Over the years our company has gone through many changes. What started off as a mechanical installation company with one office has evolved into a nationwide, mechanical and electrical installation and maintenance company employing nearly 200 staff. This company evolution has been brought about through industry changes, economic climate, expansion and acquisition.
With so many changes in a short space of time, perhaps we could be forgiven for taking our eye off the ball when it comes to inter office relationships and staff engagement? However, the JCW Board members know, that our staff, are our success. Without their support and loyalty, we would have struggled in this difficult climate, not thrived as well as we have. So, earlier this year we decided to return our focus back to our staff.
The JCW Board met earlier in 2018 to discuss the company’s strategy for the months and years ahead. We all agreed that we needed to re-focus on our staff and decided to invite all staff to complete a short questionnaire on how they felt about working for us, what things we could improve upon and their thoughts for theirs and the company’s future.
We waited with anticipation to find out what our staff really thought. We were delighted to see that even after all the changes, nearly 95% of our staff remain loyal to JCW with no intention of moving on. So many staff engaged with this exercise, actively and openly giving us their thoughts, ideas and concerns about the company moving forward.
With so much information provided by our staff, we then began the task of sorting out the elements and forming improvement programmes for the following main categories:
2. Team Work
5. Pay & Rewards
Throughout the year we have worked on new initiatives for each of these categories. It was deduced from the staff questionnaires that the main areas that required immediate improvement was with regard to inter office communication and general team work. This will always be a challenging area as our 5 main offices are dotted around the country and many of our staff are communicating with people on a daily basis that they may never meet.
Building our teams spirit
During 2018 we introduced Yammer, encouraging a safe and secure platform for various group chats, so office staff and engineers can actively communicate with each other and share technical expertise and experience.
We want all offices, whilst retaining divisional pride in performance and identity, to operate as one company, so we began a re-branding exercise where we simply call ourselves JCW, all using the same clear tear drop logo.
We invited staff to nominate themselves for an office swap or staff shadowing day. Many have put themselves forward, knowing that this is a great opportunity to learn what other team members do and how other offices work. This programme has begun and already the feedback on how useful these days are is extremely positive indeed.
We set up a social fund, so offices can arrange monthly social events or combine funds for inter office events helping build a team spirit.
Finally, for the first time in our recent history, we invited all staff to attend the main Head Office Christmas party which was held at Knebworth last week. A large number of staff travelled from all over the country to attend this event. It was a delight to see that relationships are building between our offices and this function gave us an opportunity to all celebrate altogether.
The staff questionnaire brought out many unexpected positives and we plan to revisit this to see how we have progressed. As a company, we continue to work our way through the improvement categories to ensure that we evolve and improve the working environment for our staff where possible.
· Do we have more to do? Yes of course.
· Are we focused on continuing to improve? Absolutely.
· Will we ever be perfect? Unlikely, but we can certainly try our best!