Monthly Archives: May 2020

A new narrative for hotels and venues

Stephanie Hall, Group Director of Sales & Marketing at the Exclusive Collection gives us her thoughts on a new narrative for hotels and venues.

“Our business is about bringing groups of people together – to interact, learn and celebrate. Ultimately to be social. 

Yet, rightly so, these interactions, learnings and celebrations must be done from a distance or the foreseeable under ‘social distancing’. However, as we move towards a new phase in lockdown shouldn’t we be relinquishing the ‘social’ shackle and work with a term that is more fitting for an industry that encourages social interactions?

It’s widely acknowledged that loneliness can be detrimental to our health and mental health and our current ‘social distancing’ status has compounded this as we keep learning during this Mental Health Awareness Week. A YouGov survey recently found half of people working from home felt isolated and 7 in 10 were missing social interactions at work.
Therefore, isn’t ‘physical distancing’ more fitting and a better descriptor? After all we’ve re-tuned ourselves to sensing a new 2-metre physical boundary and we are now well versed in being able to uphold our personal perimeter when we are on our occasional errands and exercise trips.

The entire hospitality sector is jumping through hoops to ensure a physical 2m distance is in place for when the locks are off. We have spent the last 8-weeks understanding the customer and supplier journey, implementing protocols and heightening sanitisation, while balancing the core premise of our business: places for people to be social.

Our golf and tennis facilities have just opened, fly fishing at Lainston House is back in operation and there are positive rumblings for the hospitality sector that we will all be socialising again – albeit at a physical distance.

Across our businesses we’ve created new signage to help with the flow of guests and to keep people the appropriate physical distance from each other. Nowhere do we suggest guests shouldn’t be social! 

A ‘physical distance’ but not ‘social distance’.”

Sell Sell Sell…..


There’s always targets to smash, expectations to meet and products to sell, sell sell! But even the best sales teams will have their off weeks; where the phones won’t ring, emails go unanswered and morale goes through the floorboards.

For organisations who rely on their sales teams to generate and convert those precious leads, having a demoralised sales team can mean big problems. So, how can you shake off the blues and get your sales team back to their deal-closing best?


Yup, you’re probably reading this and thinking cash incentives or bonuses are the answer to encouraging sales team.

Well, when it comes to cash v rewards a cash-related bonus for hitting a target might make sense, but they’re just not that effective long-term.

It’s a well-known (not-so) secret that when it comes to motivating certain behaviours in the workplace, non-cash rewards are a far more appealing carrot to dangle.

There are examples of plenty of national size companies as well as smaller ones who are ditching their reliance on cash incentives and switching to cashless rewards and incentives as part of positive company cultures.

Cashless incentives and rewards can help companies do two things:

  • Maintain consistent effort
  • Retain your best talent.

These are pretty big factors when it comes to a motivated and successful workforce, so if you’re wanting to motivate your sales team, perhaps it’s time you stashed the cash and tried these cashless alternatives instead!

1. Who doesn’t love a good bit of grub? Treating those that hit target to a decent bit of food at a trendy restaurant or pub, possibly with an overnight stay instead of their usual soggy sandwiches or warmed-up leftovers will give everyone the boost to make those sales.

Dining experiences tend to stick with people for a long time and get talked about over and over again. There are well known places like Heston Blumenthal’s, Fat Duck close to London for example however there are also fantastic lesser known places like Restaurant Dans Le Noir where you eat in the dark, served by blind waiters or even Dinner in the Sky for the ultimate team dinner!

2. They may be a stereotypical part of company cultures, but a day out engaging in a well planned & thought out team building day will allow your team to expand their problem-solving skills, improve their communication skills and work together as a team. Brilliant right now for a team that may have been furloughed or working remotely.

They might be seen as just a ‘nice day out’, but when done properly, they give staff the opportunity to build upon all the skills they need to be a winning team and have some fun along the way. Sailing in The Solent, on safari in Kent or winemaking in Somerset are all activities that the team here at Evolution can help you with to create a fantastic team culture.

3. Providing memorable experiences for when your sales team close that big deal is another way to inspire productivity and profitability. Giving your people the chance to enjoy an activity or experience they may not get the chance to do regularly can be more effective than just dumping some coin in their bank account.

Experiential rewards will always have more impact if they are seen to be more achievable & regular so it doesn’t have to be the annual target type 4 day trip to New York or a week in the Caribbean reward. You business could be better to offer quarterly mini breaks to somewhere like the New Forest or Scotland or maybe even a ski trip in the Alps. This way every month is a new start & the team goes all out to claim the prize without switching off because the reward is out of reach.

Here at Evolution we are experts in understanding exactly what would inspire your team the best & coming up with a ‘menu’ of solutions that you can choose to put forward. Get in touch if you would like us to do just that for you.