Swansway Group has achieved 13th place in the 2014 Great Place to Work countdown. It is one of just four automotive companies in 30 businesses in the large (500+ employees) category.
Director David Smyth said: “We are proud of the culture and ethos that we’ve built at Swansway. We consider every member of staff to be part of our Swansway family and together we feel we’ve created something very special”.
Great Place to Work looks for three key elements in a great workplace: management that staff trust, employees who have pride in what they do and who enjoy working with their colleagues.
Director John Smyth, explained how the business achieved these three key drivers: “We’re no overnight success story. In fact it’s been a long and sometimes difficult road to where we are today; we’ve had to build trust and create a culture where we can count the staff as our family and they can count on us to deliver on our promises.”
Finally, Peter Smyth added, “As a family we do feel a responsibility for all our staff, after all there are a lot of mortgages and family holidays riding on the continued success of our business; so it’s particularly pleasing when we see that our staff genuinely feel that Swansway is a great place to work and that our results bear that out too.”
And the family owned and managed group's financials appear to demonstrate the contribution staff welfare has on performance.
Swansway Group’s newly filed 2013 accounts show a £5.1 million profit before tax, a 57% growth on 2012. 2012’s £3.25m profit represented a 50% growth on 2011.
In the same Great Places to Work category as Swansway are Volkswagen UK (at 20), Volkswagen Financial Services (25) and Mercedes-Benz Retail (27). Companies register to take part in the survey.
Tom O'Byrne, Great Place to Work chief executive said: "More and more businesses recognise not only the importance of trust and engagement, but also the impact that being recognised as a Best Workplace has on employer branding. Employees are also proud to tell others where they work and most believe their managers are competent, a figure that is highest in organisations that invest in the training and development of their managers.
"It is exciting to find that employees are more positive about the organisation they work for in every part of the employee survey. The largest improvements in employee responses were to the group of statements about fair reward.
"This suggests that as the economy turns a corner, organisations are taking the opportunity to correct long-overdue internal and external pay differences."
Key findings from the Great Place to Work survey:
Values and ethics are key drivers of engagement
The best way to improve employee engagement is to train and motivate managers to act in a more value-driven way – with integrity. This means acting honestly, telling the truth, keeping promises, treating people fairly and avoiding favouritism and political behaviour. Low-integrity behaviour damages trust and engagement and so damages performance.
The consequences destroy customer trust too, damaging a business even more.
High integrity behaviour builds business by building trust.
Show that you care
Employees who care for children – or for people who are elderly, sick or have a disability – are more engaged. Those who care for children are also significantly more engaged than other carers.
Child carers are relatively numerous, organised and vocal, whereas the other types of carer are much less numerous, isolated and less vocal.
Currently, workplace flexibilities and practices reflect the needs of child carers.
However, as the number of employees caring for elderly people grows as our population continues to age, workplaces should adapt to meet the needs of this employee group.
Double your productivity
One in five staff is disengaged, whereas two in five are fully engaged. But if all employees were fully engaged, output per head would double in some organisations.
The effect of more women in senior roles on engagement.
There is no relationship between the degree of employee engagement and the proportion of women occupying senior roles.
You get out what you put in
An organisation’s employee survey results mirror closely the effort they put into improving employee engagement. So, if an organisation trains its managers, management behaviour is rated more favourably in the next employee survey.
The top five areas for improving engagement:
1 Ensure fair reward, recognition and appreciation
2 Provide a fun place to work
3 Encourage work-life balance
4 Build employee pride by contributing to the community
5 Promote fairness so that people feel they are all in it together
- AM's next edition will be a special themed people issue packed with content to help automotive retailers recruit, train and retain the best people for their business. The issue will be published on June 27.