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March 2018

Record numbers donned their glad rags for a night of festive fun with their colleagues. CHRISTMAS PARTY

ALSO INSIDE: FOUNDATION NEWS HIGH FLYERS RETAIL CONFERENCE

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Contents

Page 4

Page 23

Christmas Party

Homeworker Hero

Page 12

Page 24

Local Community

Staff Promotions

Page 14

Page 26

High Flyer

Mexico Blog

Page 16

Page 29

Foundation news

Jade Campion

Page 17

Page 30

Baby Competition

Day in the life

Page 18

Purchasing Department Page 32

My Story Kelly Storey

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Page 19

Page 34

Caption Competition

Retail Conference

Page 20

Page 36

My Story Simon Fisher

Working for you

Page 22

Page 38

Panto Time

New Branch Openings

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Welcome

We all continue to be busy with good growth so far this year. Let’s keep it going!

a great success and really stimulated a major productivity and profitability surge. I’m hoping for more of the same this year in Marbella. This edition showcases our awards which makes me so proud –we’re a Top Apprenticeship Employer and one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in the UK. I love to see our staff get dressed up and go to glitzy venues to collect these accolades. Many of our internal events are also featured in this edition, such as Christmas parties and High Flyer events. I love attending them all!

Looking back to November - our retail conference in Port Aventura was very productive and very professionally organised - as well as great fun! Thank you to Allison, the Creative team and Retail support. Conferences are really important. They allow us to take stock of how we are doing and to agree changes to make us even better. Last year’s homeworker conference in Birmingham was also

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The 2017 Christmas Parties were the usual raucous success, with record numbers donning their glad rags for a night of festive fun with their colleagues.

The south event took place on 6 December at the Grand Harbour Hotel in Southampton, with nearly 300 attendees, while almost 600 of us descended on Wynyard Hall in County Durham for the north event on 13 December.

John Hays is often to be found in the middle of the dancefloor. He said: “I love our Christmas parties. The atmosphere is great, everyone looks so smart, and the pride and pleasure of the award winners gives me goose-bumps.”

As well as dinner, the award presentations and dancing, this year we were entertained by cover band, Storm.

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Time Hop You’ve seen the pics from the most recent Hays Christmas bash, but who can guess what year these revellers are in? Answer in the next edition…

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Award Winners NORTH

Retail Apprentice of the Year Emily Adams, Stockton

Thomas Rae of Supplier Payments picked up the Apprentice Head Office award for the North. He achieved both his Business Admin and Customer Service NVQ and is about to start his AAT in September. Tom is keen to take on new responsibilities and support the team as well as his personal development. Thomas said: “To win the award was a massive achievement for me, because it shows how far I have come since I first started working at Hays Travel. I have gone from being shy to being fully confident in myself and my ability.” Head Office Apprentice of the Year Thomas Rae, Supplier Payments

Retail Sales Consultant of the Year Kirsty Calvert, Sunderland Kirsty Calvert of the Sunderland branch picked up the Sales Award for Retail. She was nominated for being a great team player and seller. Kirsty achieved a phenomenal £81,000 compared to £64,000 in 2016! Kirsty said: “I was absolutely over the moon to win the award, I was totally shocked as I never expected to even be nominated! “I felt really valued and appreciated that I got this special recognition from everyone in the company.” To stay on top of her game, Kirsty says she will be doing exactly what she did in 2017 - delivering excellent customer service, going the extra mile for people and keeping motivated, helping her to hit her monthly and yearly targets.

Winning the award for Apprentice Sales in the north, Emily Adams achieved £52,000 in profit in her first year. Emily said: “When I won the award I was overwhelmed. It did not feel real. I was very proud of myself for achieving this in my first year at Hays Travel. “In 2018 I’m making sure my work is always my number one priority over everything. My customers are my friends and I always put them first.”

“When I won the award I was overwhelmed.”

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Homeworker Sales Award Graham Kelly, Premier Homeworker Graham Kelly picked up the award for Homeworker Sales at the north Christmas party. Having achieved a 20% increase in profit, he was the only telesales agent to achieve £1,000,000 in sales. Graham said: “I really wasn’t expecting my name to be read out in the shortlist so when it was I was surprised and excited! When I was announced as the winner I was so pleased - it was really nice to be recognised as the top all round homeworker - all my hard work had paid off! And the champagne was delicious! “I will be continuing to give all my customers - both regular and new - the excellent customer experience they all deserve to keep me at the top of my game.”

Head Office Employee of the Year Leanne Brown, Training Leanne Brown truly goes above and beyond to help you when you need it, which is why she won the award for Head Office Employee of the Year! Her training sessions are always five star and she helped a number of apprentices last year. She brightens everyone’s day when she visits and makes apprentice life easier! Leanne said: “After the initial shock of receiving the award, I was over the moon. It meant a lot that people had taken the time to nominate me! “In 2018 I will continue to support apprentices, encouraging and motivating them to be on top of their game, achieving sales targets and qualifications.”

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Head Office Team of the Year Forex

Forex won Head Office Team of the Year, pipping Digital Marketing and IG Finance to the award! Nicola Loftus, manager of Forex said: “We were absolutely thrilled to receive the Head Office Team of the Year award! Admittedly it was a shock, but we all feel so proud that our dedication and hard work was recognised. We are a very close team who always aim to give 100% and it was overwhelming to see the reception we received from branches and other departments when we won the award.” To make sure the team continue to stay on top of their game, they’re going to go above and beyond what is expected, supporting each other to provide exceptional customer service. They will continue to build excellent relationships with branches by offering them support with anything they need.

Branch of the Year Jarrow

Jarrow picked up the award at the north Christmas party for Branch of the Year. Having increased their overall sales by £634,000, they have had their best year ever! They’ve had exceptional success on Facebook, achieving over £34,000 in profit. Lesley said: “We felt ecstatic to win Branch of the Year! It’s such a massive achievement and we are so proud!

“We’re going to continue with our amazing Facebook deals and growing our business with long haul and cruise to ensure we keep delivering excellent results!” “We felt ecstatic to win Branch of the Year! It’s such a massive achievement and we are so proud”

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The John Award Jill Robinson

“Who knows, I could be the first person to retain the award, or even better Internal Audit are voted Head Office Team of the Year.”

Jill Robinson picked up the John Award at the North Christmas party. She admits that she was shocked and overwhelmed at the nomination alone and very grateful for the award. But Jill already has her eyes set on retaining it in 2018! “I have already hit the ground running and managed to finally settle the Low Cost Beds Supplier Failure Claim. Now I can concentrate on Monarch and hope to have this settled within a few months. Along with the additional workload that a failure brings I will continue to ensure my team are also on top of their game. Teamwork is key and I believe that

winning this award has a lot to do with the work they do also.

“One of my mottos is ‘build a bridge and get over it’. A lot of people who know me know I use this a lot; I like to be optimistic about the negatives. “Who knows, I could be the first person to retain the award, or even better Internal Audit are voted Head Office Team of the Year! “Thanks again to the Directors for this award and to my colleagues and friends at Hays Travel.”

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Award Winners SOUTH

Branch of the Year Honiton

Honiton scooped the Branch of the Year award in the south and it’s clear to see why. They finished on a staggering £185,893 in profit. Having just missed out on Forex target, they still managed a 57% increase over the previous year.

short and mid haul and 42% on HTOL cruise. They also embraced Facebook and manager Chris Smith was amazed by their success around it. Chris said: “We all felt really pleased and proud that we were successful, after a lot of hard work from the whole team.

“In 2018, we’re going to continue to keep it simple and straightforward, maintaining a high standard of service to all our clients, new and existing!”

They achieved their long haul HTOL target by 119% and had a 21% share for

“In 2018, we’re going to continue to keep it simple and straightforward, maintaining a high standard of service to all our clients, new and existing!”

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Retail Apprentice of the Year Josie Arnold, Bridport

Retail Sales Consultant of the Year Vicky Burridge, Wimborne Superstar Vicky Burridge always goes above and beyond with her customers and it’s no surprise that she picked up the award for Retail Sales at the south Christmas party. She went from strength to strength in 2017 and finished the year on a massive £152,993! Vicky said: “I was very surprised, I didn’t even expect to be nominated let alone win! I’m very proud to have won it. “I’m going to stay on top of my game by carrying on the way that I did last year. I’ve hit my high flyers target for the year already and will keep going to see what I can do this year.”

Josie Arnold of the Bridport branch picked up the award for Apprentice Sales in the south. She focused hard and achieved her target and her great customer service and determination helped her reach £29,499 over her previous year! Josie said: “Winning Apprentice of the Year was a huge shock as I did not expect it. I felt really proud and honoured to have won; after all the effort I put in last year it felt great for it to have been recog- nised! “To ensure I stay on top of my game I am making sure I am continuously giving the best customer service, following the cus- tomer excellence guidelines, and making sure I’m always asking for the sale!”

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Aylsham and Sheringham’s Santa’s Sleigh Appeal

Local Community PARTNERSHIP ROUNDUP

TOY DRIVE FOR NORFOLK-BASED CHARITY, BREAK Hays Travel in Aylsham and Sheringham got involved in a Santa’s Sleigh Appeal during the last months of 2017. They asked members of their local community to pop into branch and donate new, unwrapped items such as toys, gift sets, toiletries, household goods, stationery items or books in aid of the children and families that Norfolk-based charity, Break, supports throughout East Anglia. This was the fifth consecutive year for the appeal and according to managers, Jo and Nina, it was the best one yet, with toys and presents flooding in.

HEXHAM DONATION BOOSTS FACILITIES FOR HOSPITAL WARD In November, agents from Hexham’s Hays Travel visited Ward 18 at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle to present a cheque for £1056, which will contribute towards boosting some of the facilities in the unit. Throughout 2017, the team at Hexham called on their local community for support through a number of fundraising projects to help improve patients’ stay at the ward.

CUSTOMER GENEROSITY BOOSTS TOY APPEAL Customers and friends of Hays Travel in Bognor Regis filled the play room at St Richards Hospital children’s ward just in time for Christmas. Two trolley loads of toys collected by the branch were handed over to Love Your Hospital in aid of youngsters in care at the Chichester- based hospital. In just over a month, the Santa’s Sack Toy Appeal had the branch flooded with gifts and while the initiative was Christmas themed, the donations will contribute towards improving patients’ stay in the ward throughout the whole year.

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FUNDS RAISED FOR MISSION CHRISTMAS

In December 2017, Vanessa and Johann from Hays Travel Metro Centre visited Metro Radio in Newcastle to present a cheque for £750.80 in support of Cash for Kids’ Mission Christmas. Staff from the branch raised funds though a coach trip to Edinburgh Christmas Markets, where they were joined by more than 90 of their customers and friends in support of the youngest in their community, who are disabled, disadvantaged or suffering from abuse or neglect. WALLSEND CAP ANNUAL FUNDRAISING The team in Wallsend recently marked their most successful annual fundraising in aid of the Charlie Bear for Cancer Care Fund with a cheque for £3,500, raised throughout 2017. The branch have continuously supported the fund over the past years, which has resulted in a total of over £12,000 donated since the beginning of their partnership. In 2017 alone, the branch held five coach trips, an Easter Egg raffle and a Lucky Numbers event, making the year’s result the biggest yet. JARROW BOOST PUPILS’ EFFORTS TO COMPLETE DUKE OF EDINBRUGH AWARD In October, Lesley and the team from Jarrow visited the Autistic Centre at Jarrow School to present the teachers and pupils with a cheque for £1600.50. To raise this amount they took on a mammoth 300-mile Jarrow Crusade-inspired bike ride in their branch. The funds went towards helping the pupils to complete their Duke of Edinburgh award.

Jarrow present a cheque to local school

Bognor Regis’ Santa’s Sack Toy Appeal

Hexham support RVI in Newcastle

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High Flyer EVENT

This year’s North High Flyer event took place recently, with the southern division’s night due to take place in June.

The High Flyer events are organised to celebrate with everyone who has achieved their High Flyer target the previous year and to recognise staff who have been with us for over 20 years. Attendees enjoy a black-tie event including a three-course dinner, award presentation and disco.

This year the northern event took place on 8 February at The Bishops Suite at Ramside Hall in County Durham, where we celebrated with the following loyal service employees…

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20 years loyal service

Caroline Eltringham

Elaine Lumley

Helen Quinn

Jane Okieimen

Shelley Gamble

Caroline Eltringham, Ripon | Elaine Lumley, Shildon | Helen Quinn, Business House Jane Okieimen, Selling Systems | Shelley Gamble, Customer Relations Kelly Hughes, Stanley | Janey Simpson, Bridlington | Danielle Watson, Gateshead

30 years loyal service

Paul Pybus

Michelle Trotter

Lorraine Gordon

Suzanne McDonough

Paul Pybus, Thirsk | Michelle Trotter, IT | Lorraine Gordon, Longhaul Suzanne McDonough, Purchasing | Sarah Duncan, Bebington

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The Hays Travel Foundation has continued to support charities helping young people across the UK. Here’s news of the latest couple of projects…

JARROW SCHOOL YOUTH THEATRE PROJECT

CHARLIE COOKSON FOUNDATION ANNUAL FUNDRAISER A charity ball funded by the Hays Travel Foundation raised more than £19,000 to support families of children with life- limiting or life-threatening conditions. This was Charlie Cookson Foundation’s 4th annual fundraiser, which took place at the Hilton Hotel in Gateshead.

The school’s head of Year Seven, Amy Crompton, said: “Jarrow School is delighted to be working with the Customs House on such a worthwhile project for our students, who are enjoying the opportunity of working with outside agencies. A huge thank you must also go to the Hays Travel Foundation, which is responsible for funding this venture.” Pic – pupils from Jarrow School with Hays Travel Foundation trustee, Dave Fleetwood

A boost for drama provision has been made possible with the help of the Hays Travel Foundation. Youngsters in South Tyneside were given stage to shine with a new after school drama club at Jarrow School. This is part of a three-year project funded by the Foundation, which awarded the Customs House £17,230 to set it up. The club is to provide young people with the chance to put their drama skills into practice in shows, and earn nationally- recognised Arts Award qualifications in the process.

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B.

D.

C.

Match the name to the pictures on the right

A.

Paula Barrett Neil Green Silke Brown Jane Schumm John Hays

E.

Email your answers to homeandaway@hays-travel.co.uk

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My Story KELLY STOREY

Spending her work days as part of our Graduate Management Programme, Kelly-Ann Storey likes to spend her downtime playing to a different tune. Since the age of seven, Kelly has played the Cornet in a brass band.

These days, Kelly attends weekly rehearsals for Houghton Brass on

Kelly was a playing member of Houghton Area Youth band until the age of 21, during which time they were ranked fourth most entertaining youth band in the country. Now, Kelly acts as a tutor/ mentor to the children, helping them to carry on that accolade. She also helps with concerts and contests that have been arranged. She is helping them towards the ‘Music for Youth’ competition where they will the performing to an ‘entertainment’ set of music, hoping to qualify for the next round at Birmingham Symphony Hall!

Kelly and both bands will be joining together for a concert later in the year as well as playing concerts consistently throughout the year. If you’re interested in becoming part of the band or attending any events, don’t hesitate to contact Kelly!

Thursdays and Sundays; practicing for the North of England area contest. They are competing for a place in the national finals which are held in September. Some of her most favourite events are the Durham Miner’s Gala and the Whit Friday Marches. She’s even played at the Royal Albert Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Cheltenham Racecourse and The Sage in Gateshead.

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Caption This COMPETITION WINNER

Thank you to all who entered the caption competition in our last edition. After much deliberation, the judges decided that the winning caption came from Amanda Fodden of the Consett branch, whose twin sister features in the picture… Winner “Is the coast clear?

Because my twin sister is looking for me for always causing trouble at the garden party and telling people I’m her!”

Well done Amanda, you and a guest will enjoy VIP access at this year’s garden party, plus a bottle of bubbly is on its way. So, next up is a photo from last year’s Christmas party. Who has the best cation for this one?! Send your ideas to homeandaway@hays-travel.co.uk and the funniest caption writer wins VIP access for themselves and a guest at this year’s garden party, plus a bottle of fizz! VIP access includes: reserved seating area, champagne reception, nibbles, drinks on tables for self-service, first go at the buffet, and VIPEE (use of the indoor toilet)!

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My Story SIMON FISHER Simon Fisher of HTOL reservations is certainly living up to his name as a USA Expert...

Name: Simon Fisher

Age: 47

His love for America started when his best friend from college moved to Malibu. Simon has visited Las Vegas over 30 times as a side trip from LA. One year he and two of his friends managed to win over $36,000 on a progressive slot machine! But his passion for rollercoasters is one of the main reasons for his love of the USA. He first started in Florida, then California, before spiralling out of control to visit 49 of the 50 US states… there’s only Alaska left! “I’ve been to every major theme park in the USA and also many more family- run and independent parks. I’m a huge fan of Six Flags and Cedar Fair parks… they offer the best adrenaline rush on a rollercoaster! “I prefer wooden coasters to steel, they give you more of a thrill and a ‘real’ ride. My favourite two are The Beast at Kings Island, Ohio, and Twisted Colossus at Six Flags Magic Mountain in California.” The Beast is the world’s longest wooden rollercoaster and Twisted Colossus is a twin track racing coaster. Simon says that both deliver a 10/10 ride every time and when the track is wet… it’s terrifying! His favourite Theme Park is the Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California. “It’s an adrenaline junkie’s paradise and has more coasters than any other park. “The park itself is built on a mountain and one coaster even ‘flies’ down the side of it.”

Simon prefers US theme parks to UK as they offer bigger, better and faster rollercoasters, while older parks also offer more charm and character. He believes they’re better value for money with a better range of food and drink options. Though he’s still a huge fan of Blackpool Pleasure Beach and Thorpe Park! He likes to keep colleagues and friends up-to-date with his travels by blogging. Simon has written a countless number of blogs about his theme park and rollercoaster adventures and his holidays around the United States. Simon’s next trip to the USA is in May, when he will be once again jetting off to Los Angeles in business class! He’ll be spending time with his friend and family, while hitting up some theme parks on the way. A spot of gambling and shopping is also on the list with the usual side trip to Las Vegas. “The park itself is built on a mountain and one coaster even ‘flies’ down the side of it.” Enjoy Simon!

Job title and where you’re based:

USA Sales Specialist, HTOL Reservations, Head Office, Sunderland

How long in the job: 10 years at Hays Travel, seven years in the HTOL Team (one of only two founding members left!)

How long in travel: 25 years

Previous jobs: In-flight Supervisor at FlyGlobespan , Executive Sales Manager at Ilkeston Co-op Travel, In-flight Supervisor at BMI, Purser at Excalibur Airways Hobbies: Cooking (qualified chef by trade!), roller coasters and theme parks, home DIY, gardening, worldwide travel, films (hate TV!) Best thing about your job: Selling the dream destination – The United States of America! And working for John Hays (of course!)

Worst thing about your job: The long drive to work!

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He’s behind you! 2017 CHRISTMAS PANTO

The 2017 Christmas panto at The Customs House in South Shields was The Lambton Worm, and as usual, we enjoyed a private performance exclusively for Hays staff and their families.

We’ve been sponsoring the annual pantomime at The Customs House for more than a decade but last Christmas we also decided to do something slightly different. Through the Hays Travel Foundation we donated more than 400 tickets to north east families and children experiencing challenging circumstances.

through applicants to the foundation. The South Shields-based Charlie Cookson Foundation, which supports parents of children with life-limiting conditions, was one of the charities invited to the event. Joanne Nicholson, fundraising and events manager, said: “We cannot thank the Hays Travel Foundation enough for giving our families the opportunity to attend this year’s pantomime at The Customs House.

“Christmas is always such a tough time of year for our families, with some spending it in hospital, so to be able to offer this to them was just amazing. Each family who attended had a fantastic time and enjoyed every bit of the day.” “Christmas is always such a tough time of year for our families.”

They were chosen through different charities and schools in the area, and

Diary Dates... 10 APRIL 2018 Direction of Travel 16 – 19 APRIL 2018 Homeworker and Personal Travel Consultant conference

1 JULY 2018 Garden Party 9 DECEMBER 2018

Customs House pantomime, Hays Travel performance - Beauty and the Beast

12 JUNE 2018 South High Flyer

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Homeworker hero HOMEWORKER RAISES MONEY FOR DYING MUM’S CHILDREN

Hays Personal Travel Consultant, Lisa Read, was awarded the Unsung Hero award at The Globe Travel Awards in January.

Lisa, who works from home in Banbury, Oxfordshire, was moved by the heart- breaking story of local mum, Sam Kyme. Single mum Sam, 34, was diagnosed with aggressive motor neurone disease in April last year and tragically died just before Christmas. Her dying wish was to raise enough money to cover legal and guardianship fees to ensure her two sons, Joey, 12, and Harry, eight, can live with her sister Pippa and her family in Australia.

After reading about the story, Lisa decided to try to raise enough to cover the cost of the boys’ flights to Australia, asking colleagues and head office staff to donate to the cause. “It is wonderful that Lisa’s kindness was recognised in this way.”

Within four weeks she had raised £2,150 and will be booking the boys’ flight tickets to Australia to be with their auntie. Lisa was invited to The Globe Travel Awards in January without any idea that there she would be receiving the Penny Akam Unsung Hero Award. It is wonderful that Lisa’s kindness was recognised in this way. We are all very proud of Lisa, and all the others throughout our organisation who go the extra mile to help people in their local communities.

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You won’t believe this - AGENT OFFER (not a fam trip) 6 day Golden Triangle private tour from £299...please access from our agent portal at

www.wendywutours.co.uk/…/…/ tours/india-agent-fam.htm

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Omega Holidays are offering staff and their families the chance to embark on an exclusive flight in search of the Northern Lights. With regional flights during March, the round-trip flight above the cloud layer heads up towards the Arctic Circle, with a spectacular show of stars, plus a pre-flight illustrated presentation and expert information from guest in-flight astronomers. It’s the experience of a lifetime, all wrapped up in a night-time! Normal price is £220 but Omega are offering this to travel agents (including head office staff) for just £99! Seats are limited. To book call Omega Holidays reservations on 0330 0130169 and quote TVLAGENT. For more details visit www.omegabreaks.com/northern-lights- flights/?linksource=navigation

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ABBIE ROSS FROM THE CONSETT BRANCH TRAVELLED TO MEXICO’S YUCATAN PENINSULA WITH OASIS HOTELS AND RESORTS IN NOVEMBER LAST YEAR. HERE IS HER REPORT…

I travelled to Mexico with British Airways from London Gatwick. In the airport lounge we found an amazing selection of soft and alcoholic drinks, breakfast items, newspapers and magazines. A bit of luxury is definitely the best way to start your holiday!

one being an upgrade to Business Class as I boarded the plane, which I was amazed at as this was my first ever long-haul flight! The cabin crew showed us to our seats and provided us with a complimentary glass of champagne. We were given blankets and pillows along with our headphones. We enjoyed a three-course meal, followed

by afternoon tea a few hours into the flight. There was also a small area on the flight for Business Class passengers to help ourselves to salads, sandwiches, chocolate and cakes. We were never short of food and drink on the flight, and British Airways were amazing looking after us. The flight was approximately 11 and a half hours.

The trip was full of surprises, the first

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x

When we landed at Cancun the airport was really easy to get around and we found our transfer bus no problem. Our minibus was well air-conditioned, which was necessary in the 30 degree heat! This transfer was taking us to our first hotel, which was the Oleo Cancun Playa, a four-star beachfront hotel in Cancun. We all had our own rooms. Most have two double beds and a large bathroom with bathrobes and slippers, however, the majority don’t have balconies. The hotel was under refurbishment at the time. The food here was fantastic; we had breakfast in the main buffet restaurant where there was a mixture of Mexican, American and English cuisine. We ate at the hotel’s Japanese a la carte restaurant on the first night, the Hakka, where

we enjoyed seven courses. The second evening we had a candlelit meal on the beach, the kind of private dinner aimed at honeymoon and wedding customers. I really can’t think of anything more romantic. We visited hotels in downtown Cancun and Playa Mujeres, both of which were still in construction. It was fantastic to see the foundations of a hotel and then the plans for what it will look like when it’s finished. We even had our hard hats and vests on! This was an amazing opportunity to see how much work goes into building a hotel.

was lovely to see all the different hotel entrances in the Riviera Maya on route. The second hotel we stayed at was the Grand Oasis Tulum, which was very luxurious. We were lucky enough to stay in the Sian Khan rooms, which had extra benefits such as your own private Jacuzzi. We also had access to a rooftop terrace that had private plunge pools, Jacuzzis and Bali beds – it really was a special place and had fantastic views out to sea. The hotel also has fantastic spa facilities, and we were lucky enough to enjoy complimentary treatments. There is a section of the hotel called the Oasis Tulum Lite, which is within the same hotel grounds and can be accessed either by bike, on foot or by golf buggy. If

We transferred from the hotel in Cancun to Tulum, which took about an hour. It

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you’re staying in the Tulum Lite you only have access to the facilities of that hotel, however, if you’re staying in the Grand Oasis Tulum Sian Khan Rooms, you have access to everywhere in the resort. The next day, we visited Xplor Park, where you can go zip-lining, explore the jungle on amphibious vehicles and float on rafts in underground rivers created millions of years ago! You get a buffet lunch included, with snacks such as healthy smoothies, granola bars and fruit. It really is a fantastic day for everyone - couples, friends or families. We then checked into our last hotel of the trip, the Grand Oasis Sens, which was my favourite. It was a beachfront hotel in Cancun’s hotel zone, very close to the nightlife. The Grand Oasis Sens is an adult-only resort with 12 restaurants, all included within your all inclusive stay, but most requiring a reservation. My room had a private pool on the balcony and some of our group even had Bali beds on their balcony too. When staying in a Sian Khan room, you get free room service – so this is my breakfast on my balcony one morning.

was eating at the Black Hole Restaurant in the Grand Oasis Sens. They offer a Sensorial Dinner, which means everything is in the dark, the only thing you can see is a rose on your table which glows in the dark. You can’t even see the waiting staff. We had a 24-course meal, with no idea what was coming next. You were able to make the restaurant aware of any allergies or dislikes before eating there, and you have to wear black to be able to eat in this restaurant, as wearing another colour may affect the visibility. It was such an amazing experience, and the staff even put a show on for us while we were eating our meal. I’d highly recommend this restaurant! After our meal we visited a nightclub event onboard Captain Hook Ship, which was located at a sister hotel, the Grand Oasis Palm. All guests staying at the Grand Oasis Sens get an invite to this event once a week. It’s an all inclusive nightclub on water and it’s amazing! We visited several more hotels, such as the Grand Oasis Cancun, which also includes the Grand Oasis Pyramid and the Grand Oasis Lite. It is such a huge resort, with so much going on and so many different concepts. The Grand Oasis Pyramid was one of my favourite hotels

that we visited this day as it was quite adult-themed, and during Spring Break they have Live DJ’s on the beach and pool parties. There are 10 restaurants and 19 bars across the Grand Oasis complex. Our last meal of the trip was at Benanzuza Restaurant at the Grand Oasis Cancun, which was a 25-course meal, with a different concept to any of the other restaurants we had eaten in. Our first course was hidden inside a rose! Other delights were to follow! It really was a fantastic night. I had an amazing time in Mexico, and I have booked so many customers to go there since I returned as I have so much more product knowledge than before. I am really grateful for the opportunity to try a long-haul destination and will be booking myself to go in 2019! “ My room had a private pool on the balcony and some of our group even had Bali beds on their balcony too.”

We had some fantastic food while in Mexico, however, my favourite experience

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Nerves of steel! JADE CAMPION, HTOL GROUP SALES, HAS CONQUERED THE MOST NERVE-WRACKING MOMENT SHE’S EVER FACED IN HER LIFE…

On 30 July 2017 Jade lost her brother, Paul, aged just 40 years old. Paul had battled for many years with alcohol. He had been in and out of hospital for years. Jade said: “Paul was the life and soul of the party, always laughing and making others laugh, even if it meant making fun out of himself. He never hung up the phone or left without saying ‘I love you’. “It was such a shock to us all, nothing prepares you for the worst no matter what, and I wasn’t ready for my fun, loving brother to leave the world.

“He had a heart of gold and I will always miss him.”

“I would definitely do it again as it was fantastic and such a clear day too!

Now, Jade has turned to helping others and has completed a skydive to raise money for Alcohol Concern. She wanted to give herself a real challenge and she knows that her brother will be looking down on her ‘proud as punch’!

“If I can help just one person or family through a difficult time then that will make me happy.” Jade is also planning on doing the Great North Run to raise money for the same charity. Anyone wishing to donate to Jade’s fundraising page should head over to: https://www.alcoholconcern.org.uk/ fundraisers/plummet-for-paul

“It was amazing - what an unbelievable experience.

“It was really nerve-wracking going up in the plane, and sitting on the edge waiting to go was so scary.

Your news from your company

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Name: Mollie Fry

Age: 21

Job title: Apprentice Travel Consultant

Branch: Bognor Regis

How long in job: 1 year and 5 months

How long in travel: 1 year and 5 months

Previous job: Sales Assistant at Matalan Hobbies: Singing, exercise classes, watching Friends

Best thing about your job: Working with my colleagues and making customers happy Worst thing about my job: Having the coldest toilet in the world!

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Team Work PURCHASING DEPARTMENT SUCCESS! A big congratulations is due to the invaluable head office purchasing department who make sure we have everything we need to do our jobs well, saving the company plenty of money in the process. Here purchasing manager, Suzanne McDonough, tells us more about the team…

Name: Suzanne McDonough

Age: 48

Job title and where you’re based: Purchasing Manager based in Head Office

How long in the job: 18 years

How long at Hays: 33 years in July

What does your team do? Our team is responsible for the ordering of goods and payment of all overheads. We look after the contracts for utilities, order stationery, brochure collections, new branch starter packs, and uniforms (to name a few!)We look after the company car fleet. And we process on average 1400 invoices a month to the value of £2.25 million. What do you think are the challenges for your team and how do you overcome them? Every day we face challenges, whether it be line faults, brochure collections not happening when they should, staff uniforms not fitting, staff not being able to claim items from petty cash and expenses, or extreme weather causing problems in branches. There is something different every day! How do you encourage the team to work together? We introduced a rota system so every staff member spent a couple of months in each role to gain some training and experience in all areas of the department.

We now work on a capability chart with a traffic light system, so that we all know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. The team help each other out as and when needed; and at month end when we have deadlines to close off accounts, we all help out on the accounts payable inbox and share the load. We also have a team meeting every week where our main focus is customer service. We run through what everyone has on that week and if anyone needs support or a hand, we make sure it is there for them. Some inboxes are busier than others some days and so it makes sense to share the load. What do you think has been your team’s greatest successes in the last year? It took a long time coming but the introduction of invoice authorisation and approval in Navision (our finance system) has resulted in a massive improvement in processes and is simple to use for the approvers. This has made the authorisation of invoices so much more efficient. Previously it would have been a

Previous job: None. Started the YTS scheme at Hays straight from school. My previous roles at Hays have been as an admin/purchase ledger clerk Hobbies: Socialising, watching football and spending time with family Best thing about your job: I love the variety it brings. No two days are the same. I also look forward to hearing the company’s expansion plans for the future and where we will open next. I enjoy meeting with suppliers and negotiating contracts, looking to save money wherever we can. I loved doing the negotiation for the new uniforms and looking at all the design. I absolutely love the new look of the uniform. My team wish they could wear it!

Worst thing about your job: Trying to please everyone with uniform style and fit!

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Back row left to right: Anne Hindmarch, Holly Lawson, Andrea Duangkham, Jodie Wilkinson, Emily Barnes. Front row left to right: Laura Pier, Suzanne McDonough. Missing from the team picture is Katie Graham, who won December’s Head Office Employee of the Month award. Here she is receiving her award from Jane.

paper trail and staff wandering between buildings to get authorisation for invoices within the timescales needed to meet supplier payment terms. Our next step is to move completely paperless! I have to be honest, I have no idea how I will do this, I am old style and like paper – have you seen my desk!? How have you managed to save the company money over the past year? The big saving that springs to mind immediately is the printers in retail. We are currently in the process of changing to a MPS (managed print solution) for the retail stores and over a three year period we project we will save £117,000 or £39,000 per year. As well as the cost savings, the new MPS will also make things more efficient with less time spent ordering toner, fewer faults being logged with the IT helpdesk, and most importantly, not wasting retail staff’s time having to assist with faults. All ordering is done automatically by

software set up within the network. Any faults are logged with the supplier so IT can spend their precious time on other matters. We have also achieved savings of 13% against the previous supplier on refuse collections in sites in the south, saving the company £3,000 a year. Any funny facts about the team? We sometimes get entertained being in reception. There is one guy who walks around Sunderland dressed as Elvis who has been in a few times to sing and dance in reception! Unfortunately, he hasn’t been back since one of my staff told him he wasn’t very good!

Katie Graham recieving employee of the month for December 2017

Your news from your company

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One big happy family RETAIL CONFERENCE

2017’s annual Retail Managers Conference took place at the Port Aventura Hotel in Salou last November.

As the biggest retail conference to date, over 230 attendees descended on the Costa Daurada, made up of branch managers, senior and key head office members and suppliers. Days were spent embroiled in conference sessions, while evenings included a saloon bar and BBQ dinner, a fancy dress evening, a Mexican themed night and gala dinner, where high flyer and supplier awards were given out.

As well as business sessions covering the past year’s successes and plans for improvement, there were supplier match making sessions where groups of managers spent 12 minutes with 12 different suppliers. Suppliers used a variety of methods to get their message across, from mini presentations and Q&A’s to games of Operation and Hook- a-Duck! Managers also got a chance to attend four different workshops; covering Facebook, insurance sales, the

behavioural measurement score, and the daily team talk.

Head of Retail, Paula Barrett, said: “Overall, 2017 was a very productive year for the retail division. The annual conference was our opportunity to celebrate our success, and to discuss how this success was achieved. As a division we like to continually reflect on our performance, and the conference is a great opportunity to get together to

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“The social side of the conference is also very important to us and we certainly lived up to our motto of ‘work hard, play hard!”

discuss and agree on the specific areas that we can do even better in.

“We go to work, we enjoy our job, we get rewarded for it, and we get praised for it. Every day we go to work and it is enjoyable and fun.” “The best thing about working for Hays is the senior management team. They are accessible and friendly, and it feels like a family.” “Working as a manager at Hays is lots of fun, but we are also given clear objectives and clear goals that I can pass on to my team.” “Working for Hays is diverse, challenging and rewarding.” “Exciting, exhilarating and fun!” “One big happy family!”

“Even though we now have over 200 attendees, the interaction remains the same and everyone has the opportunity to engage, whether it be through main stage presentations or smaller workshop sessions. “The social side of the conference is also very important to us and we certainly lived up to our motto of ‘work hard, play hard’!” We interviewed some of the managers whilst out at conference and this is what they had to say about working for Hays….

Your news from your company

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Working for you HAYS TRAVEL RECOGNISED AS ONE OF THE UK’S HAPPIEST AND MOST MOTIVATED WORKFORCES Hays Travel would not be the success story it is without the amazing individuals we employ. Whether you’re selling holidays in a branch, from home or in a call centre; or you’re part of the complex process that allows this to happen from head office, you matter.

Saying ‘thank you’ and engaging with staff has been at the heart of our company since its beginnings. John threw the first Hays garden party for around eight staff in his back garden in 1985 as a way of saying ‘thanks’ for their hard work. That sentiment has stayed with us, and even though we are now a huge national organisation, appreciating our staff is still high on the list of priorities.

surveys and take our Investors in People assessments very seriously.

Some recent changes that have been implemented due to the Investors in People group and the focus on employee engagement include the extra day’s holiday for loyal service employees reported on in the last edition, and the Employee of the Month winner’s prize increase to include a choice of either a shopping voucher or a free car parking space for a month.

The HR department have recently started producing a monthly staff engagement factsheet which is published on The Hub, so keep your eyes peeled for these messages and your chance to share your experiences. The point of this work is to ensure you get the opportunity to voice your views so that we can make sure Hays Travel remains a great place to work.

That is why we invest so much time and energy in our employee engagement

The HR department say they would love to share testimonials from employees

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on their employees and have been rewarded with an engaged workforce who tell us that this is a great place to work.” HAYS TRAVEL RECOGNISED AS ONE OF THE TOP APPRENTICESHIP EMPLOYERS IN THE COUNTRY! The training team were celebrating again this January as they were once again included in the Centrica Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer list! The Top 100 list, compiled annually by the National Apprenticeship Service, recognises excellence in organisations that employ apprentices. The 2017 awards ceremony took place at Grosvenor House in London this January and Carole Hodgson was there to pick up our award. She said: “I was so proud to represent Hays Travel at the National Apprenticeship Awards in London. Apprentices are vital to the success of our organisation; injecting passion, ideas and enthusiasm to the workplace. “The training department is really proud of the quality of training we provide to our learners, along with the career opportunities that successful apprentices go on to pursue within the company. It is great that this has been recognised nationally with this award.” The Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers List features businesses that entered the National Apprenticeship Awards who were selected as having displayed the highest standards of excellence in employing apprentices. To be included is a real achievement, and gives formal recognition to those organisations who go an extra mile to help their apprentices succeed and are inspirational role models for others. Well done to our amazing training department and to all our irreplaceable apprentices!

Helen Liddle and the Best Companies to Work For award

NVQ assessor, Kirsty Spicer, and apprenticeship delivery manager, Carole Hodgson, at the awards ceremony

who have benefited from engagement or training activities, and to get in touch by e-mailing hr@hays-travel.co.uk. This year’s internal staff engagement survey will take place in May ahead of our next Investors in People assessment in October. Please get involved as these are great opportunities for us to learn what we do well and what areas we could improve in. We are proud to have been recognised as a great employer twice already this year – as part of both the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer list and the Sunday Times’ Top 100 Companies to Work For list. HAYS TRAVEL RECOGNISED AS ONE OF THE UK’S HAPPIEST AND MOST MOTIVATED WORKFORCES! As announced in February, we were once again included in the Sunday Times’ Top 100 Companies to Work For list this year. That is some accomplishment. We should all feel very proud of ourselves for making Hays Travel such a great place to be. Hopefully everyone enjoyed the celebrations on Best Companies Day! The prestigious list is put together by Best Companies, the employee engagement specialists, who survey an organisation’s workforce to examine the ins-and-outs

of company life. The survey reveals how employees really perceive their work environment. The companies who get the highest employee engagement scores get into the list. The 2018 award winners were recognised at a glitzy ceremony at Battersea Evolution in London in February, which HR manager, Helen Liddle, and training and operations manager, Angela Riseam- Smith, attended. Helen said: “I am so proud of this award. We work really hard to ensure staff are engaged and highly motivated. So much work goes into our internal employee engagement surveys every year, but to receive external recognition highlighting our employee satisfaction levels as some of the highest in the country is a real achievement.” John said: “The company would be nothing without its amazing team, so I am thrilled that we are recognised as having a happy and motivated workforce. Out of all the awards that the company has won, this is the one that means the most to me.” Jonathan Austin, CEO and Founder of Best Companies, said: “I would like to congratulate Hays Travel on their outstanding achievement. Organisations like Hays Travel have continued to focus

Your news from your company

SO FAR IN 2018 WE HAVE OPENED BRANCHES IN BRIGHOUSE, PLYMOUTH, CROMER AND COLWYN BAY, TAKING OUR RETAIL BRANCH TOTAL TO 164!

BRANCHES IN SCARBOROUGH AND YARM ARE DUE TO OPEN IN APRIL!

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