A recent period of change and restructuring at the Glasgow Film Theatre had left some of the staff feeling unsettled and anxious.
"You could say that some staff were feeling a little down and lacking in motivation," said Senior Front of House Manager Angela Freeman. "But following Glasgow Welcomes staff training, the morale and atmosphere at the city’s famous filmhouse is now greatly improved."
Angela said, "It’s been amazing to see how many of the staff are so much more positive about their work. They seem happier in their jobs and much more motivated about customer service."
Angela has delivered two rounds of Glasgow Welcomes training in-house and has adapted the Glasgow Welcomes training to suit her staff.
She said, "I delivered the first Glasgow Welcomes customer service excellence training to a group of 10 staff and then invited eight more staff to attend the second course. I made a few tweaks to the training course to better suit our staff and include the GFT brand, but on the whole the course content has been excellent for our customer service training purposes.
"We have paid staff and volunteers, including bar workers, cleaners and volunteers in the box office, with a wide age range from 15 to 75 and I selected staff for each course from across different departments.
Angela reports that bringing different departments together offered important benefits.
She said, "It was good for staff from different areas of GFT to be able to talk about their own experiences and to offer insight to other staff. This worked really well for us because on a day-to-day basis staff might not come into contact with each other. The feedback from our teams was very positive because they were able to better appreciate the challenges in different departments.
"The Glasgow Welcomes ‘pledges’ were positively embraced. Staff really liked the pledges part of the training and I felt they really meant what they said when they outlined their own pledges. I have seen them carrying out their pledges in the workplace, too, which has been very encouraging.
Angela also felt that staff really understood the message about the potential for improved customer service.
Angela explained, "Our people really started to understand about the benefits of customer service excellence for the business and I could sense a sudden understanding of how important the GFT is in terms of a tourism offering in Glasgow. There was almost a lightbulb moment when we talked about the forthcoming Commonwealth Games and how this will benefit many tourism businesses across Glasgow, including the GFT."
Angela has been delighted by how the Glasgow Welcomes training has initiated change.
She said, "I have noticed that staff are much more aware of body language now that they understand that what we say and how we behave can impact on customer experiences. They really think about how they stand and act when serving customers. They also seem more confident – it’s as if the training has given them focus and shown them that GFT has an important role to play in customer experience not just for our own business but for the greater benefit of the city.
"Another major benefit involves customer feedback. Staff weren’t sure that I would want to hear about negative as well as positive customer feedback, but I told them why it is important for me to hear what customers are saying. I want to know if a customer doesn’t like the taste of the coffee, or if they have asked for something that we don’t have, such as gluten-free biscuits or a particular type of drink in the bar. I think the training showed staff that there is a real purpose to the customer feedback and what they should be telling me.
Angela is keen to offer training for more staff.
"We are always very busy, but I am keen to offer further training because of the very tangible benefits and results that it brings about."