Our People and Culture
Our primary strategic objective (see Strategic Objectives) specifically identifies investment in our people as a key driver of competitive advantage. We are committed to a culture that encourages the training, development, wellbeing and participation of every team member.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a severe effect on our business in 2020. We are pleased to report that we pursued a people-led approach throughout this very difficult time. Our first priority was to attend to the immediate health threat to our team members. In addition, we resolved at an early stage to retain all of our team members on the payroll, staying true to the culture that has been essential to our success over many years. Keeping our team members in their jobs clearly involved short-term investment, but we are certain that this approach was the right thing to do and has affirmed and strengthened the culture which is essential to our success over the long term.
Communication and participation
Business objectives and performance updates are typically shared with team members via quarterly briefings with the CEO. As a direct consequence of the spread of COVID-19, with many team members working from home and larger gatherings not being possible, the quarterly in-person updates were replaced by more regular detailed and informative email updates from the CEO. These updates offered timely assurance about the priorities in the business looking forward including the plan to keep the entire team intact and paid even during times when the business was essentially closed.
All team members are eligible to participate in a quarterly ‘gain share’ bonus plan that is based on the achievement of tangible, clearly communicated performance targets. In 2020 financial challenges driven by economic circumstances meant that no ‘gain share’ bonus was earned; however, we look forward to re-establishing pay-outs under this popular plan.
Our Oshkosh-based North American business has, for twelve consecutive years, been included on the prestigious Great Place To Work list of the Best Small & Medium Workplaces in the USA. In 2020, following many years of growth, the business has moved up into contention for the 2021 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® list. Our UK-based business maintains its Investors in People accreditation. We are very proud of these accolades, which are indicative of team members who go above and beyond every day to help each other, to provide our customers with remarkable service and to give back to their communities because they know and believe that it is the right thing to do.
We strongly support a lifetime of learning. Throughout the year we offer a wide variety of training classes, courses and other learning opportunities.
Training of new team members teaches essential job-specific skills, as well as covering other soft skills and a grounding in the 4imprint philosophy. Newly hired Customer Service Representatives usually undertake an intensive six-week induction programme with in-person sales trainers, followed by two weeks of ‘on-the-floor’ exposure taking live customer orders before being assigned to their new teams. In 2020 the training team was faced with an especially challenging situation as the usual customer service training schedule was cut short by the first ‘lockdown’ order. The team was able to react quickly to circumstances, setting up work from home capacity and putting in place remote support for the new Customer Service Representatives, who completed their training and subsequently joined their assigned teams remotely.
Since the original ‘lockdown’ order, the majority of our office-based team members have been working from home temporarily. The training team was able to transfer almost seamlessly to virtual learning, using the very effective online learning management system already in place. Team members whose time was under-utilised due to COVID-19 were able to use their time well by taking advantage of professional development training sessions, including mandatory classes on ‘Unconscious Bias’, ‘Harassment’, ‘Bystander Intervention’, ‘Active Shooter Training’, and multiple classes on ‘Cyber Security’. In addition, we revamped our online course curriculum and compiled almost 100 online classes that team members could enrol in and complete from home. A wide variety of topics is covered in our professional development training. Since in-person classes were put on hold indefinitely due to COVID-19, we have worked on transferring some in-class training classes to a webinar format, enabling remote participation in the sessions.
Typically, we encourage our team members to take a holistic approach to their personal development, offering classes on understanding personality types, stress management and relaxation techniques, cultural diversity, emotional intelligence and other related topics. In the COVID-19 environment, we quickly realised that team members needed help with more immediate topics, so our training team developed a series of classes to make working remotely easier and less challenging. Classes included ‘Wearing a Face Mask While on the Phone’, ‘Tips for a Successful Phone Interview’, ‘Video Conference Etiquette’, ‘Microsoft Teams’, ‘Managing Remote Teammates’, ‘Working Remotely’, ‘Communicating While Wearing a Face Mask’ and ‘DiSC – People Reading’.
Professional development remains a priority. A leadership programme includes roundtables, book discussions and development of management techniques. These activities have been adapted where possible to the remote work setting. The pursuit of external educational opportunities and professional qualifications is supported through our popular tuition reimbursement programme.
The welfare of our team members is further addressed through a competitive benefits package, including strong medical, dental and retirement plans. We also offer resource aimed at personal financial wellbeing through classes and meetings (many virtual in 2020) with specialist advisors covering financial planning, budgeting, tax matters and retirement planning.
Many of the usual workplace perks and activities that differentiate the 4imprint workplace have been curtailed due to COVID-19. In response, our team came up with a variety of other activities. For example, over the years pet ownership has emerged as a very important part of the lives of many of our team members. In 2020 we were able to add an animal adoption reimbursement programme under which team members are eligible to receive up to $100 to adopt an animal from a rescue shelter. This perk has proved to be very popular, and as an added bonus several 4imprint teammates have gone on to become volunteers at these animal shelters.
We understand the importance and beneficial effect of diversity within our Company, and we aim to foster a culture that recruits, develops and promotes team members regardless of background. We are committed to the principle of equal opportunity in employment, and no applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of nationality, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, race, ethnicity or disability. We recognise our responsibility to disabled persons and endeavour to assist them to make their full contribution at work. Where team members become disabled, every practical effort is made to allow them to retrain for suitable alternative work.
At 2 January 2021 the Group employed 1,144 team members. Female representation at the management level increased over 2019.
Headcount (permanent and temporary employees):
Management (employees who operate at a senior level in the Group):
Board (4imprint Group plc Board members):