Stephens & George


Based in a region with one of the highest rates of unemployment in the UK, the majority of our 159 staff live within a five-mile radius of the factory. Our staff are encouraged to develop and grow into their careers with us. This clearly has a wider impact on the business itself as well as on the Community as a whole; with productive, enthusiastic and skilled employees working to further the business, this can only improve the Company, its business opportunities and therefore its ability to contribute to the development of the community. It is a self-perpetuating system which guarantees its own results.


Our commitment to the development of individuals with the business is unparalleled. We run apprenticeship programmes to train staff in specialised areas from a young age, allowing them to learn and develop successful careers and productive, transferrable skills within the industry.


We pay the minimum Government hourly rate to these young people based on wage not a fixed weekly amount as a lot of companies. We have our own formalised training programmes in all areas of the business; On the job training being complemented by external training and examinations at local educational institutions. In certain production areas highly, specific training may require training overseas.


Through this we demonstrate a deep commitment to an investment in our employees. We adopt a policy of taking on local people who show a combination of aptitude and attitude. Two thirds of our middle and senior managers are local people who have been with us from a very young age and are now part of the team which has made our Company the success it is today. We recognise these achievements with our “Long Service Awards” for over 20 years’ service held every October.


We pride ourselves on our forward- thinking attitude to staff management, as well as our approachability and accessibility across all levels of employment; from Company Directors to shift workers. We believe in an open-door policy, where staff can state their views, requirements and problems and communicate directly with the highest or most appropriate level of management without fear of repercussion or breach of confidentiality. To this end bi-monthly Partnership Forums are held, members of staff appoint their own representative who airs any issues from each department, and where under a formalised agenda, both financial, environmental, personnel, working conditions and production issues are discussed and pay negotiations and bonus structure agreed. Although members of staff are allowed to be union members this negates the need for Union recognition. We welcome a two-way information flow and encourage staff to discuss their work in a positive, encouraging and pleasant environment for everybody.


We also believe that our success as a Company is due to the hard work and dedication of our employees and aim to reflect this in our stakeholder relationships; after a budget has been set a specific percentage is agreed by staff to act as an annual bonus. We believe in rewarding the hard work of our staff as this continues to engender a positive working relationship and thus improve productivity.


We strive to develop and maintain long-standing relationships with all our suppliers; where many of our competitors shop around for the most cost-effective option at any one time, our preference is to establish a set price over a fixed period with a reliable associate, ensuring lasting, strong business relationships and fair pricing standards. Many of these suppliers are based locally and benefit from the success of our Company.