Last month’s Textile Services Association (TSA) Spring Conference was the launchpad for the results of a study conducted by the Association in an effort find out how the textile care industry compares with others. The results of this culture study are an encouraging shot in the arm at a time when recruitment and staff retention is high on the wish list for laundry businesses. It was also a change to catch up on other work by the People Steering Group.

Emma Andersson, TSA director, finance and membership, heading up the People Steering Group, reported: “We have recently carried out a culture study to see how our industry compares with others. We had a great number of people completing the survey with over 500 completions…And from those we also randomly selected five lucky winners who have all been given a £50 voucher as a thank you for participating.”

Andersson reported that more than 80% of industry values are perceived as “healthy”. “Overall, the results of the survey were very positive, and we came out with a really good score. One of the results from the survey showed that over 80% of values selected were healthy which indicates that we have a happy work culture overall within our industry, which is great.

“Also, Brands with Values, with which we conducted the study has completed a similar survey in partnership with CBI members who represent many of the UK PLCs so this has given us a good comparison to see how we measure up to them…and overall, we are healthier.

“The study showed that Community is the most important value to employees within our industry. This is lovely as it is the safeguarding and improvement of the welfare of people. This is something I have really noticed since I have joined the industry how down to earth and kind everyone is…

“Other words which also stood out were Honesty, Friendly, Loyal, Respectful and Polite.

“This can help guide us what things employees like to see within their workplace. Overall, the top three values selected across different job roles were very similar which shows employees across your companies regardless of their job title think the same values are important.”

Unhealthy values
Andersson said the survey showed the top unhealthy values facing the industry were demanding and long hours, which did not come as big surprise, and were more common for supervisors, production managers and driver/engineers.

“This may highlight the need to focus on the employees in these jobsto ensure they are looked after and is a focus area for the People Steering Group. These were also highlighted by the UK PLCs in their study. However, we only had two unhealthy words in the top 10 compared to UK PLCs which had four.”

“Do employees within our industry feel welcomed, accepted and part of their organisation? Are their personal values matched to the workplace values.? These values are why we get out of bed in the morning, and the question here is are they met at work? On this score, we have a slightly lower sense of belonging when compared to the UK PLCs overall with a 61% score.However, this is still defined as a good sense of belonging but definitely something we can improve on.”

Recruitment webinars
“We have also had multiple webinars with TotalJobs to look at the current recruitment issues but more importantly how you can ensure to be attractive on the job market to potential employees. This is an area we will keep an eye on and see if there are other things we can do at the TSA to help showcase why people should come and work in our industry. The positive results from the culture study shown previously could be a good marketing tool for us all to use.”

People Steering Group
“We had our first meeting last month and discussed the data collection we as the TSA should be doing following the culture study. Similar to the work the H&S group has done it will help pinpoint which areas we should be focusing on. Without the data we can only make assumptions, whereas with the data it can help guide us in the right direction. We would like to continue with some sort of culture study or engagement study and we will work with the Steering Group to understand which platform would be the best as it may be that it needs to be multi-lingual and a little simpler to complete.”

Mental health
“One of the other topics highlighted was mental health and this is an area the group is going to carry on developing to ensure we are providing guidance and support for the membership.

“We will be running some courses either online or in-person depending on preference.

“The plan is to start off with a one-day Line Manager Awareness course this summer to help equip your teams with skills so that they can help spot the signs of someone who might be struggling and how to handle those situations within the workplace.

“Then, later in the year, we plan to host a two-day course for anyone who would like to become a Mental Health First Aider.”

More reports follow