Zorba Delicacies Limited is a multi-million-pound manufacturer of dips, deli fillers and soups. Based in Ebbw Vale and employing over 300 staff, they manufacture branded and own-label products for the UK’s leading grocery retailers and foodservice operators.
For products with a short shelf life, where tight turnaround times from order to despatch are required, they wanted to improve on their responsiveness to meet fluctuating customer demand. They also wanted to reduce their dependence on overtime during peak periods to respond to feedback from an employee satisfaction survey. They recognised this would have a positive effect on employee wellbeing as well as a positive impact on operating costs. This required a restructure of existing shift patterns across a number of factory departments and some staff moving between departments which then required re-training.
Having worked with our HR Consultant, Fiona Sinclair, in another business and aware of her knowledge of the food manufacturing industry and hands-on approach, the Financial Controller invited Fiona to help the business identify a workable solution then work with the HR and Production Managers to manage the staff consultation process and ultimately implement the necessary changes.
The first stage was to assess the client’s desired outcomes, both financial and operational, as well as the constraints. From this, options were developed that would meet those outcomes, then the HR and employment law practicalities of each option were considered to identify the most appropriate solution. In conjunction with the HR Manager, a series of consultation sessions were run with affected staff over several weeks to allow for meaningful consultation, overcoming objections and ultimately gaining buy-in to the new shift pattern and associated amendments to terms and conditions of employment.
The implementation of revised shift patterns meant that employees were able to have more time off, work less overtime and therefore better plan their time off work, which positively impacted on their wellbeing. The company benefited from a more flexible workforce and greater ability to meet customer demand in peak periods, with a reduced reliance on costly overtime.
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