Factory Gears Up to Share Culture Change Success

Article excerpt

Byline: BY TONY McDONOUGH Deputy Business Editor

GEARBOX maker Getrag Ford is aiming to help six small firms in Merseyside under a new mentoring scheme.

In 2002, the company introduced its Blue Sky initiative with the aim of making the plant a better place in which to work.

The hope was that the improvements would lead to a better motivated workforce.

The scheme was so successful that Halewood-based Getrag now wants to share its knowledge with SMEs in the region.

Plant manager Bob Taylor said: "The culture change we have been through has been highly beneficial.

"We are now looking to assist local SMEs by giving them the benefit of our experience.

"A wide cross-section of our workforce, from group leaders up to management, will be involved in the mentoring."

Blue Sky elements at Halewood included harmonising the machinery layout to suit the people who use it, doing away with stairs and platforms to create single-level working, and making the working environment clean and bright with optimum use of daylight.

Improved communication was another key factor, along with a commitment to share responsibility.

Mr Taylor added: "People used to regard leadership as something only exercised by the company bosses.

"Now, leadership is something which is exercised at many different levels. …