Cycas and Cheval included in best employers list for 2021

Sara Kirsch Sara Kirsch Uploaded 07 June 2021

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UK: Cheval Collection and Cycas Hospitality have been listed in The Caterer's list of The Best Places to Work in Hospitality in 2021.

The list is published in partnership with Purple Cubed and sponsored by Umbrella Training.

The results are driven by a survey taken by the employees of the companies themselves to determine the best places to work. This year, the survey included questions on employee support during the pandemic, overall handling of the pandemic, and communication of the organizations. On average, companies tended to have the highest success in employee support during the pandemic and overall handling of the pandemic but lower scores in communication with their employees.

Jane Sunley, founder and chief executive of Purple Cubed, said: “The competition was tough, and standards extremely high, with an overall average score of 93 per cent. Only the very best of the best made the top 30. All entrants are to be congratulated. It's great to see resounding evidence that so many hospitality businesses did a great job at handling the pandemic and taking care of their teams in very trying circumstances."

Both Cheval and Cycas have made the list for several consecutive years.

Cheval Collection made the top six list this year. The companies named in the top six have been included on the shortlist for the Best Employer award for the 2021 Cateys.

Employees of Cheval Collection were extremely satisfied with the company's handling of the pandemic. In a recent survey, employees ranked Cheval’s handling of the pandemic as a 9/10. Employees commended Cheval’s successful communication and support.

Throughout the course of the pandemic, Cheval has remained operational, taken over three new facilities, and supported its 240 employees.

Cheval chose to place a focus on employee mental health through creating a “looking out for each other” mental health programme and a “wellbeing check-in.” The company also attempted to keep furloughed employee spirits high through fun activities.

Mari Warby, engagement and talent manager for Cheval, said: “We are encouraging colleagues to check in with each other and spot signs of when their colleagues might need support. The programme also aims to normalise conversations around mental health and that it's OK not to be OK. Managers have also had separate mental health awareness training."

Cycas Hospitality ranked 22nd on the list this year. Cycas employs 65 people in support roles and 500 “Cycadettes” or team members.

Throughout the course of the pandemic, Cycas partnered with the Happiness Index to create a unanimous forum for employees to share their opinions in the form of the Employee Voice 24/7 link. Cycas further encouraged employee feedback through the addition of a twice-yearly engagement survey so the culture team can assess feedback and ways to support the different teams throughout the company.

Despite the pandemic, Cycas averaged one new hotel opening per month, which also required onboarding of new employees. The culture team revamped their starter materials to be online, as well as to increase engagement between employees.

Matt Luscombe, CEO of Cycas Hospitality, said: “Our hotel success over the last year is down to all the Cycadettes who have come together during a tough time to do the most incredible job for our guests as well as owners. To be recognised once again as one of the UK’s elite employers after one of the industry’s most challenging periods is an enormous honour. And to know that 97% of our employees are proud of the way Cycas handled the pandemic is testament to the new engagement initiatives rolled out by our culture team and all our remarkable leaders.”

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