When a company’s entire workforce is based in a single office environment the sharing of information, thoughts and ideas within the business can be a very informal process, taking place on a daily basis, often without people being aware that it is actually happening.
However, when staff are spread out across a number of bases, or are involved in a diverse variety of roles, the opportunities for the natural sharing of knowledge and effective communication with colleagues can be far more limited.
With the benefits of experienced work colleagues sharing their skills and expertise with fellow staff members being well documented, companies operating across all sectors are increasingly making a concerted effort to ensure their employees have the opportunity to share knowledge and experience with their peers
One local firm which is working hard to ensure that knowledge sharing and good communication within the business is a key consideration for its growing workforce is Ellon-based manufacturer LFH Engineering.
The company was formed in April as a result of a deal agreed by local businessman, Les Hill, to purchase the pump manufacturing division of Peterhead-based, Terex Powertrain Ltd – a subsidiary of US-based global manufacturing firm, Terex Corporation.
Due to the nature of the company’s work – specialising in the manufacturing of marine diesel engine coolant pumps – employees are spread between office-based jobs such as sales, administration and management and factory-based roles such as engineers and designers.
From day one, the management team at the recently-formed company has strived to ensure that all members of staff are treated as part of one cohesive unit – irrespective of their job title or role within the business.
LFH Engineering Managing Director, Les Hill, is passionate about ensuring the workforce is well integrated, especially after the trials and tribulations of the management buyout which saw him bring a number of staff from his previous employer with him to the newly formed company.
Les explains: “From the outset I wanted every member of staff to buy into what I believed LFH Engineering could achieve no matter what their background or area of work. We looked at a number of ways of achieving this and decided that the best fit for our company was to place one of our most experienced members of staff in a knowledge sharing role.”
Les enlisted the help of Gordon Bott, Design Engineer at LFH Engineering, who had been with Pegson, latterly known as Terex/Pegson for over 40 years, before joining the new company.
Les said: “By involving Gordon in this role we are utilising an invaluable wealth of experience and knowledge of, not only our own company, but the industry in general. Having been responsible for all pump designs at Pegson over the past 25 years, Gordon is really able to bring our products alive for our staff.
“Our primary aim is to show everyone in the company how their specific area of work fits into the overall jigsaw and contributes to the high quality products and services we provide. Taking the time to go right back to basics and show our staff how the products they manufacture work and where they might end up is very important to us.
“Another key aim of the initiative is to ensure our senior management team – a number of who are new to the industry – gain a greater understanding of the business’ history and how we have got to where we are today. We believe this in-depth knowledge increases their core understanding of our industry, marketplace and interaction with customers and will allow them to help move the company forward to greater success.”
Gordon has already facilitated meetings with small groups of staff with sessions covering two areas – product information and company history.
Les added: “Gordon starts the sessions by taking everyone right back to basics – explaining what a coolant pump is, what it does, how it works and any critical areas which are given extra attention during manufacturing and assembly. With Gordon’s unique knowledge he can also explain first hand how aspects of both the industry and the company have changed and shaped where we are today.
“As well as ensuring we all have the depth of knowledge necessary to allow us to focus on our core products and fully understand our customers and their needs I strongly believe these sessions will help us to continue to build a greater team spirit throughout the company, whilst boosting our productivity and pride in our products in the process.”
LFH Engineering is based at Castlepark Industrial Estate, Ellon, currently employs over 40 staff and has an impressive client list including Rolls Royce and Caterpillar.
For further information about LFH Engineering please call 01358 726 310 or email firstname.lastname@example.org