HR Hubs at the Heart of Europa

HR Hubs at the Heart of Europa

Pioneering independent logistics operator Europa Worldwide Group has completed the first phase of its substantial human capital transformation programme.

Europa Worldwide Group currently employs over 1,100 staff in the UK. It has expanded significantly across all divisions and locations in recent years, thanks to its bold growth strategy. This aims to achieve an ambitious £400m turnover target. Forecasts predict an upward workforce recruitment trajectory, ensuring the firm remains on track to deliver this vision.

The milestone marks the culmination of many months of hard work behind the scenes. The objective is to ensure the Human Resources (HR) function is strategically aligned with the organisation’s intended future direction and is fully embedded across all areas of the business.

As part of this approach, eight Human Resources Business Partners (HRPBs) have been appointed following a competitive recruitment process. This represents a 160 per cent increase in the core HR team, bringing the full complement up to 13 staff members.

Each HRBP is responsible for looking after specific divisions within Europa Worldwide Group’s commercial portfolio; Europa Road, Europa Warehouse, Europa Air & Sea, Europa Show freight, Europa Contact Centre, and Continental Cargo Carriers.

Emma Jackson, Debi Rodgers, Bradley Earp, Juliette Battison, Sherelle White, Clare Maund, Aimee Stokes, and Debra Marks bring with them a wealth of experience to the roles. Each has worked in a broad range of sectors and offers invaluable expertise across all areas of the employment lifecycle.

These eight external recruits join the firm at an exciting time, with a new HR structure having recently been introduced at Europa Worldwide Group. The HRBPs will report to the Head of Human Resources, Elaine Robertson FCIPD ACIPP. She has spearheaded the design and delivery of this transformation programme through the global people and culture strategy.

It is centred around the introduction of dedicated HR hubs across the business. These are a combination of physical workstation resources at Europa’s largest sites – packed with crucial HR information tailored to each employee – as well as the development of the HRBP offering.

In its most recent financial results, Europa Worldwide Group announced a record turnover of £210m for 2020, with target projections of £260m for 2021 and £300m for 2022. Profits are expected to be £10m in 2021, an increase of £6.4m over 2020 levels.

Around 77 per cent (859) of Europa’s staff work out of the 3plc sites in Birmingham, Corby, and Dartford. As well has being given responsibility for looking after the different divisions, the HRBPs have also been allocated to each of these sites.

Bradley Earp and Clare Maund will support Birmingham; Juliette Battisson and Debra Marks will look after Corby; Angie Reece, Emma Jackson, Sherelle White and Aimee Stokes will assist Dartford; and Debi Rogers will split her time helping Birmingham and Dartford.

Elaine Robertson, Head of HR, commented: “Providing the right HR support for a growing business is crucial. Our ambition is to harness the talents of all employees so they can reach their potential and enable Europa Worldwide Group to achieve its commercial expectations.

“Increasing the ratio of staff to HRBPs is a tactical priority. The goal is to seamlessly blend the overarching HR function into all operational teams. By facilitating, supporting, and empowering employees and their managers, the HRBPs and HR Hubs will enable better staff engagement and stronger business partnerships.

“I would like to extend a very warm welcome to our new HRPBs who join Europa at a pivotal time in its history. The Group prides itself on providing career opportunities for all. By putting a new structure in place to support this, the expanded HR team will be able to deliver day to day activities more efficiently whilst nurturing future talent.”

Underpinning the HRPBs and HR Hubs is a brand new, state of the art HR system which is set for implementation across the 18 Europa sites in the new year. All staff, be they office, road, warehouse or virtually based, will be able to access this ‘one-stop HR shop’ using the latest cloud technology.

The objective is to organise all HR services – including payroll, benefits, workforce, and talent management – in a single application. By allowing employees to access their personal HR information through the HR Hubs, processes will be pared back. This means the HRBPs will be able to focus on the strategic work that will boost productivity and commercial outputs.

The recruitment of a Learning and Development Business Partner is also underway, which will further complement this approach. The successful candidate will create and deliver bespoke training programmes to enhance the existing skills and capabilities of every employee operating at all levels within the Group.






Europa Worldwide Group has featured in The Sunday Times Top Track 250 for three years running and in The Sunday Times Profit Track 100 Covid-19 edition.

Shears opens new transport facility in latest investment

Shears opens new transport facility in latest investment

Bournemouth-based logistics company Shears Bros. (Transport) Ltd has opened a new transport facility in its latest investment to deliver service excellence.

The new transport hub is located on Bournemouth Airport’s Aviation Business Park, just a few hundred metres from the Shears’ existing premises.

The 21,500 sq ft warehouse, which has recently been fully refurbished, will become Shears’ transport hub handling palletised freight for the Pall-Ex network, of which it is a wholly owned subsidiary.

The existing unit on Aviation Business Park will evolve into a dedicated warehousing and fulfilment facility, further strengthening Shears’ service offering.

In addition to this investment, Shears has recently welcomed a new General Manager to lead the business into its new era.

Mark Houghton joined the business in November 2021 and brings with him vast experience in the logistics industry, which he has already put to good use in his time at Shears.

Having managed the operation for a prominent logistics firm, handling returns for some of the UK’s top online retailers and running service centres for a national courier, Mark believes he is well equipped to take on this new challenge.

Speaking about what attracted him to Shears, Mark comments: “The role with Shears is an opportunity for me to grow as the company also grows.

“Being able to lead the business forward at such an exciting time is an opportunity that doesn’t present itself very often in the logistics industry. I’m really excited to see where the journey takes us.”

Mark will oversee the continuation of Shears’ growth and support all staff in achieving the excellent service that the business is renowned for in Bournemouth and the surrounding Dorset and Wiltshire areas.

Colin Hawkins, Pall-Ex Group’s Director of Owned Operations has been instrumental in the acquisition of the new premises and to Mark’s appointment.

On both developments, he comments: “Shears is yet again taking great strides in improving its service offering for customers across the South West.

“Our new facility just a few hundred meters from the existing site means that we can offer greater flexibility and levels of service whilst increasing our overall operating capacity.

“Mark has many years of experience and has a proven record of delivering outstanding results wherever he has worked. I have no doubt that this will be the case at Shears and I look forward to working with him as Shears continues to evolve.”

For more information about Shears, please visit:

Pall-Ex’s Warehouse to Wheels scheme delivers first graduate to combat industry shortages

Pall-Ex’s Warehouse to Wheels scheme delivers first graduate to combat industry shortages

Pall-Ex’s Warehouse to Wheels programme, which aims to provide warehouse staff with the opportunity to progress into HGV driver roles, has delivered its first graduate.

The initiative has been identified as a key tool in combatting the ongoing driver shortages that have long been present in the logistics sector but have only recently come to the wider public’s attention.

Pall-Ex’s first graduate from the Warehouse to Wheels scheme is Kirill Sapelkin, who began his journey with the Leicestershire based logistics company in 2018 as a forklift truck driver.

Having shown skill and a willingness to learn, Kirill was offered the opportunity to enrol in Warehouse to Wheels when it began in 2020.

Kirill undertook training that was funded by Pall-Ex to become one of the business’ shunter drivers, responsible for the management and movement of trailers at its Ellistown hub.

Now, having passed his Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) and gained his HGV C Licence, he is qualified to drive HGVs up to 44 tonnes on the public highway.

This provides Kirill with improved career opportunities and increases his earning potential thanks to his attainment of a highly sought-after qualification.

Consequently, Kirill’s progress also benefits Pall-Ex, as it now has access to another HGV driver in a time when these skilled workers are in such short supply.

Speaking about his journey and his hopes for the future, Kirill said: “The Warehouse to Wheels programme has given me a great opportunity to progress my career and I would recommend it to anyone who is thinking of taking their career further.

“I’m pleased that the managers here at Pall-Ex believed in me and gave me this opportunity and I am looking forward to the next stages.”

The Senior Management team at Pall-Ex is very aware of the impact that driver shortages could have on the business and its palletised freight network, composed of over 90 independent transport companies.

Pall-Ex’s Operations Director, Paul Pegg, has overseen the implementation of the Warehouse to Wheels scheme.

On this, and Kirill’s achievement, he comments: “We are really proud of Kirill and his progression through the Warehouse to Wheels programme.

“Kirill has excelled in every role he has held with us here at Pall-Ex, and I have no doubts that he will continue to be an integral team member now as a driver.

“Our Warehouse to Wheels scheme is designed to support staff and help them reach their full potential, whilst helping the business develop a valuable, skilled workforce so we are really pleased to see the first graduate of many start their driving journey.”

To discover more about Pall-Ex and the roles available, please visit:

Pall-Ex Group is an award-winning network of hauliers comprising two leading UK pallet networks (Fortec Distribution Network and Pall-Ex UK), four subsidiary UK logistics businesses and ten European networks. A renowned name in logistics, Pall-Ex delivers an efficient and reliable palletised freight distribution service, backed by innovative technology and a first-class network of established shareholder SMEs. With its headquarters and central UK hub located in the heart of the Midlands, Pall-Ex is driving excellence in all areas, transporting more than 40,000 pallets across the globe every day.

Another year of success for BIFA training programme

Press release – January 10th 2022

Another year of success for BIFA training programme

The British International Freight Association (BIFA) has confirmed that elements of the online CDS eLearning course that it launched in Autumn 2021 to help prepare BIFA members and others to operate HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) Customs Declaration Service (CDS) will start to be incorporated into the trade association’s other online live customs training courses from this month.

“There has been a great response to the CDS eLearning course since it was launched. In response to feedback from the 200 plus delegates who have taken the course, we decided to start adding content including useful CHIEF/CDS correlation tables, to our other customs-related training courses,” explains executive director Carl Hobbis, who manages BIFA’s training activities.

He adds: “Despite having to deliver our entire portfolio of courses online in 2021, it was an excellent year for the trade association’s training programmes.

“Over 1,000 learners were trained during our video conferencing sessions and a further 1,000 plus have completed our various eLearning courses.

“They say that success breeds success and this month will see the appointment of an additional full-time trainer to our training delivery team.

“Feedback from delegates on the CDS eLearning course, reveals that nearly 60% of learners would prefer face-to-face sessions, but the new variant has put a stop to the reintroduction of the classroom sessions that we had just started to implement, which is disappointing.”

The CDS eLearning training launched in September 2021 and was developed by BIFA in conjunction with leading Customs software firm Agency Sector Management (ASM) to educate users on the main differences between CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight) and CDS.

Since its introduction, the course has had over 200 enrolments and provides hands on tuition, practical exercises and a technical resource, finishing with an assessment.

BIFA director general, Robert Keen adds that the trade association took the initiative and worked with ASM to create a relevant training course to help BIFA members understand and implement the different working methods involved with the new system, which HMRC announced would replace CHIEF in a phased transition ending in April 2023.

He says that the CDS eLearning course is suitable for anyone completing Customs declarations and covers the main differences between CHIEF and CDS to enable users to submit Customs declarations for exports and imports via the new system no matter which software supplier is used.

The course consists of eight modules, which offer an introduction to CDS; as well as the data elements required, and the UK Trade Tariff and customs procedure codes. Other modules cover commercial relationships, arrangements and valuation; methods of payment and authorisations; as well as documents, certifications and authorisations indicators.

Simulation exercises and an assessment will enable all delegates to check their knowledge and understanding about future import and export declaration processes, putting into practice what they have learnt on each module.

Keen concludes: “Whilst dual-running of both systems will continue, we know enough about the new CDS system to be confident in offering a training course to BIFA members and others that provides cost effective and invaluable advice and information. It is designed to help them to prepare for when CDS will serve as the UK’s single customs platform at the end of March 2023.”

Companies interested in BIFA’s new CDS eLearning course can find out full details here:

To register interest e-mail


3 things you need to know about health & safety in the post-lockdown logistics workplace

In our wellbeing podcast, we spoke to Woodfines Solicitors to discover what employers need to know to ensure they are following legal requirements surrounding health and safety as employees return to the post-lockdown workplace.

Here are three of the key things we learned from the podcast.

Coronavirus symptom checks are not required, but consent is

An employer has health and safety obligations towards its employees, but it is arguable whether temperature checks can be part of a series of measures that assess employees to protect health and safety in a pandemic. And it is not a measure currently recommended by the government or the World Health Organisation.

When bringing in checks employers must consider employee consent, and visitor consent if it will apply to them as well. Consent is required as otherwise this could be a fundamental breach of contract and taking action without consent can be deemed as assault.

If employers choose to conduct symptom checks, they should communicate why it is necessary and they want to do it. Employees and visitors might feel reassured that the business is taking steps to protect their health and safety, so might be quite happy to give consent.

They also need to consider, from a discrimination perspective, that all the checks are applied consistently to all employees, workers, or visitors – only testing certain groups who perceived to be at higher risk could potentially lead to discrimination claims.

The ICO has issued guidance on workplace testing that may also be helpful to employers from a data protection perspective. The guidance advices that employers should ensure that they don’t collect and unnecessary or excessive information and that employers will probably only require information about the test result rather than details of any underlying conditions and they should only collect results that are necessary and proportionate.

Symptom checking has data privacy implications

Employers must also think about data protection. Health information is a special category of personal data, and a data controller can only process that data on certain grounds. This will require consent again, in relation to data protection, not just in relation to carrying out temperature checks.

Employers need to consider on a practical level, how they are going to do those temperature checks. Will they do them themselves? Or will they use an occupational health professional to do them? If they decide to use the latter, then there is a health exemption under data protection legislation GDPR. This enables occupational health professionals to process data relating to health where that processing is necessary for the purpose of preventative or occupational medicine, or for the assessment of the working capacity of the employee medical diagnosis, or management and treatment. It only applies to occupational health professionals who are subject to confidentiality obligations.

Before carrying out any testing, employers should also inform staff about what personal data is required, what it will be used for, who it will be shared with, how will it be kept, and what decisions will be made based on the test results.

Health and safety concerns must be dealt with correctly

It’s not just the risk of whistle-blowing claims if employers don’t take health and safety seriously in a post-lockdown work environment. Employees also have rights not to be dismissed or treated detrimentally if they raise health and safety concerns.

Firstly, to avoid complaints, and certainly then to avoid any claims, the employer should ensure that they comply with health and safety regulations and their duty of care towards their employees. Employers have a duty of care for the health and wellbeing of their employees under health and safety legislation.

Secondly employers must deal promptly and comprehensively with any complaints that are raised. So, if an employee does raise a complaint, then the employer should take steps to investigate it, take it seriously, and also take steps to address the concerns. What they shouldn’t do is treat that employee adversely because they’ve raised those concerns. They should also ensure that others don’t either, because the employer can be vicariously liable for the actions of other employees.

If an employer doesn’t take things seriously, then employees have the option of report issues to the Health and Safety Executive, which could cause all kinds of trouble for the employer.

More legal insights for logistics employers

This is just a few of the key points covered in the recent podcast with Woodfines Solicitors. To learn more about what employers need to know as employees return to the workplace, both in terms of practical considerations, employment law and health and safety, listen now or download from your usual podcast platform.

Low Paid Workers Hit Hardest by COVID Economic Crisis

Covid Economic Crisis

The rise in unemployment brought about by the COVID-19 crisis is predominantly affecting those in low income jobs, according to research published by the IES this week.

The study, which ‘sets out early findings on the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on low paid employees’, examines Labour Force Survey responses between February and April—at the peak of virus spread, but early in the economic wake of lockdown.

While figures showed no statistically significant change in the likelihood of high paid workers being in work, the employment rate for those in low paid positions dropped by 4% across the period, ‘equivalent to a fall in low paid dependent employment of approximately 140 thousand.’

The figures suggest that the Job Retention Scheme and Self-Employment Income Support have not been sufficient to protect the livelihoods of ‘a sizable group’ of low-income workers. Yet, those who have managed to keep their jobs may also find themselves in a precarious position. Both high- and low-income workers reported a reduction in working hours, but again, ‘those in lower paid work were almost twice as likely to have worked fewer hours due to being laid off or put on short time working.

The hospitality and retail industries, in which the highest concentration of low paid workers are employed, have been among the hardest hit by the crisis. But the study also points to the economic vulnerability of low paid workers, identifying ‘their often more precarious employment conditions’ as a factor in their present hardship.

These conditions include being substantially more likely to be in temporary employment, working part time, or on zero hours contracts. Low paid workers are also more likely to be underemployed, i.e. working fewer hours than desired, and are more than twice as likely to be the heads of single parent families.

The study comes less than a month after data from HMRC showed that the number of Jobcentre claimants had risen by 126% between the start of lockdown and June, with an IES press release at the time stating ‘unemployment has risen more in the last two months than it did in the first year of the Great Depression.’

One of the measures being proposed to help alleviate the crisis is the £2bn temporary job creation scheme revealed by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in his summer statement. The scheme targets young people aged 18-24, one of the demographics most likely to be out of work. This was one of a raft of measures laid out in the speech, including a temporary cut in the VAT rate for the hospitality industry.

With the logistics industry posting record low unemployment in recent years according to the FTA, the impact of COVID-19 is yet to be seen. But logistics companies already looking to apprenticeship schemes to address the driver shortage will, for a limited time, be able to claim £2,000 for each apprentice they take on (£1,500 for apprentices aged over 25). The increase in people looking for work in a competitive market may be an opportunity for logistics companies to exploit, to the benefit of all involved.


Returning to the Logistics Workplace? What employers need to know

For our new wellbeing podcast series, the Talent in Logistics team recently caught up with Mike Hayward, Partner and Head of Crime and Regulatory at Woodfines Solicitors, which specialises in cases involving the road transport and logistics sectors.

The podcast, which you can listen to in full here, discusses the duty of employers to review their policies and procedures during these unprecedented times and what businesses need to know as their employees return to work.

Read on to find out some of the key takeaways from our discussion with Mike.

What steps do you think need to be taken by employers when re-integrating their teams into the workplace?

Mike Hayward: Everything here will depend on the size and type of business, and how it is organised, managed, and regulated. Whatever sector you work within, there will be regulatory bodies giving specific guidance, so it is important to start there.

I urge employers not to panic. Look at the core, fundamental legal requirements (largely set by the health and safety at work regulations) which say that every business has a duty of care to those that come into their businesses as visitors or workers. Although we are all adapting to the world with Covid-19, let’s keep track of some of the fundamental safeguards that have to be in place. That’s carrying out certain risk assessments and making sure that you’re thinking: what we can do to achieve best practice? What can we do to ensure that our staff and visitors are safe?

You can only do your best. And one of the things that I would certainly advise businesses on, is to keep note of the measures taken. The Health and Safety Executive and the Government are talking about trying to take reasonable steps to achieve best practice, rather than this being set in law.

It’s about managing risk, but also about talking to your staff about what they feel is important, and the ideas they have to improve or to mitigate the chances of infection.

Are there any specific workplace policies/procedures that may need a review as they will now be inaccurate in light of the pandemic?

MH: Yes, so this is a really important opportunity to review all of those policies and handbooks! Use this time as an opportunity to look at the procedures and processes you already have in place, refresh them and, where you can, apply the Covid-19 guidance from the Health and Safety Executive and the Government.

Ensure that these changes are communicated to teams effectively. Share your updated risk assessments so people are knowledgeable about the changes made, even if they are working from home. You may want to set up “toolbox talks”, whether remotely or in the workplace (with social distancing) giving updates to the staff as to what your expectations are, and what measures you are putting in place. Also, to keep a record when you communicate this to your teams. Include when it took place, who attended, and get people to confirm that they read the instructions (get signatures if you can). It’s all about the documentation showing the steps you are taking in order to do what you can reasonably in these circumstances.

One thing that’s important to us is people’s health and welfare. A lot of businesses are suffering financially, already on a reduced amount of people, but are now expected to put additional measures in place, with yet more downtime and expenditure in relation to infrastructure. We want to see regulators, such as the Health and Safety Executive, working closely with businesses to ensure that everybody’s doing the best that they possibly can.

Rules can be very debilitating. You can feel bogged down by the amount of guidance that’s coming through. So, step back, consider what you need to do, implement all that you can, get advice where it’s necessary, and talk it through with associations, and people around you.

7 reasons to attend the Talent in Logistics online Annual Conference 2020

Over recent months, logistics operations up and down the nation have worked tirelessly to ensure that the country keeps moving. That’s why this year’s digital Talent in Logistics conference will put the wellbeing and engagement of its people at the heart of its agenda.


We believe that engaging with and looking after your talent is one of the best ways to help your business succeed, and that’s more important than ever with the uncertain times that lie ahead.

Here are 7 reasons why you should attend our one-day online Annual Conference on 23rd September 2020.

1. The skills shortage isn’t going away

The Logistics Skills shortage can’t be ignored and thinking about future workforce challenges remains absolutely essential.

63% of UK organisations are currently experiencing a skills shortage according to the FTA and research detailed in our downloadable Talent in Logistics Whitepaper “Changing Perceptions: Attracting Young Talent into Logistics” found that only 8% of young respondents felt that logistics was an attractive career option.

At our online Annual Conference, we’ll be exploring this important topic further by revealing the results of our recent research and subsequent White Paper, ‘Driving Engagement in Logistics’. This will share how drivers really feel about their role, their employer, and the sector, and why keeping them engaged is key to retaining and attracting talent. We’ll also share drivers’ ideas for how they would tackle the skills shortage. Don’t miss the conference session: ‘HGV Driver Engagement Research’.

2. Learn how to look after your people

Recent events have taken their toll on people and businesses alike and, there’s never been a more important time to consider the wellbeing of your team. That’s why author, presenter and consultant Liggy Webb will be hosting our keynote presentation, titled ‘How to lead a culture of wellbeing and resilience’. This will explain why stress related burnout is a 21st century issue, why you should appreciate the value of investing in wellbeing, how to build a culture that manages burnout and builds resilience, and how you can help your people through demanding and uncertain times.

3. Personal development and wellbeing are important!

Do you have personal development plans in place for your team? What about for yourself? Are you so busy that training is taking a back seat? Continue to invest in your personal development by attending the Talent in Logistics Annual Conference and pass the benefits down to your team.

At the event, you will be presented with the case for continuing to focus on developing and training in our session titled ‘Covid-19 – A lesson for investing in your people.’ 

Understand the return on investment that your business will achieve by not cutting back on fundamental areas such as developing on your team and the future of logistics, plus gain a compelling argument to take back and present to your senior leadership team!

4. Employee engagement should be a priority

An engaged workforce not only ensures increased levels of productivity, but lower rates of absence and safety incident rates, as well as a reduced level in staff turnover. But how often do you get feedback from your employees? Probably not often enough.

At the Talent in Logistics Annual Conference, we’ll be questioning whether employee engagement surveys are still relevant in our session titled ‘Getting constant feedback from employees – are annual engagement surveys dead?’. We’ll highlight the importance of getting constant feedback from your team in order to keep workers engaged and involved in the future of the business.

5. You must prepare for your workforce to evolve

There’s no doubt that change is on the horizon, for the logistics sector and the country as a whole. This is likely to have an impact on your business in some way, whether that’s in the form of a restructure, changing responsibilities, or the unfortunate event of redundancies.

Implementing change well can be incredibly difficult. In fact, McKinsey research estimates that 70% of change programs fail to achieve their goals, largely due to employee resistance. During our Annual Conference we have dedicated a session to ‘How to manage change through an organisational restructure’ where you’ll get expert advice to help during these uncertain times.

6. Get the lowdown on being a remote manager

Although more employees are beginning to make their way back to the workplace, Covid-19 has shown that many workers can do their jobs remotely, and may need, or want, to continue to do so. As a manager, this may not be a way of working that you are experienced in or trained for. So, during the Talent in Logistics Online Conference, we’re offering a session on ‘Managing and engaging a remote workforce – best practice from the logistics sector’. Mastering the art of remote working within your business now, may also help make you an attractive prospect to the next generation of potential employees, who look for more flexibility in their working pattern and location.

7. Learn how to survive and thrive post-lockdown

Its’ been generations since something has unanimously affected businesses quite like the past few months have. How do you know where to go from here? Where do you even begin?

If, like many, you’re unsure what to do to ensure that your operations thrive in a post-lockdown world, industry leaders at the Talent in Logistics online Annual Conference have some ideas to help. One session will discuss how focussing on your corporate social responsibility strategy is a good first step, in a session titled ‘Survive and thrive by focusing on your corporate social responsibility strategy’. 

Register to attend the online conference

With all experts in the sector under one virtual roof, in just a day you can get the advice you need to feel more confident and better prepared when it comes to employee engagement and tackling the challenges that lie ahead for your sector.


To make sure these vital learnings are available across our sector, we’ve made our online conference accessible and affordable, with a special price for this year of just £50+VAT to attend.

How to attract and retain talent through employee engagement

It is an interesting time for our sector at the moment. In some areas we have seen unprecedented peaks, like a month’s worth of Black Fridays have all come at once. In other areas, we have seen dramatic falls with hauliers closing down shop and many workers furloughed or made redundant.

We know that recruitment is down, that many large organisations are shifting resource from quieter contracts to busier ones, and that we are likely to experience a very bad recession that will affect employment rates in the logistics sector. We are also contending with poor perception of the sector, with limited knowledge of career opportunities among young people, teachers, and parents. Generally, we have not been great at attracting young and fresh talent and are not brilliant at retaining our people – attrition levels in warehousing and transport, for example, can be very high.

This presents us with an opportunity to make changes for the better. There is currently a better perception of the sector, with many roles being recognised as key workers and people starting to see what can happen when a supply chain is put under pressure. Now is an ideal chance to get ready for when things will improve in the economy.

It’s time to review our employer branding and improve our employee engagement strategies so that when employment stabilises and recruitment is on the up, the logistics sector is ready for it.

What is employee engagement?

Employee engagement represents the levels of enthusiasm and connection employees have with their organisation. It’s a measure of how motivated people are to put in extra effort for their organisation, and a sign of how committed they are to staying with you.*

Highly engaged employees tend to be loyal and committed. They are highly productive and have a good retention rate. There are also passive employees, who are productive but not connected. They will be absent more, and more likely to leave than those who are engaged.

Then there are actively disengaged employees, who are present but absent. They are often unhappy and want everyone to know about it. These people can be toxic to your organisation.

Are my employees engaged?

A quick way to measure engagement is to consider how members of your team would answer the following questions:

  • Am I proud to work for the company?
  • Would I recommend the company as a great place to work?
  • Do I ever think about leaving?
  • Do I envisage myself still being here in 2 years’ time?
  • Do I feel motivated to go above and beyond?

If you think the responses wouldn’t be great, then maybe it’s time to take a look at your employee engagement strategy.  Also, answer them yourself? Are you engaged?

What are the business benefits of employee engagement?

The survival of your business may feel like the top priority, especially at the moment, and may come above employee engagement.  However, people create business value – that is indisputable. People are also emotional and fickle and want to be won over. That is why employee engagement can be what differentiates in both times of stability, and in times of disruption and rapid change.

Did you know that in one piece of research, companies with engagement scores in the top quartile had twice the annual net profit than those in bottom quartile? Generally, we see that companies with good employee engagement benefit from:

  • Higher staff retention
  • Lower absenteeism
  • Improved wellness
  • Higher productivity
  • Better safety performance
  • Higher customer satisfaction leading to fewer complaints
  • Increased revenue/sales

How to achieve high levels of engagement

Listen, respond, act

It’s important to give your workforce a voice. Remember, at the moment, everyone has their own challenges, so encourage open conversations that enable your people to bring their best self to work. As a leader, you should demonstrate active listening, responsiveness and decisive action taking.

Empower your employees

Empowering your workforce also plays a big part. Provide your employees with opportunities, projects, and tasks that make them want to log-in or come to work each day. This encourages them to do their best work and gives the autonomy that many crave.

Do you encourage your people to look for new and innovative ways to do things and involve them in Continuous Improvement (CI) processes? If not, trust your staff to develop and implement solutions. Maybe you could create CI champions?

Let opinions be heard

Remember, employees often have the answers! Let them help you to survive, grow, innovate, and succeed. Let them influence your future strategies. For instance, when you roll out a new product or process, invite employee feedback and comment to help snag issues.

Engagement surveys

Some say that employee engagement surveys are dead, but I don’t personally agree. I think they can be very useful, especially where we have largely all been more distant than usual for some time.

Surveys are a great way to hear people’s thoughts, but time has to be spent understanding why you are doing them and what you want to achieve. Careful consideration needs to be applied when designing the question set and you need to make sure they are always followed up. If you don’t, then there is no point doing them.

You don’t always have to do one big annual survey. Regular touchpoints are great too – short snappy surveys on dedicated themes work well. But if you do an annual survey, it’s good to also complete a snap survey part way through the year to see if things you are changing are making a difference.

We have a free resource with lots of advice on how to successfully plan and implement employee engagement surveys that you can download now.

Talent in Logistics Conference 2020

Feel more confident, more prepared and ready to keep your workforce better engaged than ever before. The one-day online Talent in Logistics Annual Conference on 24th September is focused on how to engage with employees to increase productivity, reduce staff turnover, improve absence and safety incident rates.

Don’t miss out. Book your place now.

4 Reasons to Increase Employee Salaries

We all know that money isn’t the only thing keeps people working hard at their job and it isn’t always the key component in making someone move to a new employer, but it is certainly an important factor and one what shouldn’t be undermined or ignored.

For an employee a good salary can help them lead a decent life, have a safe place to live, help them feed their families and to enjoy things other than just the bare necessities.

For an employer there are so many things that need to be considered when it comes to their people strategies and there aren’t many more important than how they pay and reward their workforce. They need to consider company costs on salaries versus incoming monies, they need to think about their competitiveness as a recruiter and they need to consider where money is best spent for example is it on higher wages or process efficiencies.

Here at Talent in Logistics we have some thoughts on this, as we believe (and so do many others) that salary levels can have a direct impact on employee engagement. With employee engagement comes increased productivity, customer satisfaction & compliance and in turn reduced absence, attrition & accidents. With all of these benefits there is a strong and almost undeniable link to say that better pay will lead to better company success.

So whilst increasing salaries may seem unachievable and difficult in the short term. The benefits in the long term will be a worthwhile investment.

Still not convinced, here is a little more detail to motivate you to make the change that is needed and maybe even highlight some cost saving opportunities;

#1 Doing the Right Thing

If you have employees doing a good job, which is valuable to your business, and is vital to its success they deserve to be rewarded for it. That is just the right thing to do!

This will show that you care as an employer, if you share some of your profits by giving your workforce a pay rise each financial year rather than just lining the pockets of shareholders, it shows that you believe in equality and helps your workforce feel like the valuable asset that they are.

#2 Increased Productivity

A higher salary tends to lead to a culture of high performance and productivity, people will work hard to prove that they deserve to be earning more than the employees at competitor companies.

It will also bring with it more focus because they won’t be worrying about external factors, such as whether they will last until pay day with all their bills and outgoings, can they afford for the car to fail its MOT or that expensive school trip for the kids…

Let’s recognise another potential benefit here – the more productive and engaged people you have, the less people you will need. This can help you save lots of money on salaries and having a smaller and leaner team also brings its own benefits such as increased clarity, cohesion and reduced administration.

#3 Keeping the Talent Within

When you have worked so hard to recruit and develop your talent in order to get them to a high performing and productive stage, would you really want them to leave? If you compensate your employees well they are more likely to stay with you and if they have worked for you for a while they will have strong relationships, understand what you are trying to achieve as a business and how they fit within that.

The recruitment cost can be expensive and so reducing attrition is the best thing in order to avoid significant costs. It’s about the bigger picture here, paying an employee £1,000 per more per year, could save a recruitment and on-boarding cost that can run into tens of thousands.

#4 Talent Attraction

In Logistics, as with many other sectors, we are experiencing a huge talent shortage. How are you going to stand out from your competitors to attract the best drivers, the top planners and the strongest leaders? There are lots of things you can have within your benefits package to attract people, but one sure fire way is to offer an attractive and maybe ‘above average’ salary.

Once you have recruited and you have shown them all the other benefits that working for your organisation can bring, maybe these new recruits will help attract more top talent – word of mouth is a powerful thing after all.

Employee Wellbeing and Engagement Take Centre Stage at Online Logistics Conference

Online Logistics Conference

Putting people at the heart of logistics operations will be the focus of this year’s Talent in Logistics conference which will take place entirely online.

“The success of the logistics sector relies heavily on its talented people during these challenging times,” says Ruth Edwards, Business Development Director for Talent in Logistics. “And when leaders engage with employees, this is shown to increase productivity, customer satisfaction, and safety while reducing absence levels and attrition.”

“This is a period of change and priorities are shifting for many organisations,” she continues. “That’s why we have curated the agenda to focus on the areas that will provide the most guidance and inspiration to employers for the uncertain road ahead.”

The one-day digital conference, which takes place on 23rd September 2020, will be delivered remotely by a series of speakers, all experts in the field of employee engagement.

Keynote speaker Liggy Webb, an award winning author, presenter and consultant who specialises in the area of behavioural skills and human resilience, will lead a session titled ‘How to lead a culture of wellbeing and resilience’ that will help attendees understand more about stress-related burnout, the value of investing in employee wellbeing and how to help people through uncertain times.

Talent in Logistics will present the findings of recent research into HGV Driver engagement, carried out in collaboration with Pertemps Driving Division.  This will reveal how HGV drivers feel about their role, employers, and career prospects, as well as their suggestions for solving the skills shortages in the sector.

Other sessions will cover topics such as the role of gathering employee feedback, managing and engaging a remote workforce, corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy and lessons learned from Covid-19 around why it is so important to invest in people.

“It’s crucial now more than ever that we come together as a sector,” says Ruth. “Our planned calendar of 2020 conferences has evolved online to provide an alternative that will continue to help logistics employers, and their valuable people, to succeed in the long term.”

The conference will take place across a full day. All registrants will receive recordings of each session, accompanied by a range of additional, useful resources, ensuring maximum value even for those who cannot watch the whole event live.  This content will be available exclusively to registered conference attendees.

Conference tickets are available now for £50+VAT (usual price £125+VAT).  To register, visit Or for more information, call 01952 520216 or email

The Great British Burnout

We are living in strange times. One might think that much of the population being required to stay home for several weeks would create an atmosphere of calm. But our experiences over the past few months show that, for those who are forced to stay in and those who must continue to go out to work, lockdown can be a pressure cooker experience.

Fatigue, stress, and anxiety are separate but interrelated conditions and while they are not just symptoms of the present crisis, for many they are exacerbated by it.

Over the past two hundred years of human history, people across the world have moved from a mostly agrarian lifestyle; living in small communities far outside the city, working the land and surrounded by nature—to a mostly urban lifestyle, where we are surrounded by unprecedented levels of noise and pollution, swarmed by other people, and cut off from truly uncontaminated wilderness. Whilst these conditions have become the norm for modern society, it is unsurprising that they cause us stress and anxiety, and the modern workplace is a key contributor to this effect. One recent study claims nearly half of people feel stressed at work at least once a week, and nearly one in six feel stressed at work every day. *

The net result of failure to deal with stress can be catastrophic.  A few potential side effects of stress:

  •          Mental health problems
  •          Cardiovascular disease
  •          Eating disorders
  •          Skin problems
  •          Permanent hair loss
  •          Digestive problems
  •       … and the list goes on.

The picture is complicated by fatigue, wherein a person becomes excessively tired due to physical or mental exertion. Fatigue is not just sleepiness, it’s a deep physical and mental tiredness that can both cause and be caused by stress, as part of a vicious cycle. As well as the negative mental and physical health effects, it can contribute to loss of attention and clear-headedness: a big deal for the drivers in our industry trying to keep the roads safe, or those operating materials handling equipment. The recent relaxation of LGV drivers’ hours rules should not let us forget how crucial it is that drivers get the breaks they need to function effectively.

It is therefore important we encourage a healthy response:

  •          Eat well. Overeating, hunger, and poor diet can exacerbate stress, anxiety and fatigue. When your back is against the wall, getting a well-balanced meal should not go out the window, it should be a priority.
  •          Get enough sleep. It can be tempting to cut into sleep time in order to ‘be more productive’, but inattention, sluggishness and irritability will rapidly erode gains if this becomes a habit.
  •          Exercise! The fight or flight response is meant to trigger activity, so get your fight or flight on. Run, play sports, dance. This helps your body absorb stress hormones and regulate itself properly
  •         Meditate or practice mindfulness. Meditation and mindfulness techniques have both been found to help moderate stress, as well as mental health issues like anxiety and depression. To read more, visit

Resist the urge to rely on solutions like alcohol, caffeine, sleeping drugs or other stimulants, medicines and narcotics. The short-term relief they offer is married with a range of short term and long-term costs, such as dehydration, poor sleep, and health risks.

Finally, promote well-being in others. Considering what measures you can take to address and reduce stress, fatigue, and anxiety in the workplace is key at moments like this. Remember, with stress costing an estimated £5 billion to the UK economy each year, successful management is a cost-saving initiative. Whether it’s reaching out with a positive message or encouraging staff to take regular breaks, we can all help support each other.