We have made a conscious effort to maintain a diverse set of skills within the team, so recruit from all ages and backgrounds. Each member brings something different to the team and our regional mangers capture new or challenging ideas and where appropriate, assimilate them into the wider national team.
With ages ranging from 20 to 70, Benchmark’s team are a broad cross section of people, each working to the highest standards every day across the UK and Northern Ireland.
Running the team are our two Regional Managers, both ex-territory merchandisers with at least three years service in the main store team. Their primary role is one of man manager with a traditional but tried and tested brief – training, motivation, direction and control. Each Regional Manager retains their own calls, ensuring that they stay in touch with the issues faced by the team in store.
Consistently high standards are maintained across the field team with regular Regional Manager accompaniments and six-monthly appraisals. It is this long serving and highly skilled field management team, reporting to Andrew Hulme, which give Benchmark’s clients the highest quality service in the UK retail theatre.
With a geographical coverage throughout the UK we can deliver our services anywhere quickly and efficiently. With an established territory network working on small geographies we can concentrate our team’s time in store and not on driving between them.
We currently have just over 50 territories, a number that has grown by 20% in the last 12 months alone. Our ethos of small territories concentrating on the immediate geography surrounding our team, leads to the constant development of the territory map. This ensures maximum efficiency and thus provides our clients with the resource where they pay for it, in store, and not stuck driving between them. This is all managed by regional managers whose sole task is to ensure the team are trained, motivated, have direction and are controlled.
At Benchmark we are looking for a high standard of reporting, which requires an intelligent candidate not necessarily experience in our field. Our team is made up of a diverse mix of team members, from all walks of life. With the flexibility in the hours worked we appeal to a much wider audience than our competitors, yet due to the fact each employee is contracted to us, do not loose out on quality.
Our team is our business, so selection of the right individual is key, we take time selecting each territory representative carefully.
Here at Benchmark we have been working hard on the induction programme we offer, as this is the key to retaining staff. With labour turnover as low as 10% compared against an industry average of well in excess of 25% we are doing something right.
Training starts with the structured three day induction and is followed up by regular monthly field team visits from our regional managers and trainers. These visits focus on call compliance along with looking in detail at the content of the call, ensuring our team are assessing and working to the briefs given.
Alongside the regular accompaniments we also engage our clients on providing product training, something usually conducted at our bi-annual team meetings. Finally we encourage our team to have a voice and hold regular forum sessions with the team, to understand their frustrations and concerns. From these sessions we can then look at improvements and efficiencies we can make, which are all fed back into a more complete service to our clients.