The Ark for business (Part of Hospitality Action)

Peter Evans

Peter Evans

Executive Chef 10th December 2010
Ken Crosland leads the Ark for Business - the Hospitality industry initiative helping employers protect against alcohol and drug misuse within the workplace. Supported By "Ark is addressing a critical issue for our industry, and the entire sector should get behind and support it" JAMIE OLIVER "Lives can and are being destroyed in our industry by the misuse of alcohol and drugs. The Ark seminars are tackling this problem head on by making young people aware of the consequences" HESTON BLUMENTHAL "Many colleagues had told me how worthwhile the ARK's presentations were. Frankly I was a little sceptical as I thought we didn't have a problem and interest would be scant. I was astonished to find every session full and the feedback from the teams was very. I would thoroughly recommend it to every employer in the hospitality sector." ANDREW MACKENZIE, MANAGING DRIECTOR, THE PETER MICHAEL COLLECTION (UK) "Personally I came out of the session with Ken having a much greater understanding of the issue and I could also see the effect the morning had on my colleagues. We are able to talk more openly with people following the visit. The Ark can really break the ice and then the veil of shame and secrecy can be parted enough to try and help people. Get them in to talk to your colleagues - you will not regret it." DAVID MORGAN-HEWITT, MANAGING DIRECTOR, THE GORING SC - So what is the Ark for Business? KC - The Ark Foundation was founded by Michael Quinn (the first English Head Chef of the Ritz), who lost his own career to alcoholism. He recovered and set up the Ark to raise awareness of alcohol and drug misuse within the industry. It's now a key part of industry charity Hospitality Action, and its' Chairmen are Jamie Oliver and Heston Blumenthal. In 2007, we launched Ark for Business as a paid for consultancy, helping hospitality employers implement best practice in managing the risk of alcohol and drug misuse. We offer three key areas of expertise: Drug and Alcohol Policy Design Management Awareness Training Employee Awareness Education SC - How big a problem is it within Hospitality? KC - The UK tops European league tables for alcohol and illegal drug consumption, and this comes at a price. In 2006, the UK economy lost up to 26 million working days from alcohol related absenteeism alone. Hospitality has always been one of the worst affected sectors - largely because of the culture of long hours, stress, and the availability of alcohol. Booze is still the main offender, but drugs are increasingly an issue. SC - How does it affect a business? KC - Absenteeism and timekeeping are big problems, as is "presenteeism (employees at work but performance suffers through hangover). It also impacts on morale, customer service, staff turnover, health and safety, and increases the risk of theft, fraud, litigation and employment tribunals. It's an expensive problem. On a human level, the effects can be devastating. Nobody sets out to develop a problem and it happens to good employees as well as bad. Too often it remains a hidden problem - the individual is in denial, and managers don't recognise it - it worsens to the point where the individual, and the business are seriously harmed. SC - What should an employer be doing? KC - Take the issue seriously, as it can happen anywhere, at any level - many employees will consume alcohol or drugs, and some will do so to excess. Don't just have a few rules in the handbook, put a proper policy in place which communicates to everyone that the Company takes the matter seriously. It should offer reasonable support to those individuals with an alcohol or substance misuse problem, as well as taking firm action against any employee who violates the Company's standard of health and safety in the working environment. Employees will know you aim to be supportive, but they also know the rules and the consequences for breaking them. The policy should be seen to be fair and reasonable, two important considerations if judged by an Employment Tribunal or Court of Law. Secondly, train your managers to ensure they are confident in recognizing and managing various problems - from a serious dependency through to a breach of discipline because of bingeing. They have to know the law and be able to recognise a problem early in development - physical signs, performance, attendance, behaviour, relationships with colleagues, lack of care etc. Ensure they act fairly and consistently. Finally, provide your employees with good quality information - the workplace is an excellent environment for promoting the sensible use of alcohol, awareness of the side effects of medicines, and an understanding of the harmful effects of illegal drugs. SC - Isn't this a lot to expect a small company to do? KC - A small company has the same duty of care as a large one - they also have more to lose. The good news is that if they do this, they'll see tangible benefits to performance and employee welfare - from reduced absenteeism and better timekeeping, through to better morale and customer retention. It will also make it extremely unlikely that anyone with an existing alcohol or drug problem will want to work in their business - they'll take the problem elsewhere instead. SC - Has the Ark For Business been successful KC - We've worked for many companies across the sector - ranging from Intercontinental, Hyatt Churchill and Red Carnation through to Caprice Holdings, Soho House Group and the Zetter. The uniqueness of the Ark, is that the presenters involved were hospitality industry professionals who beat their own addiction to alcohol or drugs, and are in long term, successful recovery. We know about this problem, and can help managers understand it better, and protect against it. Perhaps more importantly, we're able to reach individuals who may be struggling, and show them a way to change. Very few training sessions end, without contact in confidence afterwards from an individual who wants help or advice. We've helped a fair few people get their lives back on track.
Ken Crosland leads the Ark for Business - the Hospitality industry initiative helping employers protect against alcohol and drug misuse within the workplace.
SC - So what is the Ark for Business? KC - The Ark Foundation was founded by Michael Quinn (the first English Head Chef of the Ritz), who lost his own career to alcoholism. He recovered and set up the Ark to raise awareness of alcohol and drug misuse within the industry. It's now a key part of industry charity Hospitality Action, and its' Chairmen are Jamie Oliver and Heston Blumenthal. In 2007, we launched Ark for Business as a paid for consultancy, helping hospitality employers implement best practice in managing the risk of alcohol and drug misuse. We offer three key areas of expertise: Drug and Alcohol Policy Design Management Awareness Training Employee Awareness Education SC - How big a problem is it within Hospitality? KC - The UK tops European league tables for alcohol and illegal drug consumption, and this comes at a price. In 2006, the UK economy lost up to 26 million working days from alcohol related absenteeism alone. Hospitality has always been one of the worst affected sectors - largely because of the culture of long hours, stress, and the availability of alcohol. Booze is still the main offender, but drugs are increasingly an issue. SC - How does it affect a business? KC - Absenteeism and timekeeping are big problems, as is "presenteeism (employees at work but performance suffers through hangover). It also impacts on morale, customer service, staff turnover, health and safety, and increases the risk of theft, fraud, litigation and employment tribunals. It's an expensive problem. On a human level, the effects can be devastating. Nobody sets out to develop a problem and it happens to good employees as well as bad. Too often it remains a hidden problem - the individual is in denial, and managers don't recognise it - it worsens to the point where the individual, and the business are seriously harmed. SC - What should an employer be doing? KC - Take the issue seriously, as it can happen anywhere, at any level - many employees will consume alcohol or drugs, and some will do so to excess. Don't just have a few rules in the handbook, put a proper policy in place which communicates to everyone that the Company takes the matter seriously. It should offer reasonable support to those individuals with an alcohol or substance misuse problem, as well as taking firm action against any employee who violates the Company's standard of health and safety in the working environment. Employees will know you aim to be supportive, but they also know the rules and the consequences for breaking them. The policy should be seen to be fair and reasonable, two important considerations if judged by an Employment Tribunal or Court of Law. Secondly, train your managers to ensure they are confident in recognizing and managing various problems - from a serious dependency through to a breach of discipline because of bingeing. They have to know the law and be able to recognise a problem early in development - physical signs, performance, attendance, behaviour, relationships with colleagues, lack of care etc. Ensure they act fairly and consistently. Finally, provide your employees with good quality information - the workplace is an excellent environment for promoting the sensible use of alcohol, awareness of the side effects of medicines, and an understanding of the harmful effects of illegal drugs. SC - Isn't this a lot to expect a small company to do? KC - A small company has the same duty of care as a large one - they also have more to lose. The good news is that if they do this, they'll see tangible benefits to performance and employee welfare - from reduced absenteeism and better timekeeping, through to better morale and customer retention. It will also make it extremely unlikely that anyone with an existing alcohol or drug problem will want to work in their business - they'll take the problem elsewhere instead. SC - Has the Ark For Business been successful KC - We've worked for many companies across the sector - ranging from Intercontinental, Hyatt Churchill and Red Carnation through to Caprice Holdings, Soho House Group and the Zetter. The uniqueness of the Ark, is that the presenters involved were hospitality industry professionals who beat their own addiction to alcohol or drugs, and are in long term, successful recovery. We know about this problem, and can help managers understand it better, and protect against it. Perhaps more importantly, we're able to reach individuals who may be struggling, and show them a way to change. Very few training sessions end, without contact in confidence afterwards from an individual who wants help or advice. We've helped a fair few people get their lives back on track. QUOTES: "Ark is addressing a critical issue for our industry, and the entire sector should get behind and support it" JAMIE OLIVER "Lives can and are being destroyed in our industry by the misuse of alcohol and drugs. The Ark seminars are tackling this problem head on by making young people aware of the consequences" HESTON BLUMENTHAL 'Many colleagues had told me how worthwhile the ARK's presentations were. Frankly I was a little sceptical as I thought we didn't have a problem and interest would be scant. I was astonished to find every session full and the feedback from the teams was very. I would thoroughly recommend it to every employer in the hospitality sector.' ANDREW MACKENZIE, MANAGING DRIECTOR, THE PETER MICHAEL COLLECTION (UK) Personally I came out of the session with Ken having a much greater understanding of the issue and I could also see the effect the morning had on my colleagues. We are able to talk more openly with people following the visit. The Ark can really break the ice and then the veil of shame and secrecy can be parted enough to try and help people. Get them in to talk to your colleagues - you will not regret it." DAVID MORGAN-HEWITT, MANAGING DIRECTOR, THE GORING

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Peter Evans

Peter Evans

Executive Chef 10th December 2010

The Ark for business (Part of Hospitality Action)