Employee Engagement

Business Principles

Our people are treated with dignity, ensuring that each individual has a voice.

We engage our workforce with the business through our Employee Open Forums, Structured Suggestion Schemes and Employee Recognition Schemes.


Job satisfaction is not just about an income, but about employees feeling that they contribute to the development of the organisation. Sharing ideas and successes leads to a more motivated workforce and loyalty. We believe that every employee should have their say in the future of our business.

Progress to Date

Business objectives and related Key Performance Indicators are documented at both a departmental and individual level to ensure that each employee understands how their role contributes to the wider business strategy.

We hold monthly Employee Open Forums with representation from all areas to discuss current issues that affect the business.

Our structured Employee Suggestion Scheme provides a channel for employees to communicate their ideas for improvement, and receive reward and recognition for their efforts to continually innovate and improve the way that we work.

Our Employee Recognition Schemes reward high performing employees for exceeding Company expectations.

Annually for each department, we run Team Building days to allow all members of the workforce direct access to the Directors to let their views be shared.

Annually we perform an Employee Satisfaction Survey – which we use to assess our progress.

Delivery Goals

We will actively promote our employee communication channels and encourage participation from all.

We continue to seek feedback from our workforce to improve our processes and ensure communication is relevant.

We look for more ways to recognise individuals and groups that are going the extra mile to contribute to the success of our business.


Business Principle

We support our staff with the provision of both internal and externally accredited training.


The local community faces its challenges in tough economic times. Training provision by the Company will enable employees to progress their careers and have a positive impact on the local community in which they live and work.

Progress to Date

We have Gold accreditation from ‘Investors in People’ for our commitment to training and developing our employees.

We offer our Managers the opportunity to gain externally accredited leadership and development in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Management.

We are committed to the structured development of our apprentices’ team and offer a wide range of development opportunities to improve their employability skills. These courses are also available to the wider workforce.

Delivery Goals

We will ensure that our Managers continue to develop through our Management Training Programme, to reach their full potential.

We will continue to offer job-related training opportunities and skills development, to ensure that we raise the bar with our employee objectives.

Development & Succession Plan

Business Principle

We will promote the development of the entire workforce and support this with the use of a departmental training matrix. Additionally we will provide accredited training for all of our managers and key staff.


The creation of career opportunities is a practical way in which our business can have an impact on their community. Individuals benefit from training and qualifications which support local people to progress their careers.

Progress to Date

We measure the number of vacancies we fill internally, and have set ourselves a target of 80%.

Awarded a Gold accreditation from ‘Investors in People’ for our commitment to improving our business through our people.

We have a structured Student Placement programme, offering 12 months work experience opportunities to university students across a range of disciplines.

Each department has a skills matrix which serves to develop individuals to specific standards.

Delivery Goals

We will continue to develop our people, to enable them to achieve their work objectives.

Each individual will be encouraged to develop his or her potential, both personally and professionally, so that lifelong learning is supported and encouraged for all.

Employee Retention

Business Principle

We develop our people in an inclusive environment driven by our Corporate Values, to encourage them to develop their career and grow within our business.


Skills shortages and cost of training new employees mean that retaining our existing people makes good financial sense. Investing in our people is a huge key to our success. Our employees value job security more than ever and it is our responsibility to create long-term opportunities and build a local skill base.

Progress to Date

We ensure that everyone at Stateside Foods can apply for flexible working, as a work life/balance creates a more productive workplace.

Initiatives are used to improve retention, such as our ‘Buddy System’ to help new starters with ‘on boarding’, a comprehensive Induction Programme, an Employee Open Forum and Suggestion Scheme, several Employee Reward and Recognition initiatives, and ‘Exit Interviewing’ to understand the root cause of departure.

Length of Service is a critical Key Performance Indicator in our business with 31% of our workforce having worked for us for 5 years or more, with 12% of those having worked for us for over 10 years.

Delivery Goals

We will work with our colleagues to understand their aspirations and help them progress in their careers.

We will continue to recognise and reward long-term service.

We aim to increase the proportion of the workforce with long service.

Employee Futures

Business Principle

We help to secure the future of our employees by contributing generously to their pensions.


With an aging population, it is more important than ever before to secure the futures of our workforce.

Progress to Date

We have developed a strategy to increase the employer contribution towards our salaried employee’s pensions. We have implemented a pension benefit structure based upon career progression.

We are a contributor to the Government backed Workplace Pension Scheme.

Delivery Goals

We will continue to contribute to the pension of all our employees and will actively promote the benefits of automatic enrolment.

We actively encourage our employees to contribute to their own pension.

We provide free expert pensions advice and debt management counselling for all employees with the objective of promoting financial security for all our employees into the future.

We have a long term objective to contribute at an enhanced rate to all our employees’ pension funds.


Business Principle

We aim to improve the health and wellbeing of our workforce, by helping them lead a healthy lifestyle.


Current dietary habits and sedentary lifestyles creates economic problems within the business and society as a whole.

Physical activity is vital for a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle. A healthy workforce brings social and economic benefits. The challenge to increase participation is to ensure that facilities are accessible by removing barriers.

Progress to Date

We actively promote a balanced lifestyle for all of our workforce with benefits such as;

  • Company funded free corporate gym membership
  • Occupational Health
  • Physiotherapy
  • Social events to allow networking, such as our annual free Family Fun Day – open to all employees and their families and friends
  • Childcare vouchers
  • Cycle scheme
  • Long service awards
  • Pension
  • Subsidised canteen facilities
  • Discounted legal advice and products
  • Perkbox – employee benefits package
  • Counselling services
  • Company savings scheme
  • Free eye tests
  • Company sick pay
  • Gifts for new arrivals and newly weds
  • Death in service benefits
  • Compassionate leave

Delivery Goals

We will continue to actively promote our employee wellbeing initiatives and encourage participation from all employees.

We will continue to seek feedback from our employees to improve our processes and ensure that the initiatives remain relevant.

Graduate Scheme & Apprenticeships

Business Principle

We promote career development throughout our workforce and support this with a scheme for the recruitment of graduates and the provision of apprenticeships across the whole business.


We recognise the shortage of skilled and able people entering the food industry in the UK. To tackle this we have developed systems to provide us with a pipeline of new talent.
Individuals hugely benefit from first-rate training and externally recognised qualifications to increase professionalism and support participants to progress their career.

Progress to Date

We have a history of providing apprenticeship opportunities across a variety of disciplines. All our apprentices gain formal qualifications, alongside work experience, without the worry of paying tuition fees.

Our chartered management apprentice scheme ensures that apprentices are given experience in all areas of our business, so that they can make an informed decision when choosing their career path with us.

We support our apprentices with a structured development programme to equip them with the skills to succeed in business.

We are one of the first companies to offer a degree level apprenticeship. If this is obtained, the student will during the course of the degree achieve a CMI Level 5 qualification also.

We also recruit student trainees, offering experience to students in their “sandwich year”. Many of these return to the business as full-time employees following graduation.

Delivery Goals

We will develop more apprenticeship opportunities across the business, offering a ‘debt free’ route to professional qualifications. All apprentices work to gain formal qualifications.

We are looking to broaden our apprenticeship offering to many more business disciplines.

A Graduate recruitment policy will ensure that where possible we can recruit high calibre individuals and offer them a rewarding career path.

Temporary Labour

Business Principle

To employ temporary labour fairly and ethically under the regulation of the Agency Worker Regulations.


We have periodic requirements to employ additional resources. We work closely with our key agency supplier of temporary labour. Temporary labour forms a key part of our flexibility.

Progress to Date

The Stateside Foods temporary staff supplier is audited every 3 months to ensure that relevant document checks and induction paperwork have been correctly completed for each worker.

We also check that workers are not being exploited in any way, in line with Government legislation.

All workers are subject to UK legislation and we adhere to the Agency Workers Directive which was introduced in 2012.

Delivery Goals

We will continue to provide all temporary workers with up to date information on our terms and conditions so that we can ensure that an agency worker receives equal treatment to an employee carrying out the same role.

We need to remain vigilant to ensure this high profile area is well managed.


Business Principle

Stateside Foods operates without discrimination and embraces diversity; this is reflected in all that we do. We are proud of our multi-cultural workforce – employing over 30 different nationalities within our business.


Stateside Foods is committed to the principle of equal opportunity in employment. Accordingly, our employment policies for recruitment, selection, training development and promotion are designed to ensure that no job applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment on any grounds other than performance.

Progress to Date

Stateside Foods is committed to an equal opportunities & diversity policy and will assess applicants’ suitability for a position fairly without regard to gender, disability, marital status, race, colour, nationality origins or any other criteria not related to work performance.

Our employee engagement surveys are specifically designed to allow us to evaluate our business practices and ensure that we are operating in a non-discriminatory way.

We are committed to the regular provision of employee discussion groups to establish how we can best support our culturally diverse workforce.

Delivery Goals

We will continue to monitor our processes and ensure that we provide equality of opportunity for all.

We will continue to develop people based on skill, ability and potential, and encourage the benefits of diversity.

Health & Safety

Business Principle

We aim to have industry leading standards of occupational safety and health for our employees, visitors and contractors at our factories.


In a complex manufacturing environment with many people, it is essential that robust processes are in place to identify and control risk.

Progress to Date

We regularly conduct detailed Health & Safety and risk management assessments, inspections and audits. These audits have resulted in a considerable reduction in our accident rates over the last 3 years.

In 2014 we have achieved OHSAS 18001 accreditation. We exceed the standards set by OHSAS 18001 and work to continually improve our performance.

We work closely with our insurers throughout our business to help us to develop our sites and our practices to manage risk.

Stateside is involved in the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) Food Manufacturing Forum by providing a representative through our membership of the Chilled Food Association.

We operate in a Continuous Improvement environment through which we strive to continually reduce the Health & Safety risks present in our business.

We also have strong procedures in place to protect our workforce against occupational health risks.

Delivery Goals

The safety and wellbeing of our workforce has to remain of paramount importance to us. For this reason we will continue to strive for improvement.