Leading Manufacturing In Employee Satisfaction In The UK
Monday 07 March 2011
A local business – Altro Group based in Letchworth – has achieved unique recognition, as the only manufacturing company in the UK to make the Sunday Times listing of Top 100 Best Companies to Work For.
It is the sixth year in a row that the flooring, walling and vehicle care specialist has made the Top 100 and employees at the Altro and Autoglym sites in Works Road, Letchworth, are planning a day of celebration. Altro Group colleagues at other sites will also be celebrating the accolade, in Lowestoft and Dorset.
The Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies to Work For awards are the recognised benchmark for research into employee satisfaction in the UK. Altro staff were asked questions about training and development, the communication and understanding of business goals and performance, working conditions and the company’s contribution to the local community.
After five years of making the grade (last year reaching 69th place) the company was delighted to hear it had hit the mark for a sixth time. Employees and senior management alike were surprised to find that Altro Group was the only manufacturing business to feature this year.
The Company believes that the fact that it is a privately-owned family business makes a big difference. Altro was established in 1919 and today’s Managing Director, Richard Kahn, is the third generation of the family to oversee its development. The Company has always been Hertfordshire-based, and settled at its current HQ in Letchworth around 20 years ago. Altro invented safety flooring (which prevents slips and trips in just about every type of building). Over the years, the range has grown, to include Autoglym automotive care products, hygienic wall cladding, and specialist flooring for buses and trains, among others. It is now an international business and major exporter selling products all over the world.
Training and development are very important to the company, which employs 455 people in the UK, including 350 in Letchworth. Not only does it develop the skills of its own employees but it is a major trainer within its industry. Flooring and wall cladding installers come from all over the UK to the training school in Letchworth and Lowestoft to learn the trade. And Altro experts travel all over the world to pass on their knowledge. December saw one of Altro’s employees travelling all the way to a research station in Antarctica to demonstrate how to fit its safety flooring.
Altro Group Managing Director, Richard Kahn said, “We are thrilled that the contribution of all our employees across the group has been recognised for the sixth year running. We were surprised to find ourselves the only manufacturing company in the listing this year. Competing in a world market is challenging for UK manufacturers, but we believe that our culture, brand values, and the way in which everyone works to shape the Company are central to maintaining our success.”