Evidence Case Study: Whale
The following case study was provided as part of the evidence for the effectiveness of employee engagement strategies in improving performance, productivity and, in the private sector profitability. It has been used cumulatively with other submissions compiled by many leading companies and organisations to leave little room for doubt about the statistical importance of engaging employees.
This particular case study is an additional support to The Evidence Paper.
Whale designs, manufactures and markets a range of water system products, including pumps, water and space heaters, taps, plumbing systems and a wide range of associated accessories in the Marine & Caravan markets worldwide, together with pumped shower drainage systems for use in domestic applications. The company employs 141 people and operates from 2 sites in Northern Ireland. It has an office and distribution centre in the USA together with offices in the UK, France, and Sweden.
Employee engagement was dire as an aftermath of having a dictatorial leader for a number of years and people were often in fear of losing their jobs. Following a change of leadership a new business manifesto was set in motion. They established a Vision, Mission, and Values and they realised that it was important to lead by example and live out the values: ‘Radiate Passion’, ‘Integrity in all we do’, ‘Strive for Excellence’, and ‘Respect for Individuals’. A Senior Management Team was put in place that shared and adopted the values and gradually the culture changed – good and relevant communication was at the forefront of this change.
Employees are happier in the jobs. Absenteeism is approximately 1.7% where previously it was 5.6%. Staff turnover is 5.6% against the previous figure of circa 47%. Very few people leave to go to another job – it is generally through retirement or for some personal reason. Employees trust management and have confidence in them to be treated fairly, grow the business and sustain employment.
Customers, suppliers and other visitors always comment on the great people Whale have and the positive culture that exists throughout the company. Applicants who attend job interviews invariably remark on the good feeling they get when they come in to the company.