Volkswagen Group Interview – HR Toolkit

Written for and by Volkswagen Group UK

The system behind the success: HR Toolkit and AW Repair Group

Andrew Walsh explains how HR toolkit helps grow his own talent, and keep him out of court

What’s your first thought when someone mentions HR (human resources)? Chances are you think about hiring, firing or promoting someone. For smaller businesses – such as most bodyshops – getting HR processes right doesn’t just give you the chance to run your business within the safety net of the law, it means you keep only the best staff and build a company culture to be proud of.

AW Repair Group’s network of Midlands-based bodyshops, AW Accident Repair Centres, uses HR Toolkit to support its HR team when it comes to disciplinary procedures, appraisals, recruitment and even creating an employee handbook.

Using HR Toolkit’s online legal information, customisable forms and 24/7 legal advice helpline costs AW just £290 per year per branch, and is available for the same price to all Volkswagen Group-approved bodyshops.

Andrew

 

 

And managing director Andrew Walsh (pictured) is certain he gets his money’s worth.

“Employment law is changing so fast, there’s no way that busy bodyshop managers are going to have time to keep up. Employing nearly 100 people it’s inevitable that we’re going to have staff issues and will have to act straight away.”

Phone a friend

Andrew and his team make full use of the toolkit’s telephone advice helpline. Over the years of addressing disputes, his first bit of advice is: “Get advice straight away. Find out what you should be doing, because you need to make sure you’re acting properly straight away. There are way of doing things and a wrong step early on can affect an outcome.”Since AW Repair Group launched its first  purpose-built bodyshop in 2000, it has expanded into Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire, and relocated its first branch to become an aluminium-approved prestige centre in Sleaford, Lincolnshire.

Because of this expansion, Andrew has decided to create a company handbook – a bible of the company’s rules that all staff must agree to. “Compass, the team that runs HR Toolkit, has been helping us with our handbook, and their regular email updates have kept our legal knowledge up to date as we create it.”

In the firing line

It’s clear Andrew doesn’t shy away from keeping only the best people in his team. “If someone is not being an effective part of the team then give your manager the power to call the advice line as soon as they have any problems.

Rob technician“It’s crucial to do the disciplinary process right and one step at a time. You have to be impartial – I bring in a manager from another branch – and hold hearings with the right to appeal directed to me. But because of the process, the evidence and the time you must give yourself to consider the situation, sometimes the disciplinary procedure has been a positive process.”

From disciplinary to top employee

One of AW’s team members was put through this disciplinary process after repeated verbal warnings, but it didn’t quite work out as expected. It gave the member of staff the motivation to completely overhaul his working attitude.

In Andrew’s words: “We thought we had reached the end of the line with him, but he was a good person and that shone through in the disciplinary procedure. Both the company and the individual discovered a lot about each other, and we decided to keep him on the team. In fact the process we put him through has turned him into a star AW employee.”

If you don’t use HR Toolkit, Andrew has some advice.

“We’ve used the HR Toolkit regularly, even when we know we are taking the right track, for that added reassurance. The best thing I can say is that we’ve not been threatened with legal action, we’ve had no repercussions from our HR decisions and we’ve not been to court.”

Written for and by Volkswagen Group UK

ATA Re-Accreditation Congratulations

Nielio

Congratulations to Niel Harmston, our longest standing employee for passing his ATA VDA re-accreditation with 97%!

Niel has lived in the Sleaford area all his life and was the first Vehicle Damage Assessor employed by AW. Niel has been employed by our prestige Lincolnshire branch for more than 14 years.

While there have been many changes throughout the industry, Niel has managed to keep current and as of late has ditched his clipboard (which he was quite attached to after all these years) for his iPad, to use AudaMobile.

The accreditation was implemented by the British Standard Institute (BSI) PAS125 programme to licensed bodyshops in the UK in 2007/8, to ensure those who are assessing vehicle damage are fully trained and competent to do so on today’s modern and complicated vehicles. The accreditation has to be re-achieved every three years to ensure VDAs are aware of the latest repair methods and technological changes in construction.

Congratulations again Niel, you are a valued member of the team. Here’s to the next 14 years!

Jaguar Land Rover Conference 2014

Two new exciting vehicles will be launched in 2015 by the Jaguar LandRover group. The new Jaguar XE, a volume car, aimed to rival the Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class, will be built from 90% aluminium – our specialist aluminium clean room is ready and waiting!Jag XE concept volume car

On June 20 we attended the Jaguar Land Rover Conference at the Arden Hotel and Leisure Club in Solihull and discussed the new models and their future repair requirements.

Along with the XE we learned that a new Discovery Sport is also to be released in 2015.

Jaguar Land Rover are continuing to invest significant amounts in new products and designs to increase their influence and volume within the market. In 2013 Jaguar Land Rover’s revenue grew by 17%, clearly they’re doing something right!

Jaguar Land Rover are also offering branded Insurance with the purchase of new vehicles. And offers include 7 days complimentary cover and the first £250 of your excess will be covered in the event of an accident.

There are more Jaguar Land Rover products coming out into the market made of lightweight materials such as aluminium and high tensile steel with steel thinned out to weight less but maintain its strength.

RR Stealht packOur picture shows the new Range Rover with the Stealth Pack, which includes satin black front grille and accompanying surround, similarly themed fog lamp bezels, revise fender vents and mirror caps, and more. Also available is the choice of either 21-inch nine-spoke wheels or 22-inch five-spoke wheels.

 

Please click here to read more about Specialist Aluminium Repairs.

Porsche Club GB, Blyton Park Track Event

AW Repair Group was delighted to again sponsor this year’s Porsche Club GB track day at Blyton Park Driving Centre, near Gainsborough.

Despite downpours throughout the previous few days the weather picked up for a perfect day on Friday 30th May. This was a big relief for the club members…no cleaning cloths needed to wipe down the pride and joy and soon the car park was completely filled with the gorgeous Porsches in every direction

blyton 2014 racint

blyton 2014 flag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Porsche Club began with a short briefing from Richard Usher, Blyton Park’s Owner, giving time slots throughout the morning and afternoon. Drivers were soon called to the start line to begin their first few laps, some with instructors and some braving it on their own.

Blyton Passenger Winner

 

While waiting members made their way to the AW Repair Group events marquee to try their hand at our Porsche wing colour match competition and browse goodies on offer from our partner Porsche Nottingham.

 

Throughout the day the weather was getting better and better, perfect for the winner of AW Repair Group’s social media competition.

Blyton winner 2014Simply by liking and sharing our Facebook and Twitter posts in April Adam Dodd bagged himself a Porsche Club GB passenger experience in a stunning bright orange GT3 RS Porsche.

“An unforgettable, mind-blowing experience,” said a slightly stunned Adam as he reappeared!

At the end of the event the correct answers of the Colour match Competiton were collected together and PCGBs Gavin Marshall randomly selected a winner who received a 50th anniversary limited addition Porsche mug.

Not only was it just the Club members having fun,  the AW team was also given the opportunity and experience of having a passenger super car experience along with a ride on the go karts along with Porsche Nottingham’s Dave Ashton

Once again AW Repair Group thoroughly enjoyed interacting and socialising with members of the Porsche GB Club and with the members of Blyton Park.

We still have a lot more planned for the future along with our open day at AW Accident Repair Centres in Sleaford on Saturday 21st June. So keep your eyes peeled for any upcoming competitions or events we may have on line.

Heidi

Heidi Hutchinson, Business Development & Marketing, AW Repair Group

British Bodyshop Awards 2014

As a relative ‘newbie’ to AW Repair Group I was delighted to attend the British Bodyshop Awards last week  with our Managing Director Andrew Walsh.  As guests of PPG Industries and Circle Leasing we were treated to a glamorous event at the Battersea Evolution near London.

We were pleased to be winners of the Citreon Outstanding Achievement Award in 2012 and congratulate winners of the 2014 awards.

Host, comedy actor Rob Brydon, kept the attendees amused throughout and encouraged audience participation where possible. We certainly enjoyed ourselves.

Another event sponsor hired dodgems providing guests with an alternative to dancing along to the Motown tribute band How Sweet It Is. Auto Body Projects, an industry news and forum website,  also provided a Vodka Luge and a Chocolate fountain, again enjoyed by all.

Fundraising at the event in aid of the Rainbow Trust and Seward Cancer Foundation included a prize draw. Many congratulations to the winners – enjoy yourselves at the British Grand Prix!

Jade Johnson, Business Development Co-Ordinator
(I’m pictured here on the right with Rose Moat from Circle Leasing on the left.)

Me Rose + Choc Fount

The Porsche R4 Easter Meet

Porsche Meet @ Doddington HAll

Doddington Hall,near Lincoln, was the destination for Porsche Club GB Region 4’s first meeting of 2014 on Easter Sunday. We arrived a bit soggy to say the least and after battling with the elements the AW Repair Group event shelter was finally up! As the Porsches rolled in to the grounds of the historic Hall the weather had finally started to improve much to everyone’s relief as the cleaning cloths came out to dry their pride and joy.

Easter Sunday was the first day Doddington Hall Gardens and House were open for the forthcoming season and a craft fair also attracted the crowds. The car park soon filled up and visitors with Porsches came over to our shelter to speak with the club, get advice and join fellow Porsche fanatics.

We also had the opportunity to visit Whisby Transport Museum. A vintage bus runs from just outside Doddington Hall to the museum housing vintage buses and cars. It was really interesting to see what used to run on the roads of Britain!

It was lovely to meet the members of Region 4 again. AW work closely with the group and attend events and we have an exciting calendar throughout the year.

We have much planned and a lot to look forward to…and don’t forget to  enter our competition for the super car experience at Blyton Park – see our Facebook or Twitter pages for details of how to enter.

Jade

AW Celebrate Our First Retirement

ROB RETIRES: Long serving panel technician Rob ‘Pops’ Kelby (seated) retires from AW Repair Group. Pictured with wife Daphne, Branch Manager Steve Hoe (left) and Managing Director Andrew Walsh (centre).

ROB RETIRES: Long serving panel technician Rob ‘Pops’ Kelby (seated) retires from AW Repair Group. Pictured with wife Daphne, Branch Manager Steve Hoe (left) and Managing Director Andrew Walsh (centre).

AW Repair Group have celebrated our first retirement. After a decade of service with the company, Rob Kelby enjoyed his last day at work yesterday.

Rob was originally employed as a panel technician for AW a decade ago within the fast paced workshop; lately Rob has been driving one of the transporters. Swapping his car keys for a golf club, Rob is now set to enjoy a much deserved quieter life on the golf course.

To mark the occasion, the team at the Sleaford branch raised a glass and enjoyed a meal with Rob last night at a local restaurant. Rob is well liked, a team member colleagues affectionately name ‘Pops’. Swapping stories and sharing memories it made for a fantastic evening.

Here at AW we want to thank you Rob for the time you have graced us with, your humour and loyalty will be sorely missed and we wish you all the best in the next chapter of your life.

Added Managing Director Andrew Walsh: “Rob has been an excellent role model and mentor to other team members and will be very much missed from the team.”

10 Days Of Easter

eastertype

10 Days Of Easter

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Come into one of your local AW branches between 14th April 2014 and 24th April 2014 for a quote on tyres, services or accident damage and you will receive a free chocolate Easter gift for you or a family member*.

April 14th – 24th – Easter Egg Gift
Monday – Friday. 8.30am – 5.30pm                  
Saturdays. 8.30am – 12.30pm
Sundays closed.
Open Good Friday. Closed Easter Monday.
*Whilst Stocks Last

Congratulations John

John Barnett Senior ATA VDA
We are proud to announce that AW Repair Group’s long standing South Yorkshire team member John Barnett has today been informed he has passed his ATA VDA re-accreditation (Automotive Training Association Vehicle Damage Assessor)

John is the first VDA (Vehicle Damage Assessor) in the group to go through the re-accreditation process and I am sure you will all join me in congratulating John on this achievement.

The accreditation was implemented by the British Standard Institute (BSI) PAS125 programme to licensed bodyshops in the UK in 2007/8, to ensure those who are assessing vehicle damage are fully trained and competent to do so on today’s modern and complicated vehicles. The accreditation has to be re-achieved every three years to ensure VDAs are aware of the latest repair methods and technological changes in construction. John is therefore one of the first batch of previously accredited VDAs to go through the re-accreditation process.

John is the longest standing employee at our South Yorkshire site. Joining AW in 2003, John has held two positions within the company, one as a VDA and the other as a Workshop Controller.

Delighted with his achievement John had this to say, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank AW for the constant support throughout my career. The whole team has been behind me and it’s a real pleasure to be able to continue to work with AW.”

Ladies Day Attendees Donate Generously.

At AW we would like to extend the below thank you to the attendees of our Ladies Day. It was a great success and without your generosity we wouldn’t of been able to raise the amount of money we did. We also want to thank Breakthrough Breast Cancer and will continue to support them.

 

From: Supporter Services [mailto:supporterservices@breakthrough.org.uk]
Sent: 31 March 2014 10:22
To: AW Repair Group
Subject: Breakthrough Breast Cancer

Dear AW Repair Group,

Thank you for supporting Breakthrough Breast Cancer

Thank you so much for your generous donation which we were delighted to receive and I understand was as a result of hosting a ladies day at your Company. Your hard work and commitment means we can keep making a real difference to the lives of people affected by breast cancer. On behalf of everyone at Breakthrough Breast Cancer, please extend our thanks to all those who helped make your fundraising possible.

With huge thanks and very best wishes,

Malina Szreter
Supporter Services Team