Mr. Fothergill's is one of the leading seed manufacturers in the UK and Europe, supplying over 3000 garden centres, shops and retail outlets. The company has been operating since 1978 when the whole company was trading out of a disused stable block in the former Newmarket home of American-British socialite Lillie Langtry.
Today Mr. Fothergill's operates out of a purpose-built headquarters, including their own seed laboratory, on the outskirts of Newmarket. From here, they supply both domestic and international stockists with more than 250 types of seeds; from daffodils to garlic and cactus to apple trees.
The site is home to over 150 staff, working across the offices, packing & storage buildings, seed lab and canteen. Every member of the Mr. Fothergill's family has access to Weekly10.
James Nutt is Logistics Operations Manager at Mr. Fothergill's and works closely with fellow senior managers at Mr Fothergills on the employee experience as well as performance management processes. We sat down with James to get his view on how Weekly10 has benefitted the Mr Fothergills team.
What was the need for Weekly10?
“The annual performance review has always been a bit of a talking point here” says James. “There has historically always been a great deal of reluctance from staff in getting them to fully engage and for our mangers to produce targeted, effective reviews that actually do go on to shape performance across the upcoming year”.
“We thought about this, for a number of years, and I investigated how to make our performance review process better. From that, what we realised, was that actually what we’re doing at performance review time is pretty good, but what we’re not doing is not paying enough attention to continuous feedback and utilising that process to help us measure and improve the engagement of our employees”.
“Once we had identified that a focus on frequent feedback and two-way communication with the teams was what we were lacking, that’s when I came across Weekly10”.
How have staff reacted to this frequent feedback cycle offered by Weekly10?
“The reaction from the teams here has been fantastic. We have remote workers, on the road, factory workers who don’t have their own work email as well as the guys in the office. Thanks to the flexible options offered up by Weekly10, they are all partaking in the Weekly10 process. Everyone is engaging which is just brilliant to see”
What are your favourite features of Weekly10?
“Personally, I love seeing where colleagues have recognised and mentioned other people. They are all doing it, one person recognises someone and that then encourages the recognised staff member to think about if there is someone who they should be giving kudos to. It’s simple and builds morale fantastically.”
“Sentiment analysis is another key element for me. What we’ve never really known before is the feeling within the company. Are we having a good day or a bad day is something we’ve always wanted to know and with your software’s analytics we can really dive into that and track trends over time. The ability to measure the impact of certain events on our staff’s experience is just brilliant.”
What results are you seeing?
“People are happier and engagement scores continue to grow. Staff are actually coming up to us and telling us how much of an impact it’s having and we can see that mirrored in the trend analysis. From an operational point of view, the average time it takes our managers to prepare for annual reviews has dropped by 80% which is a huge cost saving in both time and money.