JJX Logistics’ Alex Hudson Wins LGV Driver Of The Year 2019

LGV Drivers are the face of our sector. Their actions shape the image and reputation of their employer and the sector as a whole. It’s a demanding role with long hours, and it’s almost all conducted in the public eye. But without them, how would we as a sector transport goods from A to B? Earlier this year, Alex Hudson of JJX Logistics was crowned LGV Driver of the Year at the Talent in Logistics Awards 2019. Today, he joins us to discuss his achievements, why he became an LGV Driver and why he believes others should consider this role as a career option.  

During the Talent in Logistics Live Competition on 27 June, Alex faced a number of challenges where he demonstrated high level of skill and safety through demonstration of both underpinning knowledge and practical operation.

Having worked with JJX Logistics since he was 18, Alex has gained sufficient knowledge to understand the supply chain, as well as learning the ropes to be a first-class driver.

Thanks for joining us today Alex. How did it feel to be crowned LGV Driver of the Year 2019?

“It felt and still feels amazing to have been crowned LGV Driver of the Year 2019. When I arrived at the finals, I saw the other finalists and I thought that I was going to be up against some of the country’s best drivers in the business, it was too close to call if I had done everything right to be even in the running for the award. However, on the night of the awards we were kept in suspense as this category was the last to be called on the night. When my name was called out as winner I thought no this can’t be right, it’s a mistake, and I looked up at the big screen and saw my name up there. It was such a great feeling to have won against an experienced bunch of people.”

Since being crowned champion, how has winning impacted on your everyday role?

“When I visit our customers they all congratulate me on my achievement. The day after winning the award I arrived at one of our customers premises and they had all heard about my win, even the managing director personally came out and congratulated me. We as a company do a lot of distribution centre deliveries and I have been talking to drivers there who have also commented on my win, due to them seeing it on social media. It’s a great feeling to be recognised for the achievement because it’s not just a local award, it’s national.”

Do you mind telling us how you got your role at JJX Logistics? What made you want to become an LGV Driver?

“I first started working for JJX when I was 18 as office admin, where my role included dealing with phone calls from customers, booking jobs on to our system and planning runs for our drivers. As I was still at a young age to be able to drive goods vehicles, this was a great way to get my foot in the door of the sector. I then worked my way up to becoming a UK delivery driver, I was then given opportunity to venture out into delivering aviation parts across mainland Europe. My life ambition has always been to drive LGVs. I have been brought up in the sector with my grandfather being a lorry driver, spending many school holidays with him on the road.

“Our managing director, John Donovan approached me one day and asked if I would like to train for my HGV licence, which I quickly accepted. I was put in for my HGV class 2 at our local training provider GTG Training, where they gave me 1-1 training and within a week I had passed. Over three months I had also passed my HGV Class 1. I was over the moon that I had finally been given the chance to live my life dream, and I was given my first truck and I have never looked back since I now drive all over the UK, Ireland and Europe delivering a wide range of goods. I am eternally grateful to John and the team at JJX for the chance to better myself and do something that I really wanted to do.”

What an inspirational story Alex, and what an achievement it is to have gained such a great deal of experience in such a short amount of time. What are the next steps for you and your career?

“I think even though I am still at the young age of 27, I am living the dream as they say, I would like to broaden my horizons within JJX and explore new opportunities. I already have my vehicle mounted lift truck certification to carry on trailers to unload ourselves when delivering to customer premises. If the opportunity would come up to do more specialised transport then I would soon be putting my name down for that as I love a challenge.”

Why would you encourage others to consider the role of an LGV Driver?

“There is a lack of publicity for the logistics sector, not many people are keen on the hours we do and the types of jobs that we may have to do. Unfortunately, the average age of people working in the sector to date is between 45-60, with a lack of the younger generation. I personally think that there should be an option in schools and colleges to enter a logistics path, as there are so many benefits to becoming an LGV driver.  

“The younger audience may have thought about this as a career path, but as there isn’t really enough information out there, they have explored other fields leading them to not necessarily enjoy it or leaving it as a second choice. I have always been grateful for the support from my family, it can be tough working away with long hours. As long as you have the support from the offset, this is a massive help in furthering your career in the sector.”

Commenting on Alex’s achievements during the evening of the Talent in Logistics Awards, John Donovan Managing Director from JJX Logistics, said: “Alex started with JJX Logistics back in November 2011 as a very shy office apprentice. Alex was young and enthusiastic and I felt I had to give him a chance, and of course he didn’t let me down. He worked all the hours possible, he came in weekends and stayed over just to help out. After driving vans for 3 – 4 years we put him through his class 1 and 2 which he passed with flying colours and I kept my promise to Alex that I would get him his own truck, which Alex has made his own. He loves that truck!

“I’m so very proud of Alex for what he has achieved and I’m a great believer that sometimes you just have to take a chance.”

If you believe that you are the next LGV Driver of the Year, then it’s time to enter the Talent in Logistics Awards 2020. Entry dates for the 2020 Awards will be announced in the upcoming months. Find out more about the category here.

Sainsbury’s Argos Wins Best Place to Work 2019

Sainsbury’s Argos were recently crowned champion in the Best Place to Work category at the Talent in Logistics Awards 2019. In our latest article we look at what makes Basildon distribution centre such an engaging workplace.

Here is an organisation with an eye firmly on its workforce. Nestled in the heart of Essex, lies Sainsbury’s Argos’ hugely successful Basildon distribution centre; a site with a truly customer and colleague-focused culture embedded at every level.

The site has achieved the highest levels of colleague engagement within their network, the best safety record, site & departmental productivities and a huge customer base.

By fully engaging its colleagues on the journey of change and improvement, Basildon is recognised as a ‘Centre of Excellence’ and was a clear winner for the Best Place to Work category at the Talent in Logistics Awards 2019.

On the night of the awards, the Sainsbury’s Argos team were delighted to pick up the accolade. Speaking to Mark Tasker, Operations Optimisation Manager, he said “What a proud moment for all the team.  They have worked tirelessly all year, not for awards, but to truly create a fantastic workplace and inclusive culture.  To win the award and be recognised really is the icing on the cake.”

If your organisation values employee engagement by offering great skills development with excellent communication strategies and rewards a great job well done, then it’s time to enter the Talent in Logistics Awards 2020 Best Place to Work category. Entry dates for the 2020 Awards will be announced in the upcoming months. Find out more about the category here.

Clipper Logistics’ Michael Price Wins Inspirational Leader Of The Year 2019

Michael Price is a truly engaging character, who has one of the best work ethics Clipper Logistics has seen. With the ability to articulate well with all levels of the business and continuously striving to help others succeed, he picked up the Inspirational Leader of the Year accolade at the recent Talent in Logistics Awards 2019.

In his role as Continuous Improvement Manager, Michael has been a key figure in changing behaviour and culture on his base site of Burton. These changes have contributed to the success of Clipper’s Burton site to such an extent, he has been asked to implement the same values across multiple other sites across the region. Michael has become a figure of positive change within the business, and his selfless attitude has meant that he puts his team and the interests of others ahead of his own and continues to demonstrate a strong desire to succeed.

Michael constantly seeks to understand his team’s strengths and weaknesses and works tirelessly in order to help them achieve their goals, setting each individual on their desired career path. With an incredible ability to simplify the most complicated of situations, he ensures everyone has an input and leaves no individual behind. By doing this, he has created strong and robust teams. It is visible that Michael’s ultimate drive is people and seeing their success and so, with this passion he was awarded Inspirational Leader of the Year.

During the Talent in Logistics Awards 2019 ceremony, he said: “I have been extremely fortunate to have started a career with a company that allows individuals to demonstrate innovation and creativity and, come up with new ideas. This has allowed me to develop a Continuous Improvement framework that has been adopted by the company and implemented into the majority of our sites. The key contributor to the success of the framework has been the development of our colleagues and managers.

“Continuous Improvement has the ability to change our ways of working and develop processes that demonstrate efficiency benefits. However, for continuous improvement to succeed and be sustainable on a long term basis, it has to become ingrained in the working culture. This has been achieved through the training and upskilling of our people, and providing them with the skillset they need to become part of the change. Without their support and desire to develop their capabilities, we would not have achieved the levels of success that we have during implementation. It goes without saying that although this is an individual award, the recognition received tonight is the output of a team contribution.”

This year will see Michael’s role within the business evolve beyond Clipper’s Burton site, and see him support the business on a national and regional level. He has already had the opportunity to visit all 37 sites across the UK as part of a robust company-wide audit, which enabled him to identify a strategy that would enhance employee engagement amongst 4,700 employees and implement process improvements.

Elisha Kelly, Senior Operations Director for Clipper Logistics said “Since the day Michael joined Clipper logistics, he has always believed that a strategic approach to continuous improvement was the direction the business needed to head in. Although he had a clear understanding of what the company needed, he also had a passion to ensure that everyone came on the journey with him. I have had the pleasure of watching Michael turn nothing more than a vision, into a tangible strategy for our business that has delivered fantastic results for a number of our clients. His energy and pace are infectious, and this is evident in the way that people respond to his leadership approach.

“He has a natural ability to make non-believers believe, assure people who think that they can’t, that they can, and influence colleagues and teams who are adamant that it won’t work, that it will.  His leadership style is chameleon-like, where by it naturally adapts to the audience that he is working alongside be it a workshop with a group of colleagues on the shop floor or presenting to a board of directors. These key characteristics are what make Michael so successful in his current role, and go a long way in him becoming the winner of such a prestigious award. Michael has an exciting career ahead of him, and is a person who I will certainly be keeping a close eye on in the future.”

If you believe that you are making significant and positive impacts on the profession, and are a valued leader within your organisation, then it’s time to enter the Talent in Logistics Awards 2020 Inspirational Leader of the Year category. Entry dates for the 2020 Awards will be announced in the upcoming months. Find out more about the category here.

NOVUS’ Bethany Fovargue Wins Industry Ambassador Of The Year 2019

Judges agreed that NOVUS’ Operations Manager, Bethany Fovargue is clearly a very driven individual and was a fitting winner for the 2019 Talent in Logistics Awards Industry Ambassador of the Year accolade. As an inspiration to the profession, she uses her exposure, contributing to publications, judging awards and speaking at conferences, to encourage companies to get involved in a variety of initiatives. As well as this, she volunteers with Think Logistics, managing project work between CILTFTAAbbey LogisticsCareer Ready and NOVUS itself.

Within her role at NOVUS, she manages eight universities, 23 sponsors and around 140 students. In order to extend the number of universities and increase pupil engagement opportunities, she works with multiple partners to create a significant logistics footprint in the education space, inspiring young people to learn about the supply chain and helping companies with staff training.

Bethany is also an active member of the Women in Logistics steering committee, an organisation that became a CILT forum in 2018. Bethany believes that the two organisations will be stronger together, promoting equality and diversity through a number of projects and events. Having retained responsibility for the Women in Logistics annual conference, Bethany is passionate about encouraging women to connect, engage and inspire each other in the profession.

Combining her passion for logistics and education, Bethany was recently named as one of only six “Outside Influencers” in SHD Logistics Magazine’s “Logistics 100 2019”, runner up for the Everywoman in Logistics and Transport award for Industry Champion in 2018 and was crowned winner of the Multimodal Woman of the Year award in 2015. 

Having juggled multiple partnerships across multiple target audiences, Bethany truly has proved to be an inspiration within the logistics sector, and so picked up the 2019 Talent in Logistics Industry Ambassador of the Year award in June. Speaking to us on the night of the awards, she said “I am thrilled to have won Industry Ambassador 2019, a testament to the hard work of NOVUS and its universities in inspiring the next generation of supply chain professionals. I am doubly proud this evening, as one of our Aston University graduates, Tienne Oates, has secured “Rising Star 2019” – a fabulous demonstration of the talent that NOVUS is committed to delivering to the sector!”

Her passion for inspiring the next generation of logistics professionals is evident in all the extracurricular work she undertakes; she truly is an industry ambassador, having taken on the role as a voice who actively works to grow and shape the industry, delivering positive impacts.

If this sounds like something you, your colleague or your manager is achieving, then it’s time to enter the Talent in Logistics Awards 2020 Industry Ambassador of the Year category. Entry dates for the 2020 Awards will be announced in the upcoming months. Find out more about the category here.

Embracing Flexible Working

This article first appeared in SHD Logistics‘ April edition. 

While flexible working is becoming more and more recognised for its ability to help workers perform better and increase in confidence and morale, it is still highly uncommon across the logistics industry. However, with the perceived driver shortage, a focus on recruiting minority groups and an increase in new technology, there might just be an opportunity to change this.

Statistics provided by Timewise (2017) show how much UK workers want the option of flexible arrangements. 84% of male full-time workers and 91% of female full-time workers either currently work flexibly, or want to. Amongst these full-time workers, flexibility is either used or wanted by 92% of 18-34 year olds, 88% of 35-54 year olds and 72% of those aged 55+.

Looking more closely at the logistics industry, a recent article by the CILT (2018) revealed the impact flexible working could have on businesses. It stated that by 2023, the logistics sector could risk £516 million a year in economic output, if employers do not fully embrace flexibility. In light of this, UK businesses could generate an output of £22.947 billion per year through flexible working.

The main questions then become, can flexible working arrangements benefit both employers and employees, what barriers are stopping this, and how can we successfully implement this?

What are the benefits?

For employees, the benefits of flexible working are mostly focused on improving their work-life balance, and in turn looking after their health and wellbeing. Flexible working also reduces commute times and allows more time for leisure and study, which is most important among 18-34 year olds (37%) and also among those aged 55+ (32%).

Having flexible arrangements plays a major role in impacting positivity and productivity. Implementing flexible working practices such as working from home can improve staff engagement and motivation. We are living in a time where many roles do not require employees to be physically in the office every day to do their job, thanks to technology, and so when working schedules are tailored for employees, they are happier and more motivated as a result.

Practices such as hot desking, which is quite common with millennials, is something the logistics industry could tap into, as it allows workers to build bonds across the wider business, giving them the chance to better understand other areas of the business. By communicating better with more teams and departments, collaborating on future projects becomes much easier, allowing them to be more productive in their role.

It’s not only employees who benefit from flexible working, companies or organisations benefit too. In addition to increasing productivity, it can help reduce truancy and strengthen employee loyalty. On the HR side of the business, offering flexible working to returning workers such as parents coming back from maternity or paternity leave, or those coming back from a long-term break, can help attract and retain the experienced and skilled staff already there.

What are the barriers?

The lack of flexible working opportunities is often referred to as one reason behind women’s diminishing presence in senior jobs, let alone in logistics. The closer the corporate ladder gets to senior management roles, the more women fall off it. The lack of flexible working options, along with childcare costs, often prevent mothers from returning to work. This industry is known for its long hours, especially for drivers. Add working mums’ requests to work remotely and part-time to the mix, and you get gender imbalance as these requests are often denied more times than not, making it difficult to ensure more women advance in the industry.

As much as barriers are mostly seen in relation to working mums, working dads also face the same barriers. Enabling working parents and anyone else who has dependents to work flexibly is crucial to greater workplace equality and diversity. Essentially, a business wants to employ the best people, so working around their needs will likely offer more benefits.

Moving forward

Companies need to get ahead of traditional barriers, for example, the driver role is usually seen as one of the most inflexible role due to the long hours attached. With driver turnover being particularly high, offering shorter and more regular shifts could have a real impact on how the role is viewed. A culture change is highly needed, and logistics managers will reap rewards by being innovative and working on practical solutions, sooner rather than later.

Based on the economic output estimated to be lost due to lack of flexible working, the logistics industry should use research, insights and other sectors’ success stories to transform itself. This involves answering a number of questions: do we need office space, every day, for every employee? Could workers job share and be given more options to work shorter shifts when possible? Do we have the technology to enable employees to work flexibly? Once we’ve answered these, we need to create a plan to outline changes within the industry which accommodate flexible working and implement it. After all, companies’ fortunes are based on their ability to attract, engage and retain the best and talented employees. Offering more flexibility will help.

Creating A Culture Of Wellbeing

This article first appeared in SHD Logistics‘ February edition. 

There is growing recognition of the importance of individual wellbeing inside and outside of the working environment. The subject of wellbeing has many broad implications for the quality of each individual’s life – how we choose to live and potentially how long we live.

Wellbeing and stress management issues are within the overall ‘duty of care’ that an employer owes to its employees. Provision of wellbeing services is crucial for employee engagement and creating a positive working culture.

Now more than ever before, employees are looking to their employer to help them access the services they need to stay fit and healthy, whether that be through flexible working, health care or physical activities.

With the transport, logistics and warehousing sector employing over 2.2 million people in the UK, it is vital that as an industry we are actively managing our workers wellbeing. Whether you are forklift operator, HR manager or CEO, your health and wellbeing matters and it’s important for each individual to feel happy, healthy and committed in their workplace.

Statistics from the Reward and Employee Benefits Association (REBA) 2018 Employee Wellbeing research study show that organisations are continuing to recognise that a strategic and properly measured wellbeing programme can make a powerful impact. But unfortunately, research from Westfield Health states that 52% of workers in the logistics industry believe organisations aren’t doing enough to support employee wellbeing. They also found that 68% of workers would use wellbeing services if their employer provided them. With 53% suggesting health check-ups, 53% back care and posture and 41% gym access.

There is no doubt that many logistics companies have practices in place, but as an industry it’s time we encourage others to recognise this and start putting plans into place.

Getting management on board

Employees take cues from how senior leaders behave, especially if they speak out about wellbeing, as it can have a huge impact. Team leaders, managers and directors can show commitment to staff wellbeing by taking a few simple actions: support a campaign to encourage physical activity; implement regular health checks; take full lunch breaks and commit to realistic working hours.

Raise awareness

Too often, employees feel afraid to speak to their colleagues or line manager. To raise awareness employers should be working to promote discussion of health and wellbeing to proactively challenge this harmful culture. One way to implement this could be inviting a guest speaker to discuss the challenges and outcomes of problems in the workplace. Hearing what it is like to have a problem from people who have experienced the issues first hand can help break down negative stereotypes.

Communication is key

Employee communication can be often overlooked. Those at a management level should regularly be engaging with their staff – and not just over email. One measure that could be put into place is email-free days. If you or your employees feel overwhelmed by email, it might be possible to propose a company-wide ban one day a month. This way your team can focus on communicating face-to-face, having one-on-ones with managers and team coaching.

In a time where we are experiencing worker shortages it’s important that our employees feel valued and appreciated for their hard work. Giving them a say or a difference in working, will improve morale and performance.

Encourage work life balance

We all face busy periods, especially around festive seasons, whether that be working to tough deadlines, pulling long hours or managing your time. Building resilience can help you to adapt to challenging circumstances. It’s important that we support our staff to make time for their home lives and interests outside of work by encouraging them to leave at sensible times, take short breaks and take annual leave.

Appreciate your workers

Reward your staff for their hard work where possible. Recognition incentives could include actions such as employee benefit schemes, bonuses, or even a bowl full of fruit and treats in the staff room. As Richard Branson has been known to say, “if you take care of your employees, they will take care of your customers.”

As an industry, it is time to realise that healthy, happy workers lead to a healthy, happy organisation.

If you would like any further information on creating a culture of wellbeing, please contact us on talentinlogistics@capitb.co.uk. Alternatively, to start putting this into practice, contact wellbeing services such as MIND and Stress Management Society.

How Sponsoring Talent in Logistics Can Benefit Your Business

The Talent in Logistics Conference and Awards is the must-attend event for HR, L&D and operational professionals within the logistics sector to share best practice and knowledge, as well as recognising and rewarding talented individuals, teams and organisations within the sector.

One of the best ways of getting involved is to become a sponsor, whether that be through sponsorship of an award category, conference theatre, info zone or drinks reception.

Would you like the opportunity to prove your business is a responsible, collaborative and sector-leading brand? If so, then here are some of the benefits to be gained from a partnership:

Recruit top logistics sector talent

Showcase your business, investment and commitment to people in logistics, and the employment opportunities you offer and make your business the destination of choice for the sector’s top talent.

Demonstrate your greatest competitive advantage – your people!

As this is the only event dedicated to the recognition of people, and learning development across the sector, by getting involved with the Talent in Logistics Conference and Awards, you are showing the industry and your competitors that you value your people. After all, they are your biggest asset.

Get in front of decision makers

Through sponsorship, your brand will be seen by hundreds of decision makers from across the transport, logistics and warehousing sector, as well as raising your profile amongst your peers. The 2018 Talent in Logistics Conference and Awards attendees included operations directors, commercial directors, distribution managers, transport managers, training managers and health & safety managers.

Positive brand promotion

Reinforce brand perception, influence customer behaviour and associate your brand with excellence, no matter what your budget is. Promotional opportunities include advertising, editorial, logo placement, social media, and more opportunities in the lead up, during and after the events.

By promoting this to your customers you can demonstrate your commitment to training and development and why you’re a great brand to do business with.

Showcase your services to the right people

The Talent in Logistics event provides the opportunity to network with our sector’s most influential learning and development leaders, making it the perfect opportunity to showcase your business and your services.

Generate quality sales leads

With the chance to reach a vast cross-section of logistics professionals before, during and after the Conference and Awards, this is a sales opportunity not to be missed!

The networking opportunities, supported by branding across the event, place you front of mind for managers and directors looking to purchase the products and services you offer.

Make your staff feel valued

Aligning your company with the Talent in Logistics event demonstrates your commitment to talent and training of the people in your business. Dedicated, hard-working employees can be difficult to find and retain, but showing that you value their work and their development will help boost loyalty.

Cement your sector authority

Increase your credibility and cement your position as a thought leader. Our different packages include speaking opportunities, as well as opportunities to collaborate with us on a thought leadership piece, giving you a range of unique opportunities to demonstrate your expertise in learning and development, and attracting talent.

How do I get involved with Talent in Logistics?

There are many ways to get involved, from the annual conference itself to the prestigious awards evening. Across our live competitions, individual awards and exhibition area, we can support the needs and objectives of your organisation.

No matter which option you choose, you’ll get multiple opportunities for brand exposure. Packages can include an exhibition stand, promotion via the website, tickets to the event and inclusion on digital & print marketing.

To get the best out of the event, we can also offer bespoke packages to best meet the needs of your organisation and what you are looking for, in terms of both exposure and budget.

To find out more or discuss which package will be the best option for you, contact Ruth at ruth_edwards@capitb.co.uk or call 01952 520220.

 

Why Talent In Logistics Is A Great Place To Network

Getting the most out of a conference can be challenging. It’s one thing to go home with hundreds of goodie bags, but it brings imaginable opportunities to leave with fresh relationships and meaningful connections. That’s why at Talent in Logistics, the magic is in the people.

For us, we love meeting and greeting our attendees. We are eager to welcome each individual and make them feel at home straight away.

It is highly likely that you will meet other interesting people and be exposed to a broader audience who work in various companies of size. Plus it’s great fun to meet individuals from all walks of life.

But what are the benefits of networking at our annual conference and awards ceremony?

Benefit 1: Break out of the comfort zone

Attending Talent in Logistics forces you to break out of your comfort zone. There are many born networkers in this world, but for many of us live events and human conversations can be challenging. Attending our event allows you to take action and break out of your old ways of thinking. If you’re feeling nervous, bring along a colleague so you won’t feel completely on your own – they may also know of some key people to network with.

 Benefit 2: Like-minded people

When you sit in one of our conference theatres, you’ll discover that you’re not alone in experiencing the various difficulties within your business or wanting to improve. Individuals who are willing to take time and learn something new are those who want to ‘better’ themselves. It’s important we work together to express these challenges.

Benefit 3: Meet the experts

Having the opportunity to be in the same room and listen to how industry experts/peers approach business is certainly a great experience and one that you can only benefit from. When you share the same space, they are sure to help you to understand how to overcome certain challenges and what opportunities that could lead to.

Benefit 4: Learn new tools

Our exhibitors are likely to share and display solutions you may not have seen before. Products or services that make the industry a better, faster or different place gives you a reason to learn something new. Of course, you can view these on their websites, but it’s much more fun to get a hands-on experience.

Benefit 5: You get to enjoy yourself

Though not a high priority, but it shouldn’t be left off the list – it’s time to have a little fun. With our live competitions, speaker theatres and awards evening, you won’t struggle to find a way to break into conversation. By the end of the day you will have made some amazing connections – we are sure of it!

Face-to-face networking can be challenging, but with our five killer tips you are sure to smash networking effectively:

  1. Break the ice – first impressions are lasting, start by setting the tone of the conversation. Take the opportunity to get to know someone better whilst staying focused on your goal.
  2. Open with your elevator pitch – make yourself and the company you are representing stand out to your listener, be interesting, memorable and succinct. A good elevator pitch should last no longer than a short elevator ride of 20-30 seconds – hence the name.
  3. Be engaged – keep eye contact with your conversation partner; nod your head and tilt your body towards them slightly when you’re speaking. These small cues go a long way towards make them feel like you care and are listening.
  4. Don’t be afraid to join in – introduce yourself by joining a conversation. In most cases, those speaking will enjoy the interruption because it gives them a chance to meet someone new. If you sense that you’ve entered into a serious discussion, it’s ok to politely excuse yourself.
  5. Take notes – when you ask for someone’s business card after having a great conversation, take notes after they walk away or immediately after the event. This will help you to be more specific in your follow-up.

Talent in Logistics provides you with a unique convergence of networking, learning and enjoyment all rolled into one. If you think it’s time to step out of the office to grow and challenge yourself, then it’s time to attend our 2019 event.

Tickets for the conference and awards ceremony are on sale now, click here to book your place! If you have any questions or queries, please contact us on talentinlogistics@capitb.co.uk.

Employee Engagement Can Positively Impact Retention

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do” – Steve Jobs

It is quite often the case, that our focus on employee engagement is the first thing that is dropped when workloads get heavy, budgets are cut or during peak demand. In an industry where employee retention can be difficult, profit margins are tight and customer satisfaction is very important, we must do more to recognise that having an engaged workforce plays a vital role in our organisation’s success.

Who looks after employee engagement within your organisation? Some large businesses have designated people to champion engagement amongst employees, but more often than not it falls into the responsibilities of others as an extra-curricular part of their role.

“Organisations in the top quartile for engagement (where more than 7 in 10 employees are engaged) saw a 4% increase in sales growth compared to an average company. By contrast, bottom quartile engagement companies were down -1%.” (Aon Hewitt)

So here are our top tips that no matter what your budget or whose responsibility it is, can be adopted within your workplace;

Senior Leadership

  1. Build trust by keeping your promises. If you say you are going to do something for your colleagues, make sure you do it or explain clearly why you haven’t.
  2. Be visible. Don’t lock yourself in the office, make sure you go onto the shop floor as often as you can to interact with the team.
  3. Understand that respect works both ways. Everyone’s role is essential and without them your business would not function, so make sure you show them that.
  4. Motivate, support and challenge. Give regular constructive feedback to your employees, do not steer away from difficult conversations – it will be beneficial in the long run.

Give your workforce a voice

  1. Empower your workforce. Involve them in Continuous Improvement processes, you could even create CI Champions. Listen and involve them in decision making.
  2. Let opinions be heard. Remember employees have the answers, let them help you to grow, innovate and succeed. Create graffiti areas or Stop, Start, Continue boards.
  3. Make time for your employees. Talk to them, either informally when you are passing through the operation, create engagement surveys or organise ‘Let’s Talk’ sessions.

Give people the right tools to do the job 

  1. 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.
  2. Coaching and mentoring. Your employees will feel supported and will build valuable skills to help in their career development – what better way to invest in them?
  3. Team collaboration. Encouraging collaboration between teams makes for a stronger workforce.
  4. Reward and recognition for a good job done! Rewarding your employees doesn’t always have to involve pay raises and bonuses. Appreciate them with thank you notes, monthly awards and a decent appraisal process.

Corporate Brand & Responsibility

  1. Be clear on your company objectives. Make sure your employees know how they can contribute towards them and how they will benefit
  2. Show that you care about your employees. Have a strong health, safety and wellbeing strategy with goals for accident reductions, clear return to work processes and absence management.
  3. Show that you care about others. Have great engagement with and give back to the local community, have clear environmental and sustainability strategies, lead on and support charitable work.

Part of the process for employee engagement may be to complete a survey (as mentioned above), where we ask for the employee’s opinion on many different topics such as brand, health, safety and wellbeing, communication, senior leadership etc. However, that is only a small part of the actions that need to be taken to get the most out of a feedback survey. Sitting and staring at those online responses will only get you so far, you need to get into the workplace and speak to people! Make engagement a constant, not just an annual activity that you switch on when the survey monkey lands in their inbox.

If you give your employees a sense of purpose and fulfilment in their job they will approach their work with energy, dedication and focus and we can assure you that your business will reap the benefits. It will improve your customer satisfaction, reduce your workplace accidents, you will see greater retention levels and reduced absence through sickness.

Don’t delay it, create your plan today and start engaging with your workforce. You won’t regret it!