‘It’s a way for a store to reward staff for hard work’

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If businesses don’t tell the world how wonderful they are, how will it know?

That’s a message from one of this year’s News Retail and Leisure Awards sponsors, Cascades Shopping Centre director Rhoda Joseph (pictured)

The experienced retail worker is calling on staff at businesses across the area to turn out in their droves and put forward their companies, teams, or individual members of staff for industry recognition.

The 10 categories in the awards give businesses and staff including managers, rising stars and community work to be acknowledged.

Rhoda, who has worked at the centre for 14 years, said: ‘There are very few opportunities for retail staff to be celebrated, applauded and rewarded for the hard work they do with frontline customer service.

‘The awards themselves have such a broad range of categories and allow achievements that would usually only be noticed internally, to be shouted about externally.

‘That can only be done at a ceremony like this and the night itself is such a great one to be a part of – there’s a real party atmosphere.

‘Everyone is having a laugh, taking pictures, enjoying being dressed up and making connections.’

The awards are open to individuals, partnerships, organisations and businesses based in, or with a significant presence in, the circulation area of The News – namely south-east Hampshire and over the border into West Sussex and Chichester.

Rhoda, who is leaving Cascades this year for the position of general manager at Grand Arcade in Cambridge, added: ‘We’ve had winners and runners-up from Cascades, Lush won the Customer Service Award last year for example.

‘There’s not a lot of time for self-congratulation and nominating staff is a way for a store to reward its staff for hard work and dedication.

‘It’s also great for team bonding.

‘At Cascades we’ve improved the retail mix and brought in a bigger range of mid-market stores.

‘I’ll definitely be encouraging some of my 60 retailers to enter, and I urge other businesses across the area to do the same. It’s well worth taking part and means neighbouring companies can make contact with each other.’