Wincanton the largest British logistics business, has been honored with three prestigious wins at the recent HR Excellence Awards. The judging panel of HR directors from a number of prominent UK businesses, charities and government bodies crowned Wincanton winners in the ‘Best Talent Management Strategy’ and ‘Health and Wellbeing Award’ categories. The company also scooped the HR Excellence Gold Award, chosen as most impressing the judges for outstanding people contribution.
The ‘Best Talent Management Strategy’ award comes in recognition of Wincanton’s three-year transformation period for the company, during which the business focused on the retention and attraction of key talent and skills.
Julie Welch, HR director at Wincanton, said: “Three years ago the future of our organisation was more uncertain and we had a lean HR team with little structure in place for attracting, nurturing, rewarding and ultimately managing talent within the business. Logistics is a competitive market and we knew we had to take action to develop our own talent pipeline and focus on succession planning and demonstrate how the logistics and supply chain industry can offer great career variety & prospects.”
Wincanton embarked on a review of its entire approach to talent management and introduced a number of new processes to identify, nurture and develop talent.
One initiative to retain and develop talent is the Wincanton Academy. It provides tailored learning for individuals at all levels and roles within the business, from entry-level to executive, and helps staff explore personal ambitions, career aspirations and development plans.
Within the Academy is Wincanton’s Aspiring General Manager talent programme designed to help skilled employees prepare themselves for the next role. Enrolment was made on the basis of a rigorous selection process supported by endorsement from within the business. The programme achieved a promotion success rate of 70 per cent.
“We’re particularly proud that our talent programme has seen a marked increase in gender diversity, with the number of women taking part rising from 11% in the first year, 2013, to a phenomenal 44% this year” comments Julie. “Women play a significant role across the logistics industry and we want to attract more of them into senior roles at Wincanton.”
Julie continues, “Through the close collaboration and buy-in of our operational colleagues, we now have an industry-leading talent management process which is robust, proven, and embedded, and from which we are already reaping the rewards.
The ‘Health and Wellbeing Award’ comes in recognition of the success of Wincanton’s inaugural wellness campaign. After launching the campaign two years ago, the number of Wincanton employee issues related to heart conditions fell and time off sick also fell dramatically, with time lost at one of Wincanton’s sites, for example, falling from 261 days in December 2014 to just nine in December 2015.
Julie continued: “At Wincanton our people are our greatest asset and we want them to be as healthy and happy as they can be.
“Our wellness campaign was, and continues to be, a real company-wide effort to challenge our colleagues to think about how they can look after themselves better. The workplace plays a crucial role in this as well, and we know it’s vital that we take our responsibilities seriously.”
As part of the campaign, Wincanton worked on improving knowledge and understanding around health and wellbeing and on cardiovascular disease, which is of particular concern in the logistics industry as truck drivers spend a large part of their days sitting down and may not be as active as is recommended by health experts.
Other initiatives of the campaign included installing salad bars at a number of Wincanton sites; introducing healthy grab and go lunch boxes for drivers, wellness kiosks and health assessments to help staff understand their own unique health conditions; after-work yoga classes to help relieve stress and enlisting the help of health and wellbeing academic Dr John Briffa to inspire positive life changes.
Wincanton was able to compliment all this with the launch of its ‘Cycle to Work’ scheme in 2016. This coincided with its 90th birthday celebrations where over 250 colleagues participated in a charity cycle ride from Lands’ End to John O’Groats, raising over £32,000.
Julie concludes: “I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved as a company and it’s fantastic to have our work in this space recognised by such an esteemed panel of judges.”
Wincanton was also presented with the HR Excellence Gold award which is not open for general entry. It is presented to the business which, out of all those businesses represented at the awards, stood out as a clear showcase of outstanding people contribution and who most impressed the judges.
The HR Excellence Awards ceremony was held on Tuesday 28th June at the London Hilton on Park Lane.