Eggborough-based Saint-Gobain Glass has been awarded ‘Silver’ status by Investors in People, coming very close to the ultimate ‘Gold’ status.
In assessing the company, Investors in People recognised that Saint-Gobain Glass was an established Investors in People (IiP) organisation, and that the company has a ‘history of excellence’, which has been positively recognised by other external bodies, including World Class Manufacturing, and the Times 100 Best Green Companies.
Understanding the negative impact that the recession can have on the dynamics of a company, and on employee morale, IiP highlighted two related statistics: that no permanent member of staff had lost their job in the last year, and that the company had not made a loss during any month. “These two achievements reflect the commitment of the whole team to a culture of supporting each other,” IiP said. It was also noted that employees at Saint-Gobain Glass had a realistic view of the economic climate.
IiP also recognised that Saint-Gobain Glass promoted the development of existing staff – pointing out the changes at a senior management level – and that the company was often used as a base for developing senior managers and technical staff.
In its review of people management within Saint-Gobain Glass, IiP said: “In discussions with team leaders and shift managers there were extremely positive comments about the quality and impact of the Core Leadership Training that has occurred. This was seen as having a practical approach that had led a number of individuals to review their leadership style and develop behaviours that support the company’s HR Framework.”
IiP recognised that Saint-Gobain Glass had actively taken measures to improve its style of management, so that it was consistent with achieving the higher marks available through IiP. “The opportunity to receive good quality appropriate first line management training, where individuals can discuss issues with colleagues, was valued and appeared to be having a positive and sustained impact on the open listening management style of the company,” IiP said in its review.
The review also highlighted a number of areas where IiP felt that Saint-Gobain Glass could improve – eg to allow individuals to meet in a classroom setting if they were in the process of developing their skills.
However, IIP drew attention to how valued employees feel at Saint-Gobain Glass. The salaries and benefits’ package is one of the best in the region, and operatives value the ‘four on, four off’ shift pattern as being a real benefit. Furthermore, employees appreciated the effort made by senior staff (other than the line manager) to personally thank individuals.
Concluding, IiP said: “The open culture of the company continues to be a strength, and the Review confirmed that all personnel feel able to talk openly to their line managers, as well as to members of the senior management team. This openness extends to the way in which people are actively encouraged to share best practice, and positive examples of this were given – eg, small changes to machines that prevented down time occurring that have also been introduced on other machines. Individuals also commented positively on the opportunities that exist for sharing good practices with sister companies within the Group.”
Dr Alan McLenaghan, Saint-Gobain Glass’s Managing Director, said: “We are extremely pleased with the silver award status awarded to us by Investors in People. There is always a worry that you are not getting the right feedback from your employees, but this review has proved that we are doing something right. The review also presented us with opportunities to improve the way we interact with the workforce – we will work on these for the next Investors in People review”