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‘Xpanding’ horizons at logistics firm

Most businesses have a business plan. But do you have a people plan? Your employees are the people who are going to help you drive forward your business strategy, so what is the plan for them?

This is the question that Xpand Logistics, the international freight, and logistics specialist, wanted to address last year. The Surrey-based company was just about to celebrate 20 years in business and was at the stage in its growth trajectory where it needed a people strategy to help meet its goals.

Why bring in a Portfolio People Director?

The senior team saw that having access to a highly experienced People Director a couple of days per month would be more cost effective than hiring a full-time HR Director. So, in May 2019, Andy Craig from People Puzzles began working with the team to shape and drive its strategic vision.

People Puzzles helped Xpand Logistics in the following areas:

Boosting employee engagement with training and enhanced employee benefits
Upskilling managers with training and mentoring for the senior leaders
Shaping a people strategy with strong vision and values
Reducing staff turnover and bringing the annual recruitment spend down to £30k from £70k

Boosting employee engagement

Andy helped to improve employee engagement with several value-added, cost effective initiatives such as introducing an e-learning program for staff along with several workshops on topics such as promoting a growth mindset.

To increase staff retention, Andy brought in an improved employee offering with a health cash plan and improved holiday entitlements.

Upskilling managers

One of Andy’s first tasks was to resolve several sensitive employee relation challenges that needed addressing. Once these were dealt with in a fair and compassionate way, Andy set about upskilling the line managers. He organized training in performance management, carrying out appraisals and interviewing skills.

Having Andy at the end of the phone has been particularly valuable to the senior team in recent months when dealing with the unprecedented challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. He has advised on furloughing staff, has run webinars on home working and helped to create a safe working plan. Not only that, Andy increased capacity by bringing in and mentoring an HR administrator to deal with the day-to-day people processes.

Shaping a people strategy

All of this work has been the result of having a people strategy, which Andy helped the business to shape in line with the business’s vision, strategy and core values – working closely with the senior team. Andy helped to lead a ‘strategy day’ back in September to bring everyone on board and has been focused on delivering it ever since.

Recruitment savings

The staff engagement initiatives have really helped in retaining staff. In the last year Xpand Logistics’ voluntary turnover rate has reduced from 18.4% to 9.4%, saving the company approximately £15k in replacing staff. In fact, the amount of money spent in total on recruitment has reduced from £70k to £30k.

‘A real difference’

More generally, however, the interventions brought about by People Puzzles have made a tangible impact on the business – to the delight of the senior team. ‘Andy has made significant contributions over that last 12 months which has made a real difference to the company,’ confirms Xpand’s Operations Director Nigel Clark.

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