After a tough 18 months, an Ipswich company has rewarded its team with bacon rolls on a decking area opened by Ipswich Town manager Paul Cook, and a car park party.
Magnus Group Ltd, a road haulage, warehousing and freight forwarding business, is based in Great Blakenham and Felixstowe.
When asked how Magnus has been so successful over the past two years, despite the challenges of a global pandemic and Brexit, CEO Olly Magnus is clear on the answer – teamwork. “We have increased our warehousing from 118,000 sq. ft to 355,000 sq. ft. Our team has increased by 165% and we have opened a new freight forwarding office in Felixstowe.”
Olly attributes the growth of Magnus to the team, adding: “I believe in everyone having a voice and being heard. Every single person in the Magnus team is listened to and adds value. We have outstanding talent in our senior team and I trust them completely.”
Road haulage traditionally is not known for its high level of staff welfare. One of the issues being blamed for the current lack of drivers in the industry is the working conditions and poor staff management. Magnus is determined to show that it is different.
Emma Lightfoot joined the team a year ago as Head of People and Culture. She has since introduced a staff newsletter, started a monthly H&S Group, updated the Staff Handbook, and improved Induction. A Well-Being service has been introduced not only for staff members but for their immediate family, too, to provide emotional and well-being support.
“Over the next twelve months we will be introducing formal six monthly 1-2-1 meetings for all office-based staff, and look at improving engagement through a mentoring and coaching scheme,” explains Emma. “I want to look at perhaps setting up a running club, and more outdoor physical activities during breaks, and bring the teams together more.
“Olly has introduced some big changes over the past 12 months, and we need to make sure we bring people together and have the support structures in place to create a great culture in which to work.
“The freight, logistics and warehousing industry doesn’t always have a great reputation for staff welfare. We want to lead the change not only for haulage companies in Suffolk but in the country and show people that it is a great career to follow.”
A new decking area has been built providing a space for outdoor catering and getting the team together.
“I wanted to create a space where staff would relax and recharge during the day, but that we could use for events and fun,” explains Olly. “The Paul Magnus Watering Hole” was created: a decking area with seating and a bar, giving views over the pond, surrounded by colourful planting. It provides a relaxed rest area for the team and is used for meetings, lunch breaks and after work socials.
Paul Cook, the manager of Ipswich Town Football club, was invited to officially open the new decking area as part of the summer party event. The whole team got together for an evening of music and food.
The decking is also being used to get the drivers together on a Friday with bacon sandwiches. “Bacon Roll Friday”, held on the new staff decking area once a month, gives the drivers, warehouse and office staff the opportunity to get together once a month.
“This is just a small token from us to show our team we appreciate them, and give people the chance to get together and have a catch up,” explains Olly.