The Royal Liver Building
Security personnel; Mobile patrols; Front of house concierge; CCTV monitoring; Car park management.
Opened in 1911 as the purpose built home of The Royal Liver Assurance group, the Royal Liver Building is today one of the most recognisable landmarks in the city of Liverpool and is home to two fabled Liver Birds that watch over the city and the sea.
Now the building is also home to various tenants spread across 12 floors. As the security requirements grew, the need to develop a partnership with a professional security partner in 2005 was never greater.
How did we help?
Working with the Royal Liver Assurance Group, we redefined the service delivery by providing a responsive and hands-on approach to maintaining a safe environment for tenants and visitors alike.
Providing first-class training in security procedures and customer care enabled us to raise the standard of the front of house service. A bespoke uniform increased the profile of the receptionists and officers who monitor site access/egress, over 100 car parking spaces across two car parks, and over 30 CCTV cameras across the complex
The building is guarded 24 hours a day; there are two receptionists, six security officers during the day (including one manager) and two night officers. The front of house officer checks that people entering the building have the correct documentation whilst the receptionists sign in visitors, take deliveries and manage the phones. Two officers at the contractor entrance take deliveries and make sure contractors are signed in and briefed on health and safety.
2008 marked the 100th anniversary of the Royal Liver Building’s foundation stone being laid. In July 2008, work began on a major upgrade of the listed building’s interior to match the standards offered by Liverpool’s thriving commercial market. Providing an unsurpassed working environment for existing tenants and their clients, whilst attracting new high profile tenants to the building was the objective. Due to the scale of these works, disruption to the daily running of the building was inevitable.
In terms of impact to the team, this was significant, but the team rose to the challenge and worked together to coordinate access control of the extra contractors to the building.
Communication between the client, tenants and the team was key to this and both parties ensured that everyone was clear on who was authorised at all times. Some clients have moved offices and sometimes even floors whilst work was carried out, but the team made sure they remained up to date with everyone’s locations so they could provide accurate information to visitors and tenants’ guests.
Renovation work is now in its final stages and the client has commented that the team contributed to helping the works run smoothly, often getting to site early or staying late to accommodate certain contractors.
The officers know they can go to anyone in the landlord’s team if they have a query, and vice versa. As part of their daily routine, a member of front of house security patrols the building to check it is secure. At the same time the team meets and talks, both formally and informally, with the tenants. This relationship has developed and they are now on first name terms with nearly 2,000 people, including senior directors, Lords and Sirs. Their visibility and daily communication means an issue never really becomes a problem.
In his own time the MITIE team manager raises money for the Help the Heroes charity. Both the client and tenants have donated prizes to be auctioned in order to raise money. This shows the respect that the manager and team have earned, and that the people they work with want to give something back because of this.
The positivity of the team manager is reflected in the morale of the team; they support each other, are motivated and work hard every day. They have a good relationship with the client and “the support the client gives, they give back”.
Dedication is proven in the low sickness and low staff turnover rates. The team members have been working there for many years and this continuity is beneficial to both tenants and client. Having this stability means they are happy in the knowledge that their building and assets are secure.
The building often holds events for tenants and the public. Instead of hiring extra officers, they self-cover the overtime even at short notice. Whether it’s a radio station transmitting from the roof, or Tony Robinson filming from the clock tower for Time Team, members of the team stay behind or work weekend without quibbling.
An example of excellent teamwork was when Cherie Blair visited for the opening of the headquarters for Rights and Humanity. Prior to her visit, they contacted her personal security team to find out the car she would be arriving in. They planned the tour in advanced for minimal disruption to both Cherie and the tenants in the building.
On the day, an officer was on duty looking out for her car and once she arrived messaged reception. They made sure that throughout her visit, there was always an officer present to let her through secure entrances. Each member of the team knew their role and what should be done to make sure the visit ran as smoothly as possible.
Officers rotate their job roles, however they still know exactly what is expected of them. For example, the team at the contractor entrance operate two shifts a day; one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Part of their role is to sign people in and make sure they are aware of the health and safety procedures. At times there have been up to 150 contractors on site and to accommodate this they make sure that the shifts overlap at the busiest time of the day.
In total there are six months’ worth of holiday which could be taken, so for continuity a sixth officer helps by covering holidays and overtime, hardly ever having to hire other security officers for cover. When no-one is on holiday, he undertakes auxiliary duties such as cleaning the roof or jet spraying the bins. There is no one person who performs this role; it is shared within the team.
The team also work closely with other colleagues in the building. For example the tenant’s receptionists work with our receptionists to let them know when they are expecting visitors, so the team can promptly register the visitor and send them to the tenant.
At weekends the team complete a weekend work schedule to make sure key areas are clean, tidy and safe. Tasks include clearing and cleaning stairwells, weeding the roof, and jet spaying bins, shelters and windows. During the week, officers bring out the bins for the cleaners to fill and return them at night for the refuse collectors.
The team is more than happy to go the extra mile. When they help with client or tenant functions they don’t simply open up and patrol the building, they take visitors on tours explaining the history and future of the building. Visitors like receiving a tour of the building, especially as is it part of Liverpool’s heritage.
The Royal Liver is located in the Pier Head at the riverside. When another building has an event, it inevitably affects the Royal Liver. When these events are taking place, the team work overtime to make sure the building is secure and car park remains free for the tenants.
BSIA award and MITIE Stars
All tenants and visitors comment on how well they are treated at the Royal Liver Building. Having a cheerful front of house team is very welcoming when you come to work in the morning and their helpfulness makes visitors want to come back.
As a result, the client decided to nominate the team for a British Security Industry Association Security Personnel award. In early 2011, they were presented with the North West regional award for Best Team.
The team were also crowned MITIE Stars champions in 2011. MITIE Stars highlights how talented our people are in their everyday roles and how our people go the extra mile to meet the needs of all of our clients and to support their colleagues. The team received dream prizes totalling £15,000 for their passion and dedication.
It is said by the client, and echoed by the tenants, that they are not just security officers or receptionists; they are ambassadors of the building and the tenants themselves. They are a positive and motivated team who go the extra mile to make tenants and visitors feel both safe and welcome to the prestigious building. The front of house team sets the atmosphere for people entering the building. They present tenants and visitors with an excellent first impression, which is reflected in the admirable relationship they have with them.
The building is part of Liverpool’s heritage and, as the team members are all from Liverpool, they are proud to work there.
The team has an admirable work ethic that is second to none. The team’s willingness and enthusiasm is apparent in all they do, and everyone from director level down knows who they are. Their loyalty gives the client continuity, stability and peace of mind that the safety of everyone who uses the building is in safe hands. Above all they love what they do and they pass this on to everyone they come into contact with.
Morale on site is high and turnover of people extremely low. We have motivated and happy teams and most importantly a happy customer.