Milk bottle maker, Nampak, joins new taskforce on employee engagement

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Milk bottle manufacturer, Nampak Plastics, has become one of the first businesses in the UK to be invited onto a new Government-backed taskforce designed to drive employee engagement and is sitting alongside top companies including Sainsbury’s, Lloyds Banking Group and O2. 

The new group calls for every leader and manager across the economy to play their part in tackling the UK’s employee engagement deficit, which is estimated to result in the UK missing out on some £26bn in productivity each year.

The ‘Engage for Success’ launch, backed by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), takes place today (12 November 2012) and is part of a wider initiative committed to the belief employee engagement is the key to a successful business. The group was first launched by the Prime Minister in March 2011.

Nampak is the only small or medium sized enterprise (SME) chosen to attend the launch event, which will discuss how to drive better engagement across company workforces. Each participant is reported to have been selected for their excellent practices in this area to date.

Nampak is the creator of the lightweight Infini plastic milk bottle, which is being adopted by supermarkets as a strong and environmentally friendly form of milk packaging. In the past four years, the business said it has transformed levels of employee engagement through a number of initiatives that encourage employees to contribute to the development of the organisation.

Among these new initiatives were an Employee of the Month scheme; yearly Excellence Awards, where winners are nominated by their colleagues; and a Participate Programme, a scheme designed to develop a new approach to leadership and management and create a sense of collaboration.  

The initiatives are reported to have paid off in a very tangible sense. A survey among staff carried out in 2010 found 80% of the company would recommend Nampak as a great place to work to their family and friends. Furthermore, fostering a culture of innovation directly contributed to the invention of Nampak’s Infini bottle, which reduced the materials used by 15% while maintaining full strength.

Between 2008 and 2011, Nampak reported its turnover increased by 13% – testament to the impact an engaged workforce can have on a business’s bottom line, the company said. In 2010, Nampak was named overall winner of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) People Management Awards, along with the Employee Engagement Award.

Eric Collins, managing director of Nampak Plastics, said: “We are extremely pleased to be part of such a high-profile taskforce that highlights the importance of employee engagement to a company’s bottom line. At Nampak, we have gone on a real employee engagement journey over the last four years which has taken our company from strength to strength, and for this to be recognised at such a high level is testament to our excellent workforce.”

David MacLeod and Nita Clarke, co-chairs of the task force, said: “As the UK faces up to the challenges of recession and global competition, improving productivity and performance among the UK workforce has to be a national priority and central to our country’s growth agenda.

“Leaders at today’s launch understand the importance of employee engagement to the success of their organisations, now and in the future. Engagement is also vital for individual employees’ wellbeing. With such clear evidence about why engagement matters – for individuals, for organisations and for UK plc – there is a huge opportunity to be tapped.

“That is why our voluntary movement is launching a free for use website to help every organisation – big and small – engage with their employees better”.

A website – www.engageforsuccess.org – is also being launched today. It features case studies, tools and techniques on how to better engage employees. The website is a free to use national resource which will help leaders and managers take practical action to engage their people.