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Axis Group Support the Institute of Customer Service's Respect Campaign

Axis Group Support the Institute of Customer Service's Respect Campaign
02 September 2020 | Updated 14 September 2020

Communal working space management is still a fresh priority in FM agendas across the world. Axis Group have become the latest to officially support the Back our Essential Workers: Service with Respect campaign.

“By supporting the Service with Respect campaign we will be combining the efforts of many other organisations and helping to raise awareness of the zero-tolerance approach to hostility and abuse directed towards customer service workers.”

–Jonathan Levine
CEO, Axis Group

The Service with Respect Campaign

Launched by the Institute of Customer Service to prevent essential customer service workers from being subjected to abuse, the campaign not only aims to raise awareness on the issues that key workers are currently facing, but also encourages organisations to take action. In their launch interview with BBC, CEO Jo Causon expressed the need to collaborate in safeguarding workers that have been taking extra responsibilities and risk in order to provide for us. She stated three core aims: 

  • For a change in UK law, to legislate against those that choose to abuse the 80% of staff that are in customer related occupation
  • For company co-operation in training, tools, and security to deal with incidents
  • For customer/employee tolerance during frustrating circumstances

Research conducted by the Institute highlights that more than half of customer-facing staff have experienced abuse - verbal and physical - from customers since the start of the pandemic. Back in June, Vice President of IOSH Louise Hosking wrote for us about protective measures that can be implemented through substantial risk assessment, to support those undertaking these vital roles in our society. Although more personal and collective freedoms are being exercised as pandemic restrictions are relaxed, this makes way for more opportunities to vent frustration and react to regulation changes. It is therefore important to encourage mindfulness, not shooting the messenger. Enforcing the message itself may require strategy for de-escalating behaviour that does fall out of respectful boundaries, as we discussed in June.

Axis Group Worker Consideration

Axis Group are one of the UK’s fastest growing security, cleaning, front-of-house and support services organisations. Jonathan Levine, their CEO, says the health and wellbeing of Axis employees remains a top priority: “Workers fulfilling a customer service should always feel supported by their employer, and this becomes even more important during tough times,” he says. 

“Throughout the pandemic our brilliant security officers and cleaning operatives - like all the essential workers - have done a spectacular job in keeping everyone safe and they will continue to do so. But their jobs can be challenging, especially now, as they are invariably the people responsible for actioning Government guidance around social distancing, for example, which requires them to ask customers to change their behaviour."

Axis Group will also continue to support front-line staff to ensure any incidents of hostility or abuse are reported. It is similarly investing in appropriate training to enable staff to deal with potential conflicts as they arise.

Picture: A customer service employee at a desk

Article written by Bailey Sparkes | Published 02 September 2020


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