Skegness production transfer and its effects on the staff
As the Skegness confectionery factory was closed in March 2014 and part of its production was transferred to another UK location, Raisio hoped to have as many employees as possible to move to Leicester. However, only about ten did. Most of them stayed in Skegness mainly for family reasons. The recruitment of new employees went well and all the vacancies were filled within the time given. Some 70 new employees were recruited in Leicester.
As always in projects of this size, the recruitment process was challenging. The challenges were not linked to the transfer or recruitment but were due to the culture as well as terms and conditions that people were brought into. After lengthy negotiations with employees and trade unions, Raisio was able to reach an agreement regarding the terms and conditions for new employees.
Some colleagues who moved from Skegness to Leicester have already been promoted into new positions at the site. Raisio made sure that all employees had all the help and support they needed to enable them to relocate successfully with their families.
Flexible communication extremely important
Quite a few people commented afterwards that there should have been a focus group comprising of current and new colleagues to deal with, e.g., challenges related to employment. As an end result of the project, Raisio now has a committed staff forum that is able to work together with the Trade Union.
Even though employees and their families were offered support throughout the process, more time for activities improving the relocation of Skegness employees should have been reserved. In the future, Raisio will also be able to better define the resources that are the most significant in terms of the transferred production.
In 2015, Raisio will be focusing on themes concerning the work safety and job satisfaction. The company is well on our way towards a unified factory culture.