Benefits of supporting Returners to Work

We are all aware of the shortage of staff and the need for businesses to be as flexible as possible in their employment practices and many organisations are now actively looking at Return to Work programmes for those who have been on an extended career break to ensure that those returning to work are given support to refresh their knowledge and skills so they can move forward with confidence. 

Many yards have introduced different working patterns and practices within recent years and those who may have been out of racing for some time may not be aware of all the benefits and good practices in place.

And if they are a parent looking to return to work, they may be able to get up to 30 hours free childcare via the Government scheme if they have a child aged 3 – 4.  There is also a Government Tax-free child care scheme.

So, could your business actively support someone returning to work and how can you attract them to you?

It may be that the normal recruitment procedures are not catching the eye of those not pro-actively thinking about returning to racing but who have valuable skills and experience that you would welcome.   Perhaps they worked in a yard in the past where they had no part time staff and think that if they cannot be there for 6.30 am, there is no place for them. 

Many trainers advertise through word of mouth or on social media –  if you feel that you can offer the support and training to someone returning to racing after an extended period out, ensure that is mentioned along with what your yard can offer.   Just putting “stable staff required, part or full time, usual duties”  is not selling the job or career in the best way.  

If you use RacingGroom.com to promote your yard and the benefits of working for you then point any applicants towards that or information on your website about the benefits of working for you.

If you have an online application form or a paper application form, make sure that it doesn’t discourage those who have not been working recently – perhaps work through it yourself as if you were coming back after a couple of years break.  Is there anything in it which would make you give up at that point?

To encourage those returning to work, keep the criteria as open as possible whilst ensuring that you are clear about any essential experience and skills you require.   Remember, it could be quite daunting for someone who has been out of work for a while to return to work so making the application and interview process as straightforward as possible could help widen the pool of applicants.

If you can offer flexible working – it may be that even a few hours a week from a returner  can help relieve the pressure on your full time staff and help their work life balance – ensure the advert makes that clear. For example, say you are open to discussing flexible working or that  you can offer support to someone returning to work to help them back into the workplace.

If flexible working is  offered, the organisation’s willingness to do this and any limitations should be fully discussed during the interview.  Remember, that all employees have the right to unpaid time off for dependants should an emergency arise.

How can you make your business stand out to a returner?

Surveys have shown that returners are likely to want support to help them re-integrate – whilst money is important, returning to work is also related to sense of identity and job satisfaction – so having a good team ethos where there is a real sense of achievement is important

Ensure they are aware they will not be thrown in at the deep end and that they will be given the opportunity to refresh their skills, knowledge and confidence.

Provide support

It can be daunting enough changing jobs let alone returning after a long period out – yards have different ways of doing things and a person out of practice could start doubting their ability to do even the most simple thing if they have always done it a different way.   

We all know that everyone is very busy and generally you will be short staffed if recruiting, but try to time the person joining you when you have the time and opportunity to provide the support.  

The induction will be important and it is likely this will need to be more detailed than with an employee coming straight from another yard.  

Ideally have a job description in place so that the employee knows what is required and work through that with them to see where they feel they may need any particular support or training to bring them up to date. 

If doing a trial period then consider how long that will be and confirm that in writing  – ensure it is long enough for the person to get up to speed and show they can do the job and give you a proper opportunity to assess their work.  Also ensure that the support you have offered will be available during that time. 

Once the trial period or initial returning programme is over, remember to provide ongoing support as you would with any employee.    Ensure that their aspirations are discussed and training opportunities are made available be that internal training within the yard or external training such as through the industry Regional Staff Development programme. 

And don’t forget how important the moral support will be to help the person fit into the team particularly if they are working part time and may not be around at times such as the breakfast break when other staff get together.  

 Your team

If you are taking on a returner, then ensure that your existing team know the rationale and benefits of what you are doing and that the person may be lacking in confidence and need support from everyone whilst they get back up to speed.

Depending on the size of your yard the support you can put in place will vary but as well as their main manager who will provide guidance and feedback, you could have another employee as a buddy who helps with day to day questions.

The Government Equalities Commission and other organisations have detailed information available, links to which are provided below

Returner Programmes – Best Practice Guidance for Employers

Returners: An Employer’s toolkit

Returners : An Employee’s toolkit

Staff training events brought to your region

The Regional Staff Development Programme brings training opportunities close to your yard. It’s a great initiative, responding to racing employees’ desire to enhance their skills; this in turn leads to better job satisfaction.

Making these opportunities available to your staff will earn valuable points in your yard’s Lycetts Team Champion Award nomination.

Launch of 2020 Lycetts Team Champion Award and Accreditation

NEWS RELEASE

7 October 2019

LAUNCH OF THE 2020 LYCETTS TEAM CHAMPION AWARD

AND ACCREDITATION SCHEME

  • The Lycetts Team Champion Award showcases trainers’ yards which display a strong team ethos
  • Using a bespoke industry standard, the judging criteria demonstrate modern management practices used by racehorse trainers in Britain
  • New structure in 2020 with growing emphasis on accreditation which has been shown to support staff retention and racecourse success. 

The National Trainers Federation (NTF) and sponsors Lycetts Insurance Brokers are pleased to announce the launch of the third Lycetts Team Champion Award. The 2020 award has a new look as a result of feedback from the first two years.

The nomination period has been extended so all trainers and their teams have the opportunity to review the way they work and produce the strongest evidence using simplified forms.

Nominations may be made from Monday 7th October 2019 to 3rd April 2020. A new award presentation ceremony will be aligned with Racing Staff Week in July 2020.

The Lycetts Team Champion Award celebrates and rewards racehorse training yards that develop a high performance team using the highest standards of employee management, including safe working practices.

The accreditation system continues to grow in profile, allowing trainers to benchmark their business and use a trusted quality mark to attract staff, owners and sponsorship.

Over the first two years of the award, over 50 training yards have acquired accreditation through participating in the award. Research conducted for a Racing Industry MBA shows that participating yards have strengthened their staff retention rates and combine this with growing racecourse success – “Happy Staff Produce Winners.”

A £4000 prize awaits the winner in both categories – yards with 40 or more horses, and yards with fewer than 40 horses. Shortlists of four yards in each category will be announced in April 2020.

How to enter

Watch our video “Guide for Teams 2020” and access nomination forms via the NTF website at www.racehorsetrainers.org/industry/teamchampion.asp

Quotes:

Listen to last year’s shortlisted Lycetts Team Champion Trainers reflect on the benefits of entering this unique award on this video

Piers Plunket, Divisional Director, Lycetts,  “Lycetts is delighted to be supporting the Lycetts Team Champion Award for the third year running. It is wonderful to see the accredited yards demonstrating tangible benefits through improved retention rates and racecourse success. I encourage every trainer to enter.”

Commenting on the new structure, Rupert Arnold, NTF Chief Executive, said, “We have listened to feedback about the nomination process and redesigned the award so more yards can participate. There is growing awareness of the benefits to be gained – in a nutshell, it’s good for business.”

Notes for editors:

The MBA research was carried out by Debbie Grey, a former employee of the National Association of Racing Staff.

The Thoroughbred Horseracing Industry MBA (THIMBA) is delivered by the University of Liverpool Management School and is supported by The Racing Foundation.

About Lycetts

The Lycetts Group was founded in 1961 and has grown to become one of the UK’s leading independently-operated insurance brokers.

Lycetts specialises in farm and estate insurance and provides bespoke financial services, commercial and bloodstock insurance advice. It has 17 offices in the UK, with its headquarters based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

The National Trainers Federation represents the interests of British licensed racehorse trainers. For more information on the National Trainers Federation, please go to www.racehorsetrainers.org . For more information, please contact Rupert Arnold, NTF Chief Executive, on 01488 71794 or 07899 797010. E-mail: r.arnold@racehorsetrainers.org

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2019 Lycetts Team Champion Award winners celebrated at Institute of Directors

Jedd O’Keeffe and Tom Dascombe were announced yesterday as the 2019 winners of the Lycetts Team Champion Award, which celebrates the British racehorse training yards with the highest standards of employee management.

The announcement was made at a ceremony at the Institute of Directors, Pall Mall, London, where the winning yards were presented with their trophy and awarded a £4,000 prize for each yard to benefit and support their teams. ITV Racing presenter Sally Ann Grassick hosted the ceremony.

Collecting the award for husband Jedd, Andrea O’Keeffe said “”Firstly it should be Jedd standing here but he has flu – the human version! – so he is really sorry he can’t be here.

_I2I7423

“It means the absolute world but it’s really about these guys and the team that we have who are amazing. We love working with them, they just pull out all the stops in every respect. This whole process has been a really good thing for us to go through as a team. We can’t believe we’ve won and to hear the comments on the other yards you are sitting here thinking ‘there is no way we are going to win!’ because everyone is doing such amazing work in their yards too.”

Tom Dascombe, playing down his role in the nomination, said “”I think we have a good team spirit. It’s really all down to the team and nothing to do with me. This award is for the team and is not for me.”_I2I7438

 

 

 

 

 

 

The National Trainers Federation (NTF) and Lycetts Insurance Brokers created the Lycetts Team Champion Award to:

  • Deliver praise and a sense of achievement for the racehorse training yards with the highest standards of employee management
  • Showcase the positive results of developing a team that works well together
  • Spread the message about safe working practices
  • Improve recruitment and retention rates by promoting the most successful management practices and encouraging their wider adoption among racehorse trainers.

The assessment criteria for Lycetts Team Champion Award are based on The Winning Approach, a best practice standard developed for the NTF by consultants Sport and Beyond. They include effective recruitment and induction systems, a safe working environment, leadership, communication and management structures, developing staff to fulfil their potential, and rewarding achievement. Development of The Winning Approach and the award was funded with the help of The Racing Foundation.

Yogi Breisner, renowned for his stellar accomplishments as a competitor and team leader in the field of Three Day Eventing, chaired the judging panel and presented the prizes. Commenting on the judges’ experience of the awards and the assessment, Breisner said, “In this, the second year of the Lycetts Team Champion Award, it’s very encouraging to see how a lot of trainers have embraced the concept of the Award and have upped their game and improved from the already high standard that we saw last year.”

Rupert Arnold, Chief Executive of the NTF, said, “We received another very strong set of nomnations for this second edition of the Lycetts Team Champion Award. Congratulations to this year’s winners who set an amazing example but let’s remember that there are now 52 trainers (10% of all licensed yards) who are accredited with a star rating to show their business operates to a recognised best practice standard for staff management. ”

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Notes for editors:

Shortlist

The short lists for the two categories were:

40+ horses Fewer than 40 horses
Andrew Balding Nick Alexander
Tom Dascombe Dan Kübler
Warren Greatrex Jedd O’Keeffe
Richard Hughes Richard Phillips

 Industry standard

A copy of The Winning Approach, the award nomination form and an explanation of the award can be found on the NTF website here. The Lycetts Team Champion Award promotes practices that are most closely aligned with strengthening the team ethos.

 

 

Lycetts Team Champion Award winners to be revealed on Thursday 28 February

With only a few days to go before the 2019 Lycetts Team Champion Award winners are announced on Thursday 28th February at the Institute of Directors, here is a glimpse of the eight shortlisted yards to have reached the final stage.

They are up for the chance to win £4000, courtesy of sponsors Lycetts, to be spent on items of their choice to support the team.

Lycetts Team Champion Award presentation at Institute of Directors on 28 February

In a change to last year’s AGM format, the Lycetts Team Champion Award presentation ceremony will begin at 4.00pm at the Institute of Directors following the AGM lunch. To celebrate the winners, there will be a drinks reception after the presentations.

This allows us to use the space in the beautiful Nash Room at the IoD for our members’ meeting and make best use of the staging and audio-visual facilities. The break for lunch enables the IoD staff to change the room layout for the awards.

Congratulations to the yards that reached the shortlist to be a Lycetts Team Champion winner. Yard visits to the following trainers are underway:

40+ horses Fewer than 40 horses
Andrew Balding Nick Alexander
Tom Dascombe Dan Kubler
Warren Greatrex Jedd O’Keeffe
Richard Hughes Richard Phillips

All trainers whose yards have been awarded a star rating under the award system are now on display on the award page on the NTF website here. The 2019 award logos have been produced will be sent to each trainer whose yard earned a rating in the current award year.

Shortlists announced for 2019 Lycetts Team Champion Award

NEWS RELEASE

17 December 2018

SHORTLISTED FINALISTS ANNOUNCED FOR 2019 LYCETTS TEAM CHAMPION AWARD

The National Trainers Federation (NTF) is delighted to announce the two shortlists for the 2019 Lycetts Team Champion Award.

Lycetts Team Champion Award celebrates the racehorse training yards that have developed a strong team ethos through the highest standards of staff management and safe working practices. There are more details on the NTF website at this link: https://www.racehorsetrainers.org/industry/teamchampion.asp

The award has two categories – one for yards with 40 or more horses; and one for yards with fewer than 40 horses. The shortlists (in alphabetical order) are:

40+ horses Fewer than 40 horses
Andrew Balding Nick Alexander
Tom Dascombe Dan Kubler
Warren Greatrex Jedd O’Keeffe
Richard Hughes Richard Phillips

Through the scoring of assessment criteria, nominating yards that reach a sufficient number of points earn a star rating: 1 represents good team ethos and staff engagement; 2 is very good; and 3 is excellent. All the shortlisted yards were awarded 3-star status. Competition was extremely strong and the standard of nominations very high resulting in a higher proportion of 3-star nominations than in the inaugural award last year. A full list of star-rated yards will appear on the NTF and Racing Groom websites shortly.

The judges would like to emphasise how impressed they were with the very high standard of nominations demonstrating the transformation of management practices in racing yards.

Yogi Breisner, Chairman of the judging panel, commented, “It’s been a real pleasure to be involved with Lycetts Team Champion Award again, and it’s great to see the progress from last year and also some very exciting new applications.”

Laura Whyte, former Director of HR at John Lewis, commented “There were some very strong entries this year and it was good to see some of the yards build on their submissions from twelve months ago. I’m really looking forward to our yard visits!”

In the next phase of the award, the judges will visit the shortlisted yards during January 2019 to meet the team members and get first-hand experience of the practices that have been described in the first stage nominations. The winners will be announced on 28th February 2019 at a ceremony at the prestigious headquarters of the Institute of Directors.

Speaking on behalf of the NTF, Chief Executive Rupert Arnold said, “We would like to thank the yards who all put considerable effort into their nominations. It shows that even at this very busy time of year, trainers and staff are keen to publicise how they are adopting best practice and pulling together to promote staff retention.”

Ends

Notes for editors:

The statistics for the number of horses in each yard are provided by Weatherbys and based on a rolling monthly average from 1st January to 1st December 2018.

The judges are Yogi Breisner, Simon Christian, Dana Mellor, Kevin Parsons and Laura Whyte. Before judging began, they each declared conflicts of interest and are not judging any yards with which they have a commercial, employment or personal interest.

The Lycetts Group has grown to become one of the UK’s leading independently-operated insurance brokers with 14 offices in the UK. Lycetts specialises in farm and estate insurance and also provides bespoke financial services, commercial and bloodstock insurance advice.

The assessment criteria for Lycetts Team Champion Award are based on The Winning Approach, a best practice standard developed for the NTF by consultants Sport and Beyond with funding from The Racing Foundation. A copy of The Winning Approach, the award nomination form and an explanation of the award can be found on the NTF website here: https://www.racehorsetrainers.org/industry/teamchampion.asp

The National Trainers Federation represents the interests of British licensed racehorse trainers. For more information, please contact Rupert Arnold, NTF Chief Executive, on 01488 71794 or 07899 797010. E-mail: r.arnold@racehorsetrainers.org .

For more information on the National Trainers Federation, please go to www.racehorsetrainers.org