National timber manufacturer RML launch employee engagement programme to unify teams in lockdown

As the UK recently went into lockdown and it would be likely a number of their staff would be away from work, Robinson Manufacturing Ltd (RML) CEO Simon Kidney made it his priority to keep employees engaged with the business. This is building on the work RML have already done over recent years to make staff feel like they are part of a larger team, with the business almost doubling overnight following the acquisition of National Hickman’s flooring business at the start of 2019.

Therefore, it has been even more important to unify teams in lockdown when factories are hundreds of miles apart across the UK. A goal for RML has been to maintain the family values which the company was built on, as they celebrated their founder Tim Robinson’s birthday recently. Tim sadly passed away last year.

The resulting programme – which started off with a vlog sent out by Simon to all staff on 24th March – has snowballed into a daily vlog, sent to all staff together with a range of challenges, activities and resources to help employees stuck at home for an extended period, designed to support them mentally and physically through the lockdown. As well as keeping their minds active, consistent communication has given employees peace of mind through being aware of any developments, as well as encouraging communication between employees from different sites. A weekly staff survey has also helped identify and address concerns among staff in lockdown.

Simon has been the driving force behind this programme, commenting: “It’s always a challenge to make sure that everyone feels like part of the team in a multi-site business and it’s gratifying to see our proactivity is already paying off.

“As we start to call our staff back in to work as our customers reopen sites, we are seeing the benefit of a workforce that have stayed strongly engaged with the business.”

Having built this new level of engagement, the company is now looking at how to maintain some of these activities into the future beyond COVID-19.

Receiving excellent feedback and engagement from employees – over 80% of staff engage with the programme every day - has ensured staff have been returning to work with better working relationships and an increased morale in the knowledge that they are valued. There can often be a disconnect between production and office staff in the construction industry, which RML have overcome through this programme.

With employees’ safety a main priority, teams are now gradually returning to work and RML are responding to customers’ increasing needs as housebuilding resumes. Keeping customers informed on LinkedIn, RML have shown their first deliveries leaving factories since production restarted.

Although RML’s Customer Experience Team have been contactable throughout the lockdown period and have received consistent levels of calls, teams are now looking forward to increasing communication and production.

For further updates, follow Robinson Manufacturing Ltd on LinkedIn or visit their website for regular blogs and any sales enquiries.