Almost a quarter of employees at Gilberts Blackpool have been with the manufacturer for at least 20 years.
Managing director Jonathan Haslam, whose father Gil founded the independent air movement solutions company in 1960, said: “We live in such a transient society today and the nature of modern business has changed so much that it is increasingly rare to join a company almost from school and remain there all your working life. But we seem to have a higher than average lack of staff mobility. It’s outstanding that so many staff remain year after year.”
He added: “It also means we have an unrivalled skills base, to use to the benefit of our customers, in a world that increasingly wants something bespoke.”
Alastair McGowan, Gilberts’ most recent ‘silver server’ said: “There is an honesty and integrity to the board, and an air of friendliness throughout the company. It’s a family business, they treat us all as part of their extended family. The management team wants everyone to succeed, and if you want to learn and improve, they will encourage you and as far as possible open doors for promotion and development of work skills. That engenders loyalty, and creates a really good place to work.”
The level of staff commitment is proving especially important: Gilberts is seeing significant growth in business, to the extent it has had to extend its 80,000sq ft head office, engineering and R&D facility. It is adding almost 10% more space for manufacturing and warehousing to accommodate a growing, international order book.
The company is unique in undertaking all aspects of its production in house, from design to formation of dyes to manufacture, enabling it to give clients the reassurance of quality control whether off the shelf or a bespoke design. It is also unique in the air movement industry in having, in house, its own advanced test centre, which was entirely designed and built using internal expertise.