Listawood - A view from a small business

With a workforce of around 200 people, Listawood are a manufacturer of promotional giveaways such as ceramic mugs, fridge magnets and mouse pads.  The recent recession has resulted in a greater level of scrutiny being placed on the discretionary budgets used by organisations for such items, and this combined with increased competition from emerging low wage economies has placed enormous strain on their sector.

As part of their performance management framework, Listawood regularly survey their employees to measure staff satisfaction.  The company are aware that they do not offer the best salary levels in the area – indeed only 56% of staff surveyed felt their pay was competitive when compared with other employers locally.  Their deep rooted culture of flexibility is, on the other hand, well recognised by staff:

  • 97% of staff felt the company offered better opportunities for work life balance than other employers in the area.
  • 96% agreed that any request for flexible working would be fairly considered.
  • 97% said they would be able to get time off at short notice if they needed to.

Staff turnover at the company is remarkably low – only a fraction of a percent per annum.  Listawood argue that their culture of flexibility and support of those needing to balance their home and work lives, often at short notice, is a significant driver of staff retention.

Losing highly trained staff is incredibly disruptive in any business. In the sales environment it fractures customer relationships which can result in reduced levels of business, and in the factory it compromises manufacturing efficiency. On top of this you then have to bear the costs associated with recruitment and training for their replacement. We are in no doubt that our staff retention levels are driven by our attitude to work life balance rather than the generosity of our remuneration packages. This makes it possible for us to remain competitive and profitable in a highly competitive market, even during these unusually difficult trading conditions.
Alex, Managing Director.