Wayne Allen (pictured), northern compliance manager with Galaxy Insulation and Dry Lining, said he had changed the mindset of drivers and operational staff who originally claimed the firm didn't need FORS accreditation.
Speaking at FORS' annual conference at Manchester Central Convention Complex, he countered industry claims that the scheme often appealed more to senior management than staff and that employees now agreed that membership had delivered “overwhelming benefits” including helping the firm go carbon neutral.
Launched in 2009, the Sheffield-based company now has branches all over the UK and achieved Bronze accreditation in 2019, Silver a year later and Gold in 2021.
“This was all to obtain best practice, and as we rolled it out we had kickbacks from the staff along the lines of ‘we don’t need it’,” Allen admitted.
“We heard that straight away but going FORS Gold made our journey to carbon neutral a lot easier. We’re the only independent company in our sector who can say that and now we want to make sure others can also move forward and obtain the benefits. We also increased our fleet by 65% last year.”
Allen added that changing attitudes among staff had been a case of communicating the benefits rather than implementing new working practices without consultation: “We sat down with drivers at each individual depot and convinced them it would make a huge difference and make us a better company. We explained the benefits of training and how it would make us a much more professional body and more respected," he said.
"It was a question of explaining the worries and they soon bought into it. Some companies just say, ‘this is what we want you to do so crack on’ - and that just puts people’s backs up, when it's forced down their neck.
“Moving forward we want to maintain our accreditation. We’re changing our cars from petrol and diesel to hybrid and trialling an electric van to see how it works.”