The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge 2023 – Driving Diversity Forward!

The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge 2023 – Driving Diversity Forward!

On 22 June 2023, companies representing the UK’s Logistics and Transport industry came together at Newark Showground, to participate in The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge.

First held in 2019, The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge has truly captured the hearts and minds of the industry – demonstrating the passion, support and enthusiasm companies have to improve
equality, diversity and inclusion, as well as the business benefits attained by establishing a diverse workforce. Growing by a staggering 40% since its launch, The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge has become a staple in the industry’s event calendar, with many key industry stakeholders supporting it year-on-year.

The Big Logistics Challenge is the only team-based logistics event showcasing the diversity the UK logistics industry is seeking to achieve. The challenges are designed to promote the message that
diverse teams work better together, with companies taking part in a series of physical, mental and skill-based sessions including; Catwalk Challenge, Quad Bikes, Archery, Agents in Disguise, Human Table Football, the Mighty Quiz and Dancing with the Shows!. Designed to put a team’s communication and teamwork skills to the test, the challenges are developed to ensure that
everyone has a role to play.

The event was opened by Vicky Binley, Director Nimble Media Ltd the company responsible for organising and delivering the event.

Laura Nelson, Managing Director of Talent in Logistics, the events delivery partner, delivered a welcome address commenting: “When we talk about diversity we often focus on rebalancing gender
and biological sex distribution in the workforce in our industry. Genuine diversity is about so much more. The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge showcases the benefits real diversity and inclusion bring to businesses and teams. Plus it’s a great day out that raises awareness alongside the fun.”

The welcome addresses were concluded with an inspirational Q&A with members of the GXO team. Grey Gardner, who is transmasculine – and Ollie Rowley, who is deaf, both joined GXO in 2021 and shared their experiences of working within the sector with the teams. Grey and Ollie shared how GXO’s Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (D,I&B) team has supported their careers and the
importance and value of The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge (BLDC) towards creating a more diverse and inclusive industry.

Amongst the challenge suppliers, industry charity Transaid had participants testing their communication skills across the ‘treacherous plains of Africa’ as part of their ‘Maze Runner’ challenge; whilst delivery partners Talent in Logistics saw teams working together to guide each other through an inflatable obstacle course whilst blindfolded on the ‘Bring on the Beans’ challenge.

After a tiring day of quizzing, soapbox racing, and countless inflatables, awards were presented. The Best Team Name Award, judged and presented by Alison Thwaite, WorkFit Employment
Development Manager at the Down’s Syndrome Association – key supporters of The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge – to Woodland Group for ‘We Will Rack You!’.

The Transaid Award presented to the team who played to their skills, utilised all of the team and showed the best teamwork during the Maze Runner challenge, was presented to ‘Born to Move’ of
DFDS by the charity’s representatives, Anna Giavedoni, Events Assistant and Maddy Matheson, Communications Officer.

The Haka Award was presented by Laura Taylor, HR Director for the RHA, alongside BLDC Haka Instructor Sol Cooper, of TOA Haka, to ‘Happier World’ from John Lewis & Partners, as the team who showed diversity of thought and encouraged each other – echoing the pledge to work toward a diverse and inclusive sector.

The Talent in Logistics Award, awarded to the best team performance during the ‘Bring on the Beans’ challenge, was presented to ‘Red Hot Chilli Steppers’ of DFDS by Managing Director, Laura Nelson.

The Collaborative Teamwork Award was judged by UKWA’s Chief Executive, Clare Bottle , against one of the event’s favourite challenges – Walk the Plank. The winners were DHL Supply Chains’s ‘DIEB Warriors’ – who displayed outstanding teamwork and motivational support.

And finally, the most coveted trophy of the day – The Team of the Year Award – for achieving the highest overall score with an impressive 241.5 out of a possible 260, went to XPO Logistics! The 2023 winner’s trophy was presented by Vicky Binley, Director of event organisers, Nimble Media Ltd.

A Charity Tuck Shop, kindly supported by Coca-Cola Europacific Partners and a Hamper Raffle raised over £1,183.25 for the Transaid Charity.

A big thank you to all the teams attending. If your company would like to join The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge 2024, please contact Nimble Media to secure your place.

Add 20 June 2024 to your diary and we hope to see you at #BLDC2024!


Inspiring Q&A to open the Big Logistics Diversity Challenge 2023

Inspiring Q&A to open the Big Logistics Diversity Challenge 2023

An inspiring Q&A session highlighting the equality, diversity and inclusion journey of two warehousing and logistics industry employees will open this year’s Big Logistics Diversity Challenge.

Grey Gardner, who is transmasculine, and Ollie Rowley, who is deaf, both joined, GXO, the world’s largest pure-play contract logistics provider, in 2021 and will be sharing their experiences and discussing what equality, diversity and inclusion means to them, how GXO’s Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (D,I&B) team has supported their careers and the importance and value of The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge (BLDC).

The Q&A will be led by Dawn Richmond, Diversity Inclusion and Belonging Specialist UK&I from GXO, which is also fielding a team at the event for the second year running.

Starting at GXO as an Operational Picker, Grey Gardner has progressed to an Acting Team Leader, taking a Level 3 Leadership and Management course to develop their skills for the role: “As a transmasculine individual, D,I&B is important to me because everybody deserves the opportunity to be able to come to work, feel part of a team, make connections and, ultimately, earn a living.

“The world is not yet set up for diverse individuals and D,I&B helps people realise that making small adjustments positively impacts everybody involved.

“The work GXO’s Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging team has done to promote visibility and education for diverse people has been immensely validating as I feel like I have been recognised and that there has been a real push for education so that I and many others feel included.

“My team has been extremely supportive when it comes to my transition at work. I have not felt challenged or threatened over my identity and they supported me in planning for the future so my work is impacted as little as possible.

“I am looking forward to networking at The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge, meeting new people and working as part of a team. I’d love to be able to stay in contact with the people I meet as part of a wider supportive network for D,I&B.”

Warehouse Operative Ollie, who repairs goods to be sent back into stock, explained: “As a deaf person, people often think it is difficult to get to know to me.

“However, just being included is a great way to break the ice – they soon realise it’s rather simple to engage. Inclusion is very important.

“The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge was really fun last year. I really enjoyed the activities we took part in, like the human football!”

Cathy Balding, GXO Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging UK&I adds: “One of our values is to ‘Be inclusive’ and we’re committed to promoting diversity, inclusion and belonging at all levels.

“The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge is an important event as it allows us to bring together game changers from across our business to celebrate our achievements.

“It’s also great for team building; we start as colleagues but we leave as friends having embraced all of the challenges on the day.”

BLDC is specifically designed to highlight the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion and how diversity can be tackled collaboratively through physical, mental and skills-based team-building challenges.

This year’s event is being held at Newark Showground, Nottinghamshire, on 22 June and is an opportunity for organisations to share best practice, network and help shape a more inclusive sector, while recognising and rewarding employees with an adventurous day of fun.

More than 400 industry personnel have signed up to participate in this year’s BLDC and there is a growing number of supporting organisations recognising the event’s credentials.

Multi-media specialists Nimble Media Ltd is once again partnering with Talent in Logistics to stage the event and, as in previous years, 2023’s chosen charity is international development organisation Transaid.


BLDC 2023: a motivating, joyful and positive way to drive the EDI agenda

BLDC 2023: a motivating, joyful and positive way to drive the EDI agenda

Recognising the game-changing benefits equality, diversity and inclusion bring to the logistics and warehousing industry, Talent in Logistics is once again partnering with Nimble Media to stage this year’s Big Logistics Diversity Challenge (BLDC).

A not-for-profit subsidiary of RTITB (formerly the Road Transport Industry Training Board), Talent in Logistics is dedicated to helping the sector resolve people and skills challenges, by working together as a community, and develops high quality and accessible events, services and resources.

This is the third year the organisation has been involved with planning and helping to promote the BLDC, specifically designed to highlight the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and how diversity can be tackled collaboratively through physical, mental and skills-based team-building challenges.

“There are lots of events within the sector, such as conferences and awards, which bring people together,” comments Laura Nelson, Managing Director of Talent in Logistics and RTITB.

“But conferences can be corporate and awards demoralising if you don’t win.

“The BLDC is a refreshing change, a completely different dynamic. It brings people together to have fun and build relationships quickly, often with people they would not usually do so.

“Win or lose, everyone participating in the BLDC is massively motivated, there is a real sense of positivity and buzz around the event and its aim to raise awareness, and highlight the benefits of, EDI. It’s truly joyful.

“RTITB fields a team of employees and customers, who rarely get to spend time together in a social environment. Everyone values the experience and has a great time.”

A passionate advocate of EDI, Laura has first-hand experience of being a senior, young female in a male-dominated sector.

“While much has improved, there are still too few strong females in the roles that keep the logistics and warehousing industry moving, such as forklift and HGV drivers.

“That’s why the BLDC is so important; it shines a spotlight on all aspects of EDI and shows the value that it can bring to the sector.

“It also highlights things like unconscious bias which, whether we like it or not, we are all guilty of.

“So, for example, in a physical challenge we might want to disregard someone who is unable to crawl on their hands and knees. Yet they may be able to contribute enormous value to the task in other ways, such as tactical thinking and problem solving.

“Everyone has a value and positive ways to contribute. The BLDC brings this to the forefront of everyone’s mind,” adds Laura.

This year’s BLDC is being held at Newark Showground, Nottinghamshire, on 22 June and is an opportunity for organisations to share best practice, network and help shape a more inclusive sector, while recognising and rewarding employees with an adventurous day of fun.

As in previous years, the 2023 BLDC chosen charity is international development organisation Transaid.

More than 300 industry personnel have already signed up to participate in The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge, but there’s still time to take part. For more information, call to speak to a member of the team on 01780 432930 or email


Change is Possible: Michael Maisey appointed as Wellbeing Ambassador for IWLEX

Change is Possible: Michael Maisey appointed as Wellbeing Ambassador for IWLEX

The organisers of Inside Warehouse Logistics Expo (IWLEX) are thrilled to announce the appointment of Michael Maisey as its official Wellness Ambassador.

They have also announced a wider invitation to organisations in the sector to utilise IWLEX as part of their own corporate well-being initiatives and invite members of their team who they feel would benefit from these sessions and would champion the learnings after the event.

Michael Maisey is the charismatic best-selling author and founder of non-profit organisation CIP Project.  He helps people from various backgrounds who battle with their mental health.

Michael rebuilt his life over 30 years from a position of desperation to one of contentment and peace.  Following his lowest point, when he attempted suicide in prison, Michael made a total commitment to change and helping others.  He discusses his journey on his fantastic TEDx talk, From Prison to Purpose (8/06/22).

Michael’s journey wasn’t easy and occurred over many years. He has help thousands of people and preaches a philosophy of kindness, discusses what that means and explains how we can all help each other.

Michael will support IWLEX’s organisers in the delivery of their Wellbeing Zone, which is a seminar and workshop area which focuses personal wellbeing workshops.

On 23rd May (the first day of IWLEX), Michael will personally deliver a minimum of two powerful workshops, where he actively invites visitors to get involved.

Michael will also be signing copies of his best-selling book; “Young Offender” and giving away 10 free copies to attendees of his workshop.

Michael’s workshops are incredibly powerful participative experiences that will certainly take the audiences out of their comfort zones.  They will give a flavour how he helps people at his CIP Project in Devon (  He will deliver a minimum of one workshop for women and one workshop for men.  He will also be hosting a video chat room on the Inside Warehouse Community platform which can be joined via the event website,

In a passionate call to action Michael urges the Warehousing industry to be bold enough to attend, Michael comments: “I’m calling you in, back into connection, back into fellowship, the lone wolf ideology needs to be smashed, we heal together, and we grow together, in community.

“Men can find it very hard to open up about how they are feeling. I have spent the past 15 years practicing and healing myself and working with men and helping them become the person they TRULY want to be. The mental health statistics in the logistics sector are very sad, and I’m calling you in, to step out of your comfort zones so you can grow, change and take these gifts we share back to your loved ones.

By being brave enough to attend a workshop, we are sending out a message to the industry and our colleagues that brotherhood and connection is medicine. Following the event, I will be available to provide further support for those that need it.”

Nairn Foster, MD of IWLEX comments: “Michael is a very caring person who is hugely experienced in positively transforming the lives of others.  We are thrilled he has agreed to work with us at our Wellbeing Ambassador.  IWLEX is a PURPOSE led event, our Well-being Zone will be pack full of transformative and participative workshops.  We are inviting organisations in the warehouse sector to invite any of their employees who they feel would benefit to the Well-Being Zone as part of their own corporate well-being initiatives. Let’s work together to help support each other in our industry and as Michael says, “be kind”.  IWLEX will be a catalyst for that kindness and if we can help just one person in our industry who is struggling, then IWLEX has been a success!”

Registration to the FREE IWELX exhibition. FREE world-class conference and Well-Being Zone is open:  The event is on the 23rd/24th May 2023 in Telford at the Telford International Centre.  The venue is very easy to reach and only 30 mins from Birmingham.


Exciting new fun and games at the Big Logistics Diversity Challenge 2023

Exciting new fun and games at the Big Logistics Diversity Challenge 2023

Preparations are well underway for this year’s Big Logistics Diversity Challenge and teams from participating organisations can look forward to 24 physical, mental and skill-based activities, including nine new challenges for 2023.

Designed to promote the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI), the fun and games feature favourites such as the Haka, Walk the Plank and It’s a Knockout.

New challenges for this year include:

  • Agents in Disguise will pit teams against the clock to find hidden props to assume the guise of named characters – from a gardener to a juggler – and take a selfie/photograph.
  • A lateral thinking conundrum, Dead Letter Box will see teams solve a sequential puzzle to retrieve a locked cash box.
  • Balance and poise are paramount for Last One Standing, where competitors stand on an inflatable and have to successfully jump the sweeper arm.
  • Game Show Bonanza combines two television classics – Blankety Blank and Catchphrase – for the ultimate quizzing contest.
  • Archery, Laser Clay Shooting, Space Hopper Basketball, Blindfolded Face Painting and a Quad Bike Obstacle Course complete the line-up of new activities.

The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge (BLDC) is organised by multi-media specialists Nimble Media Ltd and is specifically designed to promote the importance of EDI and how diversity can be tackled collaboratively and collectively through physical, mental and skill-based team-building challenges.

The event is an opportunity for organisations to share best practice, network and help shape a more inclusive sector, while recognising and rewarding employees with an adventurous day of fun.

Vicky Binley, Director of Nimble Media Ltd, says: “The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge is growing in popularity with organisations keen to demonstrate their commitment to inclusion and diversity in the workplace.

“Participants can expect an action-packed, fun-filled day underpinned by the key message that an inclusive culture where everyone belongs, can be their true self and reach their full potential has proven benefits for individuals and employers.

“In response to feedback, some favourite challenges are being revived and the nine new ones added for 2023 promise to test teams’ problem-solving, collaborative approach, concentration and communication.”

Nimble Media is once again partnering with Talent in Logistics to stage this year’s BLDC at Newark Showground, Nottinghamshire, on 22 June. As in previous years, the 2023 chosen charity is international development organisation Transaid.

More than 300 industry personnel have already signed up to participate, but there is still time for organisations to enter a team.

For more information about taking part in The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge, call to speak to a member of the team on 01780 432930 or email


6 ways to improve employee engagement you might not have considered

6 ways to improve employee engagement you might not have considered

In a recent blog, we looked at why it’s a good time to review and improve your employee engagement and provided some top tactics for achieving high engagement levels. But there may be other, perhaps less obvious, strategies that you could implement.

  1. Provide the right tools for the job

Are your systems always crashing? Is there too much downtime? Are the phones ancient? Can people get their work done effectively with the systems/processes that are in place? Investing in the right systems and technologies may be difficult when budgets are tight, but this can often be an area that affects engagement levels a lot.  Involve your teams when you are making decisions on new technologies and systems for greater engagement.

  1. Collaborate

Encouraging collaboration between teams makes for a stronger workforce. Get them to improve processes together. Do you have processes that touch different teams? Can they work together to find a more efficient customer focussed approach? It could lead to better working relationships and understanding too.

  1. Invest in training and development

Value the impact that expanding your employees’ knowledge base has. It will improve their weaknesses, drive a higher performance, and, of course, it shows they are valued and will therefore boost morale.

The cost of losing an employee can be high, yet training and development can often be the first thing to go when a business is struggling. Perhaps it would be better to invest in someone than lose them and then spend thousands to replace them?

Online training and e-learning needs to be utilised now more than ever, and it can be a very cost-effective way to develop people. It also creates flexibility around their learning, so they can do it at times convenient for them.

  1. Reap the rewards of recognition

Research shows that 89% of organisations think people leave because of money but only 12% actually do. What people expect is ‘fair’ pay for the job that they do. However, other benefits, rewards and recognition do play an important part.

Things that were viewed as perks in the past, have now become expectations for many – from workplace snacks to flexible working. You must also pick benefits that reflect your organisation’s culture, whether that’s team nights out, wellbeing initiatives or support with childcare. Help people feel secure with critical illness cover and a good sick leave offering so they know you are there in times of need.

You should also be clear on the career paths available. Make sure everyone knows that if they work hard and give passion they can progress if they want to (remember not everyone does!). Have a strong appraisal system and give regular constructive feedback to your employees – do not steer away from difficult conversations.

It’s important to act now. If employees aren’t recognised for their hard work during these times – their passion, stamina and focus may diminish. Even if it is just a simple thank you, this goes a long way – 79% of people cite lack of recognition as reason for leaving their jobs. Make recognition for a good job done the norm. You should also promote it among your teams – get them to say thank you and celebrate each other too.

  1. Demonstrate corporate responsibility

Showing that you care is key for employee engagement, so it’s important to get your corporate and social responsibility strategy right.

For instance, ensure you have a strong health and safety strategy with goals for accident reductions, clear return to work processes, and absence management. Look at ways to enhance wellbeing, improve organisational resilience, develop better work life balance, and reduce individual burnout. You should also put into place good HR policies around performance management, equal opportunities, and bullying/harassment, for instance.

Similarly, find ways to show that you care about others as this is also very valued by employees. Ensure that you have good engagement with, and give back to, the local community. You could support charitable work, perhaps by offering employees days off for volunteering, and should ensure you have clear environmental and sustainability strategies.

  1. Lead from the front

Employee engagement is mostly driven by the leaders and managers around them, so you must be clear on your company objectives. Make sure your employees know how they can contribute towards them and how they will benefit. You are the face of change, so ensure the reasons behind any change are always clearly communicated.

Everyone’s role is essential, so show employees they are valued by considering their perspective. Stand on their mountain! You may both be on the top of a mountain but the view from yours and the view from theirs may be very different. Bear that in mind.

Engagement attracts talent

Good employee engagement is also a crucial part of attracting the right talent.  Positive employee word of mouth travels fast and is one of the best ways to attract the right people to your organisation.

When it comes to recruitment advertisements, tell people about your high engagement levels! But also think about how the language and images you use in your marketing come across, and if they accurately showcase your company’s passion, culture, and diversity. At interviews and assessment days, you should also communicate to potential employees how they can make a difference when they join your company, and that your business has the values they find important.

When it’s possible, also think about community outreach. Getting into local schools and colleges is a great chance to support your youth employment by talking to young people about the sector and the opportunities it offers.

More ways to improve engagement

We have a free resource with lots of advice on how to successfully plan and implement employee engagement strategies that you can download here. Or to learn more about retaining the brilliant talent you already have and how to place focus on this area in your business, watch our ‘How to Retain Talent Through Employee Engagement Webinar’ here.


BIFA develops programme to attract recruits from other industry sectors

BIFA develops programme to attract recruits from other industry sectors

The British International Freight Association (BIFA) has launched a programme called ‘Freight Development Pathway’ in partnership with Manpower, part of ManpowerGroup, one of the world’s leading workforce solutions companies.

The aim of the programme is to help identify, attract and train suitable candidates from outside of the freight forwarding and logistics sector for career opportunities with freight forwarding and logistics companies that are members of BIFA, the trade association that represents that sector.

The Freight Development Pathway will give participants a three-week employability programme, plus an introductory freight and customs training course, delivered by BIFA’s team of qualified trainers.

Carl Hobbis, one of BIFA’s executive directors, who also heads the trade association’s training activities, says that the programme is part of a wider initiative to address the well-documented recruitment issues that the sector faces.

“Partnering with Manpower, we intend that the Freight Development Pathway will create a pool of talent that has little knowledge or experience of the freight sector and help make the delegates work and industry-ready for BIFA members.”

The programme will be administered by Manpower and will include group sessions, weekly one-to-one meetings, as well as employability training to get each participant ready for interview and eventual employment.

BIFA’s team of trainers will deliver the additional part of the programme that focuses on some of the key aspects of a career in freight forwarding, such as the buyer / seller relationship; documentation; Incoterms 2020; modes of transport; moving goods around the EU; charges, costings, and bookings; consolidation principles; the UK Trade Tariff; classification of goods; procedure codes; duty and VAT calculations; paying HMRC; and customs valuation.

Jason Greaves, director of Manpower, added: “We’re excited to be partnering with BIFA to introduce the Freight Development Pathway, to encourage candidates to consider the freight sector and support them in achieving their career goals. Manpower has a track record of successfully supporting candidates into work through innovative workforce solutions like our MyPath programme, which has trained and upskilled thousands of candidates since its launch in 2021. We look forward to applying this expertise to the Freight Development Pathway.”

BIFA has already launched a campaign to encourage its members to work with schools to promote careers in logistics, forwarding and the supply chain, and to encourage students to consider them.

The Freight Development Pathway will help promote careers within the freight and logistics sector to individuals who would not consider this career option otherwise, whatever stage of their career they are at.

It will highlight the available roles within the sector, as well as identify the core values and behaviours required when applying for jobs, and provide advice that may encourage participants to broaden their horizons.

BIFA and Manpower will be hosting a series of 45-minute virtual sessions to introduce the trade association’s members to the Freight Development Pathway and explain how their respective businesses can benefit from this partnership. These will take place on 24 November, 1, 8 and 14 December, with further details to be found on the BIFA website at

Hobbis, concludes: “Industry promotion is one of BIFA’s key roles and part of that is encouraging logistics as a career path. We see career guidance via the Freight Development Pathway as being another important part of that.

“Since the Brexit vote and the onset of the Covid pandemic, the role of the freight sector in global supply chains has been in the news more than ever, so what a great time to encourage someone to consider a career in the sector.

“BIFA’s schools programme, the specific apprenticeship standard for International Freight Forwarding, that the trade association was instrumental in establishing, and now the Freight Development Pathway provide a framework to support our members, and help them to attract new talent to the freight forwarding and logistics industry.”

How to attract and retain talent through employee engagement

How to attract and retain talent through employee engagement

It is an interesting time for the logistics, transport and warehousing industry.  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 industry.

We are also contending with poor perception of the industry, 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 industry, 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 industry 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  processes? If not, trust your staff to develop and implement solutions. Maybe you could create continuous improvement 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 we don’t personally agree. We 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. Or to learn more about retaining the brilliant talent you already have and how to place focus on this area in your business, watch our ‘How to Retain Talent Through Employee Engagement Webinar’ here.


The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge 2023: Driving Diversity and Inclusion Forward

The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge 2023: Driving Diversity and Inclusion Forward

Designed to promote the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion across the logistics industry, Nimble Media have once again partnered with Talent in Logistics to bring you The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge – a teambuilding event open to the logistics industry which will take place on 22 June 2023 at Newark Showground in the heart of the East Midlands.

The first Diversity Challenge was launched in 2016 across the rail sector with the opportunity for companies to come together in a non-formal environment to network and team build whilst undertaking a range of mental and physical challenges. The concept has continued to grow and has demonstrated the benefits attained when companies improve diversity and work together as a

Equality, diversity, and inclusion is at the core of The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge and the event will bring together logistics professionals to look at how to tackle diversity collaboratively and collectively through fun physical and mental team challenges.

The event is also a platform for the industry to share best practice, network, team-build and help shape what the profession should do next to support a more inclusive sector.

With an overall mission to encourage the logistics sector to focus on their people strategies, the events delivery partner, Talent in Logistics, is dedicated to the recruitment, development, engagement, and retention of the 2.5 million+ people working in transport, logistics and warehousing. Dedicated to supporting HR, L&D, Training & Operational professionals, the company was
specifically developed to support these employers and aim to encourage them to address skills, training, and career progression to retain exceptional staff and attract new employees.

Laura Nelson, Managing Director of Talent in Logistics said, “When we talk about diversity we often focus on rebalancing gender and biological sex distribution in the workforce in our industry. Genuine diversity is about so much more. The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge showcases the benefits real diversity and inclusion bring to businesses and teams. Plus, it’s a great day out
that raises awareness alongside the fun.”

The 2023 event will also see the return of our chosen charity, Transaid, an international development charity. Founded by Save the Children, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) and its patron, HRH The Princess Royal.

Transaid has more than 20 years’ worth of expertise in multiple countries with partners and governments, empowering people to build the skills they need to transform their lives, through safe, available, and sustainable transport. Transaid identifies, champions, implements, and shares local transport solutions to improve access to basic services and economic opportunity for people in developing countries.

Florence Bearman, Transaid’s Acting Co-Chief Executive said, “Transaid is delighted that The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge is back again in 2023 and it is fantastic to see this event continue to go from strength to strength. It has been a pleasure to see so many of the industry’s future stars take part in an event that champions the important topics of inclusion, equality and diversity. We look forward to meeting the next set of teams in 2023 and supporting them through another tricky Transaid challenge!”

For more information on the event, please contact 01780 432930 or email

Industry rallies behind launch of IWLEX 2023

Industry rallies behind launch of IWLEX 2023 – the new exhibition for the logistic industry

A new B2B exhibition has been launched for the UK warehousing and logistics industry and has already garnered widespread support from the UK associations and sector media.

IWLEX (Inside Warehouse and Logistics) is the brainchild of Nairn Foster (MD) and will be held at the Telford International Centre on 23rd and 24th May 2023.

Foster comments: “Alongside media partnerships with HSS and Warehouse & Logistic News, the event is fully endorsed by UKWA, RTITB and the Institute of Couriers. As a result, IWLEX has an extremely wide reach to a fully engaged community, which we want to fully involve in the creation and delivery of IWLEX, hence our strapline “Shaped by the industry, for the industry”.

The new exhibition promises to “do things differently” and to create a fresh and inclusive marketplace where suppliers to the UK warehousing and logistics sector can do business.

Foster comments: “IWLEX 2023 is a dramatic evolution of other exhibitions on which I have been working on for the past 8 years.  Having worked so closely with exhibiting companies during this time, I realised there was a demand for something new, inclusive, and fresh”.

The IWLEX team aims to attract over 100 exhibitors and a minimum of 1,800 vetted visitors.  The event will also allow consultants and system integrators to attend and for exhibitors to invite guests on a “golden ticket” principle.

Foster and his business partner Justin Craig (CEO) have been joined by Paul Brooks FCILT, a respected industry expert who had previously held the position of Chairman of CILT UK and International.

Paul will work closely with Nairn and Justin to ensure that IWLEX delivers on their shared vision to create a modern, differentiated exhibition for the sector. Paul will also construct IWLEX’s free two-day conference focused on thought leadership from keynote c-suite speakers.

Foster continues: “Although IWLEX only runs for two days of the year, we are building a 365-day community that supports and helps each other.  Beyond business we will encourage and incorporate awareness around mental health and introduce mindfulness techniques to help our community thrive personally and professionally.”

For more information regarding IWLEX 2023 please visit or e-mail

Businesses must lead on creating an “industry of choice” for diverse talent, says Government report

Businesses must lead on creating an “industry of choice” for diverse talent, says Government report

The long awaited ‘Future of Freight: a long-term plan’ was released by the Department for Transport (DfT) in June 2022. The report sets out the starting point for Government-industry collaboration going forward in a bid to address the key challenges facing the transport and logistics industry. For those responsible for attracting, engaging, and developing talent, there are a number of key takeaways which we summarise in this article.

The Future of Freight plan priorities set out in the report are:

  • National Freight Network
  • Enabling the transition to Net Zero
  • Planning
  • People and skills
  • Data and technology

The report’s ministerial foreword from Trudy Harrison MP makes clear that the top two items are the main concern, stating: “Our most pressing national priorities: from building back after the pandemic and levelling up, to reducing our greenhouse emissions, all rely on the freight sector.”

However, the report also recognises the vital role that people will play in the recovery of the industry. The focus of the ‘People and Skills’ plan shows a particular commitment to working with the freight and transport industry to strengthen its longer-term employment and skills offer and ‘reset the sector’s image.’

The new plan acknowledges that “getting people in place with the right skills is key to not only resilience in the sector but also the economy as a whole.” It cites that severe post-Covid/BREXIT HGV/LGV driver shortage was indicative of a longer-term issue, which the new plan aims to resolve.

In short, the aim is to “Produce a pipeline of talent across the freight sector by improving the training and employment options; addressing awareness and negative perceptions of the industry; and promote the availability of attractive, fulfilling jobs at all levels of the industry.”

It is suggested that the industry will need to lead this, with the Government’s collaboration and support. There are five key parts to the plan.

Deliver Generation Logistics campaign in 2022

Work has already begun on the forthcoming ‘Generation Logistics’ campaign to address the industry’s image and raise awareness of the breadth of career options across freight and logistics.

DfT, in partnership with Logistics UK and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), will deliver an industry led campaign to provide greater visibility of the industry, shift perceptions, improve diversity, and address recruitment gaps. The Generation Logistics campaign aims to increase awareness by 25%, and positive sentiment by 40% in the first 12 months.

As we know at Talent in Logistics, encouraging the next generation of logistics workers is key, so it is timely that this will also be part of the focus of the new campaign.

Ensure the Transport Employment and Skills Taskforce meets our future skills needs in freight and logistics

As part of the Future of Freight plan, DfT has also created the Transport Employment and Skills Taskforce (TEST). This has a specific focus on addressing skills and training challenges in the transport industry.

In the past, there has been much criticism that the measures put in place by the Government were disconnected from the real needs of transport employers and employees. The consultation leading up to this report will guide TEST. The Taskforce’s approach is not yet confirmed but promises to tackle “the barriers and opportunities to developing skills and careers across the transport sector.”

There is still a desire to increase apprenticeships in transport. However, the Department for Education (DfE) have introduced greater flexibility to enable employers to spend apprenticeship levy funds on more flexible apprenticeship training models. At the same time, a range of other Government-funded skills programmes remain available to support training and retraining, such as Skills Bootcamps, T Levels, and traineeships.

Support a programme of employer engagement

Part of the approach to apprenticeships also relates to employers. DfT, supported by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Department for Education (DfE) are aiming to improve employer understanding of the benefits of government-funded skills intervention, including apprenticeships.

The report also confirms that there is a need to increase awareness of the different career options to fill skills gaps. Furthermore, the Government intends to collaborate with industry-led campaigns to promote routes into key freight and logistics careers. The report also states that the Government will be working to improve links between the industry and DfE to better promote training and employment schemes. Meanwhile, a review of training incentives available for freight and logistics business versus their business needs will be undertaken through the Freight Council.

The ultimate goal of this part of the ‘People and Skills’ element of the Future of Freight plan is for the industry to see a reduction in the time it takes to fill vacancies.

Reform Freight and Logistics training offers to encourage transferable qualifications

The new plan also sets out intentions for reform of freight and logistics training offers. Key to this is identifying “which transferable skills would allow candidates to take roles across the freight and logistics sector.”

The goal is to better align with employer-led standards by investing in

  • Employer led classroom-based learning
  • Occupational traineeships
  • Retraining opportunities, such as Skills Bootcamps

Support efforts to boost diversity within the sector

The new report recognises the need to understand the causes behind a lack of diversity across the transport industry, where the image of a male-dominated “boys’ club” still remains. For example, the median age of an HGV/LGV driver is fifty-five, and less than 1% of HGV/LGV drivers are women. There is also a documented pay gap of 10.4% between men and women in large transport companies. In addition, only 3% of the haulage workforce are from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds, compared to 19% of the whole national workforce.

While the plan does not stipulate any particular measures to tackle diversity, it reminds that “Any sector that is failing to recruit from the entire population is more likely to run into labour shortages”. The report states that success will be achieved when the “Industry delivers an improvement in diversity in relation to age, gender, and ethnicity within the sector.”

What does the future hold for talent in transport?

This report is not the first time that plans to address industry issues have been put into place by the Government. Nor are these the first training reforms or taskforces. Many of the measures will have both supporters and detractors. How successful the new plans are will only be seen in the fullness of time.

Regardless, the launch of the report should at least help shine the spotlight on a sector which is often overlooked, despite being essential to both the economy and our day-to-day lives. Changing the transport industry’s reputation and strengthening its talent pipeline will not happen overnight. But what is clear, is that the Government’s support can only take us so far.  To make a change and secure future talent, businesses in the industry have a vital role to play, now more than ever.

Act now to help overcome people and skills challenges

To take action on recruiting, developing, engaging, and retaining the very best people within the transport and logistics industries, visit our Resources area for free research reports and educational webinars and podcasts. Our blogs also offer a wealth of practical advice for employers, training, and HR professionals looking to address skills gaps and better look after their valuable talent.

For further support and advice, be sure to also sign up to the Talent in Logistics newsletter.


How to lead a culture of wellbeing and resilience

How to lead a culture of wellbeing and resilience

From hospitality to manufacturing, healthcare to construction, many industries are struggling to recruit the talent needed. The transport, warehousing, and logistics industry is no exception. So, what strategies can small, medium or large businesses adopt to tackle this issue that they haven’t tried before?

One solution that is, unsurprisingly, suggested is increased pay. During post-BREXIT LGV/HGV driver shortages, the UK Government suggested that better pay and conditions may attract more people into these roles. It encouraged businesses to make “long-term investments” in the workforce.

Yet just raising pay is not always an option in financially uncertain times. Moreover, various research shows that money is only one factor in employee satisfaction, recruitment, and retention, and not necessarily the most important.

So, what if businesses in the logistics industry took a different approach, and instead of a long-term investment in pay and bonuses, invested in creating a culture of wellbeing and resilience in their organisations to truly look after the workforce? After all, an organisation’s most valuable asset is its people.

Wellbeing – why bother?

Wellbeing is not just about site safety and preventing workplace accidents. It is about the physical, emotional, and mental health of employees, day in, day out.

This falls within the overall ‘duty of care’ that an employer has to employees. As such, many larger organisations, particularly those with dedicated HR teams, will have some practices and schemes in place to support this. However, wellbeing culture is achievable to logistics organisations of any size.

A bad culture around employee wellbeing can be extremely detrimental to your business. Low employee wellbeing results in:

  • Poor physical and mental health
  • Lower employee engagement levels
  • High staff turnover
  • Increased mistakes and errors
  • Decreased productivity
  • Higher sickness and absence levels
  • Poor customer service
  • Negative company reputation
  • Reduced profits.

Some employers believe the solution is to invest in fitness-based wellness programs for their team. However, with much of the logistics workforce struggling with long hours, shift work, and poor work-life balance, taking advantage of such schemes is often unachievable. And if employees cannot embrace this type of wellbeing initiative, how can they, and the business, benefit?

The more effective alternative is to start by creating the right culture.

We can think of workplace culture as the attitudes, beliefs and behaviours that make up the usual working atmosphere and dictate what it really means to be an employee at that business. This might not be what is captured in the employee handbook, but more the unspoken set of rules about how things are done, and how employees act.

When wellbeing becomes a core part of that culture, businesses can experience benefits such as more enthusiastic participation, greater peer support, more effective managers, and better business results.

To introduce wellbeing into company culture, logistics employers can follow three steps.

  1. Understand the existing workplace wellbeing culture

Investigate first how your business currently supports or discourages wellbeing.

For instance:

  • Are staff working long hours for low pay?
  • Can they take annual leave when they need to?
  • Are they expected to respond to calls or emails outside of working hours?
  • Are they really motivated, or actually unduly stressed?
  • Is job insecurity causing worry?
  • Do they feel their manager cares about their wellbeing?

Conducting employee surveys or group discussions is invaluable for gathering these insights.

  1. Develop wellbeing initiatives for YOUR employees

Different workforces may face slightly different struggles. For instance, if stress is identified in the employee survey as the key issue, there are different ways to tackle this.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines workplace stress as “…The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them at work…”. It can result in decreased productivity and reduction in physical or mental health. For some, resilience training may be helpful. Whereas stress prevention, or support services for those with stress may better suit some companies.

If mental ill-health such as depression or anxiety is rife, greater wellbeing will be achieved through open communication with management and creating an environment free from stigma. Having trained mental health first-aiders in the workplace will also help.

However, maybe you identify that employees feel isolated or need a greater sense of purpose for their individual wellbeing. In these cases, company culture should include opportunities for teams to regularly connect and socialise, and opportunities for new responsibilities, professional development, and personal achievement.

Whatever the challenges, when your management has ideas for wellbeing initiatives, ask employees for their opinions. Involving them in the development of these schemes helps create a sense of ownership and greater engagement.

  1. Set the example from management level

Research has shown that having a supportive manager is incredibly important to many workers in logistics. Managers also play a vital role in defining company culture.

Therefore, they must understand the importance of employee wellbeing, and receive training on this if needed. Many may simply be unaware that greater wellbeing is often more effective for achieving measurable business success than getting employees working longer hours.

Moreover, they should lead by example, ensuring that they practice what they preach when it comes to wellbeing. And of course, communication is key for managers to create a supportive work environment for their teams with open dialogue around wellbeing.

Leading permanent change

Rather than focusing only on “the numbers”, businesses have an opportunity to create lasting cultural change by turning their attention to their people.

Once wellbeing is embedded within a company’s culture, it needs to be maintained through the right monitoring and management. This is what turns an initiative into a permanent change for the better. A change that results in improved employee retention, and a more attractive workplace for the new talent our industry really needs.

Free logistics HR resources

For more ideas on improving employee engagement, evolving company cultures, or talent acquisition, check out our free Talent in Logistics resources.