When I was young all my friends’ parents worked in Letchworth Garden City – and almost all of them for just four companies. My father worked for the same company for 40 years before he retired. These days people are more mobile and have the potential to change jobs regularly so building staff loyalty is a challenge for many businesses.
This year FB Chain will celebrate 30 years of business in the UK. Like many companies we have seen people come and go but have a core of staff who have given consistently excellent service over a long period of time – I myself began work at FB Chain in 1989. So this month we are holding our first long service awards for seven staff who have a combined length of service of 132 years. New staff have brought new skills and energy to our team in recent years but our long-serving staff have played a very important role.
Staff need time to adjust to the culture within our company. The longer they work for us the better they understand this culture and the more familiar they are with our guidelines and working practices. We have found great success in moving staff, who have spent a while in our organisation and know all the ins and outs of the company, to new roles. They have contributed quickly and effectively – and the chance to develop is also a good reason for them to stay and be engaged.
Furthermore, as a sales organization we operate within a few specific niches and pride ourselves on having ‘geek’ level knowledge that helps our customers get the most from our products and services. Developing this specialist knowledge also takes time. It can take around a year before sales staff reach a competent level and even then there are applications that come up so infrequently it can be many years before staff are fully comfortable in their role. Our promise to deliver the best possible service and advice for our customers requires knowledge, experience and energy – and our long-serving staff enable us to keep this promise. We are very grateful for their commitment and support!