Berkshire-based kitchens business MacFarlane Telfer has recovered from the devastating impact of the credit crunch to be recognised at the CBI People Awards this week for its “exemplary” and “thoughtful” people management.MacFarlane Telfer designs, installs and maintains commercial kitchens for organisations. Following the economic downturn, it had to close its metalworking business. While managing this painful process of redundancy, the directors had also to hold up staff morale in the rest of the business. Retirement consultations were held, and people were offered help in future career planning; indeed 75 per cent of laid-off staff have been assisted in starting their own business, through sessions with the company FD and Business Link seminars. Since closure of the workshop, three new businesses have been supported by the firm and turnover at MacFarlane has increased.Judges at the CBI People Awards – including CBI chief policy director Katja Hall – said this was exemplary change management, led from the top. Receiving the “Growing Business” award from Jeremy Sutton of 3 Minute Mile, managing director Christopher Craggs acknowledged that the process had been painful, but was proud to have maintained the firm’s progress and growth. Other winners at the awards – attended by Employment Relations Minister Ed Davey – were Mitchells & Butlers (Change Management); Alumet Systems (Green Strategy); GKN (International People Engagement & Grand Prix award); Sainsbury’s (Skills for the Future); Tameside Hospital (Value in the Public Sector). The CBI People Awards were supported by Real Business; Harvey Nash; 3 Minute Mile; Benenden Healthcare Society; and Worldskills London 2011.
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