Burton’s boss: staff engagement is the ‘golden ticket’

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

The boss of Burton’s Biscuit Co’s iconic Edinburgh factory is on a quest to find the “golden ticket” of unlocking employee engagement and improving site performance.

Factory manager Alan Goldie claimed to be on a journey to reorganise working processes at the 24,000m2​ factory, which employs 440 people.

In an exclusive video interview, Goldie told Food Manufacture​ that through a new factory zoning system, employees were being encouraged “to take ownership of the workplace”​.

“At the very beginning of the introduction of zoning, we will sit with the employees affected in the area, and we will talk to them about what we would like to do, and get their input to shape the role around it,”​ he explained.

‘Employees to take ownership’

“It’s difficult to quantify ​[zoning] but on a superficial level, one of the key requirements is for the employees to take ownership of the hygiene and housekeeping of their working area. Our standards have increased dramatically.”

The Burton’s factory produces 7.5 million biscuits a day, including shortbread, digestives and chocolate-covered items. Savoury bagged snacks are also made at the site.

“I joined Burton’s in early 2015, and in the last two years the main change has been a reformulation of our strategy,”​ Goldie said. “We have a very clear strategy now, focusing on not only our brands, but our retailer partner brands, our global brands, and also our co-manufacturer brands.”

A culture-shift

To read more about how Burton’s Edinburgh site has used a combination of motivation and technology to create a culture-shift and improve performance – part of our Me and My Team​ series of profiles – order your copy of the May issue of ​Food Manufacture ​magazine​.

Meanwhile, in another exclusive video interview​, the founders of Malton-based pie, pastry and sausage roll specialist The Original Baker explain how a confident and passionate workforce is key to creating great products.

Related topics: People, Bakery, Skills Gap

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1 comment

Engagement is the "Gold Ticket" for many companies

Posted by Bill Fotsch,

Great article, particularly the focus on ownership and results. Industry leaders, like Southwest Airlines, Capital One, BHP Billiton, and hundreds of private companies empower employees to think and act like owners, driving and participating in the profitable growth of the company. They provide challenges, not perks. Their employee engagement and financial results speak for themselves. These Forbes and Harvard Business Review articles provide more background:

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