the Journey”, was rolled out this year. This is a continuation and evolution of the original two- day event and has been developed from colleague feedback.

These events focus on pride, responsibility, accountability and how colleagues can make a difference to the customer’s experience. To date 603 delegates from across the business have attended this event.

The team endeavours to lead by example and embody business values in the way they conduct their roles and work together in a supportive, progressive environment, and also help by volunteering for special events and helping out during disruption.

Challenges the team have faced include encouraging all colleagues to live the values and behaviours consistently while also facing the everyday challenges of ensuring full attendance on each event, hitting required targets and encouraging management buy in. All of the team keep in regular contact with managers and heads of department to update them on the progress of Inspire, encouraging support and cooperation for all the Inspire events.

The Inspire team includes Jackie Gibbs, head of service quality standards; Lucy Tomlinson, customer service development programme manager; Charlotte Pearson, customer service development programme trainer; and Stacy Gillespie, customer service programme coordinator.

Says Jay Thompson, ‘They are a very strong dedicated team who rely on effective, positive communication with each other to ensure targets are met, while at the same time encouraging others to deliver the “Abellio Way”. They have shown innovation and creativity in the events by updating and refreshing the session plans as necessary, acting on feedback and their own experiences.’

‘Thanks to the whole team, they are a fantastic group of people,’ says Charlotte Pearson. ‘We have also had great support from across the company.’

Training Team of the Year was sponsored by the National Training Academy for Rail (NTAR).

Says Jennifer Walpole from NTAR, ‘They obviously work really well together as a team to then train these people. It’s important these people are trained, that they get a career progression and move on and be recognised because recognition again for their hard work is really important. It will motivate them for the next 12 months.’

Highly commended

  • Jayson Gill, Virgin Trains East Coast
  • Paul Humes, ISS Labour



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