Our selection process, staff training programme and the overall quality of the employment package offered to our staff team are all key factors in ensuring that Robinwood has, as we are constantly told, ’the best staff teams’.
Robinwood staff are friendly, experienced, confident, conscientious, professional and fun. They have a warmth of personality and are sensitive to young people’s needs. The staff are able to help young people reach their full potential whilst enjoying a fantastic time away at Robinwood.
The excellent all round staff package we offer results in a huge number of applications for each appointment made, with typically more than 10 applicants to choose from for each position available.
We have a rigorous selection process to ensure we appoint the best people available. We invite shortlisted applicants to selection weekends which include interviews, individual challenges and several different teamwork tasks. We recruit staff based on the qualities we observe, looking for the qualities that we have already identified as the key ones that our very best current staff have. We look carefully at their enthusiasm levels, their support for others, communication skills, the standards they work to and how they relate to children. Qualifications are obviously important, and through our training programme we ensure that all staff hold relevant qualifications before starting work with children, but it is the qualities of each individual that we look to first when recruiting.
All appointments are subject to DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) checks and suitable references.
Successful applicants complete a 4 week induction training course before taking charge of any groups of children. They observe an experienced group leader throughout a complete group lead and when they take charge of their first activity group they are observed by senior staff and given one to one feedback on activity sessions they run.
All new group leaders need to pass activity session assessment in a range of different activities, before they are allowed to take charge of running these sessions. We are rigorous in ensuring that all group leaders achieve the high standards required and will continue to have experienced staff alongside them until all assessments are passed.
Throughout their first season we observe and give feedback on all aspects of their performance as a group leader, within an ongoing staff development programme.
We invest highly in staff wages and staff development. Our centres operate year round, which means that staff are offered permanent contracts. We offer a career structure for our staff team and look for people who are committed to the aims and values of Robinwood. Other centres operate with a high proportion of seasonal staff who are taken on and laid off dependent on the bookings a centre achieves.
We have new staff starting at each centre each year, injecting new enthusiasm and ideas, but also have a much larger core team of outstanding experienced people, many of whom have worked with us for five years or more. They set the standard for the new starters to follow and are familiar faces for the many schools who return to us year after year.
All of our Instructor Team Managers started with Robinwood as group leaders and have had various promotions through to their current positions. Our policy is to promote from within. We know that the people in our top jobs have worked to a high standard at all levels within the company. We know that they are totally committed to Robinwood and to our overriding philosophy of customer focus and customer care for the key stage two groups who attend our centres.
A high proportion of our staff team have been working for Robinwood for 5 years or more, but they still have the enthusiasm they brought on the day they started, enthusiasm which is vital to the success of our course. Centre managers have on average been working for more than 10 years with Robinwood.
Training and development opportunities are made available to all staff at all times and we have developed a culture within which everyone is continually striving to improve their own performance. Our instructors hold nationally recognised qualifications where relevant qualifications exist and in many cases hold qualifications at a much higher level than is required for the sessions they deliver at Robinwood.
Our commitment to the training and development of all our staff team resulted in us achieving the “Investors in People” award in 2000, an award which we have retained ever since. We have also been winners of a National Training Award and since 2012, achieved star recognition as a ‘Best Company to Work For’.