Fair Work translates directly into retention
10 March 2022
“The concept of Fair Work is pretty simple. It’s basically ‘Do to others as you do to yourself’. I’ve got no business if I don’t have my staff, so why wouldn’t I want to look after them and be fair?” Ruaridh Hesketh - General Manager
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Established in 1971, our family businesses has grown into one of the most popular and successful producers of high-quality marmalade, jam, chutney and other preserves in Scotland, selling for both retail and foodservice markets. We also have an online shop and coffee shop in Gatehouse of Fleet.
Starting the Fair Work journey
Galloway Lodge made a commitment to Fair Work when we were applying for grant funding from South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE); it was part of the process. Once we started looking into what it involves, we saw we were doing a lot of Fair Work practices already.
In those areas where we still have targets to complete, we’ve committed to do so within three years, so the journey is very manageable.
Benefits of offering Fair Work
For us, the benefit of offering good working practices comes down to retention. As a result of what we do, our retention levels are high for our industry: we’ve only had around 4 people leave in the past 5 years.
Retention matters because it affects everything: productivity, quality, customer service. If our staff stay longer in their jobs:
- They understand our systems and products, leading to higher quality.
- We get efficiency and productivity gains from having a full team of trained, committed people.
- Our customers get to know them and receive a better customer experience.
Currently, retention is more important than ever because of labour shortages:
- It can take months to recruit a new staff member.
- It takes around 4 weeks to get that new staff member fully up to speed in our factory or coffee shop, and training takes up management time.
- During all those months and weeks, we would not be operating at 100% strength.
The benefits of retaining staff are hard to quantify, but they are undeniable. As our general manager Ruaridh Hesketh says, “The thought of changing staff every 6 months would be an absolute nightmare.”