03 February 2017

Something In The Air?


‘It’s outstanding!” is how managing director of Britain’s leading independent air movement solutions company describes the organisation’s employment history.

The latest attainment of 25 years’ service prompted Gilberts Blackpool to check its records. It found that currently almost 25%- one quarter- of Gilberts’ employees have

been with the Lancashire manufacturer at least 20 years.

“Is it something in the air? We are only a mile or so from Blackpool seafront!” joked managing director Jonathan Haslam, whose father Gil founded the company in 1960. “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.

“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’ has a different explanation: “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 80,000 sq 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.

Apologies go out to those whose photos are not included.