STAFF TRAINING: BACK TO SCHOOL AT AG

Staff Training at Affordable Granite - Back to School

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On Thursday 10th of October, for the first time ever, we all went back to school. Staff-training at AG has always been “on the job” before, but just for once we closed the doors, turned off the PCs and phones, and sat and listened to talks, discussing our work. It was so good to get all parts of the company together in this way. Customer service and the general quality of our offering can only benefit when all of us have some idea of how the whole team works, and has a healthy respect for each other’s contribution. If we took one thing away from the day, it was that. We are a team, and proud to be Affordable Granite.

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Ben, our workshop manager, was due to give a talk on general quality control challenges in the workshop. Unfortunately, he had to be elsewhere for the day so Andy Phillips took his place. We had a really helpful discussion on our current procedures, and where we can improve. Maintaining the success of a company like ours has much to do with careful evaluation and revision of procedures – an evolution leading (we hope) to a continual improvement of quality standards and consistency.

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Free, healthy food – a great draw for some of us…

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Free, less healthy food – a bigger draw for others!

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The largest single part of the day was a thorough workout on Health and Safety. Simon Hopes from Peninsula Group came to talk us through a whole range of H&S-related issues – from major industrial accidents to silicosis to stress and back. This is a key area for us. We handle very dense materials which, at the best of times, are a threat to the spine, and at worst are a threat to life. We were surprised and delighted and appalled in equal measure to be told that we are far and a way one of the best firms that Peninsula look after – there are still plenty of safety short cuts being taken out there. Putting it bluntly, if you want granite worktops which won’t put someone at immediate risk, or with the long term spectre of terrible lung disease, buy from a firm which takes Health and Safety seriously.

Peninsula Group are our Health and Safety Competent Person so far as legal compliance (and our own well-being!) is concerned and we are grateful for their involvement. And to Simon specifically for his input on an important day.

Sales Manager Naomi also spoke, steering us through a discussion on Customer Service – and Customer Experience. And if you don’t know the difference, do up your kitchen, come to us for worktops, and we will show you!

At the end Andy returned to the front, talking about his perceptions of some of the commercial challenges of the final quarter of the year, and the level of threat that smaller firms – competitors but colleagues – are facing as this uncertain year draws to a close.

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A few images from the training – discussion sessions, group-work and a health and safety problem-spotting trip round workshop and warehouse

Staff Training at Affordable Granite - Play Time!

All school and no play would be a bit sad, of course. At 4.00 we all headed over to the Hollywood Bowl, Crawley for a game and a beer before home time.  The afternoon reminded me just how much of a team we have become – we are a company that enjoys working together and relaxing together.

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For variety of skill levels and techniques on the alleys we would be hard to beat! Fortunately, ability at Ten Pin does NOT equate to skills in cutting, polishing and fitting granite worktops!

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Just to encourage you, even if you bowl like a boss, you won’t get a strike every time…

Of course, you don’t go bowling just for the bowling…

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And this is us… sadly minus Ben, but with Annabel, newest member of the team. In fact, this was her very first day – we had to make clear that she can’t expect work always to end with bowling and beer!

We are Affordable Granite, the leading installer of granite and quartz worktops across Surrey, Sussex and the whole South East. We are proud to be a firm where everything is done in house – we don’t subcontract. Most of us have worked together for a long time – company becomes team, team becomes friends, friends become family. If you want your worktops installed by a real family firm that really cares, look no further! For advice, help or a quotation on your kitchen worktops,call us on 01293 863992 or contact by email on sales@affordablegranite.co.uk.

Images © Andrew King Photography / Affordable Granite

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