Page 5: Investing in people
Many businesses see their workforce as their greatest asset and recognise that a highly motivated, intelligent, properly trained, committed workforce is best placed to deliver the best results.
Sandwich making remains labour intensive. Although machines butter the bread, and apply the mayonnaise almost all other ingredients are added by hand. So the workforce needs to be committed to the task. Commitment comes from two main sources:
- a belief in the worth of the product (and therefore the worth of the job)
- a feeling of being valued by the employer.
Businesses that get these two aspects right help not only their workforce but also themselves, because labour productivity remains high, absenteeism stays low, labour turnover is reduced, and recruitment costs fall.
Manton Wood offers an excellent working environment, and Hazlewood Sandwiches has introduced focused employee initiatives, including:
- An extensive induction programme designed to make new recruits feel part of the team.
- Opportunities for employees to take National Vocational Qualifications relevant to the food industry, so enabling them to progress and develop within the company.
- Flexible, family-friendly working practices e.g. a 'mothers' shift' with working hours tailored around young mothers' childcare needs and schooling arrangements.
- An on-site hairdresser, gymnasium, company shop, cash machine, state-of-the-art restaurant, IT training and a dry cleaning service.
Faced with a 5-mile move, 95of Hazlewood Sandwiches employees agreed to 'stay on board'. The company has won 'Investors in People' status, a nationally recognised benchmark for companies that have demonstrated specified levels of employee care. Labour turnover has decreased by 50% following the move.