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Next in our series of five-minute chats with Q3 people, we hear from Kerry Williams who manages our cleaning contract with one of the largest police forces in the Midlands.
“Hi, I’m Kerry Williams, Contracts Manager, and I’ve been working on this “blue light” contract for some time but joined Q3 when they secured and mobilised the contract in April of this year.
“There are over 30 police stations on the contract spread right across the county, with cleaning staff allocated for each one. It’s a huge area to manage and it keeps me pretty busy ensuring everything is right at each station.
“I wasn’t always in the cleaning business. I started off my working life in nursing but when a family came along, a move into cleaning gave me the flexibility to work around being a full-time mum. That was over 30 years ago as a supervisor with Cleaning Services UK and I have moved and TUPE’d around numerous organisations and contracts in the Nottinghamshire area in the years since then.
“For me, this business is all about people and it’s the reason I keep working in this sector. When Q3 won the contract, the client introduced me to their team and encouraged me to stay and manage the transition. I connected immediately with the Q3 senior team, liked their approach and values, and have really enjoyed taking the contract forward. One lesson I learned very early on in the cleaning sector was that to gain respect you need to earn it and I feel that respect is the foundation of the three-way relationship between my team, the client and the Q3 central team.
“Over six months into the contract things are settling in reasonably well, although we are suffering from the short staffing problems affecting so much of the industry right now. We can’t let that problem get in the way of striving to make the service even better for our client. I’m not averse to working weekends to ensure everything runs smoothly and the Q3 management team really appreciate me going the extra mile.
“Despite the staffing challenge the turnover of staff on this contract is actually very low for our industry and we have lots of long-standing members of the team who are totally dedicated to the job. Part of this is because the working for this type of client is very different to an office type contract. It has a kind of family feel, although security is much more of a priority as you might imagine. I have an access card that gets me in pretty much everywhere, but there are secure-area locations where we are prohibited from the use of watches and phones which makes communication with staff slightly interesting. Vetting is also very important, sometimes complicating what is already a tough recruitment process.
“At one of the stations, there is a full-size human dummy which is used for training in resuscitation, and I always ensure that any rookie cleaners on induction get to enter the room on their own just to see the reaction!
“The good thing about having the Police as a client, is that they tell you straight what they want and always make a point of recognising a job well done. We have a great working relationship with our client, and they treat us an extension of their team which is very rewarding.
“Outside work, I have eight grandchildren that take up most of my time. With Christmas approaching, it’s a magical time to be with the kids and it also allows me to indulge my passion for Christmas movies. Bring it on!”
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